Last Thursday, Iran’s top military commander, Major General Qassim Soleimani, was killed by a U.S. Reaper drone strike outside the Baghdad International airport.
Soleimani had just arrived on a commercial flight to attend the funerals of Iraqi soldiers killed a few days earlier in American air strikes, and he was also scheduled to meet with Iraq’s prime minister.
Authorized by President Trump, the attack also killed a number of other Irani officials who had been leading Iran-backed Iraqi militias, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces popular.  Both he and Soleimani have been recognized for defeating ISIS forces in Iraq.
The Pentagon issued a statement defending the assassination:
“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region… and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.
“The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The entire mainstream U.S. media continues to repeat Washington’s line that Soleimani was “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members.” 
Never have they questioned that “American and coalition service members” are illegally in Iraq and Syria committing acts of state terrorism. Nor have they provided credible evidence of how Soleimani was responsible for the American deaths. 
Indeed, the 2003 Iraq War, in which the U.S. military killed over a million people and forced tens of millions to flee their homes and decimated what was one of the most prosperous nations in the Arab world… was based on the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Again, it’s essential to note that these facts of mass murder, destruction, and illegal occupation are not only being ignored by the U.S. media but also from most Democratic Party members, who are in support of the assassination of Soleimani but displeased with Trump for not getting their permission to do so.
The first words from the Trump administration after the assassination attack came early Friday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said Soleimani “was actively plotting in the region to take actions – a big action as he described it – that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk. We know it was imminent.”
Neither Pompeo nor the Pentagon, which had released a similar statement earlier, provided any proof of an “immanent attack.”
And, this past weekend, Pompeo made the media rounds repeating the line that the reason for assassinating Soleimani was because “there were in fact plots that he was working on that were aimed directly at significant harm to American interests throughout the region, not just in Iraq.”
But again, Pompeo refused to provide any hard evidence to support this accusation, which was to be repeated by President Trump and numerous White House officials.
Agnès Callamard, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings, condemned the assassination, saying it “most likely” violated international law because the U.S. was not faced with an “imminent threat,” and the strike killed several other people.
“Outside the context of active hostilities, the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal,” Callamard said.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Besides Pompeo not providing any concrete evidence to support his statement, no one in the media has questioned precisely what he meant by “significant harm to American interests throughout the region.”
Clearly, the “significant interests” were not a threat to the American people or the American homeland but rather the “interests” of oil cartels and Israeli/Saudi “interests.”
We’re #1?
Later in the day, President Trump gave his first public response, confirming he gave the assassination order “to terminate” a top Iranian commander who was plotting ‘imminent and sinister attacks’ on Americans,” claiming the strategy was one of deterrence rather than aggression.
“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: In fact, Trump’s statement should be reversed to illustrate its ludicrous inaccuracy. Taking action to assassinate the top military commander, considered the second most important leader of his nation and beloved by millions in his country, is an action to “start a war,” not “stop a war.”
Doubling down on the White House idiocy and limited knowledge of the history of world events, Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, boasted on Fox News that the killing was the “greatest foreign policy accomplishment, I would say of all the decade, if not our lifetime.” 
Unforeseen Consequences
Just one day before Soleimani was murdered, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made it clear, in a way the U.S. media and political system refuse to acknowledge, how hated America is for the wars it has launched, the people it has killed, and the nations it has destroyed.
“The Americans should come to realize that people in the region, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, hate them for their crimes and this hatred surfaces somewhere.”
With Iran suffering economically as a result of U.S-imposed sanctions and with anti-government protests sweeping the nation, news of Soleimani’s death instantly united the divided nation.
In an immediate 180-degree reversal, millions took to the streets, condemning the U.S. assassination of its beloved leader, chanting, “Death to America!”
Protests swept across Iraq as well, in tribute to the death of al-Muhandis.
It should be noted, just days before he was murdered, al-Muhandis said, “The US ambassador, the Americans and their intelligence agencies must not think that they can sustain their control over their bases in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon… We will stop America and all of its Iraqi cronies, hiding in their offices.”
And, just hours before he was assassinated, addressing a large crowd in Iran, Soleimani stated, “The Iranian nation has not started war in the past incidents, but it annihilates any aggressor and U.S. is aware of this… We are powerful… and we are not worried about the U.S. threats and it is them who should be worried.”
War Drums Beating
Following  Soleimani’s assassination, it was reported that Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave its Supreme National Security Council the order to “strike America directly and in exact proportion to the attack.”
Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, publicly stated that the U.S. action was “tantamount to opening a war… There will be revenge.”
He pointed to the continued escalation of tensions since the U.S. pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal (The Joint Comprehension Plan of Action), in May of 2018 and imposed harsh economic sanctions that have caused hardship to millions of Irani citizens.
“The US has started the economic war in May 2018. Last night, they started a military war,” the Iranian ambassador added.
In November 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while reinforcing the U.S. sanctions against Iran, singled out Soleimani as being responsible for the nation’s economic hardship.
“The [Iranian] leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat. They have to make a decision that they want to use their wealth to import medicine and not use their wealth to fund Quassem Suleiman’s travels around the Middle East, with causing death and destruction.”
Then, in June 2019, Trump imposed another round of harsh economic sanctions after Iran shot down a multi-million dollar, high-tech American drone that they claimed was flying over its territory.
He said, “We don’t want money going out to sponsor terror. They are the number-one sponsor of terror anywhere in the world. So, I’ll sign this order right now… Their economy is absolutely broken.”
As a result of the U.S.-imposed sanctions, Iran’s economy shrunk some 10 percent last year, inflation spiked to 40 percent, and youth unemployment rose to almost 20 percent.
According to the Human Rights Watch, “The consequences of redoubled US sanctions, whether intentional or not, pose a serious threat to Iranians’ right to health and access to essential medicines – and has almost certainly contributed to documented shortages – ranging from a lack of critical drugs for epilepsy patients to limited chemotherapy medications for Iranians with cancer.”
The Beginning of THE END.
On 27 December, rockets were launched against a military base hosting U.S. troops in northern Iraq, near Kirkuk. One American contractor [i.e., mercenary] was killed and four soldiers injured.
Without providing evidence, the White House and Pentagon blamed Iran for the Data’ib Hezbollah missile attack. In response, the U.S. bombed three of their sites in Iraq and two in Syria, killing at least 27 fighters and wounding scores.
The headlines the following day documented the anger of the Iraqi government:
“Baghdad to review US ties after attack.” – Financial Times, 31 December 2019
“U.S. Strikes Sharpen Divide With Baghdad.” – The Wall Street Journal, 31 December 2019
“U.S. airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia draw condemnation, retaliation threats in Iraq.” – The Washington Post, 30 December 2019
On New Year’s Eve, thousands of Iraqi protestors, many of them from the Data’ib Hezbollah Shiite militia that was targeted by U.S. bombing runs, stormed the grounds outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Demanding the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, chanting “Death to America… Down, Down U.S.A,” throwing rocks and covering the walls with graffiti, they broke into the compound but did not enter the main embassy buildings. There were no injuries.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper accused Iran of being complicit in the attack on the U.S. embassy. Iran denied the accusations.
Declaring “Iran is at war with the world,” Esper said, “There are some indications out there that they may be planning additional attacks. If we get word of attacks or some type indication, we will take preemptive action… to protect American forces and to protect American lives.”
The following day, on the order of President Trump, General Quassem Soleimani was assassinated.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Contrary to U.S. accusations that Soleimani was in Iraq plotting “imminent attacks” against American interests, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss peace options that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Abdul-Mahdi said President Trump personally thanked him for the efforts hours before the U.S. killed Soleimani.
Heating Up
With the threat of escalating war in the region, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad announced that all U.S. citizens should leave Iraq.
Last Friday, the Pentagon announced that about 3,500 additional U.S. troops were being sent to the Middle East in response to the rising tensions.  This will be in addition to the 5,000 U.S. troops that already had been operating in Iraq and the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in neighboring Syria.
Israel was also preparing for Iranian retaliation, putting its armed forces on alert and closing down a number of popular tourist sites.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted he would respond dramatically if Iran retaliated for the Soleimani killing: “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!
Trump also tweeted: “They 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!”
Trump raised additional concerns with another tweet: “We have … targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets… Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
Targeting cultural sites is a clear, international war crime, stemming from the 1954 Hague Treaty.
Responding to the presidential tweets, an Iranian commander stated his military was considering “35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv.”
In response to the Trump’s tweets, the leader of Hezbollah, the Islamist political party and military force in Lebanon, stated that a strong retaliation was coming: “The American army killed them and it will pay the price… The only just punishment is [to target] American military presence in the region: US military bases, US warships, each and every officer and soldier in the region.”
Iraq to U.S.: “Get Out”
On Sunday, Iraq’s parliament reacted to the U.S. assassination attack at the Baghdad airport by passing a resolution to force U.S. military presence out of the country.  In part, the resolution states:
“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”
This resolution directly cancels the previous request for the U.S. to help fight ISIS in Iraq.
Shortly after the announcement by Parliament, Qais al-Khazali, a leading Iraqi militia commander, said that U.S. troops will be considered an occupying force if they do not leave.
Responding to the resolution, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated, “We’re confident the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there.”
On Sunday, however, Trump told reporters, “If they [the Iraqis] do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
He added another contingency.  “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time… We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: While Donald Trump wants Iraq to pay back the “billions of dollars” for the air base as a condition for leaving the nation, unmentioned are the several trillion dollars American taxpayers paid for the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 based on lies that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. 
More Nukes?
Also, on Sunday, as a direct result of the assassination last Thursday, the Iranian government announced it was no longer restricting its nuclear program and would immediately ramp up its nuclear production facilities.  Tehran did, however, state it would continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency and would agree to re-instate limits on production if the U.S. removed the economic sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.
History Before it Happens®
As long noted in the Trends JournalTrends in The News videos, and Gerald Celente’s media appearances, the United States/Israel/Saudi alliance had been formed to economically and militarily confront Iran.
Since 2016, readers of the Trends Journal have been kept well informed that a powerful alliance between the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia was aggressively planning to weaken Iranian influence in the Middle East.
As Gerald Celente wrote almost a year ago, “In one of our Top Trends of 2018, ‘Market Shock, Mass Murder,” we specifically noted that this was the year that the alliance’s bold threats would be followed by military action… we not only meticulously detailed how and when the build up to war would unfold, we also provided subscribers with a series of proactive measures to consider before full fledge war erupts.”
In June 2019, Celente added: “The U.S./Israel/Saudi alliance we forecast would form in 2018 has become so entrenched and deep-rooted, the stage is now set for confrontation against Iran, Syria, and its allies.
“Whether through military action that will ignite at the slightest provocation – false flag or real – or covert actions taken by outside forces to destabilize or overthrow regimes… one, or all of these wild card events will crash the already volatile equity markets worldwide.”
Last July, on Kitco, Celente made clear in a TV interview: “When you have people that we are actually listening to, with brains the size of Bolton and Pompeo, you know we’re in trouble. And you know, when all else fails, they’ll take you to war… If things keep heating up, and the people in power keep needing pressure to change things and directions, for whatever mental derangement they have in their minds, this could blow up against Iran, and Iran is not going to put up with being attacked.”
And just last September, Celente published an article in the Trends Journal titled, “Stepping Closer to War: Target Iran.”  The story highlighted Israel’s launch of an air attack against Iranian Quds forces and the statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We have little doubt that Iran’s leadership is still strategically committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons.”
Netanyahu made no mention that the U.S. pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal with which international observers confirmed Iran was in compliance.
Celente went on to comment that the U.S./Israel/Saudi alliance “is poised to escalate military conflict quickly and decisively using whatever justification – false flag or factual – and with the majority support from America’s political parties and its general public, just as they have with all of U.S. foreign entanglements over the past 30-plus years.”
TREND FORECAST: Among the forecasts previously made, Celente said gold prices would spike when war talk and actions against Iran escalated. At that time, gold was at $1,244 per ounce. While gold had gained some 18 percent in 2019, following the U.S. airstrikes, it spiked nearly $100 per ounce as the U.S. escalated the Middle East war tensions. 
Celente has also long warned that should oil prices spike to around the $100 per barrel mark, global equity markets and economies will crash.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The overview in this Trends Journal Special Report of Gerald Celente’s forecasts regarding the lead-up to last week’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani is just but a few in long list of Trends Journal articles, Trends in The News videos, and Trend Alerts over the past several years warning of the dangers of a U.S.-led war against Iran.
The details and the facts of what has been documented by Celente regarding this high crisis point is unmatched by any other source. 
We ask for your continued support and to please do what you can to inform others of the importance of subscribing to the Trends Journal
And, most importantly, to do your part to help bring Peace on Earth.

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