A US strike killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi military force at Baghdad’s airport early Friday, the Hashed announced.
“The deputy head of the Hashed, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and head of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, were killed in a US strike that targeted their car on the Baghdad International Airport road,” the group said in a statement.
The international airport was hit in a bombardment of missiles just after midnight, Iraq’s military said.
Security sources said the rockets targeted a Hashed convoy and left eight people dead, including important figures.
The Hashed is a network of mostly-Shiite armed units, many of whom have very close ties to Tehran, who have been officially incorporated into Iraq’s state security forces.
Muhandis is the Hashed’s deputy chief but is widely recognised as the real shot-caller within the group. He has been blacklisted by the US.