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US drone kills Iran’s top Gen

US drone kills Iran’s top Gen
PARIS, JAN 3 (AGENCEIS) | Publish Date: 1/3/2020 12:54:05 PM IST

A US drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump on a Baghdad airport has killed a top Iranian commander in a major escalation in regional tensions that have pitted Tehran against Washington and its allies in the Middle East.

The Pentagon confirmed a strike killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who as head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force became the architect of Tehran’s proxy conflicts in Middle East. The strike was carried out with a drone, a US defense official told CNN. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis-- the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces-- was also killed, according to a statement from the PMF.

Global powers warned on Friday that the world has become a more dangerous place and urged restraint after the US assassinated Iran’s top general, although Britain and Germany also suggested that Iran shared blame for provoking the targeted killing that dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the Mideast.

China, Russia and France, all permanent members of the UN Security Council, took a dim view of the US airstrike near Baghdad’s airport early Friday that killed General Qassem Soleimani.

Trump says killing of Gen Qassem Soleimani overdue

U.S. President Donald Trump is defending the U.S. airstrike that killed one of Iran’s most powerful generals (General Qassem Soleimani), brushing aside threats from Tehran that it will exact a harsh revenge.

In his first comments since defense officials confirmed the U.S. carried out the airstrike near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq early Friday (local time), Trump blamed the Quds Force commander for the deaths of thousands of Americans, and said the strike was long overdue.

Ayatollah Khamenei vows to take ‘severe revenge’
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “severe revenge” for “the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”, and vowed that “God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped”.
In a statement, the foreign ministry said the US would pay for the “atrocity”. The ministry said it would “use all its political legal and international capacities to enact the decisions of the Supreme National Security Council to make the murderous and terrorist regime of America answer for this clear atrocity.”
Tehran-based analyst Mohammad Marandi said the US has “declared war” against Iran and Iraq, and “it’s best for westerners to evacuate countries like UAE and Iraq immediately”.
“By assassinating General Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both high ranking military officials, Trump has declared war against the armed forces of both Iran & Iraq. It is best for all American citizens to leave the region immediately. US occupiers will be forced to leave Iraq.”
Iraq’s most powerful Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said in a speech during Friday prayers that the country must brace for “very difficult times.”
In Iran, a hard-line adviser to the country’s supreme leader who led Friday prayers in Tehran likened US troops in Iraq to “insidious beasts” and said they should be swept from the region.
“I am telling Americans, especially Trump, we will take a revenge that will change their daylight into to a nighttime darkness,” said the cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami.

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