05 Jan 2020
Trump threatens attack on Iranian sites; US government website hacked
Written bySiddhant PandeyWorld
Trump warned Tehran against any escalation, threatening to strike important Iranian cultural sites. Shortly after, a US government website was hacked.
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday.
Trump threatens 'high-level important cultural' sites in Iran
Trump said if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the US will target 52 Iranian sites, "some at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture."
Trump said the number '52' represents the number of Americans held hostage in the US embassy in Tehran for a year in 1979.
You can view Trump's tweet here
....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level important to Iran the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
Attack on cultural sites amounts to war crimes: Expert
Colin Kahl, a former Obama administration national security official, observed that attacking Iranian cultural sites amounts to a war crime.
Kahl said, "Trump may not care about the laws of war, but DoD planners and lawyers do...and targeting cultural sites is a war crime."
Some Twitter users also pointed out that the US even spared cultural sites in Kyoto, Japan, during World War II.
Pro-Iran factions hit US installations in Iraq after Soleimani's death
Trump's flagrant threat comes at a time when pro-Iran factions have already struck US installations in Iraq.
According to Agence France-Presse, two mortar rounds hit near the US embassy in Baghdad on Saturday.
Separately, two rockets also struck the Al-Balad airbase where American troops are deployed.
Confirming the attacks, the Iraqi military told AFP that there were no casualties.
Iranian hackers breached US government website after Trump's threat
Shortly after Trump issued the threat, a US government website was hacked.
The website of the Federal Depository Library Program, run by the Government Publishing Office, was hacked on Saturday by a group identifying itself as the 'Iran Cyber Security Group Hackers'.
The hacked website displayed a morphed image of Trump bleeding at the mouth with an Islamic Revolutionary Guard fist in his face.
Hackers posted a message on FDLP website
The hackers wrote, "We will not stop supporting our friends in the region: the oppressed people of Palestine, the oppressed people of Yemen, the people and the Syrian government, the people and government of Iraq, the oppressed people of Bahrain, the true Mujahideen resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, [they] will always be supported by us."
The website has since been taken down.
Soleimani killed in US airstrike at Baghdad airport
In the early hours of Friday, a US airstrike outside the Baghdad airport killed Qassem Soleimani—the top commander of the Quds Force in Iran's Revolutionary Guard—along with Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
According to Trump, Soleimani, the second-most-powerful man in Iran, was the world's "number-one terrorist" and was killed after recent escalations between the US and Iran in the Middle East.