The number of US troops injured by an Iranian missile strike in Iraq this month has risen to 64, according to new figures released by the Pentagon. US President Donald Trump had initially said no Americans were hurt by the missiles fired on a base housing US soldiers in the country’s west on January 8, for which he was accused by democrats later.
Prime Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he told US President Donald Trump that a war in Iran would be a “disaster for us”, during the World Economic Forum. PM mentioned that in his opinion this would be insanity as the issue in Afghanistan hasn’t been resolved and Iran would even be a bigger problem.
A volley of rockets slammed into an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad where US forces have been based, wounding four local troops. Eight Katyusha-type rockets landed on Al-Balad airbase, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen. Al-Balad is the main airbase for Iraq’s F-16s, which it bought from the US to upgrade its air capacities.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange was on its way to a recovery on Thursday after two days of equity loss due to tensions in the region. The benchmark KSE-100 had lost over 1,000 points in the aftermath of the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani assassination. Since Trump gave the impression that he did not want war, the panic has somewhat vanished and people are returning to the equity market, according to senior equity analyst Raza Jafri.
Unidentified planes struck targets in Syria near the border with Iraq on Friday, killing eight Iran-backed Iraqi militiamen. This is an attack that comes amid soaring tensions between the US and Iran according to Syrian activists and Iraqi officials. An Iraqi security official said warplanes targeted two vehicles carrying missiles on the Syrian side of the border.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has tasked Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi with visiting Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States, in an attempt to help de-escalate the Middle East situation. He also asked General Qamar Javed Bajwa “to contact relevant military leaders to convey a clear message: Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but it can never again be [a] part of any war.”
The Pakistan Stock Exchange shrinks after Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani’s assassination on US President Trump’s orders. It lost over 800 points to slip below the 42,000-point level—that it had managed to maintain after 15 months. By midday, the KSE-100 dropped to 41,480 points with all top active scrips, including K-Electric and the Bank of Punjab, heading downward in their share prices.
The military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said the Islamic republic’s response to a US strike that killed one of the country’s top commanders will be military. After a US drone strike in Baghdad that killed Qasem Soleimani, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge”. Similarly foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi added that Iran is not seeking war but is ready for any situation.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan will only play the role of a peacemaker and not take sides in the ongoing conflict between the United States and neighbouring Iran. He also added that Pakistan has defeated terrorism on its territory and will not allow its soil to be used against any other country.