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News18 Daybreak | Iran Revolutionary Guards Commander Qasem Soleimani Killed in US Airstrike and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:January 4, 2020, 7:09 AM IST
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News18 Daybreak | Iran Revolutionary Guards Commander Qasem Soleimani Killed in US Airstrike and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For
Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials said, that Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. (Image: AP)

Today’s Big Stories

Iran Revolutionary Guards Commander Qasem Soleimani killed in US airstrike, Supreme Leader Ali Khameini vows 'severe revenge'

General Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, was killed in a US airstrike near the Baghdad airport. The strike came after Iran-backed militias attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on New Year's Eve. The two-day embassy attack prompted US president Donald Trump to order about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

Iran seethes: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" and said martyrdom was Soleimani’s reward for his efforts. He appointed Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Guards' foreign operations arm. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed it "an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation" and "rogue adventurism”.

'Plotting to kill more': US President Donald Trump, who earlier had posted a picture of the American flag and a cryptic tweet, later said that Soleimani should have been “taken out many years ago”.

In a series of tweets, he said that Solemaini had killed or wounded thousands of American and was "plotting to kill more".

Meanwhile, in Washington lawyers and lawmakers are debated whether the strike was legal and what its repercussions would be on the impeachment trial and the 2020 presidential campaign.

Tremors: The international community advised caution as tensions escalated in the Gulf following the attack, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the "world cannot afford" another Gulf war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that the action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region while the Indian Ministry of Affairs issued a statement calling for peace and restraint.

In Other News

CAA row: Amit Shah said the government will not budge on its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act despite the opposition's criticism. Meanwhile, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to 11 CMs, appealing to them to take measures to prevent the implementation of the law in their states.

Bilateral tension: Following reports of stone pelting at the revered Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on Friday evening, India condemned the vandalism and called upon the neighbouring country to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of the Sikh community there.

On shaky ground: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut trained guns at the Congress over a Seva Dal booklet questioning the credentials of Savarkar as a patriot and his reputation for valour, spelling trouble for the newly-formed Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra.

Australian bushfires: The Australian navy began evacuating around 1,000 people stranded on the east coast of the bushfire-ravaged country as a searing weather front was set to whip up more blazes across the states of Victoria and New South Wales. Tens of thousands of holidaymakers have been urged to leave national parks and tourist areas before a return of temperatures above 40 degrees Celcius.

What next: The United States is reportedly sending nearly 3,000 more Army troops to the Mideast. The dispatching of extra troops reflects concern about potential Iranian retaliatory action for the killing Thursday of Qasem Soleimani and also runs counter to Trump's repeated push to extract the United States from Mideast conflicts.

On Our Specials

Tinderbox: With the Indian economy not doing too well and 80 per cent energy import necessary for India, it is one of the countries adversely affected by the turmoil that will ensue after Iranian General Qasem Soleimani’s death. Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain writes that a subsequent Iranian response may increase this even more besides the turbulence that it may cause within the Gulf region where a large Indian diaspora of 8 million exists. The scene of response could move to Saudi Arabia. An ensuing Saudi-Iran standoff could worsen both the energy situation and the presence of expatriates.

Power of pink: In what was undoubtedly a show of strength, a sea of pink descended on the streets of Bengaluru as thousands of village-level health workers held a protest in the heart of the city demanding immediate payment of their back-wages of 15 months. Deepa Balakrishnan reports that they were also demanding the doubling of their monthly wages from the current Rs 6,000.

On Reel

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday stepped up her attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned why he frequently compares India with Pakistan.

Curated and compiled by Chitwan Kaur

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