The United States has reportedly detected a 'heightened state of alert' by Iran's missile forces across the country. A US official told an international media agency on January 5 that it remained unclear if the measures taken in Iran are defensive in nature or not. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity and has denied providing any further details after the dramatic escalation in tensions between the US and Iran. US President Donald Trump directed the air raid in Baghdad which killed the Iranian top commander Qassem Soleimani along with other military personnel. The US authorities are currently 'watching closely' the activities of Iran's forces.
Just two days after Soleimani was killed by the US, Iran officially announced on January 5 its exit from the 2015 Nuclear Accord. The Nuclear deal was signed by Tehran with the P5+1 nations during the leadership of former US President Barack Obama. However, Iran's breaching of the deal comes at the time when Iran has indicated towards 'harsh retaliation' against US as a response to Washington's unprecedented airstrike.
The US embassy in Baghdad was also attacked on January 4 as two mortars hit Baghdad's Green Zone and simultaneously two rockets hit Iraq's Al-Balad airbase, where US troops were stationed. This comes after the US deployed its troops across Iraq following the drone strike that killed Iranian general on January 3. As per media reports, the administration officials privately warned the members of Congress that Iran is expected to retaliate against the US either at home or abroad, 'within weeks'.
Security measures have been enhanced in the US, who have ordered scaling back of operations by US-led coalition in Iraq. The US embassy in Baghdad has 'urged' its citizens to leave the country fearing retaliation from Iran and its allies over the recent killings. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had reportedly warned of 'severe revenge for the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood'. Khamenei further said that Soleimani's work and his path will not be stopped.
Trump, on the other hand, has shrugged the threats from Iran and said that 'the US wants no more threats' and that Iran 'will be hit very hard'. Trump had previously said in first comments after the strike that Soleimani was directly or indirectly responsible for many deaths and he had made 'death of innocent people his sick passion'. However, on the contrary, grief and anger has mounted on Iraqis who called Soleimani as 'martyred' and chanted 'Death to America'.
....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020