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Putin: US assassination of Soleimani ‘aggravates’ situation in region

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told French President Emmanuel Macron that the United States’ assassination of Iranian Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani risks “seriously aggravating” regional tensions.

“This action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region,” the Kremlin quoted President Putin as saying during a telephone conversation with Macron on Friday.

A US drone carried out an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on Friday, martyring Lieutenant General Soleimani, who was the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as well as eight other people.

Iran has pledged a “harsh revenge” on America for the assassination.

Macron said in a statement that he had held talks with Putin to discuss the situation in Iraq.

He also said in the statement that Iran should refrain from what he called any provocation.