Iran vows ‘revenge’ after US kills top military commander

By Global Times – AFP Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/3 19:28:40

China urges restraint by ‘all relevant parties’


Top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed Friday in a US strike on Baghdad's international airport, prompting Tehran to vow "revenge" and dramatically upping the stakes in bitter tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly vowed to take "severe revenge" for Soleimani's death, the biggest escalation yet in a feared proxy war between Iran and the US on Iraqi soil. 

The Pentagon said US President Donald Trump ordered Soleimani's "killing." 

The US Embassy has urged all American citizens to leave Iraq "immediately."

Early Friday, a volley of missiles hit Baghdad's international airport, striking a convoy belonging to the Hashed al-Shaabi, an Iraqi paramilitary force. Just a few hours later, the Revolutionary Guard Corps announced Soleimani "was martyred in an attack by America on Baghdad airport this morning." It also caused death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force.

China paid high attention to this incident, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular media briefing on Friday.


"China urges all relevant parties, especially the US to keep calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of tensions.

"China always opposes the use of force in international relations and maintains that all parties should abide by the principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations."

Geng noted that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq should be respected. Peace and stability in the Middle East and the Gulf Region should be maintained, he said.  

Russia warned Friday that the US action in Iraq would boost tensions across the Middle East.

"The killing of Soleimani... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region," news agencies RIA Novosti quoted Russia's foreign ministry as saying. 

"Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people."

Iraq's caretaker prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi slammed the US strike on Friday. 

"The assassination of an Iraqi military commander in an official post is an aggression against the country of Iraq, its state, its government and its people," Abdel Mahdi said in a statement. 

Posted in: MID-EAST

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