The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah said the response of the Iran-backed "axis of resistance" to the killing of a top Iranian military commander by the U.S. will be decisive, al-Mayadeen TV reported Saturday. The remarks were made shortly after Iranian official said they've identified potential targets in U.S. and Tel Aviv that can be struck in retaliation.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force and mastermind of its regional security strategy, was killed in an airstrike early Friday near the Iraqi capital's international airport that has caused regional tensions to soar.
The leader of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc in Lebanon, Mohamed Raad, was referring to a swathe of Iran-backed groups from Lebanon to Yemen which have increased Tehran's military influence in the region.
Raad said the United States "made an error" in targeting Soleimani and that they will recognize that in the coming days, the channel reported.
Additionally, Iran said it will punish Americans wherever they are within reach of the Islamic Republic in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani, Tasnim news agency quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander as saying earlier in the day.
General Gholamali Abuhamzeh, the commander of the Guards in the southern province of Kerman, raised the prospect of possible attacks on ships in the Gulf.
"The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there," he said. "Vital American targets in the region have been identified by Iran since long time ago," he added.
"Some 35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv are within our reach," he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he ordered the strike to prevent a conflict. His administration says Soleimani was plotting a series of attacks that endangered American troops and officials, without providing evidence.
An official with the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq said it has scaled back operations and boosted "security and defensive measures" at bases hosting coalition forces in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations.
Washington has dispatched another 3,000 troops to neighboring Kuwait.
First published: 13:48 , 01.04.20