The airstrike at Baghdad’s International Airport has fueled tensions between the two nations – United States and Iran, as one of the powerful and top commander of Iran, Qasem Soleimani has been killed on Friday. The details of the attack that was ordered by President Trump, is not clear yet but media reports suggest that an Iraqi leader and deputy head of the Hashed, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis has also lost his life in the same airstrike.
Even though the United States government has not issued a statement post attack, President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of US flag in his official account, minutes after the airstrike took place.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
On the other hand, Iran has been fuming and warned the United States saying that ‘a harsh retaliation’ is waiting.
The Foreign minister of Iraq, Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the United States and termed killing of General Qasem Soleimani a ‘dangerous escalation’. He further warned and said that the US would bear responsibility for the consequences. Taking to twitter, he said, “The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting and assassinating General Soleimani… is extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.
The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
Who was General Qasem Soleimani?
Major General Qasem Soleimani was a Commander of Iraq who was heading Iran’s elite Quds Force. He was popular and was also known as the most powerful commander of the middle-east. Standing as the face of Iran’s intervention in the Syrian conflict ever since 2013, Soleimani started to be known as a popular leader. He further gained popularity on social media as he posted photos and videos of battlefield in his official handles.
Solemani was further directly involved in high level talks of government formation of Iraq was formed in 2018. Iran’s regional influence was largely shaped by Soleimani. He also led fights against jihadist forces and extended Iran’s diplomatic heft in Syria, Iraq and further.
Soleimani, who was the most powerful operative of middle-east was also touted as Presidential candidate. Even though he never took serious interest on the proposal of ‘Presidential’ run, Soleimani had played massive role in politics of Iraq. He is also the mastermind of recent campaigns in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.