Kabul: Former President Hamid Karzai on Friday severely reacted to the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in a US airstrike in Iraq and harshly condemned the move.
A statement from Karzai’s office described the attack as a clear violation of international norms, saying “such a move will lead to further escalation of violence, as well as hostilities in the region and it will deal (a) significant blow to the regional peace and stability.”
A US airstrike killed Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad late on Thursday, the Pentagon said.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon had taken “decisive defensive action” against Soleimani, the revered military figure who had close links to a network of armed groups backed by Iran across the Middle East and, according to the United States, bore responsibility for hundreds of American deaths.
Karzai said Iran had good ties with Afghanistan despite the US presence here, adding “we hope these ties continue to remain as such.”
Besides Karzai, many other Afghan politicians joined the chorus of condemnation at the US airstrike and are concerned regarding the impact of Soleimani’s death on the regional situation and Afghanistan in particular.
The High Peace Council (HPC) head, Karim Khalili, who also condemned Soleimani’s death, said this move by the US would complicate the current crisis. “This is painful news not just for Iran but for the entire rejoin. Soleimani played a good role in fighting global terrorism by defeating those groups which threatened international order.”