US has 'right' to self-defence, says Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu after Soleimani's killing

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 03, 2020, 07.36 PM(IST)

File photo: Benjamin Netanyahu Photograph:( AFP )

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Netanyahu on Friday cut short his Greece visit after the US killed Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' foreign operations arm, in an air raid on Baghdad international airport.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday praised US President Donald Trump "for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively" to eliminate an Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in missile rain in Iraq's Baghdad.

"Just as Israel has the right of self-defence, the United States has exactly the same right," Netanyahu said before boarding a flight home.

Netanyahu on Friday cut short his Greece visit after the US killed Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' foreign operations arm, in an air raid on Baghdad international airport.

Following Soleimani's killing, Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement called for the missile strike by Israel's closest ally, to be avenged.

"Meting out the appropriate punishment to these criminal assassins... will be the responsibility and task of all resistance fighters worldwide," Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a statement.

According to a local media report, Israel's security cabinet will hold an emergency session.

In the Gaza Strip, the Islamist Hamas movement which rules the territory condemned Soleimani's killing but did not make any overt threats.

"Hamas sends its condolences to the Iranian leadership and people," a statement said.

"Hamas condemns this American crime which raises tension in the region."

In latest escalation in the Iran-US tension, the United States killed Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran's spreading military influence in the Middle East, in a strike at Baghdad airport. Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani, was also killed.

The killing was authorised by US President Donald Trump, State Department announced later.

Soleimani led the Quds Force, the foreign arm of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. He played a key role during in fighting in Syria and Iraq.

For over two decades Soleimani had been at the forefront of projecting the Islamic Republic's military influence across the Middle East.

(With inputs from agencies)

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