Updated: January 4, 2020 11:50:32 am
The Pentagon confirmed Friday that US President Donald Trump had ordered the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Major General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike on the Baghdad International Airport. Hours later, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei said ‘a harsh retaliation is waiting’ for the US. Even as the developments came in thick and fast, people took to social media to share memes, jokes and GIFs about how World War III seemed imminent.
While many said that on the third day of the new year the world was on the edge of conflict, some in the US shared jokes. Others thought it was scary to think that a fresh war may soon become a reality.
Australia is still burning
And now world war 3 is trending
2020 is telling everyone to hold its beer
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) January 3, 2020
— fay ♡ (@gayforfay) January 3, 2020
— ᴹirzA📎 (@Suspendedceleb) January 3, 2020
— kunwar (@kunwar1ace) January 3, 2020
US Army: You can’t be drafted if you have a mental illness.
— Sean (@seanster06) January 3, 2020
My dad telling me to be brave and make the family proud after getting deployed for World War 3 pic.twitter.com/6U7W53jBqy
— Kadet † (@snillo_) January 3, 2020
Me playing dead after the first shot fired in world war 3 pic.twitter.com/hvxqOfjHgO
— Anthony (@jamaican_best) January 3, 2020
America Vs Iran
**World War 3 begins**
— Lérd Chigbo ā (@itschigbo) January 3, 2020
— Brian Odido 🇰🇪 (@odidoowen) January 3, 2020
Me going Live on Instagram during World War 3 . pic.twitter.com/WZCfAimYHO
— Seekthelord1st (@Seekthelord1st_) January 3, 2020
— Luis 🗡 (@Asvp_luis10) January 3, 2020
Me laughing at all the World War 3 jokes and memes then realizing it could actually happen pic.twitter.com/E4Uu0FpSoY
— ً (@babygirlxsinner) January 3, 2020
Everyone on twitter laughing at the world war 3 memes like pic.twitter.com/pTD2hWTqL0
— Karol (@malphhas) January 3, 2020
— cristian🇬🇹 (@cristianlazaro1) January 3, 2020
— Saint Hoax (@SaintHoax) January 3, 2020
— Eric Leinweber (@dancer_eric) January 3, 2020
Issuing a statement on the airstrike, the US Department of Defense said, “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
The Pentagon said that Gen Soleimani and his Quds Force “were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the move by the US was “an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation.” Gold and oil prices rose, while stock markets across the globe fell due to the escalating tensions.
The drone attack comes after several dozen protesters stormed the United States embassy compound in Baghdad last week, smashing windows and lighting fires, and a crowd of thousands thronged the streets outside chanting “Death to America”.
The US believes the attack on the embassy compound was directed from Tehran, and led by the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, which is different from Hezbollah in Lebanon but, like the latter, is closely aligned with the Quds Force, the overseas operations wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
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