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Russian, U.S. defense chiefs discuss Middle East crisis

(Xinhua)    14:05, January 11, 2020

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the situation in the Middle East with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a phone conversation, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

"The situation in the Middle East region was discussed," the ministry said in a statement.

Tensions soared in the Middle East after a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport on Jan. 3 killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

Iran fired missiles on Wednesday in retaliation, striking military bases which house U.S. troops in Iraq's western province of Anbar.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted afterwards that "we do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

U.S. President Donald Trump said that no U.S. casualties resulted from Iran's missile attack, adding that the United States would impose additional sanctions against Tehran.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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