3 Jan 2020

General Qassem Soleimani killed: who was top Iranian general – and what happens next?

International Editor

An American airstrike near Baghdad airport has killed Iran’s top general, with experts warning it could inflame tensions in the region and put the US and its allies – including the UK – at risk.

General Qassem Soleimani was the head of Tehran’s elite Quds Force, in charge of many of the country’s military operations in the Middle East and beyond.

He was targeted in a drone strike on Friday in Baghdad. The US government said he was killed because he was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members” in the region.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared three days of mourning and has warned of “severe revenge”.

Channel 4 News’ International Editor, Lindsey Hilsum, explains who exactly General Soleimani was, his importance in Iran, and what might happen next as tensions mount between the US and Iran.