FINAL UPDATE: Following the US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on Thursday, Iran today promised his death would be avenged.
A red flag flew over the central mosque in Tehran to mark the official beginning of a retaliatory war, just as tradition held in the days of the Persian Empire.
America was on high alert.
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While many reports of violence were flying through the wire out of the Middle Eastern world, no attacks on American assets in the region were confirmed to have taken place by Western sources. Regardless, Iraq and Syria were volatile from morning til night.
Below are the reports as they came in through the day:
Hours ago, Iraqi-based PMF militia Kata’ib Hezbollah tweeted out a warning for all Iraqi Security Forces to “stay away from US bases.”
In Baghdad’s secured Green Zone, home of the US Embassy where attacks led by violent protesters on New Years Eve occurred, rockets reportedly landed, according to Arab Sky News sources:
The road leading to the embassy was shut down as explosions allegedly broke out near the many civilians marching to mourn the death of General Soleimani, PMF leaders, and a team of medics targeted last night near the stadium in northern Baghdad.
Meanwhile the Iraqi Police’s counter terrorism forces reportedly opened fire on PMF militiamen in Baghdad.
“Iraqi police sources: A Katyusha rocket landed inside the Green Zone [near the US Embassy] in Baghdad.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has announced a “lightning strike against America” is underway.
Balad airbase north of Bagdhdad, which is said to house American fighters, has also allegedly been made the target of multiple rocket attacks, but remain unconfirmed (UPDATE: No Western reports confirmed this to be the case) ; while over in northern Syria it has been reported that Iran-backed militia bases have been struck.
Al-Kindi base in Mosul, housing US-backed Kurdish fighters, has reportedly suffered at least 4 mortor impacts.
As US Apache helicopters circle Baghdad, photos of an alleged shot down US surveillance drone in Anbar from earlier today appeared on social media:
Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that rockets have hit targeted Iran militia bases in eastern Syria’s city of al-Bukamal.
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From NY Post:
Iran has identified at least 35 US targets that could be hit with retaliatory strikes after the country’s president chillingly vowed to exact revenge for the killing of its top general, Qassem Soleimani.
Iranian General Gholamali Abuhamzeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards in the southern province of Kerman, offered few specifics as he rattled his saber, naming only American warships in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, as potential targets.
The regime could also potentially attack US troops in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, along with US embassies or other targets. Cyberattacks are another possibility, an administration official told Time.
President Donald Trump has tweeted that the US has “targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran” and “if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets… Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
For the first time in history, Iran raised a red flag over the Holy Dome of Jamkarān Mosque, marking active retaliatory war is underway.
While visiting General Soleimani’s family today, Iran President Hassan Rouhani announced to reporters:
“The Americans did not realize what a grave mistake they made. They will see the consequences of this heinous act not only today, but also in years to come.”
While many threats were made and many incidents occurred, when it came to direct fighting and targeting of US or Iranian forces, threats seemed to be the extent of it. Iran still stands by their word that revenge will be sought, and America still promises swift retaliation as the tensions continue to escalate.
Check back to DCPeriodical to stay posted on developments on this ongoing story.
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