“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” read the statement.
The Pentagon said the bombings were in response to attacks targeting American forces near the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk last week, which reportedly killed a US civilian contractor and injured four US service members, as well as two members of the Iraqi security forces. The US accused Kataib Hezbollah group of the attack.