NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The killing of an Iranian military commander general in a United States air strike in Iraq could potentially have security implications for The Bahamas, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield yesterday.
Henfield however noted that his ministry currently sees no implications for Bahamians traveling to the U.S..
General Qasem Suleimani, 62, was killed at a Baghdad airport, along with nine other Iran-backed militia figures, early Friday morning, at the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Suleimani headed Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran’s Quds Force.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Defense said, Suleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” adding that the strike was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
Speaking to Eyewitness News on the matter, Henfield said: “Of course The Bahamas is a very good strategic partner of the United States of America.
“Our proximity demands that we pay attention to such instances which we understand to be a defensive measure taken by the United States.
“The implications of course potentially leads to security [concerns]. We might have to look at how it impacts our tourism product.
“We have already seen the markets at it relates to oil, as it relates to stock exchanges all across the world, and so we are hoping and praying that it does not escalate any further.”
Asked whether Bahamians traveling to the Unites States should be concerned, Henfield said, “In the moment we see no implications for Bahamians traveling to the United States to America.
“Of course, we often say to Bahamians who travel, wherever you go in the world, in this era of terrorism and like activity, that if you see something, you say something, you be alert when you travel, anywhere in the world.”
Henfield noted that amidst international monitoring and of the event, he believes there needs to be “an honest broker” to step in and deescalate the situation with the two countries.
There has been increasing tension between Iran and Washington D.C. since President backed out of the
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, “General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.
“He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.
“General Suleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”
The organization insisted that, “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted yesterday that the “The U.S.’ act of international terrorism, targeting and assassinating General Suleimani—the most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation.
“The U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who reportedly had close ties with Suleimani, has vowed “severe revenge” over the general’s assassination.