Iran crisis: 'Paralysed' Tehran is powerless against United States obliteration warns expert

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Indeed, top officials in the Hashed al-Shaabi, a network of mostly pro-Iran groups incorporated into the state, swiftly began calling for the departure of USA forces.

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Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed Friday in a targeted drone strike in Iraq ordered by President Trump.

Democrats in Washington's congressional delegation condemned President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian military commander at an Iraqi airport early Friday, warning it could lead to another war in the Middle East.

MALLEY: Killing him is, for all intents and purposes, a declaration of war.

The bodies of the Iranians will then be flown on Saturday evening to Iran, which has declared three days of mourning for Soleimani.

"While I agree wholeheartedly that Qasem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States, I am gravely concerned this President's escalatory actions jeopardize American servicemembers, allies, and interests and could put us on a path to deeper, sustained engagement - once again without a strategy or clearly defined objectives", Murray said in a statement. "We have woken up to a more risky world", Amelie de Montchalin said, maintaining President Emmanuel Macron would consult soon with "players in the region".

Having served in the US Marines during the Vietnam War, Black became an outspoken critic of US involvement in Syria during his last term in the Virginia Senate. "We did not take action to start a war".

Two Iraqi security sources said the attack followed an intelligence operation in which inside sources recruited by the CIA revealed the timing of Soleimani's arrival in Baghdad and his convoy leaving the airport.

"The Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did, what the Americans did, saved lives in Europe as well", he said.

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Trump, who has adopted a hardline approach to Iran since taking office, attempted to lower tensions by insisting that he does not want war.

Around 5,200 American forces are deployed across Iraq to train and advise local troops targeting the remnants of the Islamic State group. Soleimani is also responsible for the deaths of 600 US service members.

Iraq's parliament will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday.

According to a senior State Department official, Soleimani had recently visited and was planning attacks against US interests in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.

And Lebanon's Tehran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah threatened "punishment for these criminal assassins".

Oil prices jumped more than $US3 ($A4.3) a barrel over concern about disruption to Middle East supplies.

Ramzy Mardini of the US Institute of Peace said the crisis may have been caused by a "miscalculation" on both sides, with the US overestimating the threat to its embassy.

"Rather than calming the strained tensions in the region, this action will only accelerate the cycle of violent escalation", Smith said.

Iraq's prominent Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on his militias (Army of Imam Mahdi) and "other national and disciplined" armed groups to be prepared to protect Iraq, adding that the killing of Soleimani will not weaken Iraq's resolve.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi labelled the missile strike as a "brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty and a blatant attack on the nation's dignity".

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