Published: Mon, January 13, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

US Military Won't Target Iran’s Cultural Sites, Pentagon Chief Says

US Military Won't Target Iran’s Cultural Sites, Pentagon Chief Says

Trump was anticipating retaliatory attacks by Iran after he ordered the killing, through a drone strike, of Major General Qassem Suleimani, a ranking military official of the Iranian government, in what the White House claimed this was a pre-emptive strike.

Iranian people attend a funeral procession and burial for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, at his hometown in Kerman, Iran on January 7, 2020.

Mourners in Kerman dressed in black carried posters bearing the image of Gen Soleimani, a man whose death prompted Iran's supreme leader to weep over his coffin on Monday as a crowd said by police to be in the millions filled Tehran streets.

Prime minister Boris Johnson warned USA president Donald Trump on Monday against "disproportionate" attacks on Iranian cultural sites.

Ain al-Asad air base was first used by American forces after the 2003 US -led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, and later saw American troops stationed there amid the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

In Baghdad, the parliament has called for the expulsion of all American troops from Iraqi soil, something analysts fear could allow militants from so-called Islamic State to mount a comeback.

Iran's coastline runs along a Gulf oil shipping route that includes the narrow Strait of Hormuz.

Iran's top military commander says Tehran's response would be military, aimed at US military targets; Benjamin Hall reports from Amman, Jordan. The Republican, who was impeached in December and faces an election in November, had vowed to respond "disproportionately" if Iran retaliated strongly against Soleimani's killing.

On Monday a top commander of Iran's missile array said that only the complete removal of U.S. forces from the entire Middle East would suffice for revenge.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that targeting Soleimani was not representative of a wholesale shift in Washington's policy toward the Islamic Republic - and Trump has said he was not seeking a "regime change" in Tehran.

The U.S. blames him for killing U.S. troops in Iraq and accused him of plotting new attacks just before he was killed.

Speaking after a meeting of ambassadors from all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, including Canada, Stoltenberg says the training mission is essential for continuing to defend against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

"The path chosen by the US for itself and the region is characterized by insecurity, war and bloodshed". Disclosing this, according to Metro.co.uk, the organiser of the funeral of Soleimani on Monday called on every Iranian to donate $1 to fund a bounty on Donald Trump.

Iran has buried a top Revolutionary Guard general slain by USA airstrike in Baghdad after a stampede at his funeral killed 56 and Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American troops in response.

"He was continuing the terror campaign in the region".

The vote also saw lawmakers approve funding for the Quds Force with an additional 200 million euros, or about $224 million. As the host of the United Nations headquarters, the U.S.is supposed to allow foreign officials to attend such meetings. They died in Operation Dawn 8, in which Soleimani also took part.

"The security of the whole world, Muslims, Shiites, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and especially Iran, all owe it to him", said the 56-year-old war veteran.

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