Iran on Wednesday while defending the missile attack on US military bases said, all the measures were taken in self-defence. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Iran on Wednesday while defending the missile attack on US military bases said, all the measures were taken in self-defence. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, “Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.” The attack on US military bases came after the killing of the commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike, which was ordered by President Donald Trump, on Friday.
Zarif, however, said, “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
Qasem Soleimani, the popular head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm, was killed in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on Friday, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump had said, 'all is well’ while reacting to the attack. Taking to Twitter hours after the attack, Trump said, “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 (sic).”
US Department of Defence tweeted: “At approximately 1730 EST on Jan. 7, Iran launched at least a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military & coalition forces in Iraq.”
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran & targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military & coalition personnel at Al-Assad & Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” it added.
Who Was General Qasem Soleimani?
Soleimani was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies. General Soleimani, who headed the external operations Quds Force for the Guards, had wielded his regional clout publicly since 2018 when it was revealed that he had direct involvement in top-level talks over the formation of Iraq's government. It was no surprise at the time for a man who has been at the centre of power-broking in the region for two decades.
Soleimani has been in and out of Baghdad ever since, most recently last month as parties sought to form a new government. Where once he kept to the shadows, Soleimani has in recent years become an unlikely celebrity in Iran -- replete with a huge following on Instagram.
His profile rose suddenly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran's intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos, documentaries -- and even being featured in a music video and animated film. In a rare interview aired on Iranian state television in October, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.
To his fans and enemies alike, Soleimani was the key architect of Iran's regional influence, leading the fight against jihadist forces and extending Iran's diplomatic heft in Iraq, Syria and beyond. "To Middle Eastern Shiites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one," wrote former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack in a profile for Time's 100 most influential people in 2017.