Source: Metro UK
By Zoe Drewett Friday 3 Jan 2020
The US airstrike ordered by Donald Trump killed Iran general Qasam Soleimani outside Baghdad airport in Iraq (Picture: Reuters/AFP)
The phrase ‘World War 3’ began trending after the killing of the Iranian leader’s second in command in a US airstrike. Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a bombing ordered by President Donald Trump overnight at Baghdad Airport.
After news of his death broke, the country’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei sparked fears of war after he promised ‘harsh vengeance’. Many of those tweeting about the airstrike used memes to bring light to the situation, joking about fears it could spark ‘World War 3’ – a phrase now trending on Twitter. Searches for ‘World War 3’ also spiked on Google within hours of the airstrike in Iraq overnight.
Google Trends recorded ‘Iran’ as the second most searched term in the United States, with more than 500,000 searches for the topic. Though much of the comments online mock hysteria surrounding a ‘world war’, there are real fears of repercussions following Soleimani’s death. In a tweet, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khomeinei said the ‘criminals’ responsible had ‘his [Soleimani] and other martyrs’ blood on their evil hands’. He added: ‘God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped.’
The dramatic attack came months of tensions between the US and Iran in which Tehran shot down an American military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers. This week, Mr Trump blamed Iran for a protest in Iraq which saw demonstrators break into the US embassy in Baghdad and torch the place. A destroyed vehicle on fire following a US strike on Baghdad Airport road in which top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed.