New airstrikes north of Baghdad reportedly killed at least five members of an Iran-backed militia on Friday, Iraqi officials said, a day after Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani was killed by a U.S. airstrike.
Fox News has reported that Friday’s airstrikes hit two cars and killed at least 5 people. It said that the dead were confirmed by the Iranian-supported Popular Mobilization Forces to be among their members, although the group denied that they were leading figures.
“Initial sources confirm that the strike targeted a convoy of Popular Mobilization Forces medics near Taji stadium in Baghdad,” it said in a statement.
The Associated Press claims to have spoken to an unnamed U.S. official who said that American forces did not carry out the attack; exactly who was responsible for isn’t clear.
Friday’s strikes come after the U.S. killed the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, an organization that according to the State Department has committed terrorism in multiple countries. What’s more, the Pentagon blames Soleimani for the deaths of over 600 U.S. service members.
Further, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said during a Fox News appearance that “the intelligence was very strong” that Soleimani was planning future attacks in Iraq.
He was taken out after a mob of Iranian-backed militants tried to storm the American embassy in Baghdad. Many were waving the Hezbollah Brigades’ flag, the same group that killed a U.S. contractor in northern Iraq earlier in the week.
Some greeted news of the strike with jubilance, as some Iraqis took to the streets in celebration. Watch:
Subscribe to our channel! rupt.ly/subscribe Protesters rallied in the streets of Baghdad to celebrate, hours after General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was reportedly killed during a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, on Friday.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” President Donald Trump said afterward at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “We did not take action to start a war.”
However, Iran’s government reacted belligerently, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeting, “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had tough words too, promising that “harsh retaliation is waiting for the criminals whose filthy hands spilled his blood.”
Iraq’s government didn’t appear happy about the incident either. Fox News quoted an unnamed high-ranking official as stating, “Things are moving very fast, but the leaders want the U.S. troops out now. The U.S. was only authorized to be in Iraq with the government’s approval for a specific purpose — to fight ISIS. This was a violation of that agreement.”