Airstrike: U.S asks citizens to leave Iraq immediately

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Photo from Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The United States has asked its citizens to leave Iraq immediately following airstrike that killed  Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps

He was killed alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, also called Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in an airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump at the Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, the US said in a statement.

However the U.S. embassy in Iraq Friday morning asked all Americans to leave, even as Iran vowed that the “free nations of the region” will take revenge on the US for killing Soleimani.

President Hasan Rouhani said, “There is no doubt that the great nation of Iran and the other free nations of the region will take revenge for this gruesome crime from criminal America.

“This vile and cowardly act is another sign of America’s desperation and weakness in the region,” the president added.

Also, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “severe revenge” for “the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”, while the country’s foreign minister called the move a “dangerous escalation”.