America-Middle East relationship worsens after killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Iran Vows to revenge,World Powers form camps as U.S orders Americans to ‘Come Home.’
Friday, January 03, 2020.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad Iraq has released a statement urging American citizens in Iraq to depart immediately following a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad International Airport which killed the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force major-general Qassem Soleimani.
Iran’s most powerful military commander, General Qasem Soleimani, has been killed by a US air strike in Iraq.
The 62-year-old spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
He was killed at Baghdad airport, along with other Iran-backed militia figures, early on Friday in a strike ordered by US President Donald Trump.
Soleimani’s killing marks a major escalation in tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Under his leadership, Iran had bolstered Hezbollah in Lebanon and other pro-Iranian militant groups, expanded Iran’s military presence in Iraq and Syria and orchestrated Syria’s offensive against rebel groups in the country’s long civil war.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the attack. He also announced three days of national mourning.
Pompeo: US strike aimed at ‘setting the conditions for de-escalation’ The US strike that killed Qassem Soleimani was aimed at deterring Iranian aggression and “setting the conditions for de-escalation”, secretary of state Mike Pompeo has told media. “We don’t seek war with Iran, but we at the same time are not going to stand by and watch the Iranians escalate and continue to put American lives at risk without responding in a way that disrupts, defends, deters, and creates an opportunity to de-escalate the situation,” he added later in the interview on Friday morning. The Pentagon has said US president Donald Trump took “decisive defensive action” as Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq.” In interviews, Mr Pompeo described the planned attack as “imminent.” He told Fox that he hopes Iran’s leadership will respond to “American resolve” by choosing to de-escalate tensions in the region, but warned that Mr Trump and the US government are “prepared to respond appropriately” if Iran goes “the other direction.” Mr Pompeo also criticised the Obama administration for its policy on Iran, saying: “We didn’t send pallets of cash to the Iranians.”
Saudi Arabia on Friday said it was closely monitoring the events in Iraq and called for restraint to avoid worsening the situation in Iraq. “The international community must assume its responsibility and take the required measures to guarantee the security and stability of this vital region to the whole world,” a Saudi official source was quoted as saying by the kingdom’s state news agency.