News that a military strike in Iraq by US forces killed a top Iranian general sent crude oil prices soaring on Friday and lead analysts to warn it could lead to direct conflict between Tehran and Washington this year and further price increases.
General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed by US drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport on Friday, a decision the US Department of Defence said was approved by US president Donald Trump in response to previous attacks orchestrated by Soleimani on American citizens across the Middle East region.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” it said in a statement released late Thursday in the US.
According to Iraqi officials, the strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF.
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