After the killing of Iran’s elite Quds Force chief General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, US President Donald Trump boasted about Washington’s huge monetary contribution to Iraq. Trump took to Twitter to brag that the United States paid Iraq “billions of dollars” for many years apart from other things it did for the Middle Eastern nation.
Trump also said that Iran has gained control of Iraq in the past 15 years but people of Iraq are not happy with their domination. He claimed that Iraqi people do not want to be controlled by Iran but added that it is ultimately their choice.
The United States has paid Iraq Billions of Dollars a year, for many years. That is on top of all else we have done for them. The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice. Over the last 15 years, Iran has gained more....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
....and more control over Iraq, and the people of Iraq are not happy with that. It will never end well!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
On January 3, the United States announced that it killed Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport. The two countries have been at loggerheads for a long time, but Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran followed by crippling sanctions did no help to pacify the tension.
The recent attack by Iran-back militia killed several services members including an American contractor, to which the United States retaliated with airstrikes killing 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. It led to outrage among pro-Iran voices and protesters entered high-security US embassy in Baghdad and vandalised the building. US President Donald Trump reacted sharply to the incident and threatened Iran that they will pay a “big price”.
In Iran, there has been an outpouring of grief over the death of Soleimani, who was pivotal to Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East. Iran’s Supreme Leader vowed to exact “severe revenge for the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”. The escalation has led to a surge in fuel prices and experts suggested that the Middle East will be bracing tougher days ahead.