Iranian General Kasem Suleimani was considered one of the most influential people in Iran’s power hierarchy. His murder could dramatically change the situation in the entire region, foreign media write.
The American assassination of Iranian General Kasem Suleimani discusses the whole world. Donald Trump personally sanctioned the elimination of a high-ranking officer. The Western press is confident that Iran will take revenge.
Suleimani is believed to have personally helped Bashar al-Assad in the first months of Syria’s civil war when the Syrian regime was on the verge of collapse. He was also active in the fight against the Islamic State, not allowing the Islamists to achieve strategic goals in Mosul province, defending Iraqi Kurdistan from them, and developing an operation to liberate the city of Tikrit.
“He fought all his life, the soldiers loved him. He is a calm, charismatic guy, a strategic genius and a capable tactician,” CNN quoted U.S. Lt. Gen., Mark Hertling, as saying. Suleimani was close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and was seen as a possible conservative presidential candidate in 2016. According to The Guardian, many considered the general the second man after Khamenei in Iran, in reality, more influential than incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. It is by his efforts, according to the British newspaper, Iran has achieved a sharp increase in its influence in the region.
They’re going to take revenge.
“It’s hard to imagine that Iran will not respond in an extremely aggressive manner,” Robert Malley, head of the International Crisis Group’s expert center, was quoted as saying by The New York Times. According to the American media, Trump’s predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush did not dare to kill Suleimani precisely because of fears of war with Iran.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has already announced that after three days of mourning for Suleimani, his country will deal a “devastating blow” to the United States and all those responsible for his death. At the same time, the Trump administration, as noted by the NYT, on the contrary, expects that the demonstration of force by the United States will show Iran that its provocative actions will not go unpunished. According to the president’s advisers, Trump has previously “sent too many signals that he doesn’t want war.”
Trump’s main operation
General Kasem Suleimani organized attacks and uprisings to ensure Iran’s dominance in the region. His assassination by U.S. President Donald Trump puts Tehran in a difficult position – and risks unleashing a major war in the Persian Gulf,” writes the German edition frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“The assassination of Iranian General Kasem Suleimani overshadows everything that has been present in the escalation of U.S.-Iranian relations in the intervening years,” said journalist Andreas Ross. “From Iran’s point of view, the airstrike on the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ordered by Donald Trump is a declaration of war.”
However, from Washington’s point of view, it is Iran that has been waging a kind of covert war against America, American interests and American allies in the Arab world for many years – and was commanded by the same general whom Trump has now killed in the capital. Iraq’ Baghdad, along with senior figures from pro-Iranian militias. The scene of this war is Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf.”
Also, for Commander-in-Chief Trump, the strike order overshadows all other military operations he has ordered since taking office nearly three years ago. Unlike, for example, the terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed by the Americans a few months ago in Syria, this time it is not about disparate jihadists who swear revenge on the Americans. We are talking about the leadership of a proud state with a large army, strong paramilitary structures and a lot of allied formations,” the newspaper stresses.
By ordering the order in the early days of 2020, the year of the election, Trump was probably aiming to defend himself against accusations that he had strengthened Iran’s position with its chaotic Middle East policy. Although Tehran suffers from the sanctions that Trump unilaterally imposed after the country’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, the large-scale withdrawal from Syria was a gift to the Iranians who continue to settle there.”
It is not yet clear how Tehran will react. “But “but “the barbs” as last summer, when the Iranians attacked ships in the Strait of Oman, their leadership, strongly cared about preserving their reputation, is unlikely to be limited” – concludes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The U.S. called the attack on the commander of the special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Kasem Suleimani, a “defensive measure,” Deutsche Welle writes.
Trump himself tweeted that Suleimani was responsible for the killings of “thousands of Americans” as well as “millions of people”, including protesters in Iran. According to the President of the United States, Suleimani was planning new murders, and he “should have been eliminated many years ago”.
Germany considers the attack a reaction to military provocations.