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World reacts to US killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani in Iraq

Leaders across the world warn that US’s targeted killing of Iranian top general could ignite conflict in region.

International leaders have called for restraint and de-escalation following the assassination of Iran’s top general, ordered by US President Donald Trump, as Iran’s allies warned the killing could lead to conflict.

Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, was killed in a pre-dawn US air raid at Baghdad’s international airport on Friday.

The high-profile killings come amid a sharp escalation in Iran-US tensions.

Regional and world leaders have largely reacted with alarm, concerned that the US assassination of Soleimani could ignite a serious escalation in the region and possibly lead to war.


Following the attack, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the US of “harsh retaliation”.

Javed Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, tweeted his response, saying: “The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani – THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al – is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.

“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”


Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the attack, calling it an “aggression” on Iraq that would “spark a devastating war”.

“The assassination of an Iraqi military commander is an aggression on Iraq as a state, government and people,” Abdul Mahdi said in a statement.

“Carrying out physical liquidation operations against leading Iraqi figures or from a brotherly country on the Iraqi lands is a flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that triggers a destructive war in Iraq, the region and the world,” Abdul Mahdi said.

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He added that the attack was also a “flagrant violation of the conditions authorising the presence of US troops” on Iraqi soil.