As reported by all major media outlets, on Jan. 3, 2020 the US killed Major-General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad air strike.
Foremost, other really important characters there – like Qais al-Khazali (CO Assaib Ahl al-Haqq), Abu Ala’a al-Wala’i (Katayb Sayd ash-Shuhada), and Shabl az-Zaidi (Katayb Imam Ali) – all came away. Word is, they’re meanwhile in Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) scrambled a pair of F-14 Tomcat fighters ‘in response’ to the US strike, yesterday in the morning. Of course, they remained well inside the Iranian airspace.
No idea why, but this is kind of leaving me with ‘mixed feelings’.
First of all, this is coming much too late: at least 10 years too late. Back then, Soleimani was still somebody that actually mattered – in sense of being one ‘organising troubles’ for the Americans in Iraq.
Secondly. it’s as fascinating as ironic to see the US armed forces remaining obsessed with the idea of ‘de-capitating strikes’ – even more so after something like 70-100 years of history of such strikes proving near-pointless.
‘In detail’…. No matter how much famed, Soleimani was never a ‘mastermind’. He was an executor: executor of orders he was receiving ‘directly’ (well: actually via Wahid Haghanian) from the ‘Leader of the Islamic Revolution’, ‘Ayatollah’ Khamenei.
While certainly ‘still intimidating’ for many of Iraqi politicians and few of military commanders, especially back in the 2000s, in Tehran he fell out of favour after failing during the Battle of Tikrit. What happened? He proved an incompetent battlefield commander when failing to organise an ‘IRGC-only’ (IRGC, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) attempt to liberate that city from the Daesh. Ever since, he played the role of a ‘morale booster’ for all the IRGC-run proxies in Iraq and Syria, but had absolutely no say in any kind of tactical decisions.
Actually, the death of Soleimani is going to change exactly nothing because Soleimani was easily ‘replaced’ by several ‘high-class technocrats’ of the IRGC-QF (IRGC-Quds Force) already long before his death, and these have proved their mettle by organising such gangs like the Katayb Hezbollah an-Nujba in Iraq, or diverse of ‘pro-regime militias’ in Syria.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force and Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
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