WASHINGTON, January 3. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have discussed the situation around Iran in the wake of the US air strike in the area of the Baghdad airport, which killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, during a phone call on Friday, the US State Department informed in a statement.
"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Secretary Pompeo discussed [US] President [Donald] Trump’s recent decision to take decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani in response to imminent threats to American lives. The Secretary made clear that the United States remains committed to de-escalation," the statement attributable to US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus reads.
The Pentagon earlier confirmed that a missile strike near the Baghdad airport killed the head of the Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. The operation was carried out at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the statement said.
According to the Pentagon, the strike was defensive, since it was aimed at protecting US troops in Iraq and other countries. Washington blamed Soleimani for allegedly approving a rally outside the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.