Under the aegis of the Iranian government, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani gradually rose to power. Since 2003, he has come to known as a notorious general that garnered support from the ideologically driven militia, who has seamlessly worked as Iranian proxies at Suleimani’s will.
The support he has held can be seen in the way streets of Tehran have been thronged by bereaved crowds moaning his assassination. Even Iraq has shown solidarity or maybe fear, as a court of Iraqi lawmakers ruled in favour of throwing out the 3000 strong US force, stationed in Baghdad to help them curtail civil unrest and political skirmishes.
Iraq does not want to be caught in the cross-firing. It’s an open challenge towards Iran as on Trump’s instructions, an airborne drone attack has led to the elimination of the most feared and evil-minded general of Iran. It is an elimination that is getting silent approval from many quarters. The open undiplomatic voice has been restrained, lest Iran might want to attack any and all of America’s allies.
In November last year, Iraqi civilians took to the streets in Baghdad, ridiculing the Iraqi politicians for acting as puppets in the hands of the powerful Iranian elite. Until then, the news was doing rounds of Suleimani’s frequent visits to Iraq. His intent was to continue to influence the Iraqi politicians in Iran’s favor. In a way, he was instrumental in making it possible for Tehran to run the government in Iraq, sitting from the outside.
What then started as an anti-government protest, snowballed into civil disobedience against the political elite and then exposed the long-standing undercurrent with Iran.
The demonstrations showed how Iraqi people had lost patience and confidence in their governance. The long-simmering resentment at Iran’s influence in the country was exposed. Protesters unbash targeted Shiite political parties and militias with close ties to Tehran. Those moaning the death of the notorious Suleimani are the ones from the political elite only. They would still want to salvage their game with Tehran, while the US took the civil unrest as the right opportunity to eliminate the man who has been instrumental in promoting war through proxies and militia worldwide.
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