Less than 24 hours after President Trump ordered airstrikes that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, another airstrike has reportedly been carried out.
Airstrikes struck a convoy of vehicles carrying Iran-back Iraqi militia leaders within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) umbrella group, killing six and wounding three in Taji, just north of Baghdad, an Iraqi Army source told Reuters. An Iraqi source told the Associated Press that five were killed in the airstrike.
Photos posted to social media show the burning wreckage of the convoy, although the airstrike, nor the images have been confirmed by U.S. officials.
— Aleph 🕯️ א (@no_itsmyturn) January 3, 2020
6 reported killed in US second airstrike as here is pictures of the Scene pic.twitter.com/v6EskpUUVk
— yusuf (@yusuf57018613) January 3, 2020
Al Mayadeen, a Lebanon-based Arab television network, as well as Al-Iraqiya TV, an Iraqi television network, are also reporting that drone strikes took out a convoy of two vehicles carrying the Iraqi militia leaders.
العراق: مراسل الميادين: طائرة مسيرة نفذت الغارة على قافلة في منطقة التاجي شمالي العاصمة بغداد
— الميادين عاجل (@AlMayadeenLive) January 3, 2020
— Eva J. Koulouriotis – إيفا كولوريوتي (@evacool_) January 4, 2020
Airstrikes carried out by drone killed Soleimani and PMF leaders Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Mohammed Reda at the Baghdad International Airport late Thursday, leaving little other than charred vehicle wreckage behind.
Iranian leaders have since vowed to retaliate against the U.S. for the death of its revered general.
The threats have prompted the U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to issue high alert warnings, telling all Americans in Iraq to “leave immediately.”
The U.S. also ordered the deployment of some 3,000 paratroopers with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. The troops were previously on standby, and will join 750 other paratroopers who already deployed earlier this week.
Trump said on Friday that the airstrike was ordered because the U.S. had evidence that Soleimani was planning attacks on Americans.
He said the actions stopped a war, and did not start one. He also vowed to find and eliminate any terrorist that brings harm to Americans.