(By Chris K.Amadi)-As mixed reactions trail the killing of Major-General Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iranian Quads force near Baghadad airport on Friday, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that the US had the right to defend itself by killing commander Soleimani, adding that, America ‘deserve all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively’.
Pentagon was reported as saying that the attack as carried out on the orders of President Donald Trump to stop the Iranian, who was accused of being responsible for the killing of many Americans, from future attacks on American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
The Isreali Prime Minister, who cut short his visit to Greece because of the likelihood that the US action would trigger conflict in the Middle East, has put his country’s forces at red alert.
Reports by metro.com indicated that the killing of the Iranian General has escalated military presence at borders across the Middle East, including the Israel Lebanon border, just as Israeli tanks and soldiers have been stationed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights , and army helicopter flying over the area.
Reports further indicated that, fighters of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite group who fought a devastating war with Israel in 2006, are deployed on the other side of the armistice line.
‘Meting out the appropriate punishment to these criminal assassins… will be the responsibility and task of all resistance fighters worldwide’ Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a statement
Tensions have soared after the assassination of Major-General Qassem Soleimani near Baghadad airport, which has been described as ‘an explicit act of war’.
US officials said the strike was ordered by President Donald Trump and resulted in the deaths of several other senior members of pro-Iran military groups based in Iraq.
Iran has responded by threatening ‘severe retaliation’ as the country enters three days of national mourning for Soleimani, leader of the Quads force. This development is compelling many countries to escalate their military presence at the borders because of fear of a third world war.
As the world holds its breath to see what happens next, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged ‘all parties to de-escalate’, adding that conflict is ‘in none of our interests’.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also pleaded for restraint, stating: ‘the world cannot afford another war in the Gulf.’
But Senior research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Dr Sanam Vakil, told Metro.co.uk that conflict is ‘very, very likely.’
The US has increased its activity at its base in Suffolk, with images showing American F15 jets taking off and landing at RAF Lakenheath.
Some experts believe Iran may respond with ‘asymmetric’ warfare – which means they may hold still for some time before retaliating ‘strategically, rather than emotionally’.
Reports have it that tens of thousands of Iranians are marching in the streets in protest shouting ‘death to America.
Soleimani was said to have been a very popular figure in Iran and aquired celebrity status at home and abroad as leader of the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards and for his key role in fighting in Syria and Iraq.
As tension escalates in the middle east, citizens of the United States of America are leaving Iraq in response to the advise of the Pentagon because their safety in the area was no longer guaranteed.