The United States launched a rocket attack targeting Iranian military leaders, killing seven people at the Baghdad International Airport early on Friday, the Associated Press reported .
Among those killed was Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, the AP reported. Soleimani is considered as Iran's most prominent military leader.
Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces said that the U.S. was responsible for Friday's strike.
"General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region," the Pentagon said in a statement.
The attack comes days after after protesters stormed the US embassy in Iraq.
Iraqi security officials told the AP that the rockets landed near the airport’s cargo hall. Two cars were reportedly on fire.
The Baghdad airport is used by both US officials as well as for commercial operations.
At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 3, 2020