The U.S. assassination of Iranian Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani that took place in Iraq overnight will probably negatively affect the region, analysts said.
The growing tension of Iran and the United States has led the U.S. President Donald Trump to sanction the assassination of Soleimani, who was killed along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in the strike that targeted their vehicle in Baghdad International Airport.
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani promised to "take revenge for this heinous crime" carried out by the United States.
The U.S. State Department issued a security alert Friday morning urging all U.S. citizens to "depart Iraq immediately" due to heightened tensions in the region.
This tense situation between both sides is expected to rebound negatively on the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
"The arenas that are closest to retaliation are Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon," Maher Ihsan, a political expert, told Xinhua.
He, however, shunned aside the possibility of immediate retaliation.
"Maybe there will be no immediate response but will be in a later stage and it might be an intelligence retaliation similar to the current assassination," he said.
The expert said such intelligence retaliation will take place on the conflict areas that are already hot in the region.
"As a result, the region is now so tense and the situation is at its worst because more likely settling the scores will be in this region," he said.
He noted that both powers will not attack each other as in a conventional war but they will use their intelligence tactics to hurt each other's interests.
He said that Trump has done this to support himself in the upcoming elections and to polish his image in the United States.
"Trump wants to say that he killed the leader of the IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and liquidated Soleimani. The ripple effect of such an operation will reverberate across this region," he said.
Ahmad Ashqar, another expert, said that Soleimani enjoyed considerable popularity in Iran and that the Iranian leadership will have to retaliate, as it has already threatened to retaliate.
"We have already seen big rallies in Iran condemning the U.S. move and such an angry crowd will want nothing less of a proper retaliation," he said.
The Syrian government has condemned the assassination as well, saying the assassination constitutes a "dangerous escalation" to the situation in the region.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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