23:15 GMT10 July 2020
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    Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport on Friday morning, with his assassination dramatically escalating tensions in the Middle East.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefs the press after an urgent meeting of the North Atlantic Council at Ambassadorial level in Brussels following the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi Muhandis, a senior member of Iraq's Iranian-backed Shia Popular Mobilization Forces, in Baghdad on Friday.

    The killing prompted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to warn that Tehran will take revenge for what it views to be a heinous crime. Baghdad has condemned the attack as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty, with the national parliament voting to expel foreign troops from the country.

    US President Donald Trump, in turn, threatened Iraq with "sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever," saying US troops will not leave the country unless America is paid back for its "very extraordinarily expensive airbase" located there.

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    Tags:
    Qassem Soleimani, NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Iran
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