Drone strikes to avenge the killing of Maj. Gen. Kashem Solaimani have been launched last night (local time) by a US-led missile attack on two military bases targeting US troops in Iraq. In response, US President Donald Trump warned of a severe economic blockade against Tehran. Amidst these warnings, missile strikes targeted US troops again in Iraq. Although no one immediately acknowledged the responsibility, Washington has demanded justice in an angry response.
Meanwhile, a number of people have taken part in protests against the Iranian government on Monday in the wake of Ukraine’s passenger plane crashing and killing all 5 passengers. Participants in the protests held in cities other than the capital, Tehran, also shouted against Iran’s leadership. Earlier in the day, protesters clashed with members of the law enforcers and throwing gas shells at the trenches.
Hours after Tuesday’s attack on military bases, protests demanding the resignation of Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran over a missile strike in Tehran continued for the third day yesterday. The Iranian government claims that the plane crashed because of human error.
The missile was launched on Sunday in an Iraqi airstrike north of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, amid mounting tensions between the United States and Iran over the threat of retaliation, AFP reported. Although no US troops were killed, four Iraqi officials were wounded. The United States condemned the attack. Earlier on Tuesday, no Iraqi troops were killed in the 22 Iraqi missile strikes at Iraqi military bases in Iraq’s Ain al-Assad and Erbil. However, Iran claimed at least six US terrorists had been killed in the attack.
According to Iraqi officials, the country’s news agency INA said that four small Katsuyas missiles were fired at Al-Balad Airport, 5 km from Baghdad on Sunday. Some of it was hit at an airport restaurant. Others were hit by airplane runways and airport gates. Two Iraqi officials and two pilots were injured in the attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The United States has previously blamed Iran-backed Iraqi armed groups for such attacks.
The US-led international coalition in Iraq has said that no US military personnel were in the airbase at the time of the attack. Some US trainers and military advisers remain at the airport to provide maintenance and technical facilities for warships. Military sources say a small group of US Air Force and contract-based personnel are staying at the base. Almost all of them have been evacuated hereafter tensions between Iran and the United States escalated.
Condemning the new missile attack, US Secretary of State Mike Pompey also tweeted on Sunday: “We are saddened by the news of attacks on Iraqi airports again.” Continuing violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by groups that are not loyal to the Iraqi government should end. I urge the Iraqi government to bring the culprits to justice. “
Meanwhile, Hezbollah, a pro-Iran-Lebanese Shiite political party, has said that the response to the killing of Solaimani has begun amid missile attacks at Iraqi military bases with US forces. Hasan Nasrullah, the leader of the party, said, “The Americans have to withdraw their military bases, troops, officers, and warships from our territory.”
Anti-government protests are underway in Iran
Many people have taken part in protests against the government of Iran yesterday in the wake of the crash of a passenger plane in Ukraine. Participants in the protests held in other cities besides the capital, Tehran, were slogging against Iran’s leadership.
The sound of gunfire was heard in some videos spread through social media over protests. Protesters have been spotted on law enforcement staff members for stabbing and bloodstains on the streets. However, the country’s police chief said in a statement yesterday that the police did not shoot at the protesters. In addition, the police have been asked to show restraint on the protesters.
Iran initially denied responsibility for the crash, but Iran acknowledged it was under pressure, saying it had been caused by “involuntary” missile strikes. In addition to many Iranians on board, the aircraft were citizens of Canada, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, and Sweden.
Trump warns of protests
In a tweet, President Trump warned Tehran on Sunday of anti-government protests in Iran, saying, “I tell the Iranian leaders not to kill the protesters. The whole world, especially the United States, is watching the events. ‘
Trudeau wants ‘justice’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he wants justice in the wake of several people being killed in a plane crash in Iran. And he will remain silent on the matter until it is certain. Four Canadians were killed in the crash. Trudeau claimed the trial at a ceremony in memory of those killed in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday.