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BAGHDAD — President Trump ordered a strike on the Baghdad airport that killed the powerful commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, early Friday, the Pentagon said.
General Suleimani’s death was confirmed by official Iranian media.
“General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the statement added. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
The strikes followed a warning on Thursday afternoon from Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who said the United States military would pre-emptively strike Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria if there were signs the paramilitary groups were planning more attacks against American bases and personnel in the region.
“If we get word of attacks, we will take pre-emptive action as well to protect American forces, protect American lives,” Mr. Esper said. “The game has changed.”
The Tasnim News Agency, which is affiliated with the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp, confirmed the death of General Suleimani early Friday...