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Oil price hits $71 as Iran fires missiles at U.S base in Iraq

...Ukrainian passenger plane crashes in Iran

International Brent price surged more than 4 percent to $71.75 after Pentagon officials said that Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against multiple bases in Iraq housing United States troops.

International benchmark Brent crude rose more than 4percent to a session high of $71.75 per barrel, its highest since September, before pulling back to $69.86.

Iran said it launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps confirmed that they fired the rockets to retaliate for last week’s killing of Qassem Soleimani, according to a statement on state TV.

The statement advised the United States to withdraw its troops from the region to prevent more deaths, state TV said.

Following reports of the attacks, White House press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said President Donald Trump “has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning,” Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday Morning.

Also on Wednesday morning, a Ukrainian Boeing -737 with more than 170 people on board crashed in Iran, according to local Iranian media.

BBC reported that Iran’s Red Crescent said there is no chance of finding survivors.

The aircraft belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed just after take-off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran, said the Fars state news agency.

Preliminary reports suggest that the plane was en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

It is unclear whether the incident is linked to the Iran-US confrontation.

Tuesday’s attack comes as tensions between the United States and Iran have been building, following Thursday’s airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander Qasem Soleimani.

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