Iran promises revenge for the US attack that killed the powerful general

BAGHDAD: Iran promised to seek revenge for a US air strike near the Baghdad airport that killed the intellectual author of his interventions throughout the Middle East, and the United States said Friday that he was sending thousands more troops to the region as the Tensions increased in the wake of the crisis. .

The death of General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds force of Iran, marks a major escalation in the confrontation between Washington and Tehran, which has passed from one crisis to another from the United States. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement and imposed crippling sanctions.

Nearly 24 hours after the attack on Soleimani, Iraqi officials and Iran-backed militias in Iraq reported another deadly air attack.

An Iraqi government official reported an attack on two vehicles north of Baghdad, but had no information about victims. Another security official who witnessed the aftermath described charred vehicles and said five people died. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

Iraqi state television and the media arm of Iran-backed militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, also reported on the attack. The group said their doctors were attacked.

An American official who spoke on condition of anonymity denied the United States. I was behind the reported attack.

The attack directed against Soleimani and any reprisals by Iran could trigger a conflict involving the entire region, endangering the United States. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond. Over the past two decades, Soleimani had assembled a network of heavily armed allies that extended to the south Lebanon , at the gates of Israel.

We are comforted to know that his reign of terror is over, Trump said of Soleimani.

The United States said it was sending about 3,000 more troops to the Middle East, reflecting concern over possible Iranian reprisals. The United States. He also urged the Americans to leave Iraq immediately after the air raid at Baghdad International Airport which, according to Iran's state television, killed Soleimani and nine others.

The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iranian-backed militiamen and their supporters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.

Around 5,200 US troops are based in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and help fight Islamic State militants. Defense officials who discussed the new troop movements spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon.

A Pentagon official who was not authorized to speak publicly said the US. also had placed an Army brigade on alert to fly into Lebanon to protect the American Embassy. US. embassies also issued a security alert for Americans in Bahrain, Kuwait and Nigeria

The announcement about sending more troops came when Trump said Soleimani's murder was not an effort to start a conflict with Iran.

“We took action last night to stop a war. We don't take measures to start a war, ”Trump said, adding that he does not seek a regime change in Iran.

Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, promised severe reprisals after the air raid, calling Soleimani the international face of the resistance. Khamenei declared three days of public mourning and appointed Major General Esmail Ghaani, deputy of Soleimani, to replace him as head of the Quds Force.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the murder atrocious crime and said his country would take revenge. Iran summoned the Swiss envoy twice, the first time he sent a letter to go to Washington.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the United States. Attacking a cowardly terrorist action and said that Iran has the right to respond in any method and at any time. Thousands of faithful in Tehran took to the streets after Friday prayers to condemn the murder, waving posters of Soleimani and singing Death to the United States deceptive. ” However, the attack could deter Iran and its allies from delaying or restricting any potential response. Trump said possible targets and the United States had been identified. It was prepared. Oil prices rose by the news of the air raid, and the markets were mixed.

The murder promised to further strain relations with the Iraqi government, which is allied with Washington and Tehran and has been deeply concerned about becoming a battlefield in their rivalry. Iraqi politicians close to Iran asked the country to order the United States. forces out.

The United States. The Department of Defense said it killed Soleimani, 62, because he was actively developing plans to attack US diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. He also accused Soleimani of approving violent protests orchestrated at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. .

The strike, on an access road near Baghdad airport, was carried out early Friday by an American drone, according to the United States. official.

Soleimani had just disembarked from a plane arriving from either Syria or Lebanon , a senior Iraqi security official said. The blast tore apart his body and that of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces. A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring he wore.

Other dead include five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard elite and Soleimani's son-in-law, Iranian state television said.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with journalists.