World Leaders Warn of Possible War after US Airstrike Kills Top Iranian General

A number of world leaders raised alarms to the news of a U.S. airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran’s top generals of the Revolutionary Guard.

The leaders of China, Russia, and France said that they are concerned about the possibility of a new war in the Middle East. 

“We are waking up in a more dangerous world. Military escalation is always dangerous,” said France’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Amelie de Montchalin.

“When such actions, such operations, take place, we see that escalation is underway,” she added.

According to The Associated Press, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that “such actions don’t help resolve complicated problems in the Middle East, but instead lead to a new round of escalating tensions.”

China also said that it was “concerned” by the escalation of tensions.

“Peace in the Middle East and the Gulf region should be preserved,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “We urge all parties concerned, especially the United States, to maintain calm and restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the allegation that the strike made the world less safe.

“The world’s a much safer place today and I can assure you that Americans in the region are much safer today after the demise of Qasem Soleimani,” he said. 

He has also said that the action was in response to “imminent threats to American lives.” 

However, Germany showed an understanding of the U.S. airstrike, with the German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demme saying that it was “a reaction to a whole series of military provocations for which Iran bears responsibility,” according to the AP. 

“We are at a dangerous escalation point and what matters now is contributing with prudence and restraint to de-escalation,” she said.

Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Popular Mobilization Forces, were killed at the Baghdad International Airport, Iraqi state TV reported Thursday.

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