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US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been accused of committing a war crime after claims that Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was lured to Iraq, where he was assassinated by a US strike on Friday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi stated that he was due to meet the elite Quds force commander after he landed in Baghdad for talks that had been agreed at Mr Trump’s request.
Mr Abdul Mahdi told the Iraqi parliament on Sunday that Gen Soleimani entered the country with a response to a Saudi Arabian proposal to de-escalate the volatile situation between the two countries.
He said that Mr Trump had called for his assistance in mediating with the Gulf kingdom, which views Iran as its main regional rival, blaming it for attacks on its oil refineries earlier this year.
“[Gen Soleimani] came to deliver me a message from Iran, responding to the message we delivered from Saudi Arabia to Iran,” Mr Abdul Mehdi explained.
But soon after he landed in Baghdad, Gen Soleimani was killed in an attack by a US drone described by the Iraqi prime minister as “a political assassination.”
The killing has dangerously ratcheted up tensions, with fears of an imperialist bloodbath drawing regional rivals into a deadly conflict.
Mr Trump has shown no signs of restraint, restating his threats to destroy 52 Iranian cultural and heritage sites, which would constitute a war crime according to international law.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” he told reporters.
Gen Soleimani’s replacement as commander of the Quds force Esmail Ghaani vowed revenge for the assassination and to drive the US out of the region.
In a televised interview he warned: “We promise to continue down martyr Soleimani’s path as firmly as before with help of God, and in return for his martyrdom we aim to get rid of America from the region.”
Millions of people poured onto the streets of Tehran yesterday as Gen Soleimani’s casket made its way across the city.
The theocratic regime’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept as he led prayers for Gen Soleimani, describing him as “a living martyr.”
Gen Soleimani’s daughter Zeinab called for an attack on the US military in the Middle East to huge cheers from the crowd, describing Mr Trump as “crazy.”
“The families of the American soldiers … will spend their days waiting for the death of their children,” she said.
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