Iran’s supreme leader has warned a “harsh retaliation is waiting” after a US airstrike killed one of the country’s leading generals.
State TV carried a statement from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei following the death of General Qassem Soleimani.
In it, Khamenei called the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force “the international face of resistance” and declared three days of public mourning.
Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani… will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous.
Image: Scene of the strike at Baghdad Airport
On Twitter he said the assassination of Soleimani was “an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation”.
In the US, the targeted drone strike that also killed Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), received a mixed response.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo tweeted: “Iraqis – Iraqis – dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more.”
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“To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham posted.
Image: General Qassem Suleimani
However former vice president Joe Biden warned: “This is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region…
“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond.”
Source : Sky News