While the US and Iran exchanged verbal attacks and tweets, an Iranian commander named General Qassim Soleimani has been killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad, according to Pentagon sources. Soleimani, who led a special forces unit called the Revolutionary Guards, has been the pride of the Iranian ruling class. Now there is talk of Iran carrying out acts of retaliation for this high profile strike. Oil prices rallied as a result with Brent crude rising $3.98% to $68.90 per barrel while US crude surged 3.87%.
The US and Saudi Arabia have been developing closer ties as Iran continues to expand its influence in the region.
Trump ordered the “precision defense strikes” on five Kata`ib Hizbollah facilities after a US civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack. This current escalation of conflict brings the US and Iran closer to a full-blown shooting war. Iran has been blamed with attacks on Saudi oil fields, one of which is the largest crude-processing plant in the world. The US, and several other Sunni majority countries have pointed to Iran for these recent attacks. Look for the US and Saudi Arabia request talks with Iran in the coming weeks.