Iran appoints Esmail Qaani as new Quds Chief after Qassem Soleimani killing
Iranwire English/ Facebook

Tehran: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm after its commander, Qassem Soleimani was killed Friday in a US strike on Baghdad airport.

"Following the martyrdom of the glorious general haj Qasem Soleimani, I name Brigadier General Esmail Qaani as the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement posted on his official website.

Pentagon on Thursday (local time) said it has carried out a "defensive action" at the "direction" of President Donald Trump to protect US personnel abroad by killing the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani.

Pentagon has released a statement hours after media around the world reported that Soleimani alongside six others was killed following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport.

Pentagon said that the strikes were aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.

Besides Soleimani, Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport, reported Iraqi officials and state television.

Pentagon has accused Soleimani of orchestrating several attacks on coalition bases in Iraq including the December 27 attack in which American and Iraqi personnel were killed.

The attack has come days after an Iran-backed militia and other protestors attacked the United States Embassy in Baghdad. The attack on the embassy came as a retaliation to a deadly US airstrike that killed at least 25 people of the PMF.

The US has vowed to take action against the breach by protestors.

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