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WW3 news: How has the world responded to the US-Iran conflict? – Express.co.uk

On Wednesday, Iran fired around 20 rockets toward US airbases in Iraq which housed American military personnel. This was in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian General - Quassem Soleimani.

A US sanctioned drone strike killed General Soleimani more than a week ago and sparked fury from Iran and fears of an all-out war.

However following the missiles hitting the US bases in Iraq, President Donald Trump gave a speech from the White House declaring very little damage was caused by the Iranian missiles, and no personnel were harmed.

Mr Trump also said: Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

However, the President pledged to immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime."

Read More:Iran-US war: Iraq furious at escalating tensions as they refuse war

The Iranian government had previously repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible.

The plane was shot down early on Wednesday, hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad. No-one was wounded in the attack on the bases.

A military statement carried by state media said the plane was mistaken for a "hostile target" after it turned towards a "sensitive military centre" of the Revolutionary Guard.

The military was at its "highest level of readiness," it said, amid the heightened tensions with the US.

"In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit," the military said. It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.

This came despite Mr Trumps calls for the UK to follow the US in abandoning the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Speaking to Rouhani Mr Johnson also spoke of the "continued detention of mistreatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals, asking for their release.

Saudi Arabia condemned Iran's attacks on Iraqi bases hosting US forces as a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty", Saudi state TV reported.

Iran fired around 20 rockets toward US bases in Iraq, but there have been no recorded fatalities and only minor damage according to US President Donald Trump.

A statement carried by the official SPA news agency said: The kingdom denounces and condemns the Iranian violations of Iraqi sovereignty.

"Saudi Arabia calls on all parties to exercises self-restraint.

Also following on from the attack on US airbases, a statement from Turkeys foreign minister said they do not want Iraq to become a battle zone.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference along with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad, Iraqi capital: We don't want Iraq to be the battle zone of the foreign forces.

In response to Iran scrapping the limits imposed on their nuclear enrichment, Germanys foreign minister called for European powers to put forward a joint response.

Heiko Maas told reporters on Tuesday: What Iran has announced is, we believe, not the right course and so we need to find a joint response.

Iran cannot build its own nuclear weapons.

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WW3 news: How has the world responded to the US-Iran conflict? - Express.co.uk

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WW3: Is World War 3 about to happen? Will there be another war? – Express.co.uk

On Friday, January 3, a US drone strike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani - triggering outrage and pledges for retaliation from Iran. World leaders called for de-escalations following the assassination US PresidentDonald Trump sanctioned, but Iran responded on Wedensday with 20 rockets hitting US bases in Iraq.

The attack - carried out on Wednesday morning - saw Iran send around 20 ballistic missiles to airbases housing US troops in Iraq.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the attack was in retaliation for the death of General Soleimani on Friday.

Soleimani was regarded as the second-most important person in Iran, behind only Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah.

Now, following his death,Iran has said it will not be respecting the restrictions laid out in the 2015 nuclear accord.

A statement released last Sunday said: Iran will continue its nuclear enrichment with no limitations and based on its technical needs.

Read More:WATCH Iran plane crash: Unseen footage shows moment of fiery blast

The head of the European Commission said on Monday that Iran must comply with the 2015 nuclear deal adding her voice to international calls for Iran to help salvage the pact that US PresidentDonald Trumpwithdrew from in 2018.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement: We are deeply concerned by Iran's announcement that it will not respect the limit set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) any longer,"

"From a European viewpoint, it is important for Iran to return to the nuclear deal. We have to convince Iran that it's also in its own interest.

Ms Von der Leyen confirmed EU foreign ministers will hold a special session on Friday.

All eyes are on the promised retaliation from Iran, who has vowed severe revenge against the US.

But after the Iranian missile attacks, the nation's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter: Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.

We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.

There has as of yet been no declaration of war between the US and Iran.

Many fear the recent attacks could be the start ofWorld War 3with the hashtags #WW3 and #WorldWar3 trending on Twitter shortly after Soleimani's death was announced.

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Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington said: "Iran has no choice but to strike back and retaliate for the assassination of Major General Soleimani.

"But the Islamic Republic is patient and the timing and nature of that strike is not yet known to us."

US President Donald Trump has published a series of tweets following Irans decision to not respect the 2015 accord.

In his tweets, he spoke of the US military being by far the BEST in the World and vowing to return any attack Iran made against the US.

Mr Trump wrote: The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World!

If Iran attacks an American Base or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!

He later tweeted: They [Iran] attacked us, & we hit back.

If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!

He also tweeted in entirely capital letters: IRAN WILL NEVER HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON!

Mr Trump reiterated this in an address from the White House on Wednesday, saying while he was in office he would make sure Iran would never possess nuclear weapons.

He called on the UK, Germany, France, Greece, China and Russia to abandon the Nuclear accord which the US withdrew from in 2018.

The US President said:"Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism.The time has come for the United Kingdom,Germany,France, Russia and China to recognize this reality.

"They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -- or JCPOA -- and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place."

Iran has now announced its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian jetliner which crashed earlier this week, killing all 176 aboard.

The Iranian government had previously repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible.

The plane was shot down early on Wednesday, hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad. No-one was wounded in the attack on the bases.

A military statement carried by state media said the plane was mistaken for a "hostile target" after it turned towards a "sensitive military centre" of the Revolutionary Guard.

The military was at its "highest level of readiness," it said, amid the heightened tensions with the US.

"In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit," the military said. It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.

Allies of both Iran and the US have weighed in on the conflict, calling for a de-escalation.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab became the latest Government figure to distance the UK from US President Donald Trump's suggestion that Iranian cultural sites could be targeted.

He said: "We have been very clear that cultural sites are protected under international law and we would expect that to be respected."

Speaking after a meeting of senior ministers to discuss the crisis, Mr Raab said: "Clearly our first priority is to make sure that UK nationals, citizens, shipping, diplomatic missions and military personnel are safe.

"We've changed our travel advice, we are going to be reinforcing in due course the Royal Navy protection for shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

"On a diplomatic front our overwhelming message that the Prime Minister and I are conveying to our European and American counterparts, and also critically our partners in the Middle East, is the importance of deescalating the tensions and finding a diplomatic way through this crisis."

However, Mr Trump has been adamant the US took action to stop a war, not to start one.

However Iranian general Esmail Ghaani, who has taken Soleimanis place as head of Irans Quds Force, has stated Iran will be taking actions against the US as revenge for the death of Soleimani.

Ghaani told Iranian state television on Monday: God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger. Certainly, actions will be taken.

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WW3: Is World War 3 about to happen? Will there be another war? - Express.co.uk

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#WW3 may be trending, but experts say its unlikely – CBC.ca

UPDATE: When we originally published this article on Jan. 8, we said there was no evidence to connect a plane crash that killed 63 Canadians in Iran to the death of Qassem Soleimani. On Jan. 9, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the plane was likely shot down by an Iranian missile. He added that it "may have been" an accident and called for a thorough investigation.

When the news came out that U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered the death of one of Irans most powerful military commanders, #WW3 started trending on TikTok and Twitter.

Many of the early posts were sort of darkly funny, using the idea of a Third World War as the inspiration for a series of gloomy memes.

But as the situation started to escalate, some people got scared.

Turns out, that whole #WW3 thing? Not likely to happen any time soon, many experts say.

There will be no World War Three due to the current confrontation between Iran and U.S. - Political scientist Houchang Hassan-Yari

But lets back up. Why was #WW3 trending in the first place?

Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3.

Why? The U.S. Defence Department said Soleimani had approved plans to attack Americans in the past and was preparing to do it again.

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke about the attack on Soleimani to the media on Jan. 3. He said it wasnt an act of war, but a way to prevent it. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Iran called it an act of terrorism and promised revenge.

On Tuesday, the Middle Eastern country retaliated by firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases where U.S. soldiers were staying.

No Canadians were hurt in the attack, even though Canada has about 500 troops stationed in Iraq as part of an effort to fight a militant group called ISIS.

That mission is now on hold until Canada can ensure the safety of its soldiers.

The U.S. and Iran have been enemies for a long time and their relationship had become worse in recent months.

Some are suggesting these recent attacks could cause even more damage to that relationship.

But dont panic.

There will be no World War Three due to the current confrontation between Iran and U.S., said Houchang Hassan-Yari, a professor emeritus in political science at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont.

The conflict is confined to a small part of the world, he told CBC Kids News.

Also, many of the more powerful nations on the planet arent directly involved, Hassan-Yari said. There is no desire among big powers to confront each other.

BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus echoed that idea when answering questions from the public online.

The fact that countries like Russia and China are not significant players in this drama will help ensure the conflict doesnt get too big, he said.

This will not prompt World War Three, said Marcus.

Some people are taking to the streets in the U.S. and Canada to voice their concerns about the increased tension between the U.S. and Iran. (Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune/The Associated Press)

The CBCs Nahlah Ayed, who has reported on a number of clashes across the Middle East, also said the fact that both Iran and the U.S. are heading into elections soon means all-out war isnt likely.

Still worried? Here are some tips for dealing with sad or scary news.

On Wednesday, 63 Canadians were killed when a plane crashed shortly after leaving Tehran, which is the capital of Iran.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said evidence suggests the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile and it may have been an accident.

Iranian officials have denied any involvement.

The investigation continues.

With files from CBC News, The Associated Press

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#WW3 may be trending, but experts say its unlikely - CBC.ca

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How Americans and Iranians are using memes and hashtags to cope with conflict – CNN

That's right, memes, those images you see on social media that are created, shared, remixed and shared again.

A cursory glance at any of the content posted there is sure to leave the impression of a disingenuous and foolhardy person. But a deeper look reveals a far more complex portrait of a people using humor to mask their deep sense of dread.

One person familiar with the feeling is Kate Hewitt, a federal contractor and adviser at Girl Security, a nonprofit organization that educates girls in middle and high school on national security. She has authored several articles on Iran and researched the country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"People are certainly afraid and sometimes pictures, GIFs, memes and tweets can express what you either don't know how to or don't want to fully articulate," she told CNN.

"It's certainly easier for some people to see a meme that takes a serious issue, like what's happening with rising US-Iranian tensions, and makes you laugh either because it is absurd or you're afraid or you don't fully understand the issue," Hewitt said.

The threat of "WWIII" has loomed large on the internet for years

The subreddit languished for more than two years until a week ago. The forum's growth has been extraordinary, Price said.

"It was a huge shock. I actually completely forgot about the subreddit until it started growing last week," Price told CNN. "I think memes just happen whenever there's a big cultural event, regardless of the nature of it. A few years ago, a movement seemed to start where the darker the joke was, the more popular the meme was and I guess these new ww3 memes are just an extension of that."

Withorne cited the overuse of "the draft," instead of "conscription" or "selective service" on Twitter, and how people feared getting called up to serve in the US military.

"I think the language used specifically in the memes is particularly interesting and perhaps indicates that the people making them are not familiar with international conflict," Withorne told CNN via email. "I think this unawareness of the linguistics they are using is indicative of an unawareness about the nature of conflict itself and could be potentially dangerous as tensions continue to rise."

The simmering tension in the Middle East hits close to home for Iranians

While many Americas are using memes to filter their fears, Reza Akbari, a 22-year-old from Mashhad, Iran, used his Twitter account to share his unadulterated feelings.

Many of Akbari's other tweets include anger over the airstrikes that killed Soleimani, a revered and powerful figure. Soleimani loomed large in Iran as the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps elite Quds Force and the leader of the country's overseas operations.

"Still tears streaming down our eyes with his name and his memory ... and only with a vengeance on his killers Iran will lose a bit of our sadness ...Iran have nothing to do with the common people of US. Iran is taking revenge on US politicians," Reza told CNN through a Twitter message after the funeral.

Hannah Kaviani, a journalist at Radio Farda, the Iranian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, believes that recent history may explain why Iranians have responded on social media in their own way.

Iran, no stranger to military conflicts, has lived under the threat of war before.

"There are still pictures of soldiers of that war on the walls of cities and many streets around town bear their names. The state media is also very much trying to keep that memory alive through its own propaganda tools. But then I also think youth in Iran, due to so many different reasons, get involved in socio-political matters much sooner than in the West," Kaviani said.

"You see jokes going around on social media and messaging apps, about all sort of heavy news coming from inside and outside of the country," Kaviani told CNN.

"Obviously the talk of heightened tension between Iran and the US in the past days is the number one topic being discussed among Persian-speaking users on all platforms, and it has caused hot debates among those who believe a confrontation with the US can rid Iran from its current regime, those who are against war, and others who think Islamic Republic should confront the US."

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, Zachary B. Wolf, Amir Vera and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this story.

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How Americans and Iranians are using memes and hashtags to cope with conflict - CNN

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World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2020 – Express.co.uk

World War 3 concerns have been triggered worldwide following the death of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike. In response, Iran has sworn to exact harsh revenge, promising Iran and the other free nations of the region will take revenge for this gruesome crime from criminal America. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide for the flashpoints where World War 3 is most likely to erupt in 2020.

On Friday, January 3, the USA undertook a drone airstrike following a series of orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the past few months and attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad, all of which was done on the orders of General Soleimani.

US President Donald Trump approved of the assault on General Soleimani claiming the action was undertaken to make the world a safer place.

In a statement, the Pentagon said: At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani.

It added: This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.

The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

Now Iran has sworn harsh revenge and promised to turn day into night.

This assassination has been dubbed by many high-ranking Iranians a declaration of war.

Donald Trump has warned the US could act disproportionately if Iran targets any American person or target in revenge for the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani.

READ MORE:Iran attack: Ukranian plane shot down accidentally, says US

Tensions between Iran and Israel have been frustrated for a while with low-intensity warfare raging across the Middle East as a result.

The former nation supports anti-Israel groups in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon in particular, while Israel often strikes at Iranian forces across the region.

Overall, Israel has endeavoured to create an anti-Iran coalition at a diplomatic level, while Iran has invested in cultivating ties with militias and non-state actors.

While it may be difficult to claim these nations will launch into a wider war if Iran is determined to restart its nuclear program, Israel may choose to engage in wider strikes hitting the Iranian homeland directly.

This type of assault could have wider implications as it could prove to be a threat to global oil supplies which would inevitably cause more nations to intercede.

Tensions between the US and Turkey has heightened over the past year, initially as a result of the US providing authorisation to Turkey to clear the Syrian border of US-supported Kurds.

However, immediately afterwards, the US threatened Ankara with sanctions, causing tensions to rise.

Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested he has aspirations for Turkey which could involve nuclear weapons.

As a result, the state of the US-Turkey relationship has worsened, causing fear about the subsequent impact on the NATO alliance.

President Erdogan is known for being passionate about his plan which could force Washington and Ankara to the very edge and have a result on Russia who is a neighbouring nation.

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In the past 10 years, the relationship between India and Pakistan has worsened, bringing the countries to the brink of war.

Since the partition of British India in 1947 and the subsequent creation of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts and military stand-offs interspersed with periods of harmony and peace.

In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempted to reduce the autonomy of Kashmir and to change citizenship policies within the rest of India.

These steps have caused some unrest within India and highlighted the long-standing tensions between Delhi and Islamabad.

Further domestic disturbances in India and Pakistan could lead to World War 3.

While this is unlikely, it could lead to terrorist attacks internationally or in Kashmir.

President Modi might then feel forced to bring on a more serious conflict and given Chinas vicinity, and the growing relationship between Delhi and Washington could lead to more disastrous international implications.

Fundamental tensions at the heart of the US-North Korea relationship could result in combative action.

Tensions between the two countries now stand as high as at any time since 2017, and the impending US election could imperil relations further.

President Trumps administration appears to hold out hope a deal with North Korea could improve its electoral prospects in November.

But North Korea has little to no interest in Mr Trumps offering.

Recently, North Korea promised a Christmas present that many in the United States worried would be a nuclear or ballistic missile test.

However, this was not the case, but if the country did undertake a nuclear test, the US might be forced to intervene.

The US-China relationship has been particularly tense in recent years.

A trade deal between the two countries would seem to alleviate some tensions but implementation remains in question.

Currently, the worlds two largest economies are locked in a bitter trade battle.

The dispute, which has simmered for nearly 18 months, has seen the US and China impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of one anothers goods.

President Trump has long accused China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft, while in China, there is a perception that the US is endeavouring to curb its rise as a global economic power.

At the same time, China has worked defiantly to assure its relations with Russia, while the US has sparked controversies with both South Korea and Japan, its two closest allies in the region.

Donald Trump and President Xi have staked much of their political reputations on the trade situations in each country and therefore both have incentives for diplomatic and economic escalation.

If the situation were to escalate, it could lead to military confrontation in areas such as the South or East China Seas.

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World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2020 - Express.co.uk

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WW3 news: What are the rules of military conscription? Who is exempt? – Express.co.uk

World War 3 has trended on most social media websites and Google since Friday last week when a US drone strike killed Irans top military General Qasem Soleimani. The General was responsible for commanding Irans extraterritorial military presence, and his death prompted a severe reaction from the country, which has vowed swift revenge.

Military conscription is an aged concept, rarely used outside of times of national crisis.

Conscription is otherwise known as the draft and compels people into military service during war.

Several countries have a permanent draft in place, while others only use it in times of crisis.

In countries where it isnt currently active, such as the US and UK, governments can introduce the draft.

In the UK, the draft was introduced on two occasions, during World War One and World War Two, while the US kept the draft until 1973.

Traditionally, those eligible for the draft comprise of men aged 18 to 25, with women ineligible.

However, rules can vary by country.

READ MORE:WW3: Is it safe for Britons to travel to Turkey?

The US modern-day military is currently an all-volunteer force, and has approximately 1.2 million active-duty troops.

To change this, Congress would have to pass a law reinstating the draft, and the president would have to sign it.

These are actions which would likely need extensive political support.

All men from 18 to 25 years old in the United States are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS).

The SSS was founded in May 1917 and has minimal practical effect today due to the voluntary nature of the military.

Many men check a box to register when receiving their drivers license, and others sign up when they apply for federal student aid to go to college.

However, just because you have registered does not mean you will be drafted.

Jennifer Mittelstadt, a professor of history at Rutgers University who has studied the military told the New York Times: Right now, registering for selective service really means nothing about the likelihood of you serving in the current military.

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With most active drafts, there are conditions which exempt people from compulsory service.

If a government introduced a military draft, it would also need to issue a classification programme specifying who would not need to serve.

The same programme would also define the various forms of service people might have to perform.

According to howstuffworks.com, people deemed fit to serve immediately in the US will receive an induction notice and classified as 1-A.

In the US, an induction notice would then come from the SSS.

If people deemed 1-A have good reason not to serve, they have 10 days to file a reclassification claim.

To do so successfully, they must fall within one of several outlined groups.

According to the SSS, the following groups are exempt from service:

- High school students: Younger than 20 and in full-time education

- College students: Seniors may postpone for a year, freshman, sophomore and juniors until the end of the semester

- Religious ministers: Must be practising

- Ministerial students: Full-time students working to become an ordained minister

- Armed forces members on active duty

- Men with dependents: Men with dependents can defer the draft if it would cause hardship for those they look after

- Government officials: Judges and elected officials are deferred

- Non-citizens and dual nationals

- Conscientious objectors: Those strongly against war for moral or religious reasons

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WW3 news: What are the rules of military conscription? Who is exempt? - Express.co.uk

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World War 3: Is World War 3 official? Will WW3 happen and will the UK get involved? – Express.co.uk

In the aftermath of the drone strike, World War 3 has been trending across social media.

Millions have expressed concern about the assassination and whether it could become the trigger for World War 3.

General Soleimani. 62, was responsible for commanding the Quds Force and attained celebrity status as a military mastermind for Irans war efforts in Syria and Iraq.

Since his death, several high-ranking Iranians have condemned the execution of General Soleimani.

The countrys President, Hassan Rouhani, promised Iran would continue to resist American expansionism and take revenge on the dead generals behalf.

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami said: A crushing revenge will be taken for Soleimanis unjust assassination... We will take revenge from all those involved and responsible for his assassination.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: The US act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani... is extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.

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WW3: Britons in this country urged to leave immediately as FCO issue new travel warning – Express

World War Three is alarmingly seeming more likely than ever as Iran/USA tensions boil. The Iranian crisis escalated after the USA killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike. Iran threatened severe revenge in response and on Tuesday Tehran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases home to American troops.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard went on to warn the USA and its allies against responding militarily to any Iranian retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani.

The Guard issued the warning via a statement: We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted, reported Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.

As tensions rise, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated their travel advice to affected areas.

A number of countries in the Middle East now come with travel warnings, including Dubai, Turkey and Egypt.

READ MORE:World War Three: Safest countries in the world mapped

Today, the FCO issued an urgent warning to Britons in Iran and urged them to return home.

They now warn against travelling to the country. The FCO said: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Iran.

Additionally, the FCO advise against all air travel to, from and within Iran. If youre in Iran, you should review your departure options and consider leaving the country.

There are heightened tensions in the region. On 8 January 2020, Iran fired missiles against two military bases in Iraq containing US personnel.

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Tensions between Iran and other countries could escalate rapidly. Anger inside Iran is high, following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests and the security situation could worsen with little warning.

To add to the escalating tensions, a Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed moments after it left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran at 6.10am local time (2.40am GMT) on Wednesday, bound for the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. There were 176 passengers on board flight PS752, all of whom died.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since said he has "a body of information" that shows Iran is to blame for the crash.

However, Irans government spokesperson Ali Rabiei has since denied the country is responsible for the crash.

He said reports that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane is a psychological warfare against Tehran.

The FCO said of the tragedy: There is uncertainty surrounding the crash on 8 January of a Ukrainian International Airlines flight shortly after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran.

If you decide to travel by air against FCO advice, contact your airline or travel company for the latest information before travelling.

Flight schedules may be subject to cancellation at short notice. There are alternative land and sea-based routes to leave Iran.

The Foreign Office issued advice to anyone still in Iran at this time. In the event of a sudden deterioration in the security station, there may be limits to the assistance the FCO can provide, depending on the security and transport situation, said the FCO.

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WW3: Britons in this country urged to leave immediately as FCO issue new travel warning - Express

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World War 3: Iran may OVER-RETALIATE in swift attack to send ‘severe’ warning to US – Express.co.uk

Relations between the US and Iran continue to deteriorate as the world waits on how Tehran will enact their revenge on Washington. International Crisis Group Iran Project Director Ali Vaez argued that Iran may disproportionately retaliate against the US. While speaking on Bloomberg Mr Vaez warned of a similar incident where 280 Americans lost their lives in an attack on a US Barracks in Beirut in 1983.

Mr Vaez said: There is no doubt that the Iranians will retaliate.

The important question is when and where.

Usually Ayatollah Khomeinis modus operandi is that he would respond in a proportionate fashion.

So we might see a response in Iraq against the senior US military or diplomatic official.

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If that option is not open then we might also see a similar action taken somewhere else in Afghanistan or even beyond the Middle East.

There is also the risk that the Iranian might miscalculate thinking that a disproportionate response would be a better option for them.

Something similar to the attack on a U.S Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed more than 280 Americans.

This is because it would deter the US from further escalation and without any doubt, this is a very dangerous moment.

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World War 3: Iran may OVER-RETALIATE in swift attack to send 'severe' warning to US - Express.co.uk

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WW3 devastation: The terrifying moment Iran’s missiles attacked US airbase released – Express.co.uk

Iranian state television has now released a video of what it says is a ballistic missile attack launched at US military forces in Iraq. The Pentagon has confirmed that missiles were launched from Iran. The missiles targeted at least two Iraqi military bases which hosted American soldiers and coalition personnel.

The two bases were al-Asad and Erbil.

The attack comes just days after the US confirmed it killed General Qassem Suleimani.

Suleimani was the head of Irans elite Quds force.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards claim the attack was in retaliation to the assassination of the Iranian general.

The video shows missiles being fired into the night sky, leaving trails of smoke.

US officials released a statement that more than a dozen ballistic missiles were fired at US troops at two Iraqi bases.

At the present time they are working on initial battle damage assessments.

Although no official report has yet been released on the number of fatalities, it is expected to have had a major impact upon the bases.

READ MORE:Trump popularity soars after Iran attack - Will he win 2020 election?

A US government statement said: It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at Al Assad and Erbil.

We are working on initial battle damage assessments.

These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.

As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measure to protect and defend US personnel, partners and allies in the region.

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WW3 devastation: The terrifying moment Iran's missiles attacked US airbase released - Express.co.uk

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World War 3 fears: Are airlines travelling to the Middle East? – Express

Many airlines across the UK are keeping a watchful eye on the rising tensions across the Middle East, following a US airstrike which targeted and killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

As it stands, most airlines are continuing with flights to and from the region.

A spokesperson for British Airways told Express.co.uk that their teams are closely monitoring the situation and our flights are operating normally".

An Emirates spokesperson echoed similar sentiments, commenting: Emirates flights are continuing as scheduled and we are monitoring the situation.

Virgin Atlantic added that their safety and security is their number one priority they will continue to monitor all air space closely and make adjustments to our flight paths if necessary".

Concerns around travelling to the Middle East escalated after US military launched a drone attack on a group of Iranian militants, which targeted and killed Iranian military leader Major General Qassem Soleiman.

READ MORE: World War 3 warning: Iran in line to unleash 'disastrous' response to US attack in Israel

Since his death, protests have sparked across the region, with reports stating that crowds have been heard chanting: Death to America.

While flights are continuing to travel to and from the Middle East, some airlines have faced delays.

Passengers flying between the UK and India were delayed by more than 36 hours over the weekend, with airline TUI citing airspace restrictions in the Middle East as the cause.

The flight - which took off from London Gatwick to Goa shortly after 6am on Monday - was due to depart on Saturday evening.

DON'T MISSWorld War 3 MAP: Which countries are allies of Iran and the US amid fears of WW3?World War 3: Is World War 3 official? Will WW3 happen and will the UK get involved?World War 3 MAP: Which countries are allies of Iran and the US amid fears of WW3?

According to The Independent, TUI told passengers on flight TOM30: "Due to recent political issues in the Middle East, this has resulted in airspace restrictions along the route of your flight."

Reports suggest the airline didnt not clarify what restrictions are in place.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson for Tui said: TOM030, Gatwick to Goa and TOM031, Goa to Gatwick were delayed due to flying restrictions along the intended route. The safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority.

The revised time of departure for TOM030 was 07:00 (local) on Monday 6th January and TOM031 at 23:20 (local) on Monday 6th January.

All customers were being looked after in hotels until the new flight departure and we can confirm both flights landed safely.

As a result of the delay, TUI said it would compensate each passenger, paying them 600 (513) under European air passengers rights rules.

The European air passengers rights rules state that if a flight is delayed at departure, a person has the right to assistance, reimbursement and a return flight depending on the duration of the delay and distance of the flight, according to the European Union (EU) website.

They add: If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than three hours, you are entitled to compensation, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.

The airline has to prove this by providing, for example, extracts from logbooks or incident reports. The air carrier should give this evidence to the relevant national enforcement body as well as to the passengers concerned in line with national provisions on access to documents.

While a 36-hour flight delay is particularly long, many have taken to forums to discuss the shocking delays theyve experienced.

In a forum on TripAdvisor, one user detailed a delay that left her family stranded in Morocco for nine days.

Having travelled there last April for four nights, an ash cloud descended, and the holidaymaker explained that the first available flights were nine days later.

Many shared that they had been delayed for up to 96 hours in countries including France, Brussels and Spain.

I was totally abandoned in Brussels three years ago due to fog. No alternative transport offered and no one to ask when the next flight leaving would be, another user revealed.

We found out later that the next scheduled flight was four days later and it was full. Cost me 900 euros to get my family home.

Whats the longest delay youve had to endure? Email leahsinclair@reachplc.com to share your story.

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World War 3 fears: Are airlines travelling to the Middle East? - Express

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These 30 WW3 memes are the only way to get through this chaos – The Tab

Can I speak to the manager of Iran?

In case youve been living under a rock, Donald Trump ordered an air strike on Iran on Friday, that killed Irans General Qassem Soleimani and Iran have threatened to strike back against the US, and now WW3 memes are a thing.

These decisions have led many people on Twitter to believe that we are heading to World War three.And of course there are many memes to get us through this troubling political time.

Some Twitter users have criticised the creations of these memes, stating that war is not funny and has serious consequences.

Obviously it is a very serious issue but people on the Internet have decided to make the best out of a bad situation and bless us all with some quality memes to get us through the day.

Weve rounded up the best memes that are essentially the best coping mechanism for dealing with a potential global catastrophe.

Featured Image Credit: Gage Skidmore /Creative Commons Licence

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These 30 WW3 memes are the only way to get through this chaos - The Tab

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Even as Iran & US flex muscles, here are three reasons why World War 3 isnt happening – Republic World – Republic World

The past few days have borne witness to a whirlwind of excitement in the world of geopolitics- excitement born out of a sense of collective fear and negativity. Twitter users around the world woke up on the January 3, 2020, to see #WWIII as one of the top social media trends. Yet despite the collective globalfear about the developments in Iran immediately following General Qassem Soleimanis assassination, the concerns about WW3 may well be unfounded. The stakes are high, and the potential for a limited war is extremely likely. Yet, to say that the Third World War is inevitable is incorrect- and this is not the result of the publics futile hopes for a diplomatic solution, but a ground reality based on fact.

READ |Major Gaurav Arya's LIVE Blog: No One Wants This War Except...

Following last nights missile strikes on Al-Asad Air Base in northern Iraq, the Iranian government issued a series of threats against a variety of US allies in the Middle East. The two most outlandish and quoted of these threats have been against the UAE and Israel, with Tehran threatening to use Hezbollah militias to conduct terrorist attacks in Dubai and Haifa respectively. The escalating rhetoric from both Washington and Tehran at first glance may appear to be a call to arms, but a deeper look shows that it is really just coded calls for restraint aimed at one another. Iran hopes that its escalating talk of war and violence will pressurise American allies in the region to a point where they have to work together to prevent Donald Trump from deploying ground troops in Iran, thereby ending the looming threat of World War Three.

READ | With the world on tenterhooks over Iran-US escalation, AAAs the magic word for Imran Khan

Despite Washingtons best efforts to gather support for its cause among allies, it is highly doubtful as to whether or not they will concede to the USAs demands. It is true that most of the USAs major European allies- Britain, France and Germany- have all faced off with Iran in the past year or have outstanding differences with Tehran. The UK had a tense face-off with Iran in July 2019, following Britains detention of an Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, on the charge of evading sanctions and smuggling crude oil to Syria. Iran responded with the capture of British ships Mesdar and Stena Impero. After two months of tense negotiations, both sides relented and the ships were freed.

After such a showdown, caused as a result of Whitehall pursuing American national interest on the basis ofLondons Special Relationship with Washington, the UK will try to not become involved in a military confrontation with Iran. With the UK poised to leave the EU on theJanuary 31, PM Boris Johnson will not want anything to distract from Brexit, viewed by many in the Conservative Party as Johnsons greatest political triumph.

France has already expressed its concern about the escalating tensions between the USA and Iran. France and Iran had a severe diplomatic spat in late 2018, with France publicly declaring that Irans intelligence agencies were involved in an attempted bomb plot in Paris aimed at targeting a meeting of Iranian dissidents. Responding in 2019, Iran jailed two French academics on charges of espionage. The charges against the duo were dropped in January once France proposed to solve the US-Iran standoff diplomatically.

READ |Amid Speculation Over Plane Crash, Iran Decides Not To Hand Over Black Boxes To Boeing

While France continues to push for a diplomatic solution, it has still strengthened the security levels for the 160 French troops deployed in Iraq. However, this is little but a token gesture, aimed at creating a facade of apparent NATO unity while refraining from getting involved in what is viewed as an American war.

Finally, Germany refuses to become entangled in any war against Iran. While Germany did voice support for the American assassination of General Soleimani, and was criticised by Iran for it, it is averse to supporting President Trumps military activities against Iran. In fact, Germany has rapidly started withdrawing some of its troops from Iraq already.

The different lines of action being taken by France and Germany indicate that there is fractured support for war against Iran among NATO members. And despite certain shared views on the matter, no European ally of the USA is willing to go to war with Iran.

In the case of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the USAs main regional allies, neither of them want a conventional war with Iran either. Despite the tensions between the USA and Iran, UAEs Energy Minister has rubbished what he calls exaggerations regarding WW3. Yet the UAE is quietly working on securing its oil routes in case war does break out- and even if it doesnt the actions the UAE is taking now will increase its standing as a regional power. The UAE has started quietly lobbying in Washington so that an Emirati company, DP World, is given the contract to invest in a construction project in Port Sudan. Such an investment will allow the UAE to transport oil via the Red Sea, and through the Suez Canal and Bab-el Mandeb strait to markets in Europe, Asia and beyond. In case of war, the Straits of Hormuz will be blockaded- which would otherwise have left the UAE in a lurch.

READ |Iran repeats S.O.S for 'friendly' India's intervention after targeting US with rockets

From a strategic standpoint, war is not a feasible reality for the USA. The only two routes into Iran are through the south and north. A US landing in southern Iran would face the full might of the Iranian navy, and even then the invading American troops would have to traverse across wide desert and mountains to reach Tehran in the north. The invasion would also see widespread destruction in major Iranian port cities, such as Chabahar, where India is working on a port project. An invasion from the north would require American bases in Central Asian countries such as Turkmenistan, which are firmly part of Russias CSTO bloc. With the current tensions between Russia and the West, it is unlikely that the US will have this opportunity. An invasion from the west is most likely, since US forces in Iraq would be able to move eastward toward Tehran. Yet still, the terrain is rough and Tehran is extremely far away. Additionally, the western Iranian province of Khuzestan has borne witness to a decades-long separatist insurgency by the Sunni Arab population dominating the province. Violent interactions with invading American troops could quickly spiral into a Wahhabi insurgency funded by Saudi money.

In conclusion, chances - if at all - of even a localised conflict spiralling into the Third World War may be remote.Despite what one might like to excitedly proclaim to ones friends, the real possibility is either a violent skirmish or an intense diplomatic showdown where both sides - Trump especially - may be able to walk away claiming a victory for the galleries.

It is, and will be, peace in our time.

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Even as Iran & US flex muscles, here are three reasons why World War 3 isnt happening - Republic World - Republic World

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Are we heading towards WW3? – Your Local Guardian

The threat of a major escalation in Iran-US tensions appears to be rising following the death of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Iraq. General Soleimani, 62, was responsible for commanding the Quds Force and attained celebrity status as a military mastermind for Irans war efforts in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon has accused Soleimani and his infamous military unit of being terrorists, and claims Soleimani was developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in the region, reports the BBC.

The killing has sparked a wildfire of fears across social media of a possible World War 3. A question many have is Are those fears justified.

Tensions have been growing between the US and Iran since 2018 when Washington announced it was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. An independent US report warned that an all-out war was impending with Trump deciding to surround himself with hardliners in his administration. Those fears have been stoked by the killing this week of Soleimani in a drone strike on Baghdad International Airport. President Donald Trump, who ordered the attack, tweeted an image of the US flag shortly after the news broke. It appears that Trump is unlikely to back down from this situation meaning chances of World War 3 are increasing day by day.

Another question many are asking is Are the UK likely to get involved

The UK has a history of diplomatic issues with Iran dating back to when they seized the Iranian Oil Tanker Grace 1 after discovering it was transporting oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions. However, I believe this history of disputes does not necessarily mean the UK is likely to get involved. At the current time, the US is a far greater threat and priority to Iran than the UK and Im sure leaders in the UK would like to avoid war at all costs.

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Are we heading towards WW3? - Your Local Guardian

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World War 3: Medical conditions that could save you from conscription if WW3 broke out – Daily Star

In the week where the United States killed Irans top general, the internet has reacted in its typical style and World War III memes have taken over social media.

100 years on from the First World War, which saw 886,000 British people lose their lives including 70,000 civilians, many have been wondering about how forced conscription would work in the modern age.

In 2020, sex discrimination is illegal and so many have been wondering if women would be drafted into the army alongside men.

Subsequently people have questioned what would happen to children.

The obesity epidemic alongside a heightening awareness of mental health disorders means that the reality may be unrecognisable from that of 1918.

If conscription were to happen, we ask, what fitness levels might be expected and which medical conditions would make you exempt? We looked at the National Archives and looked at expert commentary to help paint a picture.

Firstly, the question of women and enlistment. In 2016, Hardman Lea, the author of First World War novel The Sins of Soldiers, conducted a poll about modern attitudes to conscription.

Speaking to The Telegraph in 2016, he said: The female role was much more formal 100 years ago, but times have changed. Women now serve in the Amed Forces, so if conscription came back in, should they be called up?

In response to his question 57% answered yes, but 43 per cent said no citing: women are less aggressive, they dont belong and women have occupations that would be invaluable on the home front.

This also brings up the issue of single parenthood. Hartman Lea said: Single parenting was a social position that didnt really exist 100 years ago, so that, along with gender and childcare issues, would present a further problem with reintroducing conscription.

It seems that if you are called up in World War Three, parenthood and occupation could keep you off of the front lines.

The second question about enlistment is that of health, specifically weight.

In order to pass the fitness tests required by the British army today, you would need to be able to complete the following:

Considering that, as of August 2019, 28.7% of English adults were obese and 35.6% were overweight, it would be easy to think that conscription of these individuals would be impossible.

However, in 2011, a Ministry of Defence study found that in actuality 44.9 per cent of existing British soldiers were classed as overweight and 12.1 per cent were obese or even heavier.

While the army insisted that their personnel were getting larger they insisted that their soldiers were large and fit. They did introduce a weight management system in 2009 to tackle the issue.

With this in mind, it should also be noted that this year the British Army has been seeking new ways to increase its troop members, and this includes a soldier development course which takes on overweight, unfit and shy recruits.

This means that if conscription were to return, being overweight may not automatically get you pulled from the ranks.

Finally, weve all heard of men being signed unfit for war during the previous world wards due to asthma or flat feet - but what about now? Which conditions could get you out of war in 2020?

If we consider that those conditions which excused men from war in the last century would also count in the 21st century the following would make you exempt.

Records of medical exemptions are rare, according to the National Archives, but the following illnesses were noted in a collection of Middlesex County appeals against conscription from 1916-17.

Its worth noting that a total of 303 appeals were from men who were aged between 40 and 50.

In the papers were included appeals due to heart defects, heart disease, partial or total blindness, deafness, hernias, chronic bronchitis and Neurasthenia.

Neurasthenia was a psychological term which covered symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, neuralgia and depression.

As modern attitudes towards mental health have improved, it is likely that those with similar conditions, depression, anxiety, ME and other conditions would be excused from the draft.

On the British Army website there is an extensive list of conditions which they say could stop you from being able to join. These include: Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, kidney disease or donation, pregnancy, MS, epilepsy, Hepatitis B or C, ear grommets, Asthma, lung disease, TB, Cerebral Palsy, HIV, Diabetes and HIV.

Also included are PTSD, alcoholism or drug dependancy, schizophrenia, past suicide attempts, anxiety, OCD.

Even food allergies, 44% of the UK has some kind of allergy, could make you exempt.

Conscientious objection was widely vilified during the last century, however it was accepted as a reason to be exempt in some cases. It was peer pressure which widely pushed these men into the army eventually.

In Hardman Leas poll, 57% of respondents would protest the reintroduction of conscription, meaning that this pressure may not exist in the same way.

With all of these exemptions, it seems as though there would be no-one in the UK left to conscript.

However, Hardman Lea notes: I suspect that their opinions would change when it came to the actual situation and, as was the case a century ago today, they would accept the necessity of the decision, we would have to work out the logistical difficulties, and conscription would return."

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World War 3: Medical conditions that could save you from conscription if WW3 broke out - Daily Star

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As long as WW3 does not kick off, 2020 looks set to be a better year – Retail Sector

All eyes on are on the rising tensions between the United States and Iran after president Trump ordered the assassination of Irans most powerful general, Qassem Suleimani.

The oil price has risen, stocks have fallen this morning, and the threat of war almost always depresses global trade flows. But lets bask in a rare moment of optimism at home here in the UK, where there are signs of a positive outlook for 2020.

There has been talk of economic contraction at the end of last year, but todays news shows the Purchasing Managers Index showing a 49.3 reading in November 2019. Anything below 50 indicates contraction and means businesspeople with buying power were less confident and therefore planning to spend less.

However, with the uncertainty about what happens next lifted, that index has now risen to 50 on the nose. Its nothing to get excited about particularly as that does not indicate any surge in business investment, indeed it indicates the definition of stagnation. But it does at least offer one indication that were not about to slide into recession, and given the parlous state of our politics over the last three years, that is probably something of a miracle.

What might offer further succour to the economic position is the passing of the Brexit deadline day. The 31st January was the newly established deadline for Britain to leave the EU, and with his new majority, Boris Johnson managed to pass his Withdrawal Agreement Bill easily, meaning we will definitely leave and enter that implementation period.

It gives 11 months grace during which nothing will change in the economy or our trading arrangements, and the threat of any disruption will be deferred to the end of the year by which time we leave the EU properly regardless of whether or not a new free trade agreement has been struck.

Whilst naturally we all want the cliff edges to disappear for good, arguably we have not had a period of 11 months pure predictability for several years now, and this will allow business to make some investments and try to move forward.

It will be worth following the news on Iran closely, because a new war with US involvement is likely to have a dampening effect on capital flows and therefore on domestic economies. The price of gold is already at a seven-year high this morning this is significant because gold is seen as a safe haven commodity by investors, and big spikes in gold tend to mean reduced confidence in all the other types of asset classes.

Heres hoping international diplomatic pressure can get both countries to step back from the brink, and defuse an already hot situation. Our economies need the breathing space.

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As long as WW3 does not kick off, 2020 looks set to be a better year - Retail Sector

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Royal Navy warships heading for Iran to protect Brits as WW3 tensions skyrocket – Daily Star

Two British warships are currently heading to the Persian Gulf to "take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens" following the US assassination of Qasem Soleimani.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has ordered HMS Montrose and HMS Defender, a Type 23 frigate and a Type 45 destroyer to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to fly back to the UK tomorrow, following his holiday in Mustique and will be faced with his biggest foreign policy crisis during his time in Downing Street.

The PM is likely to be immediately briefed by his National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Sedwill, who today met with the UKs leading security agencies to discuss risks to UK assets in the Middle East.

This news comes as thousands of Brits currently in Turkey and Dubai have been warned to remain "vigilant" by the Foreign Office, who have recently updated their advice for travel across the Middle East.

Wallaces decision to send the warships back to the Gulf comes just two months after the ships had been withdrawn from their previous deployment in the same area.

In a statement, Wallace said: "The Government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time."

He went on to say that on Friday he had spoken to US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, claiming he urged all parties to engage to de-escalate the situation.

Following on the heels of President Trumps decision to go ahead with the airstrikes and signifying Britains position in the escalating crisis, Wallace added: "During the last few months US forces in Iraq, who are based in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, have been repeatedly attacked by Iranian backed militia ."

He continued: "General Soleimani has been at the heart of the use of proxies to undermine neighbouring sovereign nations and target Irans enemies.

"Under international law, the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens."

Sedwill, who is also the Cabinet Secretary, chaired a two-hour meeting with senior figures from the Governments listening post, GCHQ and other intelligence officials at 10 Downing Street.

Its believed the meeting looked into "the potential scenarios, risks to the UK assets in the region."

Reports also emerged that GCHQ had stepped up their monitoring of Tehran-backed hackers this weekend, following fears that Britains national infrastructure and government departments would be targeted in retaliation by Iran.

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Royal Navy warships heading for Iran to protect Brits as WW3 tensions skyrocket - Daily Star

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Iran’s missile cities buried beneath five layers of concrete ready to strike in WW3 – Daily Star

Iran 's sprawling underground missile bases buried beneath up to five layers of concrete are ready to strike on the outbreak of World War 3 .

Hidden bases housing thousands of missiles are dotted around the Islamic Republic and are constantly on alert.

Opposition groups released previously unseen aerial images revealed the sprawling sites to Daily Star Online.

The largest of the sites is alleged to be the base at Khojir known as Code 7500 with a tunnel around 1,000 metres long packed with missiles.

Pictures inside the bases have previously been revealed by Iranian state media.

Images of the mysterious sites were released in a dossier to this website by the dissident group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

It comes amid ongoing fears of war between the US and Iran following the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and their retaliatory missile attack on US bases.

The NCRI estimate the Iranian regime has ploughed billions of dollars into the bases and its missile programme.

Iranian military forces are said to constructed most of the sprawling tunnel complexes between 1997 and 2002.

However, some of the older sites are believed to date back as far as 1984.

The underground networks are built with the intent of concealing missiles and acting as staging areas for strikes in the Middle East.

Iran does not have the ballistic missile capability to strike the US or Britain, but its reach is estimated to reach as far as Ukraine and they nation have bragged they have "hundreds of missiles" at the ready.

Missile bases are primarily found around the Persian Gulf, but Code 7500 is found just outside Tehran.

It is alleged the Iranian regime used shell companies linked to the Revolutionary Guard a shadowy organisation that included Soleimani to covertly construct the sites.

Pictures released to Daily Star Online by the NCRI show three missile sites and tunnel complexes around Iran.

Images of Khojir show the military base with at least three roads appearing to go burrowing beneath a nearby hillside.

Code 7500 is believed to be the final construction site of the Shahab 3 medium-range missiles.

Imam Ali airbase can be found in western Iran with roads seen disappearing into a mountainside.

And then there is the Lard garrison which is also found in western Iran.

Lar is described by NCRI sources as a sprawling tunnel complex that is highly protected and secure.

It is this complex which is believed to have been featured in the regime propaganda being dubbed the missile city.

Reportedly mobile phone signals are blocked around the highly secretive installation.

Other sites such as the Queshm Missile Centre on the Iranian coast are understood to be hidden under up to five layers of concrete.

Iran has allegedly used the facility to export missiles to their proxy forces in Yemen.

Soleimani was the spider at the centre of the web of these Iranian proxies with US claiming he had the blood of thousands on his hands from his shell attacks.

As well as being covert, the bases are designed to try and survive any onslaught by the US .

NCRI forces said the exact number of missiles in the regimes arsenal remains unknown.

Reports from the Centre for Strategic and Internal Studies (CSIS) describe the Iranian arsenal as the largest and most diverse in the Middle East.

CSIS estimates claim Iran has at least 12 types of operational missiles, with a further four in development.

Missiles have become a central tool of Iranian power projection and anti-accts/area denial capabilities, it said.

It also describes Iran has providing proxy groups with a steady supply of missiles and rockets.

Iranian proxies are believed to have been behind a rocket attack on US forces in Iraq that killed an American defence contractor an act which sparked the latest flurry of tensions.

Fears of war have eased after Trump opted not to respond militarily to the Iranian missiles strikes on US bases in Iraq.

However, he announced a raft of tough new sanctions which are only set to further frustrate the Iranian regime.

Iran has promised a harsher revenge and previously committed to abandoning the nuclear deal completely raises fears they will try to develop a nuke.

The crisis owes its roots to Trumps decision to axe the deal, which traded an ease in sanctions for Tehrans commitment not the develop its nuclear capabilities.

Trump used his first campaign election rally of 2020 to argue that he served up "American justice by blowing up Soleimani.

The US President also defended his decision to act without seeking approval from Congress.

They want us to tell them so they can leak it to their friends in the corrupt media," Trump said.

Vice president Mike Pence said also spoke and boasted Trump deserved credit for ridding the world of a dangerous terrorist.

He said: And when American lives were threatened by the most dangerous terrorist in the world, President Donald Trump took action and Qassem Soleimani is gone.

And in the wake of that attack, Iran responded, but thanks to the professionalism of the military, we suffered no American casualties and Iran appears to be standing down. That's what leadership looks like.

And now the Iran crisis could deepen once again as it is claimed regime forces are behind the downing of Ukrainian airliner PS752 .

Iran finally admitted it accidentally shot down the jet with a ground-to-air missile intended for a US base in Iraq.

The aircraft was "unintentionally" shot down, due to human errors, Iranian state television claimed.

In a TV statement, the Iranian military confirmed that the Boeing 737 was shot down due to human error.

The crash came just hours after Iran had struck the US, and it is feared anti-aircraft missiles may have fired upon the Boeing 737 killing all 176 passengers and crew.

Iran however is insisting the aircraft was not shot down and has invited investigators to probe the wreckage.

Chief investigator Hasan Rezaeifa claimed that "the topics of rocket, missile or anti-aircraft system is ruled out".

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Iran's missile cities buried beneath five layers of concrete ready to strike in WW3 - Daily Star

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The world reacts to the threat of #ww3 on social media with memes – Briefly.co.za

The world woke up to memes on social media expressing concern, anger and excitement at the prospect of World War 3 breaking out. Tensions between Iran and the US reach an all-time high after the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.

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Briefly.co.za knows that when there is something concerning happening in the world, people react in on or two ways, outrage or laughter. Some of the memes are funny, others not so much.

Buckle up and prepare yourselves for a war of memes on social media.

READ ALSO: Broken border fence allows Zimbabweans to pour into South Africa

READ ALSO: Mzansi is divided on who is better Trevor Noah or Mashabela Galane

Briefly.co.za has been covering developments over the past few days, including Iran's reaction to Donald Trump's threat to attack 52 sites in Iran.

Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!

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The world reacts to the threat of #ww3 on social media with memes - Briefly.co.za

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Jokes aside, what is WW3 really about? by Sanjana Iyer, The Henrietta Barnett School – This is Local London

Only a few days of 2020 have passed, yet social media and the internet has been taken over by jokes, memes and fears about the possibility of a third world war, but how did this trend begin? Furthermore, are we approaching it in the right way?

The phrase World War 3 began trending on platforms such as Twitter after the killing of Irans top general Qasem Soleimani on the 31st of December, due to a US airstrike ordered by President Trump. In response to this, Irans supreme leader Ali Khamenei stated that "I and the government and the nation of Iran strongly condemn this American crime." This threat has sparked conversation and fear that it could potentially trigger a larger-scale conflict. In response to this Trump stated that We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.

Following the unfolding situation, the internet has been bombarded with searches in Iran and World War 3, presumably due to fear and concern. On the other hand, social media and the younger generation have approached the conversation in an entirely different manner. It has been used as inspiration for many memes and jokes about being drafted to the war, and the conflict itself. Although war is not to be taken lightly, the very low possibility of a full-blown World War has given people the reassurance that it is acceptable to joke about the matter. If the likelihood of danger was higher, it is unlikely that this would be deemed as appropriate.

However, the threat and danger of conflict are very real in the Middle East, who at very high risk. Iran, Afghanistan and Syria have been ranked as the most dangerous countries to live in by the Global Peace Index, and in no way find this a joking matter. This raises issues about whether it is right to use the potential deaths of thousands of people as a ground for humour, simply because it is not affecting us directly. Others still defend the right to make jokes, as they claim it is a way of coping.

This controversy has brought to light how increasingly desensitized we have become to the severity of the conflict itself, and to violence in general. Potential reasons could include our overexposure to violence due to video games, films and media (which are becoming increasingly accessible). The constant cycle of violent news seems to be perpetuating this further, leading to why our first response to news of war is to joke about it.

But is it truly right to joke about war, while thousands are fearing for their lives?

By Sanjana Iyer

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Jokes aside, what is WW3 really about? by Sanjana Iyer, The Henrietta Barnett School - This is Local London

Posted in Ww3

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