Grace Gillespie, Staff Writer
On Jan. 3, 2020 the United States sent missiles to Baghdad, Iraq to kill Iranian general and terrorist Qasem Soleimani. The action was a direct response to Iranian-backed rioters who massed outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and engaged in unruly behavior. The CIA considered Soleimani a threat to the world for his destabilizing activities in the region. Soleimani provided support to the Assad regime in Syria, and was a known collaborator with the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. He played an active role to increase tensions in Yemen prior to their civil war.
Following this incident, Iran threatened retaliation to the United States for the death. After hearing that statement, President Trump tweeted, “Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a 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!”
On Jan. 7, 2020, Iran launched an attack on Iraqi military bases that also housed U.S. soldiers. They further stated that they would not retreat if the United States army did not retaliate. It is important to note that in this situation, no one was killed or injured, and the United States troops were given six hours of advance notice to evacuate. Many believe this was to show repercussion without instigating any further conflict. It has been said by Iran’s state-run media that the citizens were told 80 Americans had been killed. Iran stepped down from the conflict, and Trump was happy with the results.
As of late January, there is no doubt that relations with Iran are tense as they have been since 1979. However, no further escalations have occurred on either side, leading some to believe that this whole incident has simmered down.