At least 15 people were killed, and 16 more were wounded:
Hours after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned
that the United States could conduct pre-emptive strikes against
Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), airstrikes were launched at Baghdad’s International
Airport. Among the dead
was the head of KH, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, but more importantly, the
head of Iran’s elite Quds force General Qassem Soleimani. Apparently,
Muhandis had arrived
at the airport to greet Soleimani’s plane.
As well as orchestrating military operations in Iraq, Soleimani had been heavily involved in Iraqi politics for years, pushing Iranian policy. Also reported killed were Mohammad Reza Al-Jabri, the Popular Mobilization Force’s director of public relations in the United States, and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Muhammad al-Kawtharani, who was in charge of Hezbollah’s Iraq activities. At least five people were killed alongside Soleimani and Muhandis. Nine people were also wounded.
Three civilians were killed, and three more were wounded when assailants threw a hand grenade at them in Abu Saida. It is unclear if this attack is related to recent tribal conflicts in the area.
An ISIS attack in Muqdadiya left one security member dead and two more with injuries. A policeman was killed in a separate attack.
In Qayara, two militiamen were gunned down.
One soldier was killed and another was wounded during a bombing in Kuwair.