The Middle East on the verge of major and wide conflict

Iran will have to pay a heavy price for the US embassy attack in Iraq: US President Donald Trump

Washington/Baghdad/Tehran: ‘Previously, Iran killed a US contractor and the United States retaliated strongly against the attack. Now, Iran manoeuvred an attack on the US embassy in Iraq. Iran is entirely responsible for the attack and will have to pay a heavy price for it. This is not a warning but a direct threat,’ US President Donald Trump asserted. The United States has dispatched a unit of 100 Marines for protecting its embassy and other interests in Iraq. However, Iran dismissed the US allegations and challenged the warning with a threat saying that it was ready for retaliation.

For the last two weeks, the Iran-backed groups, Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and Kataib Hezbollah targeted the US military bases in Iraq. After the death of a US defence contractor in an attack on a base in Kirkuk, the United States started targeting the Iran-backed groups. Given the developments, the United States has launched fierce attacks on Iran-backed militia bases.

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30 rockets target US military base in Iraq killing a US defence contractor and injuring military personnel

Washington/Baghdad: The US military base at Kirkuk in northern Iraq, came under rocket fire involving as many as 30 rockets. An American contractor was killed while a few US soldiers were injured in the attack. The Iran-backed militia, Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) is suspected of involvement in the attacks. Furthermore, the United States warned that if the Iraq government does not put a stop to the attacks on the US military bases, whatever followed would not be under anybody’s control.

The joint forces of the US and allied countries informed about the Kirkuk attack. On Friday evening, the US military base came under fierce rocket attacks with at least 30 rockets targeting the base. A weapons depot at the base was destroyed in the attack. Also, the United States and the Iraqi security agencies informed that a US defence contractor was killed, and the number of casualties was likely to rise. Later, the Iraqi security agencies traced the origin of the rocket attacks.

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8 Iranian soldiers killed during air raids in Syria, IRGC air chief narrowly escapes

Beirut: Air attacks launched on Syria’s air and military bases, claimed lives of 8 Iranian soldiers. A human rights organisation claimed that all of them were part of Iranian-backed forces. An Israeli newspaper reported, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Air Force chief, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh had made a narrow escape during the attacks. Also, Syrian media stated that Israel had carried out the attacks.

The Syrian media had reported the attacks and accused the Israel fighter jets of having carried them out. They further stated the attacks had caused significant destruction to Syrian military bases as also an Iran-backed group. However, neither the Assad regime nor the Israeli military has confirmed or denied the claims.

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Saudi-led OIC warns Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Malaysia for holding ‘Kuala Lumpur Summit’ calling it a threat to the organisation

Riyadh: To form an alternative organisation of the Islamic countries, Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Malaysia held the ‘Kuala Lumpur Summit’ and claimed the organisation would not challenge the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). However, Saudi Arabia, which leads the OIC, considers the new organisation a threat to the OIC. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the General Secretary of the OIC, cautioned that forming such new groups were not in the interest of the Islamic countries. 

Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Malaysia had indirectly targeted the OIC at the Kuala Lumpur Summit held in Malaysia. The countries alleged that the organisation had failed to unite the Islamic countries and provide them with the required leadership, but Saudi appears to have taken serious cognisance of it. OIC General Secretary Yousef Al-Othaimeen criticised the summit and said that forming such groups and holding meetings only amounted to weakening the OIC.  

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Experts say gold prices may surge 20% in 2020 after seeing a 15% rise in 2019

Hong Kong – Analysts and economists have indicated at a 20% hike in gold rates next year. Gold prices rose by 15% in 2019, the highest recorded increase in the decade. Analysts have underscored that geopolitical tensions and consistent reduction in the interest rates by the central banks of the world were the main factors that contributed to the hike. 

A trade war is ongoing for over a year between the United States and China, the world’s two leading economies. Even though a preliminary agreement to end the trade war has reached, the process has not initiated. The global economy, therefore, remains under uncertainty. At the same time, despite the confirmation on Brexit, the process is still not complete. Intense conflicts are ongoing between the Middle East states, while Hong Kong protests have only added to the instability. 

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Iranian President Rouhani calls for an independent cryptocurrency for Islamic countries to confront the US dollar and its economic domination

Kuala Lumpur: “The Islamic countries should create an independent cryptocurrency to confront the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” urged Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He further asserted that an establishment of new cryptocurrency could dampen the influence of the US dollar, considered as the global currency. Moreover, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad also reiterated the demand of an Islamic currency that he had made several years ago.  

A conference of Islamic countries has been ongoing in Kuala Lumpur wherein, Iranian President expressed the need to confront the US economic hegemony in no uncertain terms. Currently, Iran has been facing tough US sanctions presenting a myriad of challenges for the oil-rich Iranian economy. In such circumstances, the demand made by the Iranian President to fight the US dollar and its economic dominance becomes evident.  

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