Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei showered praises on slain military leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani during a televised address on January 8. Khamenei said that Soleimani was both brave and prudent not just in the military field but also in politics. The 80-year-old Supreme Leader said the late commander would go in the “heart of danger” to keep others safe.
Khamenei targeted Israel, a key ally of the US in the region, saying Iran’s main enemies include Washington and the Zionist regime. The Supreme Leader said the military action is not enough to end the “corrupt presence” of the US in the region. The 80-year-old religious leader was furious after the killing of top military leader Qassem Soleimani and had vowed to exact revenge “for the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”.
Before Soleimani was buried in Kerman, his hometown, Iran struck back at the United States, hitting its bases in Iraq. The US has not revealed the number of casualties yet but Iran’s local media reports claim that around 80 people have been killed in the attacks. Referring to the retaliation, Khamenei said the country has delivered 'slap in face' to the United States. Ian has maintained that no Iraqi nationals were harmed in the attack but the details on casualties are yet to be disclosed.
Reactions from Iran started pouring in just after Tehran launched an offensive on US bases. Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri warned the US that Tehran will react with “stronger, more crushing, and broader” response if it tries any new “evil act”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Tehran took “proportionate measures” in self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
US President Donald Trump surprisingly said “All is well”, adding will be making a statement on Wednesday morning. “Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” he tweeted. Pentagon said that the bases were already on high alert due to Iran’s indication to attack US forces in the region.