U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Soleimani was killed in a drone strike. Iran's Revolutionary Guards said he was killed in an attack by U.S. helicopters.
The overnight attack happened on a road leading to Baghdad International Airport, near the air cargo terminal and burned two vehicles. Workers were seen clearing the wreckage from the scene.
The strike, authorized by President Donald Trump, marked a dramatic escalation in a "shadow war" in the Middle East between Iran and the United States and its allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, there were celebrations on the streets of Baghdad early on Friday (January 3) following Soleimani's death.
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.