Early Friday morning, a U.S. airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force and among the country's most powerful figures. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei quickly warned that "harsh retaliation is waiting" for the U.S., and analysts and experts started suggesting the ways that retaliation could take shape.
Joyce Karam, a reporter for The National in the United Arab Emirates, pointed out locations and U.S. strongholds overseas that Iran might go after.
Where could #Iran retaliate?
• Gulf states: US bases
• Gulf waters: tanks, US ships
• Iraq : US bases, Emb., oil companies
• Syria: US bases
• At Israel
• Lebanon: US embassy, at Israel
• Africa or Latin America or EU: through Hezbollah
Again, uncharted territory
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 3, 2020
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis told Bloomberg that Iran might "attempt an assassination of a very senior admiral or general." "But the one I worry about the most," Stavridis said, "is cyber," which Iran is "quite capable" of launching.
— BSurveillance (@bsurveillance) January 3, 2020
Americans were told to leave Iraq at once, suggesting Iranian militias might have been suspected of planning to kidnap them, The Washington Post's Josh Rogin noted.
Sources tell me the U.S. government was given intelligence that Iranian militias were planning to kidnap Americans in Iraq. That might help explain why State Dept ordered all U.S. citizens to leave immediate.
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) January 3, 2020
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio meanwhile said he'd work to ramp up security to protect the city from a possible attack by Iran, though other analysts and reporters haven't suggested a strike on U.S. soil is likely.