Killing Iran’s Qassem Suleimani changes the game in the Middle East


iran, qassem suleimani
Killing Iran’s Qassem Suleimani changes the game in the Middle East

On Thursday night, the Pentagon announced that the United States killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary forces, in an airstrike in Iraq “at the direction of the President.”

The strike that took out Suleimani also reportedly killed the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy militia in Iraq that has repeatedly attacked US and allied forces and recently launched rockets at a US military base. Those attacks killed an American contractor, which led the United States to respond and kill 25 operatives in attacks in Iraq and Syria. In separate operations, US forces have also captured and arrested leaders of other important Iraqi militias with close ties to Iran.

Kataib Hezbollah is one of the most important pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias operating in Iraq. The group accepts the religious legal authority of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the principle of “Velayat-e Faqih,” the supreme rule of the Islamic jurist. This is the guiding principle of the Iranian political system, according to which the political ruler is also the senior religious leader. The militia’s political ideology is expressed in its extreme opposition to the United States, the West in general, and Israel.



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