Washington:US President Donald Trump had ordered the US military to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon has said in a statement.
Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad early on Friday.
The IRGC confirmed in a statement that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were martyred in the attack carried out by US helicopters. The Iraqi pro-government group also confirmed the incident.
“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, US troops with the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Kuwait as part of the Immediate Response Force, the US Department of Defense announced.