Soleimani’s Legacy is the Spread of Violence, Suffering, Fear and Division Across the Middle East
US leaders must protect civilians in wake of general’s death
WASHINGTON D.C., January 3, 2020 – The United States Department of Defense confirmed that it conducted an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq that killed General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Soleimani was an architect of terror and suffering on a massive scale for Syrians and the people of the region. As Quds Force commander, Soleimani was instrumental in expanding Iranian military influence and sectarianism throughout the Middle East, and in the process destabilizing communities and imposing violent militia control on civilian populations.
The airstrike also killed other Iranian-backed militiamen, including the head of Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who has a long track record of killing U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, including those currently protesting against Iranian influence and corruption in Iraq. Upon hearing news of the airstrikes, Iraqi protestors encamped in Baghdad's Tahrir Square and elsewhere began celebrating. The sentiment was shared by Iranians seeking to free their country from the oppressive regime to which Soleimani was a loyal servant.
Soleimani and the web of Iranian-backed proxies he controlled played a decisive role in Assad’s brutal crackdown against his own people. He ordered the mass starvation of towns including Homs, Aleppo, and the Damascus countryside.
Soleimani’s death brings a measure of justice for his victims.
The Syrian American Council calls on the U.S. administration to protect all innocent civilians in the region. For years, the victims of Soleimani’s crimes have demanded freedom and peace from dictatorships. Now is the time for all parties to heed those calls.
Michelle R. Taylor