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Iran vows 'harsh' response to US killing of top general

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iran has vowed "harsh retaliation" for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed its top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East. 

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran. Iran's supreme leader warned that a "harsh retaliation is waiting" for the U.S. after the airstrike, calling Soleimani the "international face of resistance." 

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2016, file photo provided by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran. Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials said Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, that Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

The killing, and any forceful retaliation by Iran, could ignite a conflict that engulfs the whole region, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond. The U.S. ordered its citizens to leave Iraq and closed the embassy in Baghdad. 

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