Tehran-Washington and position of the giants (latest updates)

#Mekelle- 08 January 2020 (#DWTV) - Iran-backed Iraqi militia commander #Qais al-Khazali reportedly said that Iran had made its initial response for the #US killing its top general, and it was now time for Iraq to do so as well.
Meanwhile, Iraqi #Kurdish leaders call for region to be kept out of rivalries.

The leaders of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region said that the support of a US-led military coalition in fighting ISIS was vital and urged its member states not to allow the group's revival.

Contrary to that, commander #Qais al-Khazali twitted that Iraq's response would not be lesser than that of Iran's. Qais al-Khazali is a commander leading the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group which the US has already designated a terrorist organization.

"The initial Iranian response to the assassination of the martyred commander #Soleimani has happened. Now it is time for the initial response to the assassination of the martyred commander Muhandis. And because Iraqis are brave and zealous, their response will not be any less than that or Iran's. That is a promise," he was quoted to saying.
As to sources, in relation to the issue, #China urged restraint from all sides, saying Beijing would play a responsible role in helping to defuse tensions.

Foreign ministry spokesman #Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing that it is not in the interest of any party that the situation in the Middle East worsens further.
As per the spokesperson, China would play a responsible role in promoting a de-escalation of the situation as soon as possible.

In the interim, Israeli Prime Minister #Benjamin Netanyhahu warned any country which intends to attack Israel would be dealt strongest blow.

Having reiterated his support for the US killing of Soleimani, Netanyhahu warned that his country would strike back hard against anyone who attacked it.

#Israel stands completely beside US President Donald Trump's decision, he said. According to Netanyhahu, Trump should be congratulated for acting swiftly, boldly and resolutely.

#Germany’s defence Minister, #Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, on the other hand told broadcaster ARD that his country strongly condemns Iran missile attacks on Iraq bases housing coalition military and called on Tehran to end a spiral of conflict.

The Minister added that she would seek a meeting of the coalition's 13 framework nations to discuss the situation in the region.
Likewise, #Britain condemned the attack on military bases in Iraq that hosted US-led coalition forces including British personnel.
British Foreign Secretary #Dominic Raab reportedly said, "We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition - including British - forces," adding "We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation."
In the meantime, the European Union (#EU) promised to try to save Iran nuclear deal despite setback.

The EU said it would spare no efforts in its attempts to keep alive an international deal preventing Iran from developing atomic weapons.
EU Commission President Ursula #von der Leyen said on the subject that her foreign affairs chief #Josep Borrell would continue to work in the midterm to reach out to all participants in the global deal in the hopes that the 2015 nuclear agreement can still be saved despite a rollback on commitments from #Tehran.

Borrell invited Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Brussels for talks. The EU foreign ministers have organized a special meeting on Friday to discuss the ongoing crisis.

The United Arab Emirates (#UAE) for its part urged the region must pull back from 'troubling' tensions. In this regard, Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said it is essential that the region pulls back from current "troubling" tensions. De-escalation is both wise and necessary and a political path towards stability must follow, he said on twitter.
On the other hand, #Turkey would send its foreign Minister, #Mevlut Cavusoglu to Iraq as part of Ankara's intensified diplomatic efforts to alleviate the escalated tension in the aftermath of recent developments in the region.

As to the Iranian state TV 80 #Americans were killed and US helicopters and military equipment were severely damaged in the attack involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq. As could be learnt from the reports, none of those missiles was intercepted though the claim could not be independently verified.

In addition to that, citing a senior #Revolutionary Guards Corps source, the state television also indicated that Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures.

On the other hand, following the attacks, #Trump twitted that all is well and he would be making a statement on Wednesday morning local time. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now, he added. “So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning," he twitted.

Sources highlighted that #democrats were angered over US President Donald Trump decision to order the killing of Soleimani without consulting Congress. House Democrats are preparing to vote later this week on a War Powers Resolution aimed at limited Trump's actions in Iran.

With regard to the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister #Mohammad Javad Zarif told state TV that missile attacks on US targets in Iraq were legitimate self-defense. Washington’s assessment to retaliate should not be based on illusion, Zarif reiterated.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the US that Washington might have cut off the arm of Soleimani but America's leg in the region would be cut off in response, Iran's Fars news agency reported.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the other hand told US to leave the region

As to him, the US should withdraw from the region and said Tehran's missile attacks on US targets in Iraq were ‘a slap on the face’ for America.
"Military action like this is not sufficient. What is important is ending the corrupting presence of America in the region," Khamenei reportedly said in a televised speech, ruling out any resumption of talks with Washington about a 2015 nuclear deal.

In the interim, the state TV indicated that Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps (#IRGC) commander expressed that missile attacks 'first step’.
"The missile attacks today were just the first step (US President Donald) should think about withdrawing its troops from the region and not to leave them within our reach," Iranian state TV quoted the commander as saying, without naming him.
As could be understood, Iran used #Fateh-313 surface-to-surface missiles to hit #Ain al-Asad airbase.

Source: Al jazeera