A visit by the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force to Baghdad has led to a pause in attacks on U.S. troops by Iran-aligned groups in Iraq, multiple Iranian and Iraqi sources have said, saying it was a sign Tehran wants to prevent a broader conflict.

Esmail Qaani met representatives of several of the armed groups in Baghdad Airport on Jan. 29, less than 48 hours after Washington blamed the groups for the killing of three U.S. soldiers at the Tower 22 outpost in Jordan, the sources said.

Qaani, whose predecessor was killed by a U.S. drone near the same airport four years ago, told the factions that drawing American blood risked a heavy U.S. response, 10 of the sources said.