Will Iran's attack on US forces lead to war? Here's what we know

It wouldn’t be the year 2020 if World War III trending across social media.

After seeing reports that Iran has launched an attack on US forces in Iraq, people are worried that war could be about to break out between the two adversaries.

But is the world really heading for another huge war?

Tensions between the US and Iran have been brewing for years. But the election of president Trump has seen a sharp escalation of both rhetoric and actions from both sides.

What happened this time?

Iran has launched an attack on US forces in Iran. The US claims that no troops were killed, whereas Iran state TV reports that 80 US soldiers were killed.

The latest round of tensions between the two nations started with an attack on the US embassy in Iraq, which America has blamed on Iran, the US launched airstrikes against Iran.

Qassem Soleimani, who leads Iran’s elite Quds force, was killed in what was deemed by the US as “defensive action.” Iran called the move "state terrorism".

But Iran’s latest retaliation has escalated matters further.

Is World War III really on the horizon?

Over the next few days, we’ll likely hear a lot of different opinions on what’s going to happen next. Foreign issues can be unpredictable, particularly when someone like Trump is in the White House.

That being said Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has stated on Twitter that the country 'does not seek an escalation or war' and was acting in 'self-defense.'

What is Britain’s response?

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called for an “urgent de-escalation”. He said:

We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition - including British - forces.

We are concerned by reports of casualties and use of ballistic missiles.

We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation.

The Guardian’s diplomatic editor said that there is a chance that state hostilities could end soon.

Nancy Pelosi’s first reaction to the attack was reportedly to pray, which isn’t necessarily a great sign…

But she then stressed that violence must end and that America cannot afford another war.

Trump ally Lindsey Graham called the attack “an act of war”.

As America wanders into a potential crisis, there’s a reminder that there is a lack of people steering the ship, so there’s no clear indication where we’re heading.

So are we heading for another war?

The simple answer is: we don’t know – yet. What is clear, though, is that this latest escalation isn’t isolated.

Only time will tell whether Iran and America can bring themselves back from the brink of more conflict.

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