Least Six Killed in Two-Car Convoy Targeted in US Airstrike North of
Baghdad – Reports
The development comes on the heels of the Friday morning US airstrike that killed Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, sparking heightened tension across the Middle East and sending thousands of Iranians into the streets to mourn the death of the general and denounce the United States and Israel.
A two-car convoy has reportedly been hit in a new airstrike in northern Baghdad, local media reported.
The airstrike reportedly left six dead, according to Reuters, citing sources.
Following the initial reports claiming that a targeted vehicle was carrying senior leaders, the Popular Mobilizations Forces (PMF) issued a statement, saying that “the strike targeted a convoy of Popular Mobilisation Forces medics”.
PMF also refuted reports regarding death of several senior officials, including Shebl Al-Zaidi, Hamid Al-Jazaeri, Raed Al-Karawi.
Previous reports had claimed that the targeted vehicles carried at least two senior Popular Mobilizations Forces (PMF) officials.
While some reports suggested that the parties involved in the incident are unknown, others claimed that the US attacked a PMF convoy carrying the commander of the Kataib Imam Ali militia, Shbl al-Zaidi, and other yet-to-be-identified PMF leaders.
Conflicting reports were emerging that al-Zaidi was not killed in the attack as he was reported to have been in Lebanon.
Another senior figure believed to be in one of the targeted convoy vehicles is reportedly named Qais al-Khazali.
Netizens shared alleged photos from the site of the incident.
The US drone attack near the Baghdad airport which killed Soleimani was described by the Trump administration as a preemptive action against Soleimani to “stop a war”. Tehran, however, said that the US crossed a “red line”, vowing retaliation.
Heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran occurred earlier this week when the United States accused the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group of launching a 27 December attack on a US military base near the city of Kirkuk which killed a US contractor. In retaliation, the US launched a strike against Kataib Hezbollah’s forces, killing about two dozen of its fighters, triggering Shiite protesters’ attempts to storm the gates of the US embassy in Baghdad.