Possibly one civilian was killed and an unknown number of civilians injured in a confirmed U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian national Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, on Baghdad International Airport at January 3rd, 2020.
The New York Times reported that an “American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport”.
Janoubia reported that the “the security media cell of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office announced that ‘three Katyusha rockets landed on Baghdad International Airport near the air cargo hall, resulting in the burning of two vehicles and the injury of a number of citizens.'”
Qassam Soleimani’s son-in-law was also declared killed. While sources do specify the roles of the other persons in the convoy killed, his combatant status remains unclear. Hence, we have listed Soleimani’s son-in-law as a possible civilian casualty.
The belligerents named killed were:
Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis (deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces)
Qassem Soleimani (commander of the Iranian Quds Force)
Samer Abdullah (head of External Operations Agency for Hezbollah and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh)
Muhammad Reda Al Jabri (director of the Hashdat Al-Hashd at the airport)
Hassan Abdul-Hadi (PMU)
Muhammad Al Shaibani (PMU)
Haider Ali (PMU).
Muhammad Al Kawtharani, senior member of Hezbollah, was also reported to be among the dead, but these reports remain unconfirmed.
Iranian officials also listed the following officers who accompanied Soleimani as killed, as reported by Nors:
Brigadier Hussein Jafir
Colonel Shahrud Muzaffari
Major Hadi Tarmi
Captain Waheed Zamanian.
The Pentagon confirmed responsibility for the airstrike in a statement on January 3rd, stating that “this strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
The incident occured at approximately 1:00 am local time.