Soleimani assassination stirs tensions

Top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was assassinated on December 3 in a US pointed strike on Baghdad’s international airport in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries.

President Trump ordered an airstrike, assassinating Iran’s most powerful general in the early hours on December 3, in a dramatic escalation of power struggle between Washington and Tehran for influence across Middle Est.

Qassem Suleimani was hit by the drone strike while local allies from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) drove him from Baghdad airport. The de facto leader of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a close Suleimani associate, was also killed in the attack.

General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Pentagon statement announced. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

The White House has issued a statement saying the strike was a “decisive defensive action” carried out “at the direction of the president”.

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