A U.S. strike killed Iran Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon said on Thursday, adding that Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack Americans in Iraq and the Middle East.
“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 in a statement.
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“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” it said, adding that the United States would continue to take necessary action to protect Americans and interests around the world.
The Pentagon said that Soleimani had “orchestrated” attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the past few months and approved the “attacks” on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad this week.
U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Soleimani had been killed in a drone strike in Baghdad.