Iraqis in Baghdad celebrate death of top Iranian commander Soleimani

Iraqi celebrate following the killing of Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. (Supplied)

There were celebrations on the streets of Baghdad early on Friday following the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite Quds Force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East.

A US air strike on Baghdad airport earlier in the day killed Soleimani and top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.

Iran has been locked in a long conflict with the United States that escalated sharply last week with an attack on the US embassy in Iraq by pro-Iranian militiamen following a US air raid on the Kataib Hezbollah militia, founded by Mohandes.

The US embassy in Baghdad urged all American citizens to depart Iraq immediately on Friday.

As leader of the Quds Force, the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani, 62, had a key role in fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05