The United States again targetted pro-Iran fighters in Iraq in an airstrike early on Saturday, killing six people, AFP reported. This came hours before the funeral of senior military leader Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the Donald Trump administration the day before in Baghdad.
A convoy of Iraqi paramilitary network Hashed al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces, whose Shia-majority factions are close to Iran, were attacked along Taji Road, north of Baghdad, Al Jazeera quoted Iraqi state television as saying. The road leads to a base of non-American coalition forces, including British and Italian troops. The paramilitary outfit’s Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of Soleimani’s key advisors, was killed in Friday’s drone strike.
Al Jazeera reported that medics were among those killed in the latest attack. According to Reuters, three people were critically wounded.
As tensions flared between Iran and the United States over Soleimani’s killing, India called for restraint and said “peace, stability and security in this [West Asia] region is of utmost importance to India”. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed to exact “severe revenge” against those responsible for the death of the elite Quds Force chief.