USA military prepares for possible 'tit-for-tat' strike by Iran

Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slain top general Qasem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions in his hometown Kerman

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Lawmakers also backed a motion allocating $220 million to the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards Corp's (IRGC) Quds Force to take revenge for Soleimani's death in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.

Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to hit back after Iran's attack on military bases housing USA troops in Iraq, itself an act of retaliation for the January 3 us strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

"The enemy killed him unjustly", the Revolutionary Guards' top commander, Major General Hossein Salami said, adding the process of "expelling the United States from the region has begun".

The Monday procession that was held in the capital of Iran, Tehran, gathered over one million people.

USA forces and air-defense missile batteries across the Middle East were placed on high alert overnight Monday to possibly shoot down Iranian drones as intelligence mounted about a threat of an imminent attack against U.S. targets, two United States officials tell CNN. Soleimani also led forces in Syria backing President Bashar Assad in a long war, and he also served as the point man for Iranian proxies in countries like Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Trump said Tuesday that his decision saved American lives and that members of Congress will get a briefing on the reasons for the USA attack. Tehran denied being responsible though it did seize oil tankers around the crucial Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's crude oil travels.

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, threatened USA forces in the region, according to the report. Iran has vowed revenge. The nation's Supreme National Security Council had previously - last year - designated U.S. Central Command, the U.S. military's Middle East command unit, a terrorist group.

"What we know is that the US State Secretary (Mike Pompeo), in a call to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: "We did not have time to issue a visa for Mohammad Javad Zarif and we will not issue a visa", Zarif said.

Soleimani's demise followed an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, last week, in which a pro-Iran mob attempted to storm the building.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Maritime Administration warned on Tuesday that ships in the region were at risk.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard warned the USA and its regional allies against retaliating over the missile attack against the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar province.

Reuters has reported that Iranian missile forces have been put on a heightened state of alert.

Targeting cultural sites with military action is considered a war crime under worldwide law, including a U.N. Security Council resolution supported by the Trump administration in 2017 and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.

"This is because they fear someone will go there and tell the truth to the American people". "But they are mistaken".

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said 13 "revenge scenarios" were being considered, Fars news agency reported. While it is uncertain how this will play out, one thing is for sure, President Trump threatening our supposed Iraqi allies with harsh economic sanctions, if they go through with demanding the withdrawal, is not going to do anything to help this fraught situation.

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