Thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession through Baghdad for Iran's top general and Iraqi militant leaders killed in a U.S. airstrike. The protesters chanted "America is the Great Satan." Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force and mastermind of its regional security strategy, was killed in an airstrike Friday near the Iraqi capital's airport. The mourners were also marching in remembrance of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was a senior Iraqi militia commander who was killed in the same strike.
Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of an all-out war. The U.S.-led coalition says it has boosted security measures at Iraqi bases housing coalition forces. The tensions are rooted in the U.S. decision in May 2018 to withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and impose "maximum" sanctions on Tehran.
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As the Associated Press reports, President Trump says he ordered the strike. According to the Trump administration, Soleimani was planning attacks aimed at Americans and American interests, but hasn't provided evidence of this.
U.S. military in Iraq have scaled back operations to boost defensive security in the country at bases. The U.S. has also sent an additional 3,000 troops to Kuwait, which neighbors Iraq.