MANILA - The new year is only a few days old and Twitterverse has seemed to have already turned ominous.
Fears of a third world war flared up on Friday in the wake of the United States' killing of a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, Iraq, with the hashtag #WWIII (World War 3) topping global Twitter trends with more than 2 million tweets.
The death of Qasem Soleimani, considered one of Iran's most powerful figures, stoked fears of another global conflict after Tehran leaders threatened to retaliate against the US.
Soleimani, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps' foreign operations arm, was killed in a drone strike while on board a vehicle en route to Baghdad's international airport.
News of the incident triggered a flurry of reactions from Twitter users, with many suggesting that World War 3 is imminent.
"Making jokes and fun of a possible war with Iran or getting into World War 3 is not funny. Many of you have not lived in a war torn place... wars are ugly, scary and sad. Innocent people and soldiers die in wars," one Twitter user wrote.
Others took a humorous approach in reacting to the news, sharing memes and GIFs.
Some went after US President Donald Trump, who Pentagon said ordered the mission against Soleimani.
"What the wholehearted heavenly f*** is wrong with you? You're mad because you're getting impeached for all the stupid s*** you did so you decide to start World War 3?" read one tweet, in reference to impeachment proceedings against the US leader.
Soleimani had been planning an "imminent" attack "that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk," a US official had said.