Defense

Iran promises ‘harsh retaliation’ for killing of top general

Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” after President Trump directed an airstrike that killed one of Iran’s top generals, Qassem Soleimani.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. following the Baghdad airstrike, The Associated Press reported Friday

Khamenei also named Maj. Gen. Esmail Ghaani to replace Soleimani as the leader of the Quds Force, according to the AP.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif previously called the U.S. move “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation” in a tweet. 

 “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” he added. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, has said the strike was conducted in response to “imminent threats to American lives.”

Their comments follow a Thursday Pentagon statement confirming that Soleimani had been killed. 

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

Soleimani was killed at Baghdad International Airport, as was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,  the deputy commander of Iran-backed Iraqi militia the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraqi state TV first reported Thursday.

Tags Donald Trump Escalation Iran Iran strike Iraq Mike Pompeo

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