The Iranian-backed militas in Iraq say the retaliation against the U.S. for assassinating the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani will begin Sunday night (Iraqi time), according to Al Arabiya.
The militias said all American forces are now targets as of Sunday. They also called upon the Iraqi security forces to stay more than a half a mile away from any place where American forces are present.
Early Friday morning, American forces killed Soleimani along with his close ally Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, second in command of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militias — known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), al-Hashid a-Shabi — and head of the Iraqi Hezbollah, along with as other top leaders of the PMF.
Soleimani was an arch terrorist, responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans soldiers. As commander of the Quds Force, Iran’s powerful proxy army which conducted unconventional warfare and military intelligence operations, Soleimani was the regime’s key architect and strategist of those nefarious operations.
Watch Clarion’s Nation Security Analyst and Shillman Fellow Ryan Mauro on Fox speak about what we can expect from Iran as fallout from the strike:
Meanwhile, in response to Iran threatening to strike 35 American targets in the Middle East, including Tel Aviv, President Trump tweeted that the U.S. has 52 sites in Iran in its crosshairs (the number of U.S. hostages taken by Iran in 1979-80)
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
- America is deploying 3,000 more troops to the region to deal with the increased threat. These troops are in addition to the 750 troops that were sent last week to Kuwait
- The UK is sending two warships to accompany its oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. British special forces (SAS) in the region are also being equipped with increased fire power. PM Boris John cut his island vacation short and is returning to the UK Sunday
- Two rockets struck near Iraqi bases that house American troops in Baghdad and Balad Saturday evening. No soldiers were injured but civilians may have been injured
- An American government site was hacked by an Iranian group
BREAKING: The US government’s Federal Depository Library Program website has been hacked by an Iranian group. pic.twitter.com/uKbG9f3oVn
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 5, 2020
Many positive responses to the strike were heard from around the world. Particularly interesting were those in Iraq, where anti-Iranian demonstrators could be seen dancing in the street:
— العربية (@AlArabiya) January 3, 2020
There were also celebrations in Iran, although for obvious reasons, they were more clandestine:
An Iranian woman celebrating the death of #QasemSoleimani and wishing she could celebrate and dance in the streets of her town as Iraqi people do: “Unfortunately we have been taken hostage by Islamic Republic and couldn’t express our happiness” pic.twitter.com/jyEVAt1mHk
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 5, 2020
In Canada, anti-regime Iranians celebrated with a cake decorated with the American and Israeli flags as well as what they call the “real” flag of Iran:
The previous ambassador to Iran from Jordan published a before and “after” picture of Soleimani, saying, “The end of a murderer.”
Finally, in Yemen, the foreign ministry tweeted the comments of Yemini Foreign Minister Mohammed el-Hadrami, who said, “The history of the terrorist Qasem Soleimani is black. He worked to undermine the safety and stability of the region and our country, specifically by supporting the Houthi militias. He and the Iranian regime, the first sponsors of terror in the world, are responsible for killing and displacing thousands of innocents in Yemen and the Arab world.”
#الحضرمي: تاريخ الإرهابي قاسم سليماني اسود وقد عمل على زعزعت الامن والاستقرار في المنطقة وفي بلادنا تحديدا بدعمه للمليشيات الحوثية. وهو والنظام الإيراني—الراعي الاول للإرهاب في العالم—مسؤولون عن قتل وتشريد الآلاف من الأبرياء في اليمن وفي الوطن العربي
— وزارة خارجية الجمهورية اليمنية (@yemen_mofa) January 3, 2020