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The Soleimani Killing And The Implications For US And The Middle East

Protesters take to the streets following a US airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, in Peshawar on January 3, 2020.
Protesters take to the streets following a US airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, in Peshawar on January 3, 2020.
ABDUL MAJEED/AFP via Getty Images

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Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed a top Iranian general who had been the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing.

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran, which has careened from one crisis to another since President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.The United States urged American citizens to leave Iraq “immediately" following the Friday airstrike at Baghdad's international airport that Iran's state TV said killed Soleimani and nine others. The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.

U.S. cities have raised concerns that the events in Iran may elicit a domestic response. The LAPD and NYPD tweeted last night that they are monitoring the situation in Iran and are communicating with federal and international law enforcement partners.

Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with several different experts on the current situation and its significance and what comes next.  

With files from the Associated Press

We reached out the the LAPD, who referred us to the statement they sent out on Jan 2.

“While there is no credible threat to Los Angeles, the LAPD is monitoring the events developing in Iraq. We will continue to communicate with state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners regarding any significant intel that may develop. This Department is committed to ensuring the safety of our vibrant and diverse community, and we ask every Angeleno to say something if you see something.”


Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times reporter covering Iran, she tweets @farnazfassihi 

Kenneth Pollack, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on Middle Eastern political-military affairs

Mara Karlin, senior fellow focusing on defense and international security at the Brookings Institution; she has served in national security roles for five U.S. secretaries of defense 

Colin P. Clarke, senior research fellow at the Soufan Center, a global security think tank,  and Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University; he tweets @colinpclarke

Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the DC-based think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations; he tweets @aarondmiller2