President Donald Trump stated the US killed Iran’s leading military leader Qasem Soleimani “to stop a war, not to start one”.
Mr Trump stated Soleimani’s “reign of fear” was “over” following a strike at Iraq’s Baghdad airport on Friday.
Soleimani led Iran’s Middle East operations as leader of the country’s Quds Force. Iran promised to take “extreme revenge” over his death.
The killing marked a major escalation in stress between Iran and the United States.
United States authorities said 3,000 additional soldiers would be sent out to the Middle East as a safety measure.
Meanwhile, Iraqi state tv stated there had been another air strike in the country, 24 hours after the killing of Soleimani. An Iraqi army source told the Reuters news firm that six individuals were killed in the brand-new strike, which hit a convoy of Iraqi militia in the early hours of Saturday early morning local time.
A United States military spokesperson denied that the American-led union combating in the area was responsible.
” TRUTH: The Union @CJTFOIR did NOT perform airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in current days,” said Colonel Myles Caggins III, in a post on Twitter.
Donald Trump What did President Trump state?
Speaking at a news conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr Trump stated of Friday’s attack: “The United States military carried out a perfect precision strike that killed the top terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani.”
He said: “Soleimani was outlining impending and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel however we caught him in the act and ended him.”
Donald Trump How did Iran react?
In a declaration following Soleimani’s death, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated: “His departure to God does not end his course or his objective, but a strong vengeance waits for the wrongdoers who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.”
In a letter to the UN Security Council, Iranian ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi stated that Tehran reserved the right to self-defence under global law.
Donald Trump How does Iraq fit into this?
Iran supports a range of Shia militia groups in neighbouring Iraq. Soleimani had actually just gotten to Baghdad airport and was taking a trip in a convoy together with authorities from such militia, when their automobiles were hit by numerous United States rockets on Friday.
Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also eliminated in the strike. He commanded the Kataib Hezbollah group – also backed by Iran – which Washington blamed for a rocket attack that killed a United States civilian professional in northern Iraq recently.
Iraq is in a hard position, as an ally both of Iran and of the US. Thousands of United States soldiers stay in the country to help in the broader resist the Islamic State (IS) group. But the Iraqi federal government firmly insists that the US has acted beyond the terms of this agreement.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi labelled the rocket strike as a “brazen violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and an outright attack on the nation’s dignity”.
Iraq’s parliament revealed that it would hold an emergency conference on Sunday. The United States State Department warned Americans in Iraq to leave “instantly”.
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Donald Trump Who was Qasem Soleimani?
The 62- year-old was extensively viewed as the 2nd most effective figure in Iran, behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Quds Force, an elite system of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported directly to the ayatollah, and Soleimani was hailed as a brave national figure.
Under his 21- year management of the Quds Force, Iran reinforced Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militant groups in Lebanon; broadened its military presence in Iraq and Syria; and orchestrated Syria’s offensive against rebel groups in that nation’s long civil war.
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