Erdogan says killing of Soleimani should not be left without response

TASS –  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that it would be wrong to leave the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani without response.

“I believe the killing of any commander from the top echelons of any country should not be left without response,” the Turkish leader said on CNN Turk, when asked by the host to comment on the developments around the Soleimani killing

Erdogan pointed out that in the latest phone call he asked US President Donald Trump to “refrain from escalation with Iran.”

“It is crucial now to take control of the crisis which might cause harm to all the parties concerned,” the Turkish president added.

On January 3, the Pentagon reported that a missile strike near Baghdad’s airport had killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force. According to the US Administration, the operation was defensive, as it was aimed at protecting US troops stationed in the Middle East. According to Washington, the attacks planned by the Iranian general could have led to the deaths of hundreds of Americans and Iraqis.

After the attack, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council vowed at an emergency session to exact “severe revenge” on those involved in the killing of Soleimani, blaming the US for the attack. In a telephone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bashed the attack as an act of terrorism by the US. In the letter submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday, Tehran called to “denounce that illegal criminal step” and also declared its right to self-defense.