Timeline: How the killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani by US strikes unfolded

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An hour after midnight on Friday, top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was making his way to Baghdad International Airport from Damascus.

Shortly after landing in Baghdad, he was greeted by Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes. Moments after their convoy began leaving the airport, several explosions rocked the Iraqi capital Baghdad.


By 02:00 AM local time, Baghdad International Airport went into lockdown and air navigation around the airport was suspended. Nine minutes later, international coalition aircraft begin hovering over the airport.

Nearly two hours later, reports begin to come out of the deaths of both Soleimani and al-Mohandes.

At 05:25 AM, the Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) militias, the Iranian-backed umbrella grouping of militant groups which al-Mohandes is deputy commander of confirms his death. Shortly after, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force confirms Soleimani has been killed by US airstrikes.

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