Villains and heroes: How Qassem Soleimani’s assassination is disrupting global diplomacy
Governments around the world are calling for a return to diplomacy and considering plans to withdraw their citizens, following Iranian reprisal missile attacks at Iraqi bases hosting U.S military troops, the Pentagon has confirmed.
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al Asad and Erbil,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said in a statement.
Iraq’s military said there were no Iraqi casualties among its forces in Wednesday’s 22-missile attack on the two military installations.
“Iraq was subjected between 1:45 and 2:45 this morning of 8 January 2020 to bombardment by 22 missiles; 17 missiles fell on Ain al-Asad airbase including two that did not explode … and five on the city of Erbil that all fell on coalition headquarters. No casualties among Iraqi forces were recorded,” the statement said.
This comes less than seven days after Donald Trump, president of the United States of America ordered a drone attack which killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian top commander.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German defence minister said her country “rejects this aggression in the sharpest possible terms. It’s now particularly up to the Iranians not to engage in further escalation.”
Although celebrated as a hero in Iran, Soleimani is seen as a villain by President Trump’s administration, who he said in a tweet, has killed thousands of Americans and had plans to kill even more.
On Tuesday, however, Soleimani’s funeral procession was so huge and unwieldy in his hometown of Kerman, that more than 50 people died in a stampede, state news media reported, forcing a delay in the burial.
According foreignpolicy.com, Trump’s administration has now violated a 71-year-old agreement which forbids the US from denying foreign diplomats access to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York by denying visa to Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister, a career diplomat and academic. This means Zarif will not attend the UN’s Security Council’s meetings holding on January 8.