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Photo: Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi denounced Friday the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as an "act of aggression against Iraq" that would "light the fuse of war."

The latest: Mahdi, who has close ties to Iran, labeled the strike a "massive breach of sovereignty." He called an emergency parliamentary session to "take the appropriate legislative measures in a manner that preserves the dignity, security and sovereignty of Iraq."

Why it matters: The strike against Soleimani could well make the current U.S. presence in Iraq untenable, both because U.S. troops and other personnel could be targeted by Iran and its proxies and because this will further poison the relationship between Washington and Baghdad.

What they're saying:

  • President Trump has tweeted that Soleimani "should have been taken out many years ago." Former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush decided not to target him for fear of escalation with Iran.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the strike was intended to disrupt an "imminent" attack against Americans in the Middle East, but did not offer details.
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has vowed "severe revenge."

Go deeper: Why Qasem Soleimani mattered

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”