Will 2020 Witness World War III?

The hypothesis of a presumed worldwide military conflict facilitated with nuclear weapons and bio-hazards has been rife since the conclusion of World War II. The possibility of this hypothetical World War III has escalated significantly at the very onset of the new decade.

The assassination of Iranian’s major general Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and leader of the “Quds Force” by US airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport, Iraq, on January 3, 2020, orchestrated by the US President, Donald Trump, has led the two nations to lock horns against each other.

President Trump defended the airstrike by stating, “We saved a lot of lives by terminating his life. They were planning something” adding, “He was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead”. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Republican Guard spokesman General Ramazan Sharif have vowed to take “harsh revenge”, stating that the American joy at Soleimani’s death would be “short-lived”. On January 4, Trump tweeted that if Iran responded militarily, then US would target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural sites, “VERY FAST AND VERY HARD”.

As reported by the source, “Iran on January 5 said it would no longer abide by the enrichment limits in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers”, which prevented Iran from building an atomic weapon, negotiated by UNSC and Tehran. On January 8, Iran retaliated by launching missiles into two Iraqi bases housing US troops (Defence-Secretary Esper and General Milley told CBS News). Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif tweeted, “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter…We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

Soon after the official statement of Soleimani’s death was released, ‘#WorldWar3’ began trending on Twitter, followed by a plethora of memes. The war-prone Middle East is plunged into a dire sensitive condition by these recent tensions, boosted by subsequent conflicts between Iran-Iraq, Turkey-US, Israel-Iran. It is feared that these rising tensions may draw in other superpowers in a global war scenario.

As per the reports, Iran’s retaliation could trigger the Russian forces stationed in Syria to defend Iran. Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, backed Iran stressing that America “grossly violated the norms of international law”. China may side with Iran due to harsh diplomatic relations with America, while Saudi Arabia, already engaged in conflict in Yemen, may side with the US. The UK may not be able to remain a bystander due to its close military associations with America.

Though experts apparently believe that an immediate World War wouldn’t take place, they have not negated the US claim that its military is the best. Iranian retaliation is also proved that they are anywhere behind the US. The United Nations have shown their concerns regarding Iran’s violation of nuclear weapon negotiations and do not support Iran to take further military actions.

From the course of action of the past two days, we can see that both Teheran and Trump backed down from outraged war–it transpires that Iran deliberately avoids killing US personal and Trump recognized that by avoiding punitive retaliation for Iran’s ineffectual missile attack.

As the tension of anticipated war ease down a bit, but tensions between President Donald Trump and the US Congress already high over the impeachment issue – are rising with regards to war powers.

People are keenly watching the moves of both the two nations hoping that we will not have to witness World War III in 2020 or in the near future. War is not a light word, and “World War” will only end up creating piles of dead bodies.

Aishani Sarkar

An ardent literature lover with my mind constantly travelling through far-off unexplored worlds. A lover of languages and cultures--the sweetest language in the world being my mother-tongue. Chasing the Northern Lights...taking one step closer. My pen is my sword. #BongAtHeart

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