Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush smile while on the first tee during the first round of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club on September 28, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider

On Thursday evening, the Pentagon confirmed that at the direction of President Donald Trump, U.S. forces killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in an air strike near Baghdad's airport, the most drastic step towards conflict with Iran of the 21st century.

Soleimani had been one of the most important and highly-regarded military figures in Iran for decades, playing a pivotal role in shaping Iranian foreign policy and the politics of the Middle East today.

The killing of the high-level commander Soleimani, first reported by Iranian state TV and later confirmed in a statement by the Pentagon, is the United State's most significant escalation of tensions against Iran yet and is likely to further inflame conflict in the region and provoke severe retaliation.

In the immediate aftermath of the strike on Suleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that "harsh retaliation" would be waiting for the U.S., with another military official, Moshen Razae, vowing to "take vigorous revenge on America."

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

As President Donald Trump faces an unprecedented impeachment inquiry, he's taken to his comfort zone, using Twitter to attack Congress, the media, and the anonymous intelligence whistleblower who filed a complaint against him.

In the 24 hours since the explosive whistleblower complaint was released, Trump has used social media to aggressively defend himself.

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Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters photo)

A heartbreaking war story former Vice President Joe Biden has told on the campaign trail for years never actually happened, according to a new report in the Washington Post.

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(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

"Fox & Friends" weekend co-host Pete Hegseth has been working behind the scenes to convince President Donald Trump to pardon U.S. service members accused or convicted of war crimes, according to a recent report in the Daily Beast.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump is taking steps to officially pardon service members accused of committing war crimes whose cases have garnered significant media attention by Memorial Day. This comes after Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran, spent months encouraging Trump in private to issue the controversial pardons.

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