Iran's strategic ally, Russia, warned of a possible 'nuclear war' over the soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington, following the missile launched at Iraqi bases housing US troops. Russian lawmaker of Moscow's Upper House, Vladimir Dzhabarov, warned of an 'all-out war' in the region, over the persisting conflict. Previously, murmurs of a 'World War 3' became a rage on social media, after the White House confirmed the death of Iran's powerful military head, Qasem Soleimani.
Opining on Iran's retaliation, the Russian leader said, "Reciprocal strikes by the US and Iran may lead to an all-out war in the region. If Washington sees that it can't achieve its goals, there's a danger of a nuclear war." The attack ensued Tehran's warning of a "harsh retaliation" against the United States.
In a rare visit to Damascus, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, a key ally of Iran and personally Qasem Soleimani. While there was no mention of the Iranian top commander at the meet, the timing of Putin's visit was discernible. Soleimani led the Iranian Forces to back Assad in Syria's civil war.
Taking a stand against the US attack on Soleimani, Moscow said that the assassination would soar tensions across West Asia. Furthermore, they expressed condolences to Iran.
In a statement, Vladimir Putin's government said, "The killing of Soleimani ... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region. Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people."
Iraqi security officials told CNN 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. The death of General Soleimani and Iraq's pro-Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis marks a significant watershed in the Middle Eastern policy and the Iran-US relations. In the past decade, under the leadership of Soleimani, Iran conducted proxy wars across the Middle East region in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and parts of Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah. He was instrumental in shaping Iran's influence in the region, which was threatened by arch-foes --the West, Saudi Arabia, and Israeli.