New York City warns it could be target for attack by Iranians

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Fox 5 News is reporting that the mayor of New York City has ordered the NYPD to take immediate steps to protect key locations across the city after a U.S. airstrike killed Iran’s top general.

At a news briefing on Friday morning Mayor Bill de Blasio warning that the city faces a reality that it has not faced before.

“We’re in, at this point, a de facto state of war between the United States of America and Iran,” de Blasio said.

Shortly after the attack, he had tweeted that, “We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come.”

The security moves come after Tehran vowed a “harsh retaliation” for the airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

De Blasio says there could be an attempt by Iran or “its terrorist allies” to target New York City.

The NYPD Commissioner says there was no specific threat against the city but New Yorkers could expect to see a higher police presence in many areas along with officers carrying more firepower.

No specific details on security measures were made public but the city’s sprawling subway system has always been seen as a soft-target.

In 2017 a man set off an explosive device that was strapped on his body in the Times Square subway station.  He was the only person who suffered serious injuries in that attack.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon confirmed that President Trump ordered the deadly attack in Iraq.

The United States urged its U.S. citizens to leave Iraq “immediately.” The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and other protesters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq, where they mainly train Iraqi forces and help to combat Islamic State militants.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after the airstrike, calling Soleimani the “international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death, and appointed Maj. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani’s deputy, to replace him as head of the elite Quds force.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the orchestrated violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. A PMF official said the strike killed a total of eight people, including Soleimani’s son-in-law, whom he did not identify.

Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag after the strike.

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