The Assassination of Soleimeni: The Background, What Happened and What We Can Expect
Editor’s note: Brandon is one of those writers who people either love or hate. I don’t always agree with his conclusions but I can never fault his research. I know him to be a good and ethical person.
However, he writes without republican or democrat bias and sometimes the US government doesn’t come up smelling like roses in his analyses. That is offensive to many people. I always welcome civil discussion in the comments. Your argument will hold far more weight if you come armed with facts, not emotions or ad hominem attacks. ~ Daisy
by Brandon Turbeville
Yesterday morning, the world was alight with news that Qassim Soleimani was assassinated by a US drone outside the Baghdad airport. Here’s some information on the background of this conflict, what happened, and what we can expect.
Here’s what happened.
This assassination was, according to Trump administration officials and hints by the President himself, approved and ordered by Donald Trump. In addition to Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (aka Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi) was also killed alongside six other people.
Soleimani was the Iranian commander of the Quds Force while Muhandis was the commander of Ketaib Hezbollah, a militia belonging to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU).
Republicans have categorically supported the move and Democrats, despite the requisite criticism of Trump’s “reckless mishandling” of the situation, also supported the move.
Although not the first time an American President has ordered an assassination, this is the first publicly acknowledged successful assassination of a high-level official. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper stated that the Pentagon had taken “decisive defensive action” against Soleimani and stated that the attack was made on the orders of the President. “The game has changed,” Esper said.
Iran has promised retaliation.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed revenge as have a number of Iranian generals and politicians, leaving many to wonder just how, when, and where the Iranian response will take place.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the assassination and added that the murder was a breach of the conditions under which the US military operates in Iraq and that Iraq would now have to re-evaluate its relationship with the United States. This essentially means that the Iraqi Parliament may vote to oust US troops from Iraq entirely.
So, as the world awaits further military conflict and responses from Iran, it is important to understand how this all started.
The origins of the conflict
We do not have time in this article for a long history of American intervention in Iraq (invading twice) and Syria (funding terrorists, arming and directing them before eventually invading) resulting in the Iranian entrance into both countries (at the host countries’ request). I will give the readers credit for being knowledgeable on those factors and, for those who are not, I would recommend accessing my books and articles on the topic (BrandonTurbeville.com) as well as books and articles by researchers and journalists in this list.
This most recent chain of events, however, began when the United States claimed that Kataib Hezbollah was responsible for the death of an American contractor and injuring US troops in an attack at a US military in Kirkuk. Neither President nor anyone in his administration offered any evidence that this attack actually took place or that Kataib Hezbollah was responsible for it if it did.
In response, the US ordered airstrikes on 5 facilities in Iraq and Syria that the Pentagon claims were tied to the Kataib Hezbollah. Secretary Esper stated that Trump ordered those attacks. The strikes killed around 24 people.
Two days later, Iraqi protesters of all ethnic and religious varieties took to the streets to demonstrate against the attacks on the militia. Eventually, they broke into the US Embassy compound in Baghdad where they lit fires, threw stones, and sprayed anti-American graffiti on the walls. The embassy itself was not breached but there was fire damage to the walls.
President Trump then ordered over 100 Marines to secure the embassy in Baghdad which they promptly did on New Year’s Eve.
On the morning of January 3, 2020, Americans and the rest of the world awoke to reports that the United States had conducted a drone strike outside the Baghdad airport that killed Iranian General Soleimani and militia commander Muhandis.
This will be considered an act of war.
The strikes against Soleimani are an act of war. They are a violation of international law and yet another expression of American imperialism and the neo-con/neo-liberal doctrine of destroying all nations that do not bow to the Anglo-financier world order. The United States has just assassinated one of the most effective fighters against ISIS in the region.
Israel benefits from this strike. International banks and corporations benefit from this strike. The Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, and American people do not.
Kataib Hezbollah is a Shi’ite militia tied to Iran and one that is largely Iranian backed. However, KH is part of the Iraqi PMU, an umbrella organization that controlled and directed by the Iraqi state and which contains around 40 different militias, Sunni, Shi’ite, Christian, and others. The PMU has been one of the prime forces mobilized to defeat ISIS in Iraq, particularly around the Syrian/Iraqi border areas.
Soleimani the famous commander of the Iranian Quds forces that operate outside of Iran. As Moon of Alabama describes him,
Soleiman was responsible for all relations between Iran and political and militant movements outside of Iran. Hajji Qassim advised the Lebanese Hisbullah during the 2006 war against Israel. His support for Iraqi groups enabled them to kick the U.S. invaders out of Iraq. He was the man responsible for, and successful in, defeating the Islamic State in iraq and Syria. In 2015 Soleimani traveled to Moscow and convinced Russia to intervene in Syria. His support for the Houthi in Yemen enabled them to withstand the Saudi attackers.
Rumors and justifications
To be clear, there is no evidence that either KH or Iran had anything to do with the attacks on the US military base. After seventeen years of vicious and horrific occupation, the United States has made many enemies in Iraq, to say the least. To date, the US has offered no evidence or proof of an attack even happening, much less who was responsible. Regardless, it cannot be forgotten that the US military is an occupying force and thus will be met with resistance from time to time; resistance that is undeniably justified. Claiming “defense” in a country you invaded and now occupy is an oxymoron. You cannot “defend yourself” if you are the party who initiated the force to begin with.
Rumors, of course, have been spread that Solemeini was both behind the attacks on the US base as well as on the US Embassy and that he was plotting yet more attacks in the near future. These rumors have their roots in the US State Department, Mossad, and the MSM that they control. One such rumor had Solemeini about to depose the Prime Minister of Iraq, Abdul Mahdi, in a coup. However, the Prime Minister had already resigned as a result of American-backed anti-Iranian protests that have rocked Iraq for several months. The protests were directed against Iranian influence in Iraq and were designed to weaken that influence. They were wholly unlike the protests in Lebanon where the demands were against all foreign influence and domestic corruption. Indeed, Mahdi himself has close ties with Iran so why would Iran be interested in a coup?
Another rumor was that Soleimeini was killed trying to escape Iran after the US embassy attack. However, the truth is that Soleimeini had just arrived.
It must be said, however, that Trump’s decision to secure the embassy was justified if America and Iraq intend on keeping an embassy in operation in Baghdad. Trump should not be expected to allow another Benghazi-like tragedy on his watch. But the embassy was safeguarded and the issue closed. Anyone who views the storming of an embassy by protesters as an act of war and worthy of assassinations does not understand diplomacy or the point of embassies to begin with.
Here’s where the official story doesn’t hold up.
While it is in the realm of possibility that Soleimeini was aware that protesters were going to storm the embassy, it is highly unlikely that he ordered it to happen, not only because of his status as a field commander but also because he has proven himself to be an amazing strategist time and time again. He would then know a brazen and merely symbolic gesture would have little gain and so much risk.
In the aftermath of the assassination, even some Lebanese generals took to Twitter to contradict Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claims that Soleimeni was planning an attack on American occupying forces.
Interestingly enough, Lindsey Graham seems to have admitted that Soleimeini was not behind the storming of the embassy when he tweeted that the assassination was not “an act of revenge for what he had done in the past” but “a pre-emptive defensive strike designed to take out the organizer of attacks yet to come.” Again, only neo-cons like Graham could ever argue that America is defending itself in Iraq or Syria.
It is thus important to point out that the original accusation against Soleimeini was that he had killed Americans. Quickly, when no dead Americans could be produced that could be attributed to Soleimeini, the story becomes “he was planning to kill Americans.”
It cannot go without mentioning that the assassination was not an entirely American affair. Israel provided the US with the coordinates and whereabouts of Soleimeini in order to conduct the strikes. Israel, of course, hid behind the US, letting the US do the dirty work, take the risk, and absorb all the responses from Iran and the world community while Israel reaps all the benefits of one of its most effective nemeses being buried six feet under.
It is best never to anger Israel. It will fight with the best hardware America has to offer and to the very last drop of American blood.
So what happens now?
No one can really answer this question. However, plans are being made for reprisals on the Iranian side and plans are being made for war on the American side. Indeed, plans for war against Iran are not new and have been written about long ago.
The plan for a Western or a Western/Israeli attack on Iran, along with the theatre of alleged US-Israeli tensions leading up to a strike and outright war, has been in the works for some time. For instance, in 2009, the Brookings Institution, a major banking, corporate, and military-industrial firm, released a report entitled “Which Path To Persia? Options For A New American Strategy For Iran,” in which the authors mapped out a plan which leaves no doubt as to the ultimate desire from the Western financier, corporate, and governing classes.
The plan involves the description of a number of ways the Western oligarchy would be able to destroy Iran including outright military invasion and occupation. However, the report attempts to outline a number of methods that might possibly be implemented before direct military invasion would be necessary. The plan included attempting to foment destabilization inside Iran via the color revolution apparatus, violent unrest, proxy terrorism, and “limited airstrikes” conducted by the US, Israel or both.
Interestingly enough, the report states that any action taken against Iran must be done after the idea that Iran has rejected a fair and generous offer by the West has been disseminated throughout the general public. The report reads,
…any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context— both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger,
and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal. (source)
Ironically, it is admitted by the authors of the report that the Iranians are not governed by lunatics intent on nuking the world but by entirely rational players. Still, they move forward with a number of options for attacking Iran. It should thus be obvious to anyone reading this report that the US, NATO, and Israel are uninterested in peace with
Iran and are entirely focused on war and Iranian destruction.
The “superb offer” is, of course, the Obama “Iran nuclear deal” that Iran never should have had to agree to in the first place but that Trump erroneously claimed Iran violated and subsequently tore up in favor of a policy of hostility.
The report continues to discuss the citations that could be used for an attack on Iran, clearly stating its intentions to create a plan to goad a non-threatening nation into war. It states,
The truth is that these all would be challenging cases to make. For that reason, it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before
launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) (source)
Even now, the United States has moved tens of thousands of troops to the region, with a troop total of around 60,000 to 70,000 soldiers as of September, 2019. Just today, the US deployed 3,000 more troops to the region.
In a brilliant article by Philip Giraldi entitled, “The Soleimani Assassination: The Long-Awaited Beginning of The End of America’s Imperial Ambitions,” Giraldi writes,
The United States is now at war with Iran in a conflict that could easily have been avoided and it will not end well. There will be no declaration of war coming from either side, but the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani and the head of Kata’ib Hezbollah Abu Mehdi Muhandis by virtue of a Reaper drone strike in Baghdad will shift the long-simmering conflict between the two nations into high gear. Iran cannot let the killing of a senior military officer go unanswered
even though it cannot directly confront the United States militarily.
But there will be reprisals and Tehran’s suspected use of proxies to stage limited strikes will now be replaced by more damaging actions that can be directly attributed to the Iranian government. As Iran has
significant resources locally, one can expect that the entire Persian Gulf region will be destabilized.
And there is also the terrorism card, which will come into play. Iran has an extensive diaspora throughout much of the Middle East and, as it has been threatened by Washington for many years, it has had a long
time to prepare for a war to be fought largely in the shadows. No American diplomat, soldier or even tourists in the region should consider him or herself to be safe, quite the contrary. It will be an “open season” on Americans. The U.S. has already ordered a partial evacuation of the Baghdad Embassy and has advised all American citizens to leave the country immediately.
. . . . .
The blood of the Americans, Iranians and Iraqis who will die in the next few weeks is clearly on Donald Trump’s hands as this war was never inevitable and served no U.S. national interest. It will surely turn out
to be a debacle, as well as devastating for all parties involved. And it might well, on top of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, be the long-awaited beginning of the end of America’s imperial ambitions. (source)
Moon of Alabama, in its article “US Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Suleimeini,” writes,
Iran will tie its response to the political calender. U.S. President Donald Trump will go into his reelection campaign with U.S. troops under threat everywhere. We can expect incidents like the Beirut barracks bombing to repeat themselves when he is most vulnerable.
Trump will learn that killing the enemy is the easy part of a war. The difficulties come after that happened.
In 2018 Soleimani publicly responded to a tweet in which Trump had threatened Iran:
“Mr. Trump, the gambler! […] You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare. Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.”
Since May 2019 the U.S. deployed at least 14,800 additional soldiers to the Middle East. Over the last three days airborne elements and special forces followed. The U.S.has clearly planned for an escalation.
Soleimani will be replaced by Brigadier General Ismail Ghani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who has for decades been active in the Quds Force and has fought against ISIS in Syria. He is an officer of equal stature and capability.
Iran’s policies and support for foreign groups will intensify. The U.S. has won nothing with its attack but will feel the consequences for decades to come. From now on its position in the Middle East will be severely constrained. Others will move in to take its place. (source)
What should we expect?
Quickly, on the issue of terrorism, one can only wonder if the threat of terrorist attacks would not be a prime opportunity for intelligence agencies and Deep State operatives to engage in false flag attacks here in the United States or elsewhere in the world to be blamed on Iran, thus justifying even more loss of liberties and foreign intervention.
Perhaps false flag assassinations are a possibility, also to be blamed on Iran. Perhaps there are real terrorist attacks and assassinations. Perhaps there are military confrontations in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere in the region. Or, perhaps, the Iranians will lay low, the US will ride high, and all this will blow over as the election circus draws to an end.
No one fully knows what is going to happen in the near or distant future. But something will happen. Either the Iranians will respond or the Americans will invade. There is a chance that cooler heads will prevail but, after 19 years of full-throttle war, it’s hard to believe that’s even worth hoping for.
Brandon Turbeville writes for TheOrganicPrepper.com and his own website, BrandonTurbeville.com He is the author of ten books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference It Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. His books can be found in the bookstore at BrandonTurbeville.com and on Amazon.
Turbeville has published over 1500 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, civil liberties and, most notably, geopolitics and the Syrian crisis. His most recent release is a book of poetry, “Dance, Amputee.”