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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE U.S. STRIKE ON IRANIAN MILITARY LEADER QASSIM SOLEIMANI

Early on Friday (January 3), President Donald Trump authorized a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq that killed Corps Major General Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s senior commander in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the New York Times reported.

The strike comes after an attack killed an American contractor in December, the Timesreported; it wasn’t immediately clear who was culpable, but Trump accused an Iranian-backed militia, Kataib Hezbollah. In the following days, the U.S. and Iran began trading deadly attacks and threats: The U.S. killed 24 Iranian-backed militia members in Iraq and Syria; Iraqi militia broke into the U.S. embassy and set firesTrump deployed additional American troops to the Middle East; and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, sparred with Trump on Twitter. The two nations have an already-contentious relationship, particularly since 2018, when Trump pulled out of a nuclear deal Obama established with Iran; the president has also reintroduced sanctions against the country and designated its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

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