HRAN, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Friday confirmed that Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of IRGC's Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike on Baghdad International Airport.

The general "was killed today in the air raid of U.S. helicopters," according to a statement from the IRGC.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense said it conducted the strike at President Donald Trump's "direction" as a "defensive action" against Soleimani, who it said was planning further attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq.