Tensions between the USA and Iran have escalated dramatically after a US air strike killed Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Drive, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias often called the In style Mobilisation Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi).
The Pentagon confirmed the assault at Baghdad’s worldwide airport on Friday, saying it got here “at the direction of the president”.
Soleimani and al-Muhandis’s deaths are a possible turning level within the geopolitics of the Center East and Iran has vowed a ‘harsh’ response. to attract extreme retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs within the area towards Israel and US pursuits.
Listed here are all the most recent updates amid the heightened tensions.
Saturday, January 4:
Iraqi PM attends funeral processions
Iraq’s caretaker prime minister attended a mourning procession underway in Baghdad for these killed in a US strike on Friday.
Adel Abdel Mahdi joined al-Muhandis’ affiliate Hadi al-Ameri, Shia cleric Ammar al-Hakim, and different pro-Iran figures in a big crowd accompanying the coffins.
Britain warns nationals towards journey to Iraq, Iran
Britain warned its nationals to keep away from all journey to Iraq, outdoors the Kurdistan area, and to keep away from all however important journey to Iran.
“Given heightened tensions in the region, the Foreign Office now advise people not to travel to Iraq, with the exception of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and to consider carefully whether it’s essential to travel to Iran,” Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned in a press release.
“We will keep this under review.”
Iraqi parliament anticipated to satisfy
The Iraqi parliament is because of have an emergency session on Sunday in response to caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s name to take measures to protect Iraq’s safety.
“There are increasing calls for the full withdrawal of foreign troops, including US troops from Iraq,” Al Jazeera’s Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, mentioned.
“It is unclear how the procedure for that would unfold.”
Funeral processions underway
Hundreds rallied in Baghdad as a convoy carrying the our bodies of these killed within the US air strike on Friday passes by means of the fortified Inexperienced Zone.
Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, mentioned the convoy is anticipated to be shifting in the direction of the opposite aspect of the Tigris River, in keeping with a safety guard guarding the Inexperienced Zone.
The convoy included eight ambulances which carried the our bodies of these killed, and a number of other different autos filled with PMF, Foltyn mentioned.
“We can see and hear crowds of mourners and supporters of the PMF who are approaching one of the gates of the Green Zone. It remains to be seen if security forces will allow these crowds to march through across to the other side,” she mentioned.
Iraq army denies air strike happened
Iraq’s army denied on Saturday an air strike had taken place on a medical convoy in Taji, north of Baghdad.
Earlier on Saturday, Iraq’s state tv reported an assault was carried out by the US.
US-led coalition denies conducting new Baghdad air strike
The US-led coalition combating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) mentioned on Saturday mentioned it didn’t conduct any air strikes close to Camp Taji north of Baghdad, shortly after Iraq’s PMF mentioned air strikes close to the world killed six folks and wounded three others, including that none of its high leaders had been killed.
“FACT: the coalition @cjtfoir did not conduct airstrikes near Camp Taji (north of Baghdad) in recent days,” a spokesman mentioned on Twitter.
Earlier on Saturday, Iraq’s state tv reported the assault was carried out by the US, and that it was targeting a convoy of an Iran-backed militia.
Hundreds collect for funeral procession
Hundreds of individuals have joined a funeral procession in Baghdad for Soleimani, al-Muhandis, and others who died in the identical air strike. The procession began in Kadhimiya and was heading in the direction of the Inexperienced Zone authorities and diplomatic compound, the place a state funeral was on account of be held.
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