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The Wall Street Journal

Attacks On U.S. Allies Raise Tensions On Anniversary Of Killing Of Iran’s Soleimani

Explosive-laden drones targeted Baghdad’s airport and Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Emirati-flagged ship

by Jared Malsin

Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Emirati-flagged ship, explosive-laden drones targeted the Iraqi capital’s airport and hackers hit two Israeli newspapers on Monday, raising tensions in the Middle East as Iran-aligned militias attacked U.S. allies on the second anniversary of America’s killing of one of Tehran’s top generals.

Meanwhile, Iran held a massive memorial for Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the country’s capital to mark the anniversary of the American drone strike in Iraq that killed the military leader and an Iraqi militia commander on Jan. 3, 2020.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Monday’s attacks were coordinated or backed by Iran. They came a day after Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted: “Martyr Soleimani is more dangerous for his enemies than General Soleimani.” They also followed protests by Iran-allied paramilitary groups in Iraq over the weekend.

Crowds in Baghdad chanted “death to America” and vowed to avenge Gen. Soleimani’s killing.

“Iran is trying to show that they are taking revenge and that they are strong,” said Hamdi Malik, an associate fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and an expert on Iraq’s Shiite militias. “But at the same time they don’t really want to start a war because they desperately need the sanctions to be lifted,” Mr. Malik said.

Full story https://www.wsj.com/articles/attacks-on-u-s-allies-raise-tensions-on-anniversary-of-killing-of-irans-soleimani-11641231599