Iran has a history of fighting against the US drone strikes, which appears to have become one major reason behind the escalating US-Iran feud.
Pentagon, on Thursday night, confirmed that a US drone strike in Baghdad led to the death of Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani. The confirmation was made after the Iranian state television and Iraqi media opened up reports of his death. It has raised several questions as to how the diplomatic relations between both the nations will shape now?
The death news of Iranian general has triggered concerns of retaliation from Iranian forces, who have long decried over the US sanctions and unfavorable policies.
Upon investigating into the matter, it was revealed that the Iran-backed militias attacked the US embassy in Baghdad on New Year’s eve, after which the US military took a decisive action on advice of the President. The two-day embassy attack prompted calls of deployment of 750 US soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East.
The Iranian attack was a retaliation to the US’ military airstrikes against an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq and Syria on Sunday. But the question is how long will both the countries play the blame-game amid continued attacks and retaliatory attacks?
The US military stated that it killed the head of the US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, Qasem Soleimani, in a defensive mode.
Shielding their move, the Defense Department stated that General Soleimani and his Quds Force were actively involved in developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. The department even held the group responsible for deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.
The statement from Defense Department stated that Soleimani approved this week’s attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad. Thus, the recent US drone strike was to mitigate any future attacks from Iranian guards.
To be clear, the US is taking every possible measure to deter Iran’s activities, deemed harmful for its befitting interests in the Middle East. But in the process of doing so, it’s largely ignoring the lives lost in the tragedy and the impact it is leaving behind on civilians.
Speaking of which, the US itself has stated that it will continue to take all necessary actions to protect its citizens and interests across the globe.
Earlier this month, State Secretary Mike Pompeo also issued a similar warning against Iranian-backed forces, blaming them for the attacks and losses. “As long as its malign behaviors continue, so will our campaign of maximum pressure,” said Pompeo.
Outraged over Qasem Soleimani’s death, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter hours after the Pentagon announced the General’s death.
To some extent the warning was made clear by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who stated that the US might conduct preemptive strikes against Iranian-backed militias.
Speaking to the reporters, Esper said, “If we get word of attacks, we will take preemptive action as well to protect American forces, protect American lives. The game has changed.”
What needs to be seen is that what implications would the US drone strike have on Iranian forces who have lost their general in the attack. Since, the relations between the US and Iran have only deteriorated with President Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, the opposition leaders are raising their voice against future Iranian threats.
From a string of attacks in the Persian Gulf in the beginning of 2019 to the recent US drone strike, both the regions have experienced a serious of anxious turns, leading to more deaths and new conflicts in the Middle East.