ON THE BRINK Will there be World War 3?

  • Latest news on Iran and US tensions By Patrick Knox, Neal Baker, Mark Hodge and Jon Rogers 8th January 2020, 7:00 am Updated: 8th January 2020, 3:57 pm THE world is on high alert with tensions at boiling point between Iran and the US over the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani. On January 8, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US forces in Iraq in its first military retaliation, but is World War 3 on the cards? General Qasem Soleimani, the powerful leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed by an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport IRAQ SECURITY MEDIA CELL General Qasem Soleimani, the powerful leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed by an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport Will there be World War Three? Iran has pulled out of a nuclear deal and President Donald Trump has threatened to hit the country harder should Iran retaliate. The president tweeted: “Should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner.” World War Three has been trending on Twitter and Google after the US assassinated Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Boris Johnson said General Qasem Soleimani had “the blood of British troops on his hands” and warned Iran not to repeat “reckless” attacks after ballistic missiles were fired at Iraqi air bases. People have been expressing serious concern across the globe that the move will cause the outbreak of World War Three as Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei promised “harsh vengeance”, “jihad” and “crushing revenge”. But Iran has said it doesn’t want war and its retaliation for the general’s killing is “now over”. Trump retaliated to Iranian threats, saying he will unleash $2trillion worth of new military equipment if US bases are targeted. Tehran pinpointed 35 “key US targets” to attack – and in response, the US has threatened to attack 52 Iranian targets “very fast and very hard” if they retaliate. Searches for “World War 3” also spiked on Google within hours of the airstrike in Iraq overnight. Google Trends recorded “Iran” as the most searched term in the UK, with more than 500,000 searches for the topic. But despite the speculation around World War Three, the US and Iran are known for their rhetoric, and it is unclear what revenge, if any, there will be. Rising tensions between Iran and the US haven’t been the only thing to cause speculation of an all-out war, however. Here’s what’s happened so far: 2020 January 8: Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US forces in Iraq in it’s first military retaliation since the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani January 6: Massive funeral processions for Soleimani flooded the streets of Iran. Donald Trump warned that the US would strike back harder against Iran if it retaliated. January 5: President Donald Trump has warned he will unleash $2trillion worth of new military equipment if Iran targets US bases, “without hesitation.” Iranian leaders have also stepped out of the nuclear deal. January 3: Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei promised “harsh vengeance”, “jihad” and “crushing revenge” on those responsible for the death of Qasem Soleimani. January 3: Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was killed by an air strike at Baghdad airport after orders from US President Donald Trump. 2019 December 31: Protesters and supporters of pro-Iranian paramilitary groups in Iraq broke into the US embassy in Baghdad, setting parts of it on fire – and Trump put the blame on Iran. December 27: A rocket attack on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk killed a US contractor, wounding several others. Two days later the US military carried out “defensive strikes” in Iraq and Syria, killing 25 people. November 15: The Iranian government abruptly raised its fuel prices by as much as 300 per cent. November 7: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of preparing “a rapid nuclear breakout.” August 17: Nuclear war between the US and Russia could plunge the Earth into a 10-year winter, if fires from ballistic missiles would throw a staggering 147million tonnes of soot and dust into the atmosphere – blocking out sunlight for years, scientists warn. June 17: Iran announced it intends to smash the strict uranium stockpile limits set under the nuclear deal. February 25: The US said it has no immediate plans to deploy missiles in Europe and has dismissed President Putin’s warnings as disingenuous propaganda. February 2: Vladimir Putin follows President Trump’s lead by vowing to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) within six months after Trump accused him of breaking the agreement. Announcing the plans, Putin threw shade at Donald Trump – suggesting he is too “immature” for meaningful talks. February 1: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US was suspending pulling out of a 32-year Cold War-era nuclear missile pact, the INF. 2018 November 29: Russia has threatened to resume airstrikes in Syria against “Islamist insurgents” as it looks as if a ceasefire deal with Turkey is about to collapse. November 25: Russia captured three Ukranian naval vessels and 23 crew members which were sailing off the coast of Crimea. June 7: Vladimir Putin said WW3 would lead to the “end of civilisation”. He said the US should stop imposing its own rules on other countries and avoid upsetting the strategic nuclear balance to avoid this. May 24: Donald Trump cancels a planned summit with Kim Jong-un, saying North Korea’s leader showed “tremendous anger and open hostility”. It comes after one of Kim’s ministers called vice-president Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” for comparing the state to Libya. April 21: North Korea says it has suspended long-range missile tests and plans to shut its nuclear test site, a day before Kim is due to meet his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in. US President Donald Trump welcomes the news saying it was a sign of “progress being made for all”. April 16: Kim Jong-un rages that Britain moving Navy ships close to North Korean waters is “nothing short of an act of war”. April 15: Boris Johnson defends “standing up for civilised values” with Syria bombing raids. April 14: Donald Trump announces a coalition of US, UK and French forces have launched a coordinated air strike. The MoD deem the mission a success. Theresa May says there was “no alternative” to military force. Russia warns that there “will be consequences” following the raids. April 12: Cabinet backed UK intervention in Syria “to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime”. April 11: Defence chiefs in Russia say they will respond “immediately” if their military units in Syria are hit in any US airstrikes. April 11: Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon has said US missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted. April 7: A suspected nerve agent attack in Douma, Syria leaves 70 dead and prompts Donald Trump to brand Bashar al-Assad an “animal” and a “butcher”. March 14: Russia said there would be retaliation if the UK implemented any new measures and a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry said Britain must not try to threaten Moscow, pointing to Putin’s recent speech in which he presented a range of new nuclear weapons. Trump has said the US sides with the UK. March 13: After the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Prime Minister Theresa May threatened to implement a range of possible reprisals against Russia. LATEST ON WORLD WAR THREE WW3 IS OFF Trump claims victory as Iran 'stands down' & warns 'campaign of terror' is over FAKE NEWS Iranian state TV claims 80 'American terrorists' were killed in missile strikes 2017 December 26: Following another round of sanctions, it was reported Kim was planning to launch a satellite which would actually mask another nuclear missile test. November 28: Kim Jong-un proudly declared North Korea a nuclear state after successfully launching a more powerful ICBM Hwasong-15. The rocket flew for around 50 minutes and travelled just over 600 miles before coming down in the Sea of Japan. October 31: US and Russian nuclear bombers fly near North Korea, while reports in Japan say a Kim regime nuclear facility has collapsed with 200 people inside. October 23: Trump has put nuclear bombers back on 24-hour alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War. October 21: Supersonic US B-1B strategic bombers zoomed over South Korea as part of an air show prompting Kim to warn the Korean peninsula is on the “eve of explosion” October 7: Trump issues chilling threat to North Korea, insisting “only one thing will work” when dealing with the rogue state. October 3: North Korea threatened “suicidal” Japan with “nuclear clouds” as it blasted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for the world to pile more pressure on the rogue state. October 1: Trump says US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is “wasting his time”trying to negotiate with “Little Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un. September 26: North Korea moved jet fighters to the coast to intercept US bombers. September 25: North Korea threatened to attack US warplanes and accused Donald Trump of declaring war. September 15: North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific,responding to new UN sanctions with its furthest-ever missile flight. September 10/11: Two Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missiles were test-fired with a range of more than 6,210 miles. September 6: North Korea promised a “redoubling” of its nuclear arsenal in response to threatened sanctions and warned the US faced “catastrophic consequences”. September 4: James Mattis, the US Defence Secretary, warned of a “massive military response” to any threat from North Korea against the United States or its allies. September 3: The West awakes to the news North Korea has detonated a nuclear device in a test. The blast triggered an artificial earthquake six times larger than any previous test. August 31: The US responded to Kim Jing-un’s latest missile outrage with a terrifying show of strength, dropping huge bombs near the North Korean border. August 29: Officials confirmed the North’s missile launch. The “unidentified projectile” hurtled over the country before breaking into pieces, according to South Korea’s military. August 28: It was reported that North Korea had fired a missile towards northern Japan. Residents were called to take immediate shelter underground. August 15: North Korea appeared to back down from an imminent strike by saying Kim Jong-un would watch “the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” before deciding whether to fire on Guam. August 12: New satellite images of North Korea bases appear to show the volatile state is overhauling its missile sub fleet. August 11: The Sun revealed Britain would play no part in a military strike on the communist state in a move that was slammed as “weak and ill-judged” by ex-Commander of British Forces Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp. August 10: North Korean state media said it was planning to launch four rockets towards the US territory of Guam. August 10: Trump declared North Korea “better get their act together” or they will be in trouble like “few nations have ever been”. He also suggested he might not have been tough enough with his previous comments on the rogue state. August 8: Trump warned North Korea faces “fire and fury” if it threatens the US – as intelligence documents reveal Kim Jong-un has made mini nukes to attach to his new rockets July 31: It was reported that Donald Trump was ready to order a military strikeagainst a North Korean nuclear weapons facility hidden beneath a mountain range. July 5: North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile which analysts say has a range of 6,700 kilometres and brings Alaska within reach. Pyongyang later said it was a “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. Trump responded with an tweet saying; “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”. June 13: North Korea threatened to nuke Trump’s home town of New York after he mocked the missile programme. May 5: Pyongyang announced it would seek the extradition of anyone involved in what it says was a CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jung-un with a biochemical poison May 11: The hermit state said that it has the right to “ruthlessly punish” any US citizens after it detained a fourth American at the start of May May 2: Kim Jong-un warned that it would be a “piece of cake” to nuke Japan – warning that those who tried to retaliate and their supports would not be safe April 28: North Korea launched a devastating attack on the US Capitol to spark World War Three in a terrifying propaganda film. April 19: Vice President Mike Pence warned Kim Jong-un the US would “defeat any attack” as he spoke to soldiers aboard a massive aircraft carrier. April 14: During parades marking 105 years since the state’s founder Kim Il-sung was born, a devastating arsenal was on show including a KN-08 rocket, thought to be capable of flying more than 7,000 miles – within range of Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC. But experts have since questioned if the weapons were genuine. April 9: A US strike force was sent towards the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula. TOPICSDONALD TRUMPQASEM SOLEIMANIEXPLAINERSNUCLEAR WEAPONSWORLD WAR 3

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