AUSTIN, Texas — On Friday, President Donald Trump said the airstrike that killed an Iranian general was "to stop a war."
The U.S. launched a strike against a convoy in Iraq next to the Baghdad International Airport that killed Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, as well as other high-ranking Iran-linked security officials.
President Trump said Friday, "Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel ..."
Following the strike, the U.S. is now sending around 3,000 more Army troops to the Middle East.
On Twitter at one point, the topic of "World War III" was trending.
"The U.S. has struck somebody who has overseen Iran's overseas military operations really for a couple of decades in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan ...," said Emily Hawthorne, a Middle East and North Africa analyst at Stratfor, an intelligence firm based in Austin. “This strike hits at something that has been an issue – a security issue for the United States and its allies in the region for many many years.”
Hawthorne said some sort of retaliation is expected.
"It will have ramifications that could turn into an even greater risk for U.S. forces, U.S. assets, U.S. targets in the Middle East region as well as their allies," said Hawthorne.
Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani tweeted, "The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime."
As for how big those ramifications will be, Hawthorne said we'll just have to wait and see.
"I don't think that we're on the brink of a massive conflict – it depends on how the cycle of escalation goes between Iran and the United States. And, right now, the ball is in Iran's court in how it chooses to respond to this action," said Hawthorne.
As for any retaliation on home soil, Hawthorne said she doesn't think there's an immediate cause to be concerned about something happening in the U.S.
“In terms of a major kinetic military action, no. There’s not a great risk of that happening at home in the United States right now," said Hawthorne.
Oil prices also surged on Friday but Matthew Bey, a senior global analyst at Stratfor, gave KVUE this statement:
"Initially we do not anticipate a major impact to Iraq's or the Middle East's oil production. Much of Iraq's oil production is deep in the south, which is where we have not seen the same level hostilities between US and Iraqi militias that we have seen in Baghdad. Nevertheless, in the long run the US and Iran's actions could spiral into a major confrontation in Iraq or possibly even a reduction in the US (and coalition forces) presence in Iraq."
KVUE also received statements from the offices of a few Texas politicians Friday.
Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement:
“The end of Qasem Soleimani is welcome and long-overdue justice for the thousands of Americans killed or wounded by his Iranian-controlled forces across the Middle East, and for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis ethnically cleansed by his militias. It is also long-overdue justice for our Israeli allies who have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists commanded by his IRGC Quds Force. The message to all those who mean harm to America is loud and clear.”
Congressman Lloyd Doggett said in a statement:
“While Soleimani was undoubtedly evil, our foreign policy must focus on protecting Americans. Trump, who claims to know more than our generals, the intelligence community, and our foreign service officers, now risks endless escalation from an aggressive and malicious adversary. Through many years of disastrous conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan—so costly in both blood and dollars, we surely know wars are easier to get into than to get out of. To avoid war, both Presidents Bush and Obama rejected assassination of this detested figure, which may well violate President Ronald Reagan’s anti-assassination Executive Order. At the very time when more Iraqis have been protesting Iranian influence, Trump’s actions strengthen anti-American forces and Iranian zealots. His recklessness has little to do with protecting Americans and everything to do with protecting Trump, the Master of Distraction. To avoid the loss of even more lives through endless escalation, we must find a better path forward.”
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