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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs


China Has Destroyed 100 Uighur Gravesites In The Western Xinjiang Region

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 11:44 PM PST



Daily Mail: 'I have no idea where my father's remains are': Poet describes shock of finding out family member's grave has been flattened after satellite images reveal more than 100 Uighur graveyards have been demolished by Chinese authorities

* Poet Aziz Isa Elkun, who lives in north London, fled China's far western Xinjiang region nearly 30 years ago
* He has only been able to view his father's tomb in Xayar County on Google Maps as he is not able to return
* But when he went to look at the grave last year, a new satellite image showed that it had been destroyed
* Dozens of cemeteries have been destroyed in northwest region amid crackdown on Muslim Uighur minority

A poet has described his shock at finding out the graveyard in which his father's remains were kept has been flattened - as it's revealed more than 100 Uighur graveyards have been demolished by Chinese authorities.

Aziz Isa Elkun, who lives in north London, has told of how he has 'no idea' where his father's remains are after China began destroying burial grounds where generations of Uighur families have been laid to rest.

He fled China's far western Xinjiang region nearly 30 years ago and has only been able to view his father's tomb in Xayar County on Google Maps after he was told he should not return to the country.

But when he went to look at the grave last year, a new satellite image showed that it had been completely destroyed alongside all the other tombs in the graveyard.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Can anyone say cultural genocide.

China Shifts To Europe

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 11:35 PM PST

Chinese President Xi Jinping will host the "17+1" summit with European leaders in April in Beijing, sources say. Photo: Reuters

SCMP: Chinese President Xi Jinping to take over as host of '17+1' summit with European leaders

* Decision to replace Premier Li Keqiang at annual meeting reflects Beijing's increased focus on Europe amid rising tensions with US, sources say
* Xi expected to deliver a keynote speech and meet heads of state from across Central and Eastern Europe at April event

Chinese President Xi Jinping will replace Premier Li Keqiang as host of this year's Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries meeting, sources said, in a sign of the greater significance Beijing now gives to its links with Europe
amid a growing rivalry with the United States.

Invitations for the event – launched by Beijing in 2012 and better known as the "17+1" for the 17 European nations that take part – were sent to European leaders in Xi's name, according to diplomats who have seen them.

One source, who declined to be named, said Xi was expected to deliver a keynote speech at the summit, which is set to take place in April in the Chinese capital, and meet the visiting dignitaries.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Many of the countries that will attend this Chinese sponsored summit have huge trade deficits with China. I am not sure on what they are expecting from Beijing, because China's policy is to increase its trade with these countries even more.

Will The Iraqi Government Order The Expulsion Of U.S. Soldiers On Sunday?

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 11:28 PM PST

Iraqi lawmakers are seen during a parliamentary session in Baghdad. Reuters

Bryant Harris, Al-Monitor: White House defiant as Iraq threatens to expel US troops over Soleimani strike

Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is convening an emergency session of parliament Sunday to discuss the US assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Tehran-backed deputy leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units.

The emergency session could lead to a longtime goal of Iran's proxies in Iraq: the expulsion of US forces from Iraq, potentially jeopardizing the campaign against the remnants of the Islamic State.

Read more ....

Update #1: Iraqi parliament vows to 'put an end to US presence' in country (Washington Examiner)
Update #2: Rival Shi'ite leaders in Iraq call for U.S. troop expulsion in rare show of unity (Reuters)

WNU Editor: As I had mentioned in a previous post. If I was President Trump, I would take this opportunity to leave.

How Will Iran Respond?

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 11:16 PM PST

Yahoo News: Iran faces dilemma in avenging general's death: To strike back without starting a war

WASHINGTON — Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, vowed to exact "severe revenge" for the Thursday night U.S. airstrike that killed the country's most famous general, but the Iranian regime will have to walk a fine line to respond strongly without provoking a war with the United States, former intelligence officials familiar with the region said Friday.

Qassem Soleimani headed the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds Force, which combines intelligence gathering, covert action and special operations. He died when a U.S. missile struck his vehicle near Baghdad International Airport. Also killed in the airstrike, which hit two vehicles, was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the Iraqi Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah, along with several other Quds Force and militia members.

Read more ....

Update: Iran Will Respond: Here Are Some Thoughts On "How" (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. This is what the pundits will be talking about for the next few days.

U.S. Launches More Air Strikes Against Iranian-Backed Militias In Iraq

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 10:51 PM PST


CNN: An airstrike in Iraq hit a convoy of Iranian-backed paramilitary forces, PMF says

A convoy including Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces was hit by an airstrike early Saturday in north Baghdad, killing and wounding several, according to the PMF.

"The initial report indicates that the strike targeted a convoy belonging to the medical units for the Popular Mobilization Forces, near Taji Stadium in Baghdad," the PMF said in a statement.

Iraqi state news also reported a strike against the paramilitary forces.

The action comes a day after an airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump killed a top Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, at a Baghdad airport.

It is not yet known who carried out the reported airstrike on Saturday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The US is denying that they are responsible for this air strike .... U.S.-led coalition denies conducting Baghdad air strike (Reuters).

More News On The U.S. Launching More Air Strikes Against Iranian-Backed Militias In Iraq

Air strikes targeting Iraqi militia kill six: army source -- Reuters
Iraqi Militia Leader May Be Among Six Killed in Another U.S. Drone Strike in Baghdad, Pentagon Officials Say -- Newsweek
Air strikes target Iraqi militia convoy north of Baghdad, six people killed -- Arab News/AP/Reuters
BREAKING: U.S. Military Kills More Top Iranian-Backed Terrorist Leaders In Airstrikes, Reports Say -- Daily Wire
Round Two: US Drone Airstrikes Kill Six Pro-Iran Militia Commanders -- Zero Hedge

Will America's National Security Hawks Lead The U.S. Into A War Against Iran?

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 09:55 PM PST

Alexander Drago / Reuters

David Corn & Matt Cohen. Mother Jones: With a War Against Iran Brewing, Don't Listen to the Hawks Who Lied Us Into Iraq

Shortly after the news broke that a US airstrike in Baghdad ordered by President Donald Trump had killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's Quds Force, Ari Fleischer went on Fox News and proclaimed, "I think it is entirely possible that this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani."

Here we go again.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: US hawks are not in the driver's seat in this crisis, even though they are applauding the demise of Soleimani while issuing calls to put more pressure on Iran. The ball has always been in Iran's court, and it is still there. What Iran will do in the coming days/weeks/months will determine how much this crisis will escalate. So here is my prediction. For now they will do nothing. Maybe a terror or military strike here or there, some actions in the Straits of Hormuz, but a major escalation is not going to happen. In fact, I believe they are in shocked with what has happened. After all, if someone like Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani can be killed, then no one is really safe. With hindsight I have to say that Tehran made a major strategic and tactical mistake when they green-lighted another rocket attack on a US base that killed a US contractor and wounded scores of American soldiers last week. They underestimated the U.S. response, and for that they lost a major militia HQ, equipment, and 25 fighters. They also did not take seriously President Trump's threat that the US would respond even more forcefully if an attack should be repeated in the future. To put it bluntly, President Trump drew a red line. But instead of heeding it an attack was organized and launched against the US embassy in Baghdad. The fact that Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani showed up a day later tells me that he wanted to see for himself what had happened, and to make plans on what to do next. I have mentioned more than once on this blog that when Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani shows up, mayhem and destruction soon follow. I am sure his arrival in Baghdad on Thursday telegraphed to Washington that something big was going to happen, and the final decision to take him out was then made when the opportunity arrived. So what will happen next? Tomorrow the Iraqi parliament is going to meet, and they are going to pass a motion that all US forces should leave Iraq. I personally hope that President Trump will take that as an opportunity to leave Iraq,  and do so promptly. The hawks in Washington are going to scream at President Trump that should do everything in his power to stay, but enough is enough. Iraq was a mess before, it is a mess today, and it will be a mess tomorrow. This is not our fight.

These Seven Defense Contractors Would Benefit From A War Against Iran

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 08:43 PM PST

US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Julian Elliott-Drouin

Markets Insider: These 7 aerospace and defense stocks are getting a huge boost from Trump's strike on Iran

Aerospace and defense firms are among the few groups of stocks soaring in Friday trading, with new fears of conflict between the US and Iran boosting war-driven industries.

A US airstrike approved by President Trump killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Thursday, ratcheting up tensions between the two nations and tanking prices for many risk assets.

Save-haven investments like gold surged, and the price of oil surged as analysts considered how Iran could harm the global oil supply.

Here are the seven major aerospace and defense stocks jumping in Friday trading, ranked in ascending order of intraday performance.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: War and money have been walking hand in hand since the beginning of time.

Why Did Former Presidents Bush And Obama Decide Not To Kill Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 08:34 PM PST

Former Presidents Obama and Bush

Grace Panetta, Business Insider: Here's why neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who the US just took out in an airstrike

* On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that US forces killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike near Baghdad's airport at the direction of President Donald Trump.
* As the leader of the elite and secretive Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani abetted terrorism and violence throughout the region, including against US troops.
* Neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama took action as president to target Soleimani or the Quds Force.
* Former military and intelligence officials have cited the potential for retaliation from Iran against US troops, diplomats, and allied forces in the region as a major reason for not killing Soleimani previously.
* In the immediate aftermath of the strike on Soleimani, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that "harsh retaliation" would be waiting for the US.

On Thursday evening, the Pentagon confirmed that at the direction of President Donald Trump, US forces killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike near Baghdad's airport, the most drastic step toward conflict with Iran in the 21st century.

Soleimani was for decades one of the most important and highly regarded military figures in Iran, playing a pivotal role in shaping Iranian foreign policy and the politics of the Middle East today.

The killing of the high-level commander, first reported by Iraqi state TV and later confirmed in a Pentagon statement, is the US's most significant escalation of tensions against Iran yet and is likely to further inflame conflict in the region and provoke severe retaliation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Former Presidents Bush And Obama decided not to kill Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani for the same reasons why former President Clinton decided to not kill Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden .... Bill Clinton, Hours Before 9/11 Attacks: 'I Could Have Killed' Osama bin Laden (ABC News). They were (at the time) afraid of the consequences.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials On The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 03:25 PM PST



Parisa Hafezi, Reuters: From war to diplomacy, Iran weighs response to Soleimani's killing

DUBAI (Reuters) - Tensions between Iran and the United States are at their highest point since Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

Iran's clerical and military rulers have threatened revenge for an American air strike here at Baghdad airport on Friday that killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East.

Here are some of Iran's options:

Read more ....



Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials On The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

'A more dangerous world': US killing triggers global alarm -- John Leicester, AP
U.S. killing of Iran's second most powerful man risks regional conflagration -- Samia Nakhoul, Reuters
Iran can call on powerful friends if conflict engulfs region -- AP
How tensions between US and Iran escalated -- Al Jazeera
Cycle of revenge: What's next after killing of Iran general? -- Joseph Krauss, AP
Reprisals against US to come at time and place of Iran's choosing -- Julian Borger, The Guardian
Qasem Soleimani: Why kill him now and what happens next? -- Jonathan Marcus, BBC
Qassem Suleimani's death threatens to open grisly new chapter in Middle East -- Julian Borger, The Guardian
The Soleimani assassination was short-sighted for US strategy and destabilizing for Iraq and the region -- Julie Norman, The Hill
With the US and Iran on the brink of war, the dangers of Trump's policy of going it alone become clear -- Klaus W. Larres, The Conversation
Qassem Suleimani air strike: why this is a dangerous escalation of US assassination policy -- Luca Trenta, The Conversation
The strike on Suleimani was wildly reckless. Blowback will come -- Michael H Fuchs, The Guardian
Analysis: Iran's 'Crushing Revenge' May Prove Formidable Challenge for Soleimani's Successor -- Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz
Iran's popular Gen. Soleimani became an icon by targeting US -- Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell, AP
Qassem Soleimani, top Iranian commander killed in US strikes, was a hero to many and one of the region's most potent figures -- Matt Brown, ABC News Online
A visual guide to the US airstrike that killed Qassem Suleimani -- The Guardian
By killing Soleimani, the US takes a dramatic step with unknown consequences -- Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel
Iran's Qasem Soleimani: Why the US had him in its sights -- BBC
Legal basis for US killing of Iran general depends on threat -- Ben Fox, AP
Suleimani killing may spell end of Iran nuclear deal, Europe fears -- Patrick Wintour, The Guardian
US killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani 'an act of war' -- Al Jazeera
AP Explains: Rising Iran, US tension after general's killing -- John Gambrell, AP
Your Qasem Soleimani questions answered: Will killing spark war? -- BBC
Timeline: U.S.-Iran relations from 1953 coup to 2020 commander killing -- Reuters

World Markets And The Price Of Oil Impacted By The Killing Of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 03:03 PM PST



USA Today: This is why the Dow fell more than 200 points on Friday while oil prices surged

Stocks dropped and oil prices surged Friday after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general, reigniting geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Stocks fell broadly but those losses shrank in afternoon trading. After tumbling more than 350 points following the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average ended down 233.92 points, or 0.8%, at 28,634.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.7% to end at 3,234.85. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.8%, to finish at 9,020.77.

Friday's selloff snapped a five-week winning streak for the S&P 500. U.S. stocks had closed at records Thursday following a stellar 2019 performance, which saw them notch their best year since 2013.

Read more ....

More News On The Impact Of World Markets And the Price Of Oil Over The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Trump says ordered killing of Iranian general to prevent war, not start one -- Reuters
U.S. says killing top Iran general averted plot against Americans -- Reuters
Qassem Soleimani assassination: Trump, Pompeo defend decision -- Al Jazeera
Trump tweets after Quds chief killing: 'Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!' -- RT
Graham was briefed on the Iran strike while golfing with Trump. Pelosi says she was left in the dark -- Salon
'Wow - the price of killing Americans has just gone up drastically': Lindsey Graham leads Republican praise for Trump's airstrike on Iranian general as Kevin McCarthy hails the President's 'display of resolve and strength' -- Daily Mail

World Reaction To The U.S. Killing Of Iran's Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 03:10 PM PST



Daily Mail: The world on the brink of war? Putin blasts Trump for killing top Iranian general as Tehran's allies China and Russia join Europe in urging 'restraint', oil prices surge and stock markets plunge

* President Donald Trump ordered the strike near Baghdad International Airport that killed Qassem Soleimani
* 'This action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region,' the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying on Friday
* Iran called strike act of 'international terrorism' and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed 'revenge'
* Moscow warned Soleimani's death would boost tensions across the Middle East and China urged restraint
* Iraq's caretaker PM Adel Abdel Mahdi said the strike was an 'aggression' that would 'spark a devastating war'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the killing of an Iranian general in a US drone strike risked 'aggravating the situation' in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump ordered the strike on Baghdad International Airport that killed Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq.

'This action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region,' the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying during a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron.

His comments came after China and Russia joined European countries and nations across the world in urging 'restraint'.

Read more ....

More World Reaction To The U.S. Killing Of Iran's Qassem Soleimani

World reacts to US killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani in Iraq -- Al Jazeera
World reacts to killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani -- Euronews/AP
Rival Shi'ite leaders in Iraq call for U.S. troop expulsion in rare show of unity -- Reuters
Fear and joy on the streets of Baghdad after Soleimani killing -- France 24
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises Donald Trump for killing top Iranian general and says US has a 'right to defend itself' -- Daily Mail
Israel tightens security after Soleimani assassination -- Reuters
Soleimani assassination by US 'an adventurous move' that will flare up tensions in Middle East – Moscow -- RT
Bahrain calls for de-escalation after U.S. air strike in Iraq: state news agency -- Reuters
India's reaction to the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani -- Brookings Instotution
Yemen government backs Soleimani's killing: minister -- Reuters

U.S. Political Reaction To The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 02:33 PM PST



Daily Mail: 'Trump tossed dynamite into a tinderbox': Joe Biden hits out at president over strike that killed Iranian general while Bernie Sanders warns drone attack 'puts us on the path to another war'

* Democratic presidential contenders criticize Trump over airstrike in Baghdad
* US drone fired at convoy killing Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's Quds Force
* Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang hit out at Trump
* They warned attack increases risk of possible war in the region
* Republicans praised the move, saying Soleimani had 'blood on his hands'

Political reaction in the United States to Thursday's killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was split among partisan lines with Democrats warning of unforeseen consequences while Republicans praised President Trump.

Top Democrats, while condemning Soleimani, warned that that the airstrike had the potential to set off a war, and chastised Trump for not seeking congressional approval.

Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, said in a statement that 'President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.'

'The Administration's statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect,' Biden said.

Read more ....



U.S. Political Reaction To The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Democratic White House contenders condemn Trump's strike against Iranian commander, warn of war -- Reuters
Democratic presidential candidates condemn killing of Iran general -- The Guardian
'Trump just threw a dynamite stick into a tinderbox': US Democrats savage US strike that killed Iranian Quds chief Soleimani -- RT
Trump does not have authority to go to war with Iran: Schumer -- Reuters
Trump says ordered killing of Iranian general to prevent war, not start one -- Reuters
U.S. says killing top Iran general averted plot against Americans -- Reuters
Qassem Soleimani assassination: Trump, Pompeo defend decision -- Al Jazeera
Trump tweets after Quds chief killing: 'Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!' -- RT
Graham was briefed on the Iran strike while golfing with Trump. Pelosi says she was left in the dark -- Salon
'Wow - the price of killing Americans has just gone up drastically': Lindsey Graham leads Republican praise for Trump's airstrike on Iranian general as Kevin McCarthy hails the President's 'display of resolve and strength' -- Daily Mail

Reaction In Iran On The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 02:01 PM PST





Daily Mail: Iranians weep on TV and announce three days of national mourning for terrorist general Qassem Soleimani amid vows of 'crushing revenge' on US

* Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, was killed Friday at Baghdad International Airport
* Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said 'Jihad of Resistance will continue with more motivation'
* Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said there would be 'crushing revenge' for the 'unjust assassination'
* President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Soleimani would be avenged by Iran and the 'free nations of the region'
* Hezbollah said: 'We will step up the victories of the axis of resistance with the blessing of his pure blood'
* Soleimani, the highest ranking general in Iran, has shaped Tehran's foreign policy throughout the Middle East
* Missiles obliterated vehicles carrying Soleimani and his Iraqi Shia militia guard near Baghdad airport
* Militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who helped besiege the US embassy Tuesday, was among the dead
* Pentagon says strike necessary to save US lives and deter future attacks by pro-Iran militants in Iraq

Iranians wept on state TV this morning as Tehran announced three days of national mourning for the terrorist general Qassem Soleimani killed in a US strike at Baghdad International Airport in the early hours of Friday.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of 'jihad' against the 'criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood', while Iraq's prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi predicted a 'devastating war' will ravage his country.

An Iranian presenter embraced army spokesman Ramezan Sharif during a tearful live broadcast as they announced Soleimani's death, the general responsible for shaping Iran's foreign policy throughout the Middle East, he was revered and loved in his homeland.

Read more ....

More Reaction In Iran On The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani

Iran to take international legal measures against U.S. for Soleimani's killing: TV -- Reuters
Iran in mourning, vows revenge for Qassem Soleimani's killing -- Al Jazeera
Iran warns of revenge for US killing of Soleimani -- Al Jazeera
'Act of international terrorism': Iran vows 'vigorous revenge' on US after Quds Force chief killed in US airstrike -- RT
Thousands march in Tehran to mourn 'beloved' military commander Soleimani, killed by US drone strike -- RT
Iran's Khamenei appoints Soleimani's deputy as new head of Quds Forces -- RT

Reaction On The Killing Of Qassem Soleimani From Iranian News Agencies

Commander of Iran's Quds Force, Iraq's PMU deputy head assassinated in US strike -- Press TV
IRGC confirms reports on Qasem Soleimani martyrdom -- Mehr News Agency
US responsible for consequences of assassination of Gen. Soleimani -- Mehr News Agency
Ayatollah Khamenei Warns of Harsh Revenge for General Soleimani's Martyrdom -- Tasnim
Iran Leader vows 'harsh revenge' following assassination of Gen. Soleimani -- Press TV
Leader vows 'tough revenge' for Gen. Soleimani's martyrdom -- Tehran Times
Leader vows tough revenge waiting for criminals over Gen. Soleimani martyrdom -- Mehr News Agency
Iran's Armed Forces vow 'punishing response' to Soleimani's assassination -- Press TV
Iran, Regional Nations to Take Revenge for General Soleimani's Assassination: Rouhani -- Tasnim News Agency
Rouhani: Nation to take tough revenge for Gen. Soleimani martyrdom -- Tehran Times
Iran's Supreme National Security Council vows due vengeance after Soleimani assassination -- Press TV
Harsh revenge awaiting US, Israeli regime: IRGC -- Mehr News Agency
US terrorist regime to bear full consequences of Gen. Soleimani's assassination -- Mehr News Agency
Iran Defence Minister: Crushing Response Awaits US for Assassination of General Soleimani -- Tasnim
Leader pays visit to family of Gen. Soleimani -- Mehr News agency
World reacts to assassination of Iran's Qassem Soleimani in Iraq -- Mehr News Agency
Russia offered condolences to Iran over martyrdom of Qassem Soleimani -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
China calls for respecting sovereignty, territorial integrity of Iraq -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
IRGC Quds Force Gets New Commander after Soleimani's Martyrdom -- Tasnim
Leader appoints Gha'ani as new commander of IRGC Quds Force -- Mehr News Agency
Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Sistani condemns US' 'vicious' attack -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
Hezbollah leader Nasrallah vows to continue General Soleimani's path -- Mehr News Agency

U.S. Airstrike That Killed Qassem Soleimani Also Killed A Powerful Iraqi Militia Leader

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 01:55 PM PST

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, pictured here on 31 December 2019 attending a funeral for members of the Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary group killed in a US air strike (Reuters)

Middle East Eye: Who was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis?

The Iraqi militia leader was killed in the same US air strike as Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani - but who was he?

The news of a US air strike targeting top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad's international airport on Friday has sent shockwaves across the region - eclipsing the death of another significant player who was among the 10 people killed in the attack.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi Iraqi militia, may have been a far less prominent figure than Soleimani, head of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force overseas wing; but Muhandis himself has a long history of involvement in military and paramilitary groups and his death highlights Iran's influence in Iraqi armed groups.

So who was the man widely recognised as the leading figure of Hashd al-Shaabi, the group which recently came to the fore for its storming of the US embassy on 31 December?

Read more ....

More News On The Death Of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Iraqi militant killed by US worked with Iran for decades -- AP
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: Iraqi killed in US strike was key militia figure -- The Guardian
Hashd deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: Iran's man in Baghdad -- Al Jazeera
Airstrike That Killed Suleimani Also Killed Powerful Iraqi Militia Leader -- The New York Times
Hashed deputy al-Muhandis: Iran's man in Baghdad -- France 24
Meet Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the terrorist killed with Qassem Soleimani -- Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Who Was Qassem Soleimani?

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 01:41 PM PST



Daily Mail: Terrorist general with the blood of THOUSANDS on his hands: Qassem Soleimani masterminded the killing of hundreds of US troops in IED attacks, helped Assad slaughter his people in Syria, was an ally of Hezbollah and 'more powerful than Iran's president'

* Qassem Soleimani killed in US drone strike on Baghdad airport late Thursday
* Quds general was seen as second-most powerful man in Iran and future leader
* He fought against Iraq during invasion of Iran in 1980, became commander of a division before he was 30, and promoted to Quds commander in 2002
* Soleimani helped Shia militias kill hundreds of US troops with IEDs, backed Assad as he slaughtered civilians, and oversaw killing of protesters in Iraq

Quds commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed Friday in a US strike, was one of Iran's most prominent figures who orchestrated thousands of killings on behalf of Tehran in attacks on the West and allies in the region.

As the head of the Quds - or Jersualem - Force of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani was officially charged with protecting the Islamic revolution, and in practice was used to enforce the regime's will across the Middle East.

Commonly known as the second most powerful man in Iran, wielding more influence than the president, he was seen by many as a future leader.

Read more ....

More News On Qassem Soleimani

Who was Qassem Soleimani, Iran's IRGC's Quds Force leader? -- Al Jazeera
Who was Qassem Soleimani, Iran's Quds Force leader? -- DW
Who is Qassem Suleimani? Iran farm boy who became more powerful than a president -- The Guardian
Who was General Qassem Soleimani? -- Press TV (Iran)
General Qassem Soleimani: key to Iranian influence in the Middle East -- France 24
Soleimani was Iran's celebrity soldier, spearhead in Middle East -- Reuters

This Is How General Qassem Soleimani Was Killed

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 01:37 PM PST

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Soleimani had just arrived on a flight from Syria, and was in a car leaving the airport when missiles from a US drone killed him



Daily Mail: How Qassem Soleimani was 'torn to shreds' by a US missile and his body had to be identified by his RING: Pentagon drone launched four rockets at car carrying Iranian general after he arrived from Syria to meet ringleaders of embassy attack

* US airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran's elite Quds Force, in Baghdad
* The attack unfolded early on Friday local time in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani
* Soleimani had just arrived in Baghdad on a flight from Syria and was leaving the airport when he was hit
* Attack also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of Iranian militias in Iraq which led attacks on US embassy

Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's Quds force, was among five people killed when an American Reaper drone fired missiles at two cars carrying him and other senior officials out of Baghdad airport early Friday morning.

The senior general, commonly known as the second-most powerful man in Iran and tipped as a future president, was so badly maimed in the strike that he had to be identified by a large ring he wore on his finger.

Soleimani had arrived at the airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This was an airstrike that deliberated obliterated the passengers in these cars. FRom what I have read, there is nothing left of Qassem Soleimani to bury.

Death Of General Qassem Soleimani -- News Updates January 3, 2020

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 01:32 PM PST



Daily Mail: Trump boasts Soleimani 'should've been taken out years ago' as he blames Iranian terror general killed in US drone strike for 'millions' of deaths and claims Iranians 'hated and feared' him too

* Donald Trump issued his first words on the killing of Qassem Soleimani
* He claimed Iranian general was plotting to kill Americans
* 'He should have been taken out many years ago!,' the president tweeted Friday morning
* Qassem Soleimani, Iran's highest ranking general, was killed early Friday at Baghdad International Airport
* US drone missiles obliterated vehicles carrying Soleimani and his entourage of Iraqi Shiite militiamen
* Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said 'Jihad of Resistance will continue with more motivation'
* President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Soleimani would be avenged by Iran and the 'free nations of the region'
* Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN Friday morning there was a threat of 'imminent' attack in the region
* The Pentagon says the strike was necessary to save American lives and deterring future attacks
* Militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who helped besiege the US embassy Tuesday, was among the dead
* Thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Soleimani's hometown in Kerman, while tens of thousands poured onto the streets of Tehran, chanting 'Death to America' and torching the Stars and Stripes

Donald Trump issued his first words on the killing of Qassem Soleimani, claiming the Iranian general killed thousands of Americans and should have been 'taken out many years ago.'

'General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself,' the president tweeted Friday morning.

'While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!,' he added.

Read more ....
Live Updates

Iran crisis: Trump says Suleimani 'should have been taken out years ago' – live updates -- The Guardian
Live: Washington says Soleimani was planning 'imminent' attack on US interests in the region -- France 24
Live Updates: Iran Vows 'Forceful Revenge' After U.S. Kills General -- The New York Times
Iran vows 'severe revenge' over general's killing: Live Updates -- BBC
Iran vows 'retaliation' after US kills top general in Iraq — live updates -- DW
Soleimani killed in US air strike: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera

Death Of General Qassem Soleimani -- News Updates January 3, 2020

US kills Iran's most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike -- AP
US kills Iran general Qassem Suleimani in strike ordered by Trump -- The Guardian
Qasem Soleimani: US kills top Iranian general in Baghdad air strike -- BBC
US kills top Iranian General Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike -- DW
Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran's Quds Force, killed in US air strike on Baghdad airport -- ABC News Online
Iran's Qassem Soleimani killed in US air raid at Baghdad airport -- Al Jazeera
The moment drone strike blew up Qassem Soleimani, two Iranian Revolutionary Guard GENERALS, a colonel and six others in Baghdad as Supreme Leader promises 'jihad' against America amid fears of 'devastating war' -- Daily Mail
Trump-ordered air strike kills Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani -- France 24
Tensions soar as Iran vows to respond for Soleimani killing -- AP
Pompeo, Iraqi parliament speaker agree on need to lower tensions: U.S. State Dept -- Reuters
No current, credible threats against U.S. homeland: DHS -- Reuters
U.S. oil workers leave Iraq after air strike on Iranian leader -- Reuters
US State Dept tells Americans to leave Iraq 'immediately' after assassination of Soleimani -- RT
Iraqi parliament to hold extraordinary session on Sunday: statement -- Reuters
U.S. senators likely to be briefed on Soleimani operation next week: McConnell -- Reuters

Editor's Note

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 07:55 AM PST

Doing a business presentation right now. A complete news roundup, reaction, commentary, and analysis on the death of Qassim Soleimani will be done later in the day.

Fire Devastation In Australia -- News Updates January 3, 2020

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 06:55 AM PST





Sydney Morning Herald: As the day unfolded: State of emergency declared as South Coast evacuations continue

* NSW is again in a state of emergency as it braces for a "very dangerous day" of searing temperatures and strong winds on Saturday.
* An area stretching hundreds of kilometres from Nowra to the Victorian border and west to Kosciuszko has been declared "leave zones".
* There have been eight deaths since Monday. They include: volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul, Patrick Salway, 29, and his 63-year-old father Robert died at Cobargo.
* There is a total fireban across NSW on Friday. More than 140 fires are still burning across the state, including three at "watch and act" level. 1365 homes have been lost, while 3.6 million hectares have been burnt this fire season.
* You can call the Bushfire Information Line on 1800 679 737 for the latest on the fires and advice on protecting your property.

Read more ....

Fire Devastation In Australia -- News Updates January 3, 2020

MAP: Here's where Australia's wildfires are currently burning -- Global News
Australia urges people to flee as fires set to surge at weekend -- Reuters
Australian authorities steer mass evacuation amid deadly blazes -- France 24
Australian PM Scott Morrison angers residents as country burns -- DW
Australia fires: Morrison heckled by bushfire victims -- BBC
Australian Prime Minister jeered by angry bushfire victims -- Reuters
Furious residents jeer Australian prime minister while on visit to wildfire-ravaged zone -- SCMP/AP
'Go on, p*ss off': Disgruntled bushfire victims hound Australian PM out of town (VIDEOS) -- RT
Scott Morrison says he won't be distracted after being abused, snubbed by bushfire survivors -- ABC News Online
Australia fires: Navy rescues stranded from ravaged Mallacoota -- BBC
Australian air force, navy preparing for 'largest ever evacuation' of people from fire-ravaged Victoria (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) -- RT
Australia fires: Thousands fleeing evacuation zone caught in gridlock -- UPI
'Worst on record': Thousands flee as Australia's bushfires spread -- Al Jazeera
Australia fires: 'more damage, more destruction' expected as visitors to southeast urged to evacuate -- SCMP/AFP
Huge Victorian bushfire and NSW inferno could 'suck each other in' forming a firestorm in a matter of HOURS as thousands are ordered to flee for their lives NOW - but for some it's far too late to leave -- Daily Mail
Dying kangaroos, destroyed homes, and cars reduced to ash: Devastating photos show Australian town in ruins after catastrophic bushfires -- Daily Mail
Incredible images show full extent of Australia's devastating wildfires -- Yahoo News

Tweets For Today

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 05:45 AM PST













Picture Of The Day

Posted: 03 Jan 2020 05:25 AM PST

Burning debris is seen on a road near Baghdad International Airport. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. air strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport. Iraqi Security Media Cell via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Editor's Choice Pictures (Reuters).

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