IMAGE: An Iranian demonstrator holds a picture of the late Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, during a protest against the assassination of Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in front of United Nation office in Tehran, on Friday. Photograph: Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency via Reuters
A fresh air strike hit pro-Iran fighters in Iraq early Saturday, as fears grew of a proxy war erupting between Washington and Tehran a day after an American drone strike killed a top Iranian general.
It came hours ahead of a planned mourning march for Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary heavyweight Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, slain in a precision drone strike by the United States in Baghdad on Friday.
At least five people were killed in the airstrike on a convoy of Iraq’s Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces in northern Baghdad, a source in security forces was quoted as saying by agencies.
Earlier in the day, there was a powerful explosion in Baghdad’s northern district of Taji.
“A vehicle convoy of the Popular Mobilisation Forces has been attacked. According to preliminary data, five people have died. Their names have not been clarified so far,” the source said.
It did not say who was responsible but Iraqi state television reported it was a US air strike.
Soleimani’s killing is the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which pledged to send more troops to the region even as President Donald Trump insisted he did not want war.