Why in News?

  • The U.S. killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, in an air strike near Baghdad airport, the Pentagon and Iran said
  • Iranian authorities have reacted with predictable vehemence at Gen. Soleimani’s “martyrdom” and vowed vengeance. This tit­ for tat between the U.S. and Iran could easily go out of hand and lead to a major confrontation in a pyretic and fragile region, with unpredictable consequences.
An influential commander • General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed on Friday in a U.S. air strike in Baghdad, was the commander of the Quds Force, the external operations wing of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps (IRGC) • For over 20 years, Soleimani directed Iran's foreign operations, which included building networks and proxies across West Asia that extended Iran's influence across its borders • The pro-Iran Shia militias that were formed under Soleimani's watch played key roles in the Syrian civil war and the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria • In April last year. the U.S. designated the IRGC as a "terrorist" group and blacklisted the Quds Force • On Friday. the U.S. said the air strikes on the Quds Force chief was carried out on orders of President Donald Trump
Road to co Tensions between Iran and the U.S. nave been steadily escalating with Washington tightening sanctions, Tehran resuming activity and a series of incidents in the flashpoint Gulf The trigger May 8.2018: President Donald Trump unilaterally pulls the U.S. out Of the Iran nuclear deal. Announces sanctions on Iran On April 8, 2019; Washington declares Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a "terrorist" group. Its Quds Which operates abroad, is also put on the blacklist Attacks on ships May 12; Four Ships, including three Oil tankers. are damaged in mysterious attacks in the Gulf that the U.S. blames on Iran June 13: Two tankers, Norwegian and Japanese, Come under attack in the Gulf of Oman U.S. shot down June 20; Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it shot down a U.S. drone. which violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz • Trump approves a retaliatory strike. but cancels it at the last minute June 24: Trump announces "hard-hitting" financial sanctions on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior Iranian military leaders July 18; Trump says the US. military has taken down an Iranian drone that came dangerously Close to one Of its naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz
Saudi Oil attack September 14: Aerial attacks claimed by Yemen's Iran- backed Hauthi rebels spark fires at two major Saudi oil facilities • Tehran is accused by the U.S. and Other powers Of being responsible but denies involvement September 20; Trump announces "the highest sanctions ever imposed on a Country", hitting Iran'S central bank Killing the commander December 29: The U.S. carries Out air strikes against bases of a pro-Iran group •n Iraq. •n retaliation for an attack on U.S. interests : Pro-Iran protesters storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad expressing fury over the strikes 'an. 3. 2020: A U.S. strike kills commander Qasem Soleimani. the Quds Force chief, in Iraq pentagon Says Trump ordered the "killing" after the siege Of the in Baghdad Baghdad Jan. 2: Soleimani and the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias •n Iraq killed in airstrike at Baghdad's international airport 'l Ile US. act of terror• ism is exnvmly dan- Dec. 31: U.S. Embassy breached by Iran -backed militias Tigris River 'Ille killing of Soleimani risks gemus. 'l lie US. bears tvsponsibilityror all consequene es of adu•nturism POREIGN danwmus escalation of violence PEmR OUS€ Of

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