Amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, a letter was leaked on Wednesday announcing the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. This came a day after Iran unanimously passed a bill to designate the US military as "terrorists" and vowed to drive out US troops from the region. However, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff later clarified that the draft letter was sent by "mistake" and didn't imply any US withdrawal. The Kuwaiti government, too, via the state's news agency posted issued a statement on their Twitter handle saying that the reports are 'incorrect' and the handle was 'hacked.'
The United States, on January 3, hit Baghdad International Airport, following which deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and Iran's Quds forces chief Qassem Soleimani were killed. As Iran mourned the death of Soleimani calling him a 'martyr', US President Donald Trump said that he was a "terrorist" who was "caught him in the act and terminated."
While the escalation of tensions sent tremors of a possible World War 3 across the world, Trump assured that Soleimani's killing will not lead to war. However, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that 'Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime' of its General's killing and even raised a red flag on the mosque in the Iranian city of Qom, hinting at a declaration of war.
Meanwhile, amid escalation, India in a statement called for calm and restraint over the prevailing situation. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) acknowledging the death of the senior Iranian official, asserted that peace, stability, and security of the region are of utmost significance to New Delhi. It added that it is vital that the situation does not escalate further.
The United States on Sunday in an airstrike killed Commander of Quds Force of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - Qasem Soleimani. He was the second most important person in Iran, after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The killing of General Soleimani and Iraq's pro-Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis marks a watershed in the Iran-US relations.
As Iran vowed for revenge, it hit Iraq's Ain al-Asad housing US troops by over a dozen rockets on Wednesday. In response to the attack, US President tweeted saying "all is well." On the other hand, Iraqi security officials told an international news channel that there were no casualties among Iraqi security forces following the attack in Anbar province and Erbil. Oil prices soared sharply by 5% after the Pentagon confirmed Iran's attack on the Iraqi airbases.