US-Iran tensions soar after killing senior Iranian commander

Added On January 5, 2020

Tensions between Iran and the United States have soared following the targeted killing of Iran's senior military commander in Iraq. News Hour has the story. Iran on Friday confirmed that general Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed during a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport. The U.S. Defense Department announced it conducted the attack under President Donald Trump's direction as a "defensive action" against Soleimani, who it said was planning further attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq. Iranian senior officials on Friday strongly condemned the assassination of Soleimani, while vowing to take revenge. According to U.S. officials, the United States will deploy some 3,500 more troops to the Middle East as early as this weekend following the strike. U.S. officials also urged Americans to "immediately" leave Iran. The long-time conflict between Iran and the U.S. has sharply escalated in the past days after angry Iraqi protesters stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday to protest the U.S. air raids conducted against five bases of Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. airstrikes were conducted to retaliate for the killing of an American contractor and wounding of several U.S. soldiers in a rocket attack last Friday on a military base housing U.S. troops in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.