UN Chief ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Escalation After Iraq Strike

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Berlin, Germany - November 04: Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees of UNHCR, attends a press conference in german foreign office on November 04, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

The United Nations’ chief is deeply concerned with the recent escalation of tensions in the Gulf after a U.S. strike killed a powerful Iranian general in Baghdad.

According to a UN spokesperson, Antonio Guterres has consistently advocated de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

“This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint.

“The world cannot afford another war in the region,’’ the statement said.

The attack also killed top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani.

It followed a sharp increase in long running U.S.-Iranian hostilities recently when pro-Iranian militiamen attacked the U.S. embassy in Iraq following a U.S. air raid on the Kataib Hezbollah militia, founded by Muhandis.

Iraq’s prime minister said that with Friday’s attack Washington had violated a deal for keeping U.S. troops in his country.

Israel put its army on high alert and U.S. allies in Europe including Britain, France and Germany voiced concerns about an escalation in tensions.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Soleimani was killed in a drone strike. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said he died in an attack by U.S. helicopters.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad urged all American citizens to depart Iraq immediately. (dpa/NAN)