Iran vows 'harsh retaliation' after US airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani praised Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani early Friday morning after the top military general was killed in an airstrike ordered by President Trump and promised to "take revenge for this heinous crime" carried out by the United States.
Rouhani also said Iran would raise flags in honor of Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, who he claimed defended “the country's territorial integrity” and fought against “terrorism and extremism” in the region.
TRUMP ORDERS ATTACK THAT KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSIM SOLEIMANI, OTHER MILITARY OFFICIALS IN BAGHDAD, PENTAGON SAYS
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday evening that Trump had ordered the attack that killed Soleimani and other military officials at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Iran’s top “shadow commander” was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more, the State Department said.
The U.S. State Department issued a security alert Friday morning urging all U.S. citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” due to heightened tensions in the region.
“Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy,” the alert said. The agency also shared phone numbers people concerned about U.S. citizens and other loved ones in Iraq could call toll free for information.
The State Department said the airstrike “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans."
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region… The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”