As Iraqis wake up this morning, many are celebrating the recent news that the “Shadow Master,” Quds Force Commander, and Ayatollah’s number one soldier, General Qassim Soleimani, has been killed in a U.S. airstrike.
Many Americans may not have understood the extreme threat Qassim Soleimani’s posed to American citizens, to our foreign policies, and to our facilities around the world.
General Soleimani has been directly responsible for force multiplication of local fighters against the United States throughout the Middle East.
To name a few, General Soleimani was responsible for:
- The October 2000 suicide bomber attack on the USS Cole, while it was being refueled in Yemen, which killed 17 American sailors and injured another 39; and
- Countless attacks against Americans using Iranian Explosive Form Projectiles (EFP), including an attack on this author in Iraq in 2006 in which Ambassador Khalizad commended my actions in saving the lives of colleagues supporting diplomatic efforts. Iranian EFP attacks have killed or maimed countless American and American-friendly Iraqis; and
General Soleimani had also been supporting proxy militias throughout Syria and Iraq, which threatened each of those nations’ sovereignty and ability to govern.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, including yesterday’s Newsmax post suggesting “swift action” in response to Iran-backed attacks in Iraq, highlighting the significant role Qassim Soleimani played in Iraq’s recent protests, the four key enemies of America in Iraq and the region have been Qassim Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Qays Khazali, and Hadi Al Amiri.
In addition to General Soleimani, there was another of these key enemies of America killed in last night’s strikes: Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. These two were the commanders of the militias in Iraq that makes up the Fatah Bloc, Badr Organizations, and nearly 60 militia brigades across Syria and Iraq. General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were no doubt planning attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq.
The recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is what many of us call a probing attack, through which our enemies gauges how far and how much tolerance will be permitted by our defense forces. Such probing attacks enable our enemies to design a plan to get as much penetration and effectiveness of actual attacks.
The targeting of General Qassim Soleimani, a designated terrorist by the United States since 2005, was not an “assassination” as many media and liberal pundits may label. This was the targeting of a real time threat to America’s personnel, facilities, and our interests abroad.
The imminent threat and retaliation by Iran against the United State cannot be overlooked or underestimated.
The Iranian regime has continuously targeted the West in various countries across the globe, but Iran continues to act as if their hands were clean.
Much like we witnessed in the 1983 Lebanon bombings that resulted in many U.S. Marines losing their lives, Americans must realize that the West and Iran’s collision course was inevitably bound to occur sooner or later.
The sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury were already starting to take hold prior to the so-called “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” agreement with Iran under the Obama Administration. Had the Obama-Iran agreement not been made to loosen sanctions, we would have seen a similar escalation during President Obama’s time in office.
The events that have taken place and the ratcheting up of tensions between the two nations were not about “if” — it was only about “when.”
I’m grateful that we have a president now who understands the imminent threat to America that Iran possesses militarily, and is willing to take appropriate action. This much needed action, of course, will place Americans abroad under direct threat. The president, however, weighed the impacts of last night’s decision, and realized that Americans would be under far greater threat in Iraq if General Qassim Soleimani had been allowed to plan and execute further attacks in the region.
We must realize that this latest swift attack by the United States will be a warning to the remaining bad actors in Iraq who wish to engage in terrorism against the U.S. and the Iraqi people. The ball is now in Iran’s court!
Iranian leaders must decide if they want to try to maintain the illusion that they are stronger than the U.S., and if military action by Iran is worth the further escalation.
Iran’s oil refineries and oil production facilities will be a key target for the U.S. should Iranian leaders retaliate against any of our naval vessels staged off the Persian Gulf, attack any of our U.S. embassies or consulates abroad, or target any Americans in kidnapping/hostage operations.
Our swift action yesterday was a proportional response by America to an aggressor.
The U.S. has continued to answer with a calculated and appropriate level of response. The president made it clear months ago that the U.S. will not tolerate a single American life lost. This message was made loud and clear last night.
Cory Mills is a highly decorated combat veteran with experience in multiple theaters of operation. He is Founder and CEO of PACEM Solutions International and PACEM Defense LLC, which acquired AMTEC Less Lethal Systems, Inc., in 2018. For most of his adult life, Cory Mills has honorably served U.S. military, diplomatic, and USAID missions. After Mr. Mills was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he served as a subcontractor for the U.S. State Department from 2005-2010. During this time, he worked with thousands of diplomatic missions in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and the U.S. Consul in Erbil. In 2016, the Republic of Iraq credited PACEM with assisting operations which led to the raising of Iraq’s flag at the Fallujah Governor’s Office for the first time in nearly three years. Prior to this, ISIS was flying the flag of the Caliph in Fallujah. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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