IRAQ: Soleimani, the Casus Belli

Sonia Harim

by Sonia Harim

Millions of Iraqi in Teheran commemorating General Soleimani. Credits: Gazzetta Del Sud

Trump proudly announced the death of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike in Iraq on Friday 3rd January 2020. The general had been internationally sanctioned – and considered a terrorist by the US – for providing material support and weapons to Bashar Al – Assad’s government to crush the civilian uprisings.

This meaningful event occurred after Iraqi civilians revolted around the US embassy in Baghdad as a protest for the imperant presence and surveillance of America in Iraqi politics ever since the current Iraqi revolution began.

As a result of the attack on the American embassy and probably increased will after the infamous airstrike, US troops were deployed to the area – a direct act of force that may very well lead to an unexpected escalation that will involve many Middle Eastern countries.

Since the public declaration of Soleimani’s death, Iran and Iraq have been calling for revenge, and consular operations with Iraq have been severed, as America considers its citizens in the region to be in danger, although the attacked on Soleimani was deemed by the US an event that would make Americans safer. However, this attack will not only affect Americans, but also millions of lives of other Middle Easterners that are stuck in the epic rivalry between Iran and the US, like Israel, Lebanon and Syria. 

It’s important to note that, since Trump’s impeachment began, there has been an ever rising need for him to prove his value in order to ensure the next elections. Killing Soleimani, whom Trump said that “he was plotting to kill American civilians” in spite of Iran or Iraq not declaring war on America officially, has been obviously a very well-thought political move. Nonetheless, the consequences this murder could bear on America may lead to another big regional war, with Americans directly involved in it.

But the US did cooperate with Soleimani in the past, most significantly in 2010, to elect the Iraqi prime minister, and in 2001, to offer America maps of Taliban bases to target after the September 11 terrorist attack.

  • Was this a calculated move by Trump, to provoke Iran, or was it rather a foolish attempt to gain attention after his impeachment and to win the elections, ignoring the consequences of this attack on Iran?
  • Will Iran attack back soon, or will it patiently wait for international condemnation of the attack to prove itself right and avoid a war? 

Recommended Readings

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-who-is-qasem-soleimani-the-head-of-iran-s-quds-force-that-attacked-israel-1.6075565

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/us-iran-war-trump-soleimani-troops-middle-east-pentagon-embassy-airstrike-a9269791.html

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