Iraqis hope attacks by US and Iran will ease and tensions will decrease
Iraqis hope the violent attacks by the US and Iran will ease and that moves to decrease tensions will take hold, said an Iraqi archbishop.
Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkuk, Iraq, repeated the overarching concern of the majority of Iraqis, regardless of their religious affiliation: that foreign troops stop using their shattered homeland as a battlefield to settle scores.
On 8th January, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases in what it said was retaliation for Washington’s targeted killing of Iran’s top militia commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad on 3rd January. The missiles hit the al-Asad airbase, which houses US troops, and American and coalition forces in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil, in areas not heavily populated.
“We haven’t heard anything about lives lost. Maybe it can stop here – the revenge,” Archbishop Mirkis told Catholic News Service on 8th January. “The revenge was in all the speech of yesterday…Now, that it is done, let us go to negotiate.”
Iran called Soleimani’s killing an “act of war” and “state terrorism,” and vowed “hard revenge.” Soleimani is believed to have been responsible for hundreds of US service member deaths in Iraq. He was also Iran’s main strategist in the Syrian conflict.
Picture: A man celebrates in Tehran, Iran, on 8th January 2020, after the country launched missiles at US-led forces in Iraq. (CNS photo/Nazanin Tabatabaee, West Asia News Agency via Reuters).