Date: January 04, 2020
“Less than a day after the U.S. killed a top Iranian military commander, assassinating Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an overnight drone strike outside Baghdad International Airport, the questions eddying around the world can be simplified to just one: How will Iran respond?
Both of the leading figures in Iran’s government, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, have vowed to take revenge for the killing — or “harsh retaliation” in the words of Khamenei during a televised statement.
“The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country’s territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue,” Rouhani tweeted Friday, hours after the strike. “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
The assassination came near the end of a turbulent week in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, where Iraqi militiamen and their supporters had repeatedly attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy. In a series of clashes with U.S. forces defending the gate, the two sides exchanged volleys of rocks and teargas.