The recent Iran and US tensions have caused a media storm with many taking to social media platforms like Twitter under the hashtag #IranvUS to voice their concerns and also make countless forms of humor and meme jokes about it.
However, the situation took a drastic turn hours ago when Iran attacked United States military bases in Iraq firing more than 20 ballistic missiles on U.S. military and coalition forces.
The United States President, Donald Trump is expected to make a statement on Wednesday morning to give the public a view of what’s next and how America will respond to the attack.
According to the Iranian foreign minister on Wednesday, his country had “concluded” its attacks on American forces and did “not seek escalation or war” after firing ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where United States troops are stationed.
The missile strikes by Iran were a response to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
According to reports by senior Iraqi defense officials who work with the United States command said that no Americans or Iraqis had been killed in the attacks.
A statement released on Wednesday morning by the Joint Command in Baghdad, also confirmed that their no losses recorded since the base had both Iraqi troops and soldiers from the international coalition which include Australia, Britain, Denmark, Poland and Sweden whose troops are stationed in Iraq alongside American forces.
The killing of General Suleimani forced Iran to respond back at US drone strikes
General Suleimani was killed on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. American officials said the general, who led the foreign expeditionary Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, was planning imminent attacks on American interests.
Suleimani was one of the most influential and powerful men in the Islamic Republic of Iran and was also the head of Iran’s fearless Quds force. He was believed to have more influence than the president with strong connections to all the various factions, and a direct line to the supreme leader.
Tensions between Iran and US have been high ever since the drone strike killed one of their prominent generals with both sides on high alert as speculations of an imminent war taking place seem high.
However, Iran may not be looking at starting a war with U.S since their recent attack was in response to the drone strike that left their General dead.
“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Mr. Zarif wrote in his Twitter message.
“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” he added.
The missiles, launched from Iran, struck Al Asad Air Base in Baghdad and another in Erbil, in northern Iraq. In a briefing in Washington, an official said that the Pentagon “had no confirmation” that any Americans had been killed.
Missile attacks begun hours after the remains of General Suleimani were returned to Iran
Iranian news media reported that the attacks had begun hours after the remains of General Suleimani were returned to his hometown in Iran for burial. President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday wrote on Twitter that the general “fought heroically” against a number of jihadist groups and that Europe was safer because of his efforts.
“Our final answer to his assassination will be to kick all US forces out of the region,” he posted.
According to New York Times, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said on Wednesday that his military had dealt the United States a “slap in the face” when it unleashed missiles at American forces stationed in Iraq.
In a televised address from the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said incremental military actions against the United States alone were “not sufficient.”
“What matters is that the presence of America, which is a source of corruption in this region, should come to an end,” he said to a hall filled with imams and others.
“Death to America!,” the crowd chanted. “Death to Israel!”
As the situation continues to be evaluated, there may not be a war as some have continued to speculate. The actions from Iran could be only be a response to the recent killing of their military official since there has been growing pressure from home as to why the country hadn’t responded back.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.