By: Lucy Brinkman | January 16, 2020
We’ve all been hearing talk about Iran, missiles, and even World War Three going around. If you’re confused as to what’s going on, why #WorldWarThreeDraft was trending, or just want a bit of clarity over what’s gone down these past few weeks, this article is for you.
Tension has been high between the United States and Iran for the majority of the past century, and this past week’s events have been a result of that tension. On January 3rd, 2020, the U.S. killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a targeted drone strike. General Soleimani was one of the most powerful men in the middle east, and was considered an enemy of the U.S. Recently, intelligence had been circulating about a possible attack on the American soldiers stationed in Iraq. Most reports confirm that it was upon hearing this intelligence that the U.S. decided to take out Soleimani.
Soliemani had just arrived in Baghdad and was in a car along with his entourage. At 12:47 AM on January 3rd, an American missile hit the envoy of vehicles, killing Soleimani and his men. After this assasination, the Iranian people were enraged, along with the Iranian government. They quickly retaliated with missiles that hit an American army base in Iraq. No one was harmed from this action, it was simply a show of force designed to send a message. After this action, the Americans did not retaliate.
The Iranian military was on high alert, ready to defend themselves against any imminent American attack. On January 8th, a passenger flight was on its way from Tehran, Iran to Kiev, Ukraine. The plane would never reach its destination, crashing only minutes after its departure. All 176 passengers on board were killed. The days after the crash were filled with uncertainty, with Iran denying involvement in the crash. It wasn’t until four days after the plane went down that Iranian officials admitted there had been a missile mistakenly fired at the aircraft. The Iranian forces had mistaken the passenger plane for a cruise missile and shot it down.
Of the 176 passengers on board, 57 were Canadians. There were students on their way back from Christmas break, families coming back from visiting relatives, newlyweds returning from their recent celebrations, and many others making their way back to Canada. On January 15, universities across Canada (including Redeemer) held a moment of silence to honour and remember the students who were killed.
After this week of dramatic events, there is no clear direction as to what will happen next. It’s possible that the U.S. or Iran will seek further action, which, if escalated, could result in war. As of now, however, there is no draft, no declarations of war and no clear idea of what comes next. What happens in the next few weeks will likely determine whether World War Three will exist only on Twitter, or in our history books.