US ready to hit 52 Iranian sites, Iran vows revenge

Jan 06, 2020, 09:30 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

Iranians raised the blood-red ‘flags of revenge’ above the holy dome of Jamkarān Mosque on Saturday. In response, US President Donald Trump warned Iran that the United States is prepared to strike 52 Iranian sites if Iran provoked. The photo shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani paying respect to the family of the Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed by an air strike in Baghdad, in Tehran on Jan. 4, 2020./ Source: Tehran UPI=Yonhap News)

By Washington correspondent Ha Man-joo 

The U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian military leader heightened risk of armed conflict between the United States and Iran.

Amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran, the South Korean government has been mulling Washington’s request for a military coalition in the Strait of Hormuz. “We are cautiously watching the recent situation in the Middle East, including the death of Commander Qasem Soleimani, and are considering various ways to contribute to the joint defense of the Strait of Hormuz requested by the United States,” a government source said on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 targets in Iran after Iran said it raised the blood-red ‘flags of revenge’ over a key mosque on Friday.

While pro-Iran Katalib Hezbollah, a Shiite militia group operating under Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), warned to attack several Iraqi bases housing nearly 5,000 U.S. forces, several rockets fell inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the United States embassy and the Balad Air Force Base, an Iraqi air base housing US troops, in Baghdad on Saturday.

Iranian state media reported that a red flag was raised over the revered Jamkarān Mosque in the holy city of Qom for the first time in the history of Iran. 

The media said the red flag is a symbol of a severe battle to come and a warning from Muslims and Iran to the enemy.

The war flag reads the words: “Those who want to avenge the blood of Hussein.” The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein was decapitated in A.D. 680 during the Second Islamic Civil War, when Muslims were fighting over who was the proper successor to their prophet. The act was met with bloody retaliation from Muslims who considered Hussein’s death unjust and sought to avenge him. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has threatened “severe retaliation” against the criminals who willed Soleimani. 

In response, the U.S. military decided to send reinforcements to counter Iran’s retaliation.

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers deployed Saturday from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Kuwait to serve as reinforcements in the Middle East, the Associated Press reported. The soldiers will join about 700 who left earlier last week.

Lt. Col. Mike Burns, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said 3,500 members of the division’s quick-deployment brigade will have deployed within a few days. 

Trump wrote on Twitter that the U.S. had already “targeted 52 Iranian sites” if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets. 

Trump said the targets represented 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran for more than a year from late 1979 after they were taken from the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

He said that some of the targeted sites are “at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture,” and warned they would be “hit very fast and hard” if Tehran struck at the United States.

#flags of revenge #Qasem Soleimani #Iran #United States #Donald Trump 
Copyright by Asiatoday