Late on Thursday (Jan 2), news emerged of a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. The Pentagon confirmed the attack. Killing Soleimani eliminated the second-most powerful figure in the country behind Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The fear across social media is the spark of World War 3 due to the already heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. Iran has declared a response to the air raids that occurred at Baghdad’s international airport, which killed Soleimani.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement published by The New York Times. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
The Defense Department cited additional attacks on U.S. facilities abroad and the aim of more attacks in the future.
“[Thursday’s] strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the DoD said in a statement. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
The airstrike was ordered by President Donald Trump, while on vacation in Palm Beach. Reports state that the attack was not approved by Congress. After the attack, Trump returned to Twitter to simply tweet an image of the American flag.
“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” said in response on Twitter. He would also call the attack an “act of international terrorism.”
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling for three days of mourning but also vows revenge for the death.