In a major escalation of tensions in the Middle East, the U.S. has killed a top Iranian commander in a Baghdad drone strike authorized by Donald Trump.
The NYT reports: “The commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed along with several officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport. General Suleimani was the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades, and his death was a staggering blow for Iran at a time of sweeping geopolitical conflict.”
The U.S. embassy has urged Americans to leave Iraq immediately: “In a security alert issued Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy told citizens to ‘depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.'”
Iran has vowed revenge. Said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a statement: “With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease, and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and the blood of the other martyrs of last night’s incident.”