Qassem Soleimani Dead in Iraq

03/01/2019

Update: It has indeed been confirmed as a US strike.

Baghdad airport was hit with an airstrike earlier today, with numerous sources quoting Iraqi state TV that Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force, and others were killed. So far there has been no clarification about who ordered and carried out the strikes, but it’s the latest in a string of growing tensions in the region between Iran, Israel, and the US.

Could this mean war? It seems too early to tell, but there are already a number of comments online throwing accusations and predicting a sharp escalation in tensions. Iraq has been in turmoil for some time now, and has been the grounds for much indirect conflict between Iran and the US. Someone on Twitter even referred to it as a “Franz Ferdinand moment”, the assassination that sparked World War I in Europe.

Speculation doesn’t do much, however, so while my first impulse is to stare inquisitively at the US, or the oh so dovish and helpless Israel, I am not going to make any claims, or even assumptions, until more concrete information has been determined. But regardless of who was behind it, it may very well be a tipping point for Iran, a country that has become increasingly hostile in response to the immense threat that is the US regime of terror.

Iran does not have a pleasant or defensible government, but it is possible to hold that position while condemning brutal economic and military action against them, carried out by the US Empire. Should war explode between them, the consequences will overtake the previous conflicts quite quickly. The US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia would have no qualms about their offensive, and Iran has been ramping up its own military might in somewhat reluctant haste – they know they would be devastated in open war, but they won’t go quietly.

Last month I commented on speculation about Donald Trump’s impeachment and unlikely removal, that Republicans would be more inclined to throw out their golden goose if it meant a more palatable spin on an impending war with Iran. That interesting, albeit unfounded, line of thought loses more credibility here, because if this is the US moving swiftly against Iran, they’ve not yet removed their evil poster boy from the White House. Americans can be daft at times, but very few would back Trump, or any President, into a bloody and destructive war with Iran.

It will be interesting to see the updates as the day goes on. Who knows, if there is a war, perhaps Scott Morrison can abuse that to save face after he was snubbed by furious residents in Cobargo.

 

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