Mourners throng the car carrying the body of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani during a funeral procession for Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad on January 4.

Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT) January 5, 2020

Mourners throng the car carrying the body of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani during a funeral procession for Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad on January 4.

Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

The head of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad airport in Iraq on Friday morning. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an Iran-backed paramilitary force, was also killed.

The US has claimed responsibility for the strike, saying it was aimed at preventing future Iranian attack plans.

The strike comes after PMF supporters and members attempted to storm the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, in response to airstrikes in Iraq and Syria conducted by US forces on Sunday.

President Donald Trump confirmed the airstrikes on Sunday were a response to a recent attack that killed a US contractor in Iraq. He blamed Iran both for the contractor’s death and the attack on the embassy.