The Drone strike by the United States which resulted in the killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force made the headlines of every news channel on the morning of 3rd January 2020 across the globe. This attack shook not only Iranian Officials but all the world leaders. This wasn’t only because the attack was perceived as a direct breach of sovereignty but also because of the Importance of the Man assasinated in the process. The commander of US Central Command that oversees the US operations in the Middle East, General Joseph Votel explained Soleimani’s importance as: “Wherever you see Iranian activity, you see Qasem Soleimani, whether it is in Syria, whether it is in Iraq, whether it is in Yemen, he is there and it is the Quds Force, the organization which he leads, that I think is the principal threat as we look at this and the principal ones that are stoking this destabilizing activity.”
According to the statement given by the pentagon the attack was carried out “at the direction” of President Trump. He further stated that the action was taken “to stop a war.” He said Soleimani “was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him”. General Suleimani was also blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and was accused of arranging recent attacks on coalition bases in Iraq, including one on December 27 that killed an American defense contractor.
The Iranian’s responded with extreme anger as Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the US of “harsh retaliation”. Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted “The US’ act of international terrorism & assassinating General Soleimani – THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al – is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,” Zarif tweeted. “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.” In addition to the Iranian officials the People of Iran have also strongly condemned this act of war by protests happening all over the country with chants such as “Death to deceitful America”.
The US officials have stated that United States is sending nearly 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East from the 82nd Airborne Division as a precaution amid rising threats to American forces in the region.
General Soleimani was also given the name shadow “commander” for his indirect war against the US, he was on the US hit list for long because of his alleged role in deaths of thousands of civilians, including US citizens, in Iraq. US attempts to portray Soleimani as a master terrorist leader, like say, the ISI former ISIS and the Levants’s (ISIL, or ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is wrong and misses the big picture. Soleimani may have his fair share of controversies but he served at the pleasure of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, to protect and expand the regime’s interests in the Middle East. The killing of Soleimani is an attack on the Iranian state. Though the chances of this tension turning into a full-fledged war are rather small but how Iran responds to this attack will play a huge role in the future of not only the middle-east but the whole world at large.