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US-Iran tensions after Soleimani killing: All the latest updates

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In a letter to the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Kelly Craft said the killing of Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday was justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter

US Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, walk toward an awaiting aircraft prior to departing for the Middle East from North Carolina [File: Bryan Woolston/Reuters] President Donald Trump has given no indication that the United States will respond militarily to Iran ‘s attacks on Iraqi bases hosting US troops, signalling a de-escalation in a major crisis triggered by the US assassination of a top Iranian commander.

Trump said on Wednesday there had been no US casualties and damage was minimal after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at  the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq‘s Anbar province and a facility in Erbil.

Iran had pledged retaliatory attacks against the US for last week’s killing of Qassem Soleimani , the country’s most powerful and revered military leader who Washington accused of plotting  imminent attacks against US forces in the region.

More:  Iran launches missile attacks on US facilities in Iraq US-Iran tensions: What war powers does Trump have? Dozens killed in stampede at Qassem Soleimani‘s funeral   Here are all of the latest updates as of  Thursday, January 9 :

Gulf stocks rise on hopes of easing of US-Iran tensions Gulf stocks rose in early trade, led by markets in Dubai and Kuwait, on optimism that tensions between the United States and Iran may be easing.

The Dubai index and Kuwait index were both trading 1.3 percent higher, while the Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent in early trade.

Iran not interested in war, says UN ambassador Iran‘s next move will depend on the actions of the US, Iran‘s ambassador to the UN said, while calling for the removal of US forces from the region. 

Iran is not interested in war, Iran is not interested in escalation of tension in the region,” Majid Takht Ravanchi, told Al Jazeera. 

“Increasing the tensions in the region will not be in the interest of anybody, so Iran definitely would like to have peace established in the neighbourhood and the first ingredient for peace in the region is the removal of the forces, the American forces, from our region.”

Asian shares rebound after anxiety eases Stock markets in Asia rebounded as concerns over a potential war between the US and Iran eased.

Tokyo’s benchmark gained more than two percent, while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia markets also advanced.

Investors’ anxiety subsided after it emerged that the missile attack had caused no fatalities and Trump said Iran “appears to be standing down”.

The lack of casualties “gave the markets more confidence that the Iranians had instigated little more than the intention to make a public show of force mainly to save face at home,” said Stephen Innes of AxiTrader in a report.

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US to UN: We’ll take more action ‘as necessary’ to protect troops in Mideast The US told the United Nations that it is prepared to take additional action “as necessary” in the Middle East to protect US personnel and interests in the region.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Kelly Craft said the killing of Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday was justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Under Article 51, countries are required to “immediately report” to the 15-member Security Council any measures taken in exercising the right of self-defence. The USs used Article 51 to justify taking action in Syria against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group in 2014.

US senators denounce ‘lack of evidence’ to justify killing of Soleimani Utah Senator Mike Lee, who belongs to Trump‘s Republican Party, has questioned the administration’s classified briefing on the killing of Soleimani, calling it “the worst” that he has ever attended.

In a press conference in Washington, DC, Lee told reporters that he found it “really upsetting” that Trump‘s intelligence officials refused to provide information that led to the president’s decision to order Soleimani‘s killing.

Another Republican Senator Rand Paul said he “did not learn anything from the hearing” that he had not seen previously from news reports, adding that prospects for diplomacy has been diminished because of Trump‘s action. 

Meanwhile, in an interview with CNN, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said “there was no evidence of an imminent and specific threat” from Soleimani to take the US action.

“That was fairly shocking to us, the lack of evidence. Without that, the president doesn’t have the authority to take military action, without coming to Congress first.”

The majority of the Republicans, who control the Senate, however defended the decision of Trump.  

PM Morrison says Australia not withdrawing troops from Iraq Australian troops and personnel will stay in Iraq to continue their mission, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as tensions eased following an Iranian attack on US forces there.

Speaking to reporters, Morrison added that an Australian naval vessel would travel as planned toward the Strait of Hormuz this week to help protect shipping in the area.   

Read earlier updates here . 

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Could a war break out between the US and Iran?

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies