The World Council of Churches (WCC) is deeply concerned by the possible consequences for the Middle East region of today's US air strike that killed general Qasem Soleimani, Iran's most prominent military commander, at Baghdad airport in Iraq. The attack is a major escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran.
"General Soleimani was no innocent victim of war, having been the architect and promoter of armed violence in many parts of the region, but this attack and anticipated reactions to it threaten even wider and more disastrous conflict in the region,” observed WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. "As destabilizing as general Soleimani's activities have been, the consequences for the people of the region of more intensive conflict are incalculable."
Tveit appealed for all sides to "exercise maximum restraint, to refrain from further escalation, and to give priority to the welfare of all people of the region, and their right to peace and stability after so many years of violence and bloodshed.”