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 Contractors of the US private security firm Blackwater securing the site of a roadside bomb attack near the Iranian embassy in central Baghdad (File) - Sputnik International

Live Updates: MPs Urge to Adopt Law to Expel Foreign Troops From Iraq After US Kills Iranian General

Earlier in the day, Iraq's Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said that five members of the militia as well as “two guests” had been killed by rocket fire near the Baghdad International Airport, media reported.

Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was killed by the rocket fire near the Baghdad International Airport, Al Arabiya and Sky News broadcasters reported on Friday.

The United States carried out on Friday strikes on two Iran-linked targets in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the Reuters news agency reported, citing unnamed US officials.

Earlier in the day, a source in the Iraqi security services said that several people had been killed by the rocket fire.

Iraq's Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces said its senior official in charge of public relations, Mohammed Jabiri, had been killed in the incident along with four other members of the militia and "two guests".

The rockets are said to have fallen near the facilities of the Iraqi army and the international coalition. According to Al-Sumaria broadcaster, the incident injured 12 Iraqi servicemen and killed a civilian.

The situation in Iraq escalated on Tuesday when Shia protesters attempted to storm the gates of the US Embassy in Baghdad following airstrikes on an Iran-backed unit of Kataib Hezbollah operating in the country.

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19:42 GMT 03.01.2020

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz on Friday in a telephone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed "the latest developments in Iraq and efforts being exerted to defuse tensions in the region", as well as ways to "to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East in this turbulent period", according to the Saudi Press Agency.

19:35 GMT 03.01.2020

Bahrain's Gulf Air airline on Friday canceled all its flights to the Iraqi capital following the US assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's elite Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport.

"Flights to and from Baghdad and Najaf in the Republic of Iraq have suspended until further notice due to safety and security issues," Gulf Air wrote on Twitter.

Royal Jordanian Airlines has also suspended its flights from Jordan's capital of Amman to Baghdad due to the unstable situation in Baghdad and the airport. According to the company, its flights to other Iraqi cities will take place on schedule.

19:04 GMT 03.01.2020
18:28 GMT 03.01.2020

"It was an extremely dangerous, foolish escalation ... He was the most effective force fighting against Islamic State* and al Qaeda* terrorists", Zarif said during talks with the UN Secretary-General.

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) and Al Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia

18:16 GMT 03.01.2020
17:56 GMT 03.01.2020

"Lavrov stressed that deliberate actions of a UN member state to liquidate other UN member state's officials, not to mention on a third sovereign country's soil without its knowledge, is a gross violation of the principles of the international law and deserves condemnation", the ministry said in a statement, issued following a phone conversation between the two diplomats.

The Russian minister pointed out that this act by the US could lead to severe consequences for the peace and stability in the region.

"Moscow urges Washington to refrain from illegally using force in achieving its goals in the international arena, and solve all problems at the negotiating table [instead]", the ministry stated.

17:11 GMT 03.01.2020
17:08 GMT 03.01.2020

"The US identified its position on the current situation in the Middle East. Yang Jiechi said that China was very concerned about the current situation in the Middle East. China is pursuing a settlement through dialogue and opposes the use of military force in international affairs", China’s Foreign Ministry said.

16:52 GMT 03.01.2020
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"The minister stressed France’s concern over the growing tensions in the Middle East in recent months, which has sharply escalated in Iraq in the last few weeks", the ministry said in a statement.

"In the current circumstances, France is calling on all sides to show restraint, and urging Iran to avoid all actions that could further undermine regional stability or lead to a serious crisis in regard to the proliferation of nuclear weapons", the statement said.

15:15 GMT 03.01.2020
15:15 GMT 03.01.2020

"The United States should know that its criminal attack on Commander Soleimani is the biggest strategic mistake in West Asia. The US will not easily escape the consequences of this miscalculation", the Council said in a statement circulated by the country's foreign ministry.

According to the statement, Tehran will avenge the death of the high-ranking military commander "at the right time and in the right place". 

15:03 GMT 03.01.2020

"The memory of the martyr Soleimani will remain immortal in the conscience of the Syrian people", Syrian President Bashar Assad stated.

"We received, with utmost sorrow, the news of the martyrdom of a constellation of resistance leaders, headed by Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the leader of al-Quds Failaq, who spent his life in the national work and serving his country and the axis of resistance and the right issues of peoples and in combating terrorism and its backers", Assad said as quoted by the Syrian Arab News Agency.

"We are confident that this crime will increase the determination of the axis of the resistance to continue confronting the US subversive policy in the region and all forces of injustice and aggression in the world", Assad stated.

14:55 GMT 03.01.2020

"He is deeply concerned with the recent escalation. This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf", spokesman Farhan Haq of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

14:35 GMT 03.01.2020

Wall Street’s top stocks barometer, the S&P500, was down 0.8 percent at 3,231 at 10:04 AM EST (15:04 GMT). The index, which measures the value of the 500 largest US corporations by market capitalization, settled at an all-time high of 3,257.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.9 percent to 9,010. The Nasdaq hit a record high of 9,093 in the previous session, rising its most in a day since September 5. The technology sector was the darling of Wall Street investors last year, lifting the Nasdaq by 36% for the index’s best performance in six years.

US stocks’ broad Dow Jones Industrial Average also slid by 0.9 percent to 28,615. The Dow hit an all-time high of 28,873 on Thursday, in its best one-day gain since December 6. The Dow rose 23 percent last year for its best performance since 2017.

14:30 GMT 03.01.2020

"In light of regional events, there is potential for spontaneous demonstrations or unrest to take place in Bahrain over the coming days, and possibly beyond", the State Department said in an updated travel advisory. "While we have no information indicating a threat to American citizens, we encourage you to continually exercise the appropriate level of security awareness in regards to your personal security and in the face of any anti-US activity that may arise in Bahrain".

14:21 GMT 03.01.2020
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14:12 GMT 03.01.2020

Brigadier Gen. Hossein Pourjafari, Col. Shahroud Mozafarinia, Maj. Hadi Taremi, and Captain Vahid Zamanian were killed, the IRIB broadcaster said, citing a statement from the Quds Force.

13:56 GMT 03.01.2020
13:25 GMT 03.01.2020

“We are deeply concerned about the escalation of US-Iranian tensions in the region. We strongly reiterate that turning Iraq into a zone of conflict will damage the peace and stability of both Iraq and our region", the ministry said in a statement.

"It is clear that the operation to eliminate Suleimani and his convoy will lead to further increase in distrust and instability in the region", the ministry stressed. 

13:21 GMT 03.01.2020

"There was an imminent attack [against the US], the orchestrator, the primary motivator for the attack was Qasem Soleimani ...There would have been many Muslims killed as well, Iraqis and people in other countries as well. It was a strike that was aimed at both disrupting that plot, deterring further aggression, [and] we hope, setting the conditions for de-escalation as well", Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News TV channel.

13:18 GMT 03.01.2020
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12:46 GMT 03.01.2020
Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!" https://twitter.com
12:26 GMT 03.01.2020
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"We are in contact with our American partners, as well as with our European partners. There is, of course, the question of how much it is now possible to prevent further escalation", ministerial spokesman Christofer Burger said at a briefing.

In addition, German Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer claimed that Soleimani’s killing was provoked by Tehran.

"US actions were a reaction to a number of military provocations, for which Iran is responsible. I want to recall the attack on tankers in the Persian Gulf and on Saudi refineries. We condemned the attacks on coalition forces in Iraq and the recent attack on the US Embassy. We are also extremely concerned about Iran’s regional activity", Demmer said.

11:59 GMT 03.01.2020
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11:47 GMT 03.01.2020

"Israel has the right to self-defense. The United States has exactly the same right. Qasem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and many other innocent people... President Donald Trump deserves appreciation, as he acted quickly and decisively. We fully stand on the side of the United States in a just struggle for peace, security and self-defence", Netanyahu said upon his return to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, gestures as he speaks during a ceremony near Hebron's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Israeli controlled part of the West Bank city of Hebron, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.  - Sputnik International
‘US Has Right to Self-Defence’: Netanyahu Says Soleimani Was Responsible for Deaths of Americans
11:27 GMT 03.01.2020

"A precision drone strike hit two vehicles at Baghdad airport", a US defence official told AFP.

The official continued on by saying that part of the 750 forces from the US 82nd Airborne division dispatched to the region a few days ago had already arrived in Baghdad.

"They will head to the US embassy to relieve Marines who had arrived in recent days", the source said.

11:21 GMT 03.01.2020
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"We mourn the death of Soleimani and the other Iranian commanders killed in the US-carried out air raid. Hamas also offers condolences for our brotherly Iraqi people", a Hamas statement read.

10:29 GMT 03.01.2020
10:13 GMT 03.01.2020

Two major factions in the Iraqi parliament – Sairoon (Alliance Towards Reforms) and Fatah Alliance – have called for adopting a new law that would envisage the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.

10:12 GMT 03.01.2020
09:57 GMT 03.01.2020
09:44 GMT 03.01.2020

British bases in the Middle East have increased their security and readiness after the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Sky News reported. The UK Ministry of Defence, however, hasn't commented on the report.

09:42 GMT 03.01.2020

The order to step up security at diplomatic missions was given by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper.

09:32 GMT 03.01.2020
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Protesters Outside the US Embassy in Baghdad - Sputnik International
07:54 GMT 03.01.2020
07:42 GMT 03.01.2020

"The assassination of an Iraqi military commander who holds an official position is considered aggression on Iraq ... and the liquidation of leading Iraqi figures or those from a brotherly country on Iraqi soil is a massive breach of sovereignty", Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said.

07:19 GMT 03.01.2020
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"Undoubtedly, the great Iranian nation and other freedom-loving countries in the region will avenge the United States for its terrible crime", the president stated.

06:01 GMT 03.01.2020
05:22 GMT 03.01.2020

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has addressed the airstrikes that killed Iranian IRCG and Iraqi militia officers, noting that Congress must be informed about the situation and the possible need to boost the American military presence in the Middle East.

05:11 GMT 03.01.2020
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 "The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani... will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous", Zarif said in a statement.

03:59 GMT 03.01.2020
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03:33 GMT 03.01.2020

The US Armed Forces have been put on high alert after Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, had been killed by the US strikes in Baghdad, the Fox News broadcaster reported, citing its sources.

03:25 GMT 03.01.2020
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02:20 GMT 03.01.2020

The US Department of Defence said it was waiting for the results of DNA tests to confirm the deaths of Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, as well as a senior member of the Iraqi Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in what is described as a US drone attack in Baghdad, the Newsweek magazine reported. A senior Pentagon official asid that there was a "high probability" that they would confirm the deaths of Soleimani and PMF deputy head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

01:37 GMT 03.01.2020

During the morning trading hours in Asian markets, Brent crude soared 1.31 percent, to $67.12 per barrel, while US crude jumped 1.24 percent, to $61.94 per barrel, after reports emerged that a top Iranian military general had been killed in an airstrike in Baghdad.

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