In an article published on Monday, on the second anniversary of General Soleimani’s assassination, the Middle East Eye cast doubts on the effect of the assassination to alter the strategic landscape of the region in favor of the US and Israel.
The article opined that it is difficult to argue that Iran is more deterred than it was before General Soleimani’s assassination, Press TV wrote.
Referring to the Israeli manipulation behind former US president Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate the top Iranian strategist, it added, “The then prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, thought he was being clever in persuading Trump to withdraw from the 2015 Iran deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018, and apparently twisted his arm in doing the dirty work of Soleimani’s elimination for Israel. However, it is becoming clear that neither decision served Israel’s national interest, not to mention that of the US.”
It further enumerated US policy failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine, particularly as they relate to the assassination.
“The US has humiliatingly withdrawn from Afghanistan, losing the game in Central Asia, with potentially serious repercussions in Western Asia, too; the Iraqi parliament has voted for the US’s complete withdrawal from the country; the Syrian government maintains and consolidates its grip on the useful part of its country, as once-hostile Arab leaders are now increasingly going back to Damascus; and Hezbollah continues to hold sway over the Lebanese political landscape,” the opinion piece claimed.
It added: “Further, the Houthis (Ansarullah movement), no matter how heavily Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen, are close to winning the strategic city of Marib, one of the most important Saudi strongholds in the country. Hamas still holds Gaza – last spring Israel, for the first time in its history, saw its Arab citizens siding with the Palestinians protesting in the street of Al-Quds, leaving the chilling sensation of a possible civil war inside” the occupied territories.
On January 3, 2020, the US military conducted an air operation under Trump’s order targeting General Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport after his arrival. The attack also killed the general’s companions, including Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iran has called General Soleimani’s assassination “state terrorism” and vowed to put an end to the US military’s presence in the region as the ultimate act of revenge.
As part of its retaliation, the Islamic Republic launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and another airbase in Erbil on January 8, 2020, as a result of which 110 US troops were diagnosed with “traumatic brain injuries”.
The Middle East Eye further said, “If the principals behind Soleimani’s killing bet on Iran’s self-deterrence, they miscalculated, as the bombing of the US al-Asad base in Iraq has proven – a far more damaging and accurate attack than it was initially considered.”