Iraq's Shia People's Mobilization Forces said Friday that several militia members and several "guests" were killed by rockets near Baghdad International Airport.
Iraqi state media say Iraqi Shia People's Mobilization Forces deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force unit, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, were killed in Iraq. incident.
Al Arabiya and Sky News broadcasters also published reports deaths, although there is no official confirmation from Tehran.
Preliminary information indicates that all the victims were in a small convoy leaving the airport.
Iraq's Shia Popular Mobilization Forces accuse the United States and Israel of the bombing.
According to US authorities, cited by the news agency On condition of anonymity, Thursday's attacks were carried out against two Iranian targets in Baghdad.
Earlier in the day, Iraq's Shia People's Mobilization Forces – allegedly responsible for the recent siege of the US embassy in Baghdad – confirmed that their chief public relations officer, Mohammed Jabiri, was also killed in the incident.
REUTERS / Thaier Al-Sudani
Iraqi protesters protest at the US embassy in Baghdad.
The embassy was raided after air strikes against an Iranian-backed Hezbollah Kataib unit operating in the country. The attacks were carried out in response to an attack on the Kirkuk base, which killed an outsourced US soldier.
The deadly air strike also occurs amid escalating conflict between the US and Iran in the Middle East. Since May 2019, Washington – after unilaterally withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement – has been increasing its military presence in the region.