The war of words, anyway, seemed to be escalating with the strong men in the middle east associated with the Iranian regime. Yes, “protestors” attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, but it was not the Iraqis behind the incident. It was the Iranians, and when the U.S. government caught wind that they had more attacks planned – and that the top man in the Iranian elite Quds force was said to be on his way to the city – President Trump gave permission to strike and not back down.
The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.
The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.
There were other important people in the Iranian regime killed in the attack, but none as important as Soleimani.
The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five others, including the PMF’s airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, Iraqi officials said.
Reaction to the news told the story. American news people and Democrats – who were not informed ahead of the attack – were practically in mourning. Iraqis and Iranians took to the streets in celebration, thanking President Trump online and telling stories of the atrocities Soleimani committed.
Iran has promised retaliation, but given President Trump’s lack of hesitation in answering the threat, they might rethink that pledge. Trump is not Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter. That’s a lesson he’s going to teach the rest of the world.