What you might have missed in the U.S.-Iran Conflict

In wake of the U.S.' attacks in Iraq on a higher Iranian official, tensions have risen between nations. Here’s what you might have missed if you haven’t been reading or watching the news.

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IRAQ SECURITY MEDIA CELL

General Qasem Soleimani, the powerful leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed by an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport

On January 2, 2020, the United States released an airstrike on a Baghdad airport, killing top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. 

Since the attack, many students at Mead High School have demonstrated concern over the possibility of this turning into another world war (though this is highly contested and a point of humor amidst many), Iranian uprisings, and even an 80 million dollar bounty placed on President Donald Trump himself by an Iranian Eulogist during the procession of Soleimani’s funeral. 

In a statement released by the Pentagon, it says that “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region…and his Quds Force [a unit that specializes in unconventional warfare] were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

President Trump has tweeted that the U.S. may target Iranian sites; however, since then, he has appeared to back away from that according to a recent press conference given by the president. If he were to go through with this threat, it may be illegal under international law. 

On January 7, 2020, as a response to the death of Soleimani, Iran launched a dozen missiles aimed at U.S. bases located in Iraq. In a briefing released that night, the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, alongside General Mark A. Milley, said, “from Iran, at least three locations launched 16 ballistic missiles…The missiles impacted at least 11 at al Asad, which was the one location impacted, and the second one was Irbil, where at least one impacted.”

At this time there are no reported casualties, and it is suspected that this was done purposefully by Iran in order to prevent further escalation. In addition to this, after the missile launch, oil prices began to soar but then dropped 5% after President Trump’s statement. 

Furthermore, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran Javad Zarif stated in a tweet that, “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.” 

It seems as though the disdain for war comes from both sides, as shown in a statement by Esper. 

“We are not looking to start a war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one,” he said, only hours before the attack. 

Some believe that President Trump has begun this Iranian conflict in response to his impeachment. Whether it be to make sure his impeachment is out of the news or because of the simple fact that during wartime, a sitting president has always been reelected

Whether the attack on Iran was a legitimate security concern from President Trump, or if it is to secure his spot in the 2020 election, blurs the lines.

 

This is a developing story with many layers of complexity; please check back for more. Below are several trusted sites we received our information from. 

CNN

CBS

The Independent 

BBC