The date of 3 January invites us, on the one hand, to reflect on the fight against terrorism and, on the other, to continue fighting for justice, freedom and sovereignty. That’s because, on this date in 2020, a direct order from US President Donald Trump materialised in a terrorist attack that martyred the commander of the Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani and Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.
As a motive for Soleimani’s murder, the US cited his support for the demonstrations taking place on 27 December, 2019, in front of the US Embassy in Baghdad, and the false allegation of invasion (that did not occur), which would have resulted in the deaths and injuries of US and Iraqi citizens. However, we know that the motives for the murder are different. They are related to Soleimani’s role in the victories against the US in the Middle East and the loss of its status as the only player in the region, and the increase in the role of Russia and China with Iran as the centre of this anti-terrorist articulation.
It is also known that General Soleimani’s strategic actions contributed to cutting off the flow of arms from the US and Israel, not only to Daesh and other terrorist groups operating in the Middle East, but also to other regional buyers. As the world’s largest arms manufacturer and for the success of its arms trafficking business, the US needs the action of terrorist groups. With the successive defeats of the terrorists of Daesh in Syria and Iraq led by Soleimani and Al-Muhandis and the consequent fall in the arms business, the US decided to assassinate the general who was the symbol of resistance against these armed gangs.
The assassination of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis outside of a war situation and on foreign territory was more than a violation of Iraqi sovereignty – it was an explicit act of state terrorism and a violation of conventions and international law. This action was yet another futile attempt by the US and its partners to curb the “axis of resistance” that involves Iran, Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces, the Yemeni Houthis, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Popular Front and the Polisario Front of Western Sahara, among other movements.
Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were not the only ones and will not be the last. May the names of scientists martyred in terrorist attacks be remembered, such as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, Majid Shahriyari, Darioush Rezai, Mostafa Ahamdi-Roshan, and others. These are murders that reflect the criminal spirit dominating the structure of the US and Israel. US illegalities provide cover and encouragement for the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and abroad.
General Soleiman played an important role in Hezbollah’s victorious strategy that humiliatingly expelled the Zionist invader’s forces from Lebanon in 2006. He gave important encouragement and support to the uprising of Yemen’s Houthis against the Saudi regime. He played a central role in the defeat of Daesh in Syria, as well as in the creation, training and actions of Al-Hashd Al-Sha’abi’s militias led by Al-Muhandis, who were responsible for the collapse of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.
The martyrdom of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis showed the world that the revolution is alive and will be victorious. Furthermore, the enemies of the Iranian nation were humiliated by the greatness of the assassinated general, who became the martyr of Jerusalem as a key figure in the victorious strategy against terrorism by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their allies in the Middle East and Eurasia.
Soleimani was born to a poor family in the Qerman region on 11 March, 1957. He began his military career with his entry into the Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In the 1980s, he was appointed commander of the 41st Division of the Iranian army during the Iran-Iraq war. His accession to the command of the Iranian Quds Force of actions abroad took place in 1997. He was promoted to the rank of major general by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Ali Khamenei on 24 January, 2011, a post where he remained until his martyrdom.
The importance of Soleimani in the fight against terrorism was not just military; he also played an important political role. In 2015, he convinced Russia to enter the Syrian war more effectively in the trilateral alliance between Russia, China and Iran to confront terrorist gangs in the Middle East, as well as in the realisation of joint maritime military exercises in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, instrumental in breaking the US monopoly on the region’s seas.
During Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran, Khamanei declared that those who planned and carried out the general’s assassination would surely pay the price, as revenge will inevitably occur when conditions permit. According to Khamanei: “Soleimani’s shoe is worth more than Trump’s head.” In addition, the leader pointed out that the martyrs’ funerals attended by millions of people in Iran and Iraq were a severe slap for the US, but the hardest slap will be the elimination of the arrogant US presence in the region.
Soleimani sacrificed himself for the most important cause of humanity today – the just struggle for the liberation of Palestinians, with a focus on reclaiming Arab and Palestinian lands and lifting the sacred mosque of Al-Aqsa from the siege and destruction attempts by the state of Jewish supremacy that took over Palestine since 1948.
The US terrorist attack that martyred Soleimani, Al-Muhandis and several other Iranian and Iraqi martyrs who accompanied them reflects the criminal sense that dominates the mindset of the leaders of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia. This action constitutes a safe conduct for all crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and abroad.
The crime by this terrorist consortium, led by the US, was not even remotely a victory over the resistance struggle against the terrorism it disseminated. The US, Israel and Saudi Arabia were the ones who were defeated because the resistance struggle continues until the final victory, as a legal right guaranteed by international laws and conventions and recognised by the United Nations Charter.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.