New Delhi: Soon after a US airstrike killed Iran’s elite Quds Force chief General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad international airport, the Ministry of external Affairs of India on Friday called for restraint, saying peace and security in this region are of utmost importance to the country. Also Read - After Airstrike, US Embassy Asks American Citizens to Leave Iraq Immediately; Iran Vows 'Severe Revenge' For General Soleimani's Death

“We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US. The increase in tension has alarmed the world. Peace and security in this region is of utmost importance to India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Also Read - #WorldWar3 Trends on Twitter After US Airstrike Kills Iran's Top General Qassem Soleimani

The MEA further said it is vital that the situation does not escalate further, and India has consistently advocated restraint and will continue to do so.

The statement from MEA comes after news reports surfaced that Soleimani, a US-designated terrorist, along with six others, was killed in the airstrike by the US near Baghdad’s international airport.

In the wake of the incident, the strike has escalated tensions between the US and Iran. A number of world leaders, including that of Russia, China and Syria, have condemned the move from the US, while Iran, on the other hand, has vowed to take vigorous revenge over the killing.

Meanwhile, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Deputy Commander of the Quds Force Esmail Ghaani as the head of the unit. The development comes after the death of Qasem Soleimani in US airstrike.

As per the report from local media, Khamenei said that the force’s programme will remain unchanged from the time of Ghaani’s predecessor.