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(FILES) In this picture taken on September 14, 2013, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, receives condolences following the death of his mother in Tehran. Top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike on Baghdad's international airport on January 3, 2019, Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force has said, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran. / AFP / ISNA / MEHDI GHASEMI Image Credit: AFP / ISNA / MEHDI GHASEMI

This is a developing story, updates to follow

Baghdad: A US airstrike killed General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and architect of its regional security apparatus, at Baghdad's international airport Friday.

Following a Pentagon statement that US president Donald Trump 'ordered' the attack that killed the influential Iranian general, many nations have responded given the now quickly escalating tensions between Iran and the United States. The US embassy in Baghdad urged citizens to leave Iraq immediately.

Iran's foreign minister said the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed Iran's top general is ``without any doubt is an act of state terrorism.''

Mohammad Javad Zarif also called the airstrike a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

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UAE urges restraint

UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash tweeted on Friday.

“In light of the rapid regional developments, it is necessary to put wisdom, balance and political solutions above confrontation and escalation. The region has been facing complicated and accumulated, and suffers from a loss of confidence between parties.

"This situation requires adopting a rational approach that is free of emotions,” he tweeted.


Iraq PM says US strike 'flagrant violation' of security agreement with US and that it 'will spark a devastating war in Iraq. Iraq president called for restraint after deadly US strike. 


The US killing of a top Iranian military commander has made the world "more dangerous," France's Europe minister said Friday, calling for efforts to de-escalate the deepening conflict in the Middle East.

"We have woken up to a more dangerous world," Amelie de Montchalin told RTL radio, saying President Emmanuel Macron would consult soon with "players in the region."

The United States confirmed it was responsible for an airstrike early Friday that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, ratcheting up the proxy war between the two powers.

"In such operations, when we can see an escalation is underway, but what we want above all is stability and de-escalation," Montchalin said.

"All of France's efforts... in all parts of the world aim to ensure that we are creating the conditions for peace or at least stability," she added.

"Our role is not to take sides, but to talk with everyone," Montchalin said.


China on Friday appealed for restraint from all sides, "especially the United States", after top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike in Iraq.

"We urge the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.


Britain on Friday called for calm after a US strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, increasing tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Foreign minister Dominic Raab said London had "always recognised the aggressive threat" posed by Soleimani and his Quds Force, adding: "Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is none of our interests.


The Syrian government on Friday condemned the US killing overnight in Baghdad of top Iranian and Iraqi commanders and accused Washington of trying to fuel conflict in the Middle East.

Syria is "certain that this cowardly US aggression... will only strengthen determination to follow in the path of the resistance's martyred leaders," a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the state news agency SANA.

United States

Though the attacks were ordered by the president, voices of dissent have risen from the United States.

The killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in an American air strike risks provoking a "dangerous escalation of violence", US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

"America - and the world - cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return," she added in a statement.

US lawmakers were not told in advance of the attack, a senior House Democrat said late Thursday.

The strike "went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress," House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel said in a statement.

Soleimani was "the mastermind of immense violence" who has "the blood of Americans on his hands," the Democratic lawmaker said.

But "to push ahead with an action of this gravity without involving Congress raises serious legal problems and is an affront to Congress's powers as a coequal branch of government," Engel added.


Moscow warned Friday that the US killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq would boost tensions across the Middle East.

"The killing of Soleimani.... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region," news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

"Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people."


Berlin urges 'prudence' and 'de-escalation' after deadly US strike