Iran's top general Soleimani killed in US strike

41 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:10 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Iraq says US oil workers to depart

From CNN's Kareem Khadder in Baghdad.

A picture taken in June 2019 shows the entrance of Zubair oilfield, north of Basra, Iraq, in a key oil-producing region which hosts Iraqi and foreign companies, including US company Exxon Mobil. Credit: Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images
A picture taken in June 2019 shows the entrance of Zubair oilfield, north of Basra, Iraq, in a key oil-producing region which hosts Iraqi and foreign companies, including US company Exxon Mobil. Credit: Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has confirmed that “a number of employees with US citizenship” working for oil companies in southern Iraq would depart the country “in response to the request of their government.”

“The ministry asserts that the conditions are normal in oil fields throughout Iraq. Production and export were not affected,” it said in a statement added.

Earlier on Friday, the US State Department – Bureau of Consular Affairs said American citizens should depart Iraq immediately, as a result of heightened tensions in Iraq and the region in the wake of the US attack that killed an Iranian military commander.

8:05 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Iraq’s president calls for restraint

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder in Baghdad. Written by CNN’s Sharif Paget in Atlanta.

Iraqi President Barham Salih speaks during a press conference in Baghdad in March 2019. Credit: Ameer Al Mohmmedaw/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images
Iraqi President Barham Salih speaks during a press conference in Baghdad in March 2019. Credit: Ameer Al Mohmmedaw/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

Iraqi President Barham Salih has called for restraint following the US strike that killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

“We call on everyone to exercise self-restraint, and for the voice of reason and wisdom to prevail, and to place the national interest of Iraq above all,” Salih said in a statement. 

He warned that if “reason and logic” do not prevail then “the effects of this aggression… will threaten the peace of this region and Iraq.”

Salih added that Iraqis must set aside differences “in order to protect the great national interests, and to protect the sovereignty and security of Iraq, and spare the country and the people the scourge and tragedies of armed conflicts.”

The president condemned the US strike and expressed “sadness and sorrow” over the assassinations.

7:40 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Russia warns of "grave consequences" of US attack

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Russia is “alarmed” by the killing of Qasem Soleimani and fears the attack could disrupt the situation in the Middle East, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on its official website.

“The news of the death of the commander of IRGC’s Quds Force Qasem Soleimani in a strike launched by the US armed forces at Baghdad airport are alarming," the statement reads. "Washington’s move is fraught with grave consequences in terms regional peace and stability."
"We presume that such actions do not contribute to finding solutions to the complex problems that have accumulated in the Middle East, but rather lead to a new round of escalation of tensions in the region,” the ministry added.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier wrote on her official Facebook page that such escalation will “hit millions of people.”

"To condemn attacks on their embassies, states go to the UN Security Council with a draft statement. Washington did not go to the Security Council. So, the world’s reaction did not interest them," Zakharova wrote. "They were interested in the change of the situation in the region… This will not lead to anything but the escalation of tensions, which will certainly hit millions of people."

6:59 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Oil prices surge after US airstrike

From CNN Business' Laura He and Charles Riley.

Oil prices moved higher Friday after the US airstrike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Futures for Brent crude, a global benchmark, jumped 4.3% to $69.08 per barrel on Friday. US oil futures gained 4.1%, reaching $63.69 per barrel. Both are on track for their biggest daily gains in about a month.

A picture taken on July 15, 2019 shows Iraq's Majnoon oil field, some 40 kilometers from the eastern border with Iran, north of the Iraqi city of Basra. Credit: Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images
A picture taken on July 15, 2019 shows Iraq's Majnoon oil field, some 40 kilometers from the eastern border with Iran, north of the Iraqi city of Basra. Credit: Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in a research note that Iranian threats of retaliation could mean that oil installations would be targeted.

"An indirect response is the most apparent course of action, and oil installations and tankers were my first thoughts," he said.

But Halley added that it's hard to tell whether Friday's surge will be sustained.

Read the rest of the piece here.

6:54 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

US official confirms drone use in Soleimani attack

From CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto

A US defense official tells CNN that a drone was used to conduct the strike that killed Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.

6:25 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Thousands of people are taking to the streets in Tehran

Tens of thousands of people are rallying on the streets of Iranian capital Tehran following the US air strike that killed Qasem Soleimani.

CNN reporter Ramin Mostaghim says similar rallies are underway in hundreds of cities and towns in Iran.

6:41 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Iran's Supreme Leader appoints Soleimani replacement

From CNN's Sara Mazloumsaki.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed a new leader of the country’s Quds Force military organization to replace Qasem Soleimani, according to a statement from his office published by the country's official news agency (IRNA).

Ismail Qaani has been named as the new commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force. (Handout/Iranian Leader Press Office/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ismail Qaani has been named as the new commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force. (Handout/Iranian Leader Press Office/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Major General Ismail Qaani served for years alongside Soleimani, he said, adding that the Quds Force's agenda would remain unchanged.

“General Ismail Qaani has been one of the most prominent commanders in the Holy Defense and has served with the Martyr Commander [Soleimani] in the Quds Force for many years”, Khamenei said.

”The agenda of that Quds Force is exactly the same as that [under] the martyr Soleimani, I would like to thank all of those colleagues for their cooperation with Commander Qaani, and I wish them success, approval, and divine guidance.”

6:09 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

Israel on alert for possible Iranian retaliation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cutting short an official visit to Greece and returning home following the airstrike in Iraq, according to his office. He was originally scheduled to return Saturday night. 

There's been no statement from Netanyahu yet, but his government is preparing for a possible retaliation from Iran, reports CNN's Oren Liebermann.

"Israel knows quite well that Iran could choose to respond not towards the US, but towards Israel, and that's because of the proximity of Iran's proxies and Iran's allies," Liebermann explained.

6:11 a.m. ET, January 3, 2020

John Bolton repeats call for regime change in Tehran

Former US national security adviser John Bolton has congratulated "all involved" in the killing of the influential Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, calling it "the first step to regime change in Tehran."

Bolton, a prominent proponent of the Iraq war, has publicly and repeatedly called for regime change in Tehran in the past.

In September 2019, US President Donald Trump abruptly announced that Bolton had been fired, noting that he "strongly disagreed with many" of Bolton's suggestions "as did others in the administration."