The United States and its allies predictably boast arrogantly about how they destroyed ISIS. However, real credit for the destruction of its genocidal reign of terror across half the territories of Iraq and Syria goes to the Syrian Army, its Hezbollah allies, the armed forces and intelligence services of Iran and the Russian air force.
Russian tactical air support for Syrian ground troops operated skillfully and effectively to smash al-Baghdadi’s vicious and passionate but poorly coordinated forces.
General Soleimani was a vital figure in ensuring the smooth running of this coalition. Far from being the arch terrorist of the world as Trump proclaimed, he was therefore the arch enemy and most successful opponent of the worst and most dangerous terrorist organization on the planet.
It is therefore no wonder that ISIS surviving groups rejoiced when he was killed in a U.S. drone strike at Baghdad International Airport last month.
Soleimani was certainly a dedicated opponent of U.S. and Israeli influence across the Middle East. But his death will not benefit Washington and Jerusalem. On the contrary, it is certain to backfire catastrophically on them.
In Iranian terms, Soleimani was a pragmatic moderate who acted as an ally of the United States when it was in his country’s interests to do so in two major wars.
Iranian intelligence and cooperation played a major role in so quickly and smoothly toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in November 2001.
In 2014, ISIS might well have swept to Baghdad and occupied all of Iraq despite the desperate use of U.S. air power if Soleimani had not committed Iranian forces, assets and allies in such determination to destroy it.
Finally, Soleimani’s tremendous prestige as his country’s preeminent general, strategist and military hero has now been eliminated. This will not aid “moderates” in Iran. Instead, it is already strengthen the passionate religious and eschatological Twelver elements in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
In killing Soleimani, Trump destroyed a responsible Iranian leader who fought Islamist extremism and genocide in Syria and pursued cautious pragmatic policies at home. Now Iran’s revolutionary End of Days extremists will likely take advantage of his elimination to seize power and take over: What follows will not be pretty.
Another US military plane down.