20:52 GMT25 January 2020
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    The Middle East, considered one of the most unstable regions in the world, was further plunged into an escalation of tensions following the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, early on Friday in a targeted airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump.

    IRGC Major General Hossein Salami has stated that "the assassination of martyred General Qasem Soleimani will be followed by a strategic revenge which will definitely put an end to the US presence in the region", according to Fars News.

    Salami highlighted that Iran's response would come "in a vast geography throughout time and with determining impacts".

    In apparent effort to double down on his pledge, the commander suggested that his statement "should come in written, since everyone will see its realization."

    The situation in the Middle East, which has more recently been in a state of turmoil since the Trump administration's 2019 unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has worsened after the killing of IRGC's Quds commander Qasem Soleimani at the order of the US president on Friday.

    Following the raid which led to Soleimani's assassination, Iran has vowed to retaliate, with separate militias issuing warnings to the US. On Saturday, Kataib Hezbollah, Iraqi Shia militias within the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, threatened to launch attacks on military bases used by US forces in Iraq beginning Sunday evening.

    Hours after the Hezbollah statement, Trump claimed that any attack against US citizens or assets would be reciprocated with a counterattack against "52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago)".

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    Tags:
    Qasem Soleimani, response, conflict, iran, US
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