The US Department of Defence confirmed on Thursday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani was killed in airstrikes that hit several targets, including several senior members of Iraq's Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Mohsen Rezaee, a senior military officer within the IRGC, said in a statement that Iran will respond to the death of Soleimani. Rezaee, a former IRGC chief, succinctly vowed "revenge" against the US.
Several missiles exploded near the Baghdad International Airport on Thursday night. The incident reportedly left at least seven people killed, including Soleimani, and five members of the PMF, said to be responsible for the recent siege of the US embassy in Baghdad.
The US airstrike followed the Tuesday's storming of the US embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-backed Shia protesters who were said to be outraged by an earlier strike that hit an Iran-backed unit of Kataib Hezbollah operating in the country.
The strikes on the Kataib Hezbollah were carried out in response to an attack at a Kirkuk base that killed a US contractor.