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U.S. airstrike kills Iranian commander in Iraq
General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force and among the country's most powerful figures, was reportedly killed in an American airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday morning. "At the direction of the president, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani," the Pentagon said, accusing him of "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." The assassination of Soleimani comes after Iran-backed Iraqi militias attacked the American embassy in Baghdad earlier this week to avenge the deaths of several militia members killed in another U.S. airstike. "[B]e prepared for all sorts of Iranian retaliation against U.S. diplomatic and military personnel," Council of Foreign Relations President Richard Haass warned on Twitter shortly after reports of the general's death first emerged.