A fresh airstrike hit pro-Iran fighters in Iraq early Saturday, as fears grew of a proxy war erupting between Washington and Tehran a day after an American drone strike killed a top Iranian general.
The U.S. is, however, denying any involvement in the strike that killed 6 fighters of Pro-Iran Hashed-al-Shaabi paramilitary group, according to a tweet by the spokesman for the U.S. coalition forces, Col. Myles B. Caggins III.
FACT: The Coalition @CJTFOIR did NOT conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days.
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) January 4, 2020
The killing of Quds Force commander Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the United States, which pledged to send more troops to the region — even as President Donald Trump insisted he did not want war.
— eNCA (@eNCA) January 4, 2020
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, told CNN that the killing was an “act of war on the part of the United States”.
Trump said the 62-year-old, who had been blacklisted by the US, had been plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats
A new strike on Saturday targeted a convoy belonging to the Hashed al-Shaabi, an Iraqi paramilitary network dominated by Shia factions with close ties to Iran.
— AbbTakk (@AbbTakk) January 4, 2020
The Hashed did not say who it held responsible but Iraqi state television reported it was a US airstrike. A police source told AFP the strike left “dead and wounded”, without providing a specific toll. There was no immediate comment from the US.
A fresh #airstrike hit pro-Iran fighters in Iraq early on Saturday just hours ahead of a planned mourning march for Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem #Soleimani, who was killed in a precision drone strike by the US in Baghdad.#SoleimaniKillinghttps://t.co/dzBuHNOwQ9
— The Federal (@TheFederal_in) January 4, 2020
It came hours ahead of a planned mourning march for Soleimani, who was killed alongside Hashed number two Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in the precision drone strike.
As head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, Soleimani was a powerful figure domestically and oversaw wide-ranging Iranian involvement in regional power struggles — and anti-US forces.
— India TV (@indiatvnews) January 4, 2020
Trump said the 62-year-old, who had been blacklisted by the US, had been plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats.
His assassination has rattled the region, with Iraqis fearing a proxy war between Washington and Tehran. The International community is highly concerned about the escalation in the US-Iran conflict as it is bound to have a catastrophic fallout in the region.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk.