'World War III' starts trending after Iranian commander killed by US

- In the early morning hours on Friday, President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Qasem Soleimani

- The key Iranian military commander's car was bombed in an airstrike by the US

- News about the death of Soleimani spread like wildfire online and 'World War III' started trending

- Social media users across the globe feared that the US head of state's decision might be the the final nail in the coffin

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On Friday, South Africans and the rest of the world woke up to news that President Donald Trump had ordered an airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport that killed Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani.

The strike comes after the US embassy was attacked in Banghdad on New Year's Day. According to CNN, Soleimani headed Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit and he was considered to be the second most powerful man in the country.

The Pentagon confirmed the attack, adding it was a "decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad" and was intended to deter "future Iranian attack plans".

The Pentagon added that Soleimani and his Quds Force were behind the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members.

Shortly after the attack, Trump took to Twitter to share an image of the United States flag without a caption.

READ ALSO: Israel issues a travel warning to its citizens against South Africa

However, now many believed the murder of Soleimani might have disastrous consequences and 'World War III' started trending online as social media users across the globe voiced their fears.

The fears have further been fuelled by the reaction of Iran's politicians. The country's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to respond to Soleimani's assassination.

Zarif called the attack an "act of international terrorism" and "extremely dangerous".

Take a look at his tweet below:

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed revenge Soleimani's death, saying that "harsh revenge awaits the criminals" involved.

Briefly.co.za took a look at some of the reactions internet users worldwide had to America's strike on the Iranian commander.

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