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  • US orders assassination of top Iranian general

    Qasem Soleimani: Mourners gather in Baghdad for funeral procession

    A huge crowd in Iraq's capital Baghdad is taking part in a funeral procession for the Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike on Thursday.

    Soleimani was the architect of Iran's Middle East operations and Iran vowed to take "severe revenge" for his death.

    The gathering in Baghdad on Saturday marked the beginning of days of mourning for Soleimani.

    His body is to be returned to Iran for a funeral and burial in his home town.

    The crowds in Baghdad were also there to mourn the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi who commanded the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah group and effectively led the Popular Mobilisation units - an umbrella of militias in Iraq dominated by groups aligned with Iran.v

    Mourners started gathering in Baghdad from the early hours, ahead of the start of the procession, waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting "death to America". The procession snaked though the streets, some carrying portraits of Soleimani and some of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Reports said the bodies of the Iranians would then be flown on Saturday evening to Iran, which has declared three days of mourning for the murdered general. His funeral is to be held on Tuesday in his hometown of Kerman in central Iran.

    Some Iraqis, conversely, celebrated in Baghdad's streets at the news of Soleimani's death. He was accused of orchestrating violent crackdowns on peaceful pro-democracy protests there in recent months.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50991810
    Qasem Soleimani: How strong is Iran's military?

    Iran has vowed to retaliate after its most powerful military commander was killed by a US drone strike at Baghdad airport.

    "Severe revenge awaits" those behind the attack on General Qasem Soleimani, said Iran's Supreme Leader.

    So what do we know about Iran's military capabilities?

    How big is Iran's army?

    There are an estimated 523,000 active Iranian personnel in a range of military roles, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a UK-based think tank.

    This includes 350,000 in the regular army, and at least 150,000 in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

    There are a further 20,000 service personnel in the IRGC's naval forces. This group operates a number of armed patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, the site of several confrontations involving foreign-flagged tankers in 2019.

    The IRGC also controls the Basij unit, a volunteer force which has helped suppress internal dissent. This unit can potentially mobilise many hundreds of thousands of personnel.

    The IRGC was set up 40 years ago to defend the Islamic system in Iran and has become a major military, political and economic force in its own right.

    Despite having fewer troops than the regular army, it is considered the most authoritative military force in Iran.

    What about operations abroad?

    The Quds Force, which was led by General Soleimani, conducts secret operations abroad for the IRGC and reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It's believed to be about 5,000 strong.

    The unit has been deployed to Syria, where it advised military elements loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and armed Shia militias fighting with them. In Iraq, it has supported a Shia-dominated paramilitary force which assisted in the defeat of the Islamic State group.

    However, the US says the Quds force has a wider role by providing funding, training, weapons and equipment to organisations that Washington has designated as terrorist groups in the Middle East. These include Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

    Economic problems and sanctions have hampered Iran's arms imports, which are relatively small compared to those of other countries in the region.

    The value of Iran's defence imports between 2009 and 2018 was equivalent to just 3.5% of Saudi Arabia's imports over the same period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    Most Iranian imports come from Russia, and the rest from China.

    Does Iran have missiles?

    Yes - Iran's missile capabilities are a key part of its military prowess, given its relative lack of air power compared with rivals such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    A US Defense Department report describes the country's missile forces as the largest in the Middle East, comprising mainly short-range and medium-range missiles. It also says Iran is testing space technology to allow it to develop inter-continental missiles, which can travel much further.

    However, the long-range missile programme was stalled by Iran as part of its 2015 nuclear deal with foreign countries, according to the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think tank. But it added that it may have resumed, given the uncertainty surrounding that deal.

    In any case, many targets in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf would be within range of Iran's current short and medium-range missiles, and possibly targets in Israel.

    In May last year, the US deployed a Patriot anti-missile defence system to the Middle East as tensions with Iran increased. This is meant to counter ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

    What are its non-conventional weapons?

    Despite years of sanctions, Iran has also been able to develop drone capabilities.

    In Iraq, Iranian drones have been used since 2016 in the fight against IS. Iran has also entered Israeli airspace with armed drones operated from bases in Syria, according to Rusi.

    In June 2019, Iran shot down a US surveillance drone, claiming it had violated Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

    The other aspect of Iran's drone programme is its willingness to sell or transfer its drone technology to its allies and proxies in the region, says Jonathan Marcus, the BBC's Defence and diplomatic correspondent.

    In 2019, drone and missile attacks damaged two key Saudi oil facilities. Both the US and Saudi Arabia linked these attacks to Iran, although Tehran denied any involvement and pointed to a claim of responsibility by rebels in Yemen.

    Does Iran have cyber-capabilities?

    Following a major cyber-attack in 2010 on Iranian nuclear facilities, Iran ramped up its cyber-space capability.

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is believed to have its own cyber-command, working on commercial and military espionage.

    A US military report in 2019 said Iran has targeted aerospace companies, defence contractors, energy and natural resource companies and telecommunications firms for cyber-espionage operations around the world.

    Also in 2019, Microsoft said a hacker group that "originates from Iran and is linked to the Iranian government" targeted a US presidential campaign and tried to break into the accounts of American government officials.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50982743
    We're living in troubled times.

  • #2
    It seems the Iranian counterattack just happened.

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    • #3

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      • #4
        Qasem Soleimani: Blasts hit Baghdad area as Iraqis mourn Iranian general

        Several blasts shook the Baghdad area hours after a huge funeral procession for a top Iranian general killed by a US air strike on Thursday.

        A projectile hit the Green Zone near the US embassy while several more were fired north of the Iraqi capital at Balad air base, which houses US forces.

        Nobody was hurt in the attacks, Iraqi security sources say.

        Iranian leaders have vowed to avenge the killing of Qasem Soleimani, who was regarded as a terrorist by the US.

        Saturday's funeral procession through Baghdad and Iraq's Shia Muslim holy cities precedes the return of his remains to Iran.

        Iraqis were also mourning the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi who commanded the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah group and was killed along with Soleimani.

        In another development, the group issued a warning to Iraqi security forces to "stay clear of American bases by a distance not less [than] 1,000m (0.6 miles) starting Sunday evening", al-Mayadeen TV reported.

        In response to Iranian threats of revenge, the US has sent 3,000 more troops to the Middle East and advised its citizens to leave Iraq.

        What happened in the new attacks?

        At least one rocket or mortar round hit Celebration Square in the Green Zone while another exploded in the city's Jadria area, Iraqi security sources say.

        After two rockets hit Balad air base, surveillance drones were sent up to locate the source, AFP news agency reports.

        No group said it had carried out the attacks. Pro-Iranian militants have been blamed for other recent rocket attacks on US interests in Iraq.

        How did the Iraqi stage of the funeral proceed?

        Waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting "Death to America", mourners walked behind the coffins from Al Muthana Airport to the gate of the Green Zone on Saturday.

        Some mourners carried portraits of Soleimani while others held portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

        Later, the procession left for the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

        Some Iraqis, conversely, celebrated in Baghdad's streets at the news of Soleimani's death. He was accused of orchestrating violent crackdowns on peaceful pro-democracy protests there in recent months.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50995792

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        • #5
          God damn, Trump. He's going to get us all killed.

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          • #6
            I’ve been enjoying the WWIII memes a lot over the last few days.

            The gall of Trump though, after everything he said about Obama!

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            • #7
              im confused

              Wasn't Soleimani the "Bad" guy?
              Thus, isn't his assassination a Good thing?
              [center:373j9ui8]"Music starts with M and ends with C"

              Mariah Carey[/center:373j9ui8]

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              • #8

                MY INSTAGRAM


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                • #9
                  some experts say now that technically Iran has attacked the United States and that if Donny calls upon us, NATO has to engage in his war against the Iran.

                  I hope my country can somehow evade sending troops or guns or helping in any other shape of form.

                  I really think Nato is obsolete. Let's do an European defence army and that's it.
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                  • #10
                    In his speech, Trump stated there will be no military response - instead, the US will impose even more severe financial sanctions than they already did. He’s also stated that he wants peace with Iran and has urged the U.K., France and Germany to withdraw from the nuclear proliferation deal that they were signatories to.

                    In all, I expected him to come out all guns blazing - so I’m pleasantly surprised at the restraint he showed.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                      In his speech, Trump stated there will be no military response - instead, the US will impose even more severe financial sanctions than they already did. He’s also stated that he wants peace with Iran and has urged the U.K., France and Germany to withdraw from the nuclear proliferation deal that they were signatories to.

                      In all, I expected him to come out all guns blazing - so I’m pleasantly surprised at the restraint he showed.
                      Well indeed that was quite unexpected.
                      Maybe somebody done talking him out of it.
                      5.05.2009 / 6.22.2011 / 4.24.2013 / 4.25.2013 / 3.1.2014 / 9.13.2014 / 7.21.2016 / 7.14.2018 / 7.15.2018

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                      • #12
                        With this being so prevalent in the news, it seems like it's totally overshadowed the story of the Ukranian plane disaster, killing 176 (!!) people! It seems a bizarre coincidence that it's also happened in Iran, and the fact they're being quite shady at sharing information too...
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                        • #13
                          The sceptic in me does think it’s quite suspicious.

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                          • #14
                            The Ukrainian plane crash is awful.

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