A DEADLY game of cat and mouse on Twitter so far has narrowly avoided sparking full-scale war between the United States and Iran over seven days in January.
United States President Donald Trump moved first.
He posted an image without caption of a US flag on Twitter, which confirmed the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on January 3.
Mr Trump found himself on the receiving end of an Iranian flag without caption five days later posted on Twitter by Saeed Jalili, a representative of the Iranian supreme leader.
Iran had launched a ballistic missile strike at two United States airbases in southern Iraq on January 8 in retaliation for the assassination.
No US casualties were reported in the strike.
And with Mr Trump offering a calming tweet – “all is fine” – Twitter, like the night sky over Iran, fell momentarily quiet.
But only hours later, hash-tags erupted again as news arose of the crash of a Ukranian International Airlines Boeing 737-800, which killed all 176 people on board.
Eyewitness footage of missiles and explosions and international condemnation of Iranian involvement circulated widely; it was led by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who “had proof” Iran was involved.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison stood by Mr Trudeau’s claims.
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