The head of Iran's elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani, was killed alongside six others following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport on Thursday. Later, US President Donald Trump tweeted US flag after General Qassem Soleimani was killed in the attack.
On Friday, Following Soleimani's death, Trump tweeted an image of the US flag without any further explanation.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said. Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests. The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday. There was no immediate comment from the US or Iran.
The attack will further deteriorate US relations with Iran and Iraq. It comes days after an Iran-backed militia and other protesters attacked the United States' Embassy in Baghdad. The US has vowed to take action against the breaching by protestors.