The assassination of a popular Iranian general in Baghdad could turn out to be the game-changer in the midle east after years of increasing tensions between between the deep state in Washington and the Ayatollahs in Tehran. Until now, mainly due to the looming presence of Iran's allies Russia and China hostilities have been confined to the proxy war, occasional terrorist outrages such as the attacks on shipping in the gulf and a lot of over the top rhetoric.
The Trump administration has however escalated the situation with with Iran to what is perhaps a point of no return on Friday by ordering a targeted air strike on a convoy leaving Baghdad airport, ostensibly a response to what The White House claims was an organised attack on the US embassy in Iraq by armed militiamen, but looked far more like a planned assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force.
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The Iranian general and some say 2nd most powerful man in the country was blown up along with 11 other people, including a senior commander of an Iraqi militia backed by Tehran, when their motorcade was hit by US guided missiles.
A a destroyed vehicle on fire following a US strike on Baghdad international airport road in which top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed. ©Iraqi military via AFP
All day world media have speculated about how and when the inevitable Iranian revenge attack would happen. The government in Tehran must respond to the assassination of Soleimani or lose face internationally. Unconfirmed reports tell us Iranian missiles have hit Ain Al-Assad the largest US military base in Iraq. IRGC Telegram news channel reports 'massive explosions' at the installation. Bear in mind this is an Iranian domestic news source so information from it should be treated with scepticism until conformed by more reliable agencies.
President Trump on Friday said that America does not seek "regime change" in Iran, and that the United States "took action last night to stop a war" by killing Iran's #2 commander, Qasem Soleimani, on Thursday.
A similar report came from reporter Sina Toossi who notes that an Iraqi Twitter has posted a picture of the alleged missile attack on al-Ain base, and notes that Iranian outlet Mehr has also reported massive explosions at the Ain al-Assad military base in Iraq’s Anbar province, the largest US military base in the country.
Speaking from Mar-a-Lago one day after the strike, President Trump said that Soleimani "made the death of innocent people his sick passion."
"We caught him in the act and terminated him," said Trump, adding that The US is "ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary."
"We took action last night to stop a war."