U.S. Military Braces For Further Retaliation In Middle East By Iran After Killing Of Gen. Soleimani
U.S. relations in the Middles East have been thrown into question after the targeted airstrike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
Iraq’s parliament voted to expel all American troops, Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said the U.S. military across the region “will pay the price,” and Iran’s foreign minister called the killing “an act that has to be reciprocated by Iran.”
Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah said, “When American troops return in coffins, when they come vertically and return horizontally to the United States of America, then Trump and his administration will know that they lost the region and will lose the elections.”
Iran fired missiles into bases with U.S. personnel in Iraq this week but no casualties were reported. Now,
He added that U.S. civilians in the region should not be targeted, because President Donald Trump‘s would use their deaths as political leverage.
Nasrallah’s speech was displayed on large screens for thousands of Shiite followers in Beirut, Lebanon and was interrupted by chants of “Death to America!”
The warning came as Iraq’s parliament voted on a non-binding resolution that would expel U.S. troops. The bill has not yet been approved by the Iraqi government but has the support of the outgoing prime minister.
Iran has not launched a counterattack at this point, but has vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death.
“Iran will respond because there was an act of war — an act of war combined with an act of terrorism against a senior official of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a citizen of Iran,” the country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
Iran will have to determine a response that will not escalate tensions into a full blown war, though Trump continues to level preemptive threats at Iran.
“We are bound to protect our citizens and our military officials,” Zarif said. “It was an act that has to be reciprocated by Iran. We will make the necessary deliberations and it will be an act that we will do, not in a hurry, not in a hasty manner.”