Friday, January 3, 2020

U.S. Airstrike Against Soleimani was Legal and Justified

By Timothy Gamble
1-3-2020

As you have undoubtedly heard by now, on January 2 a U.S. airstrike targeted senior Iranian military leaders, including Iran-backed Iraqi militia leaders, within the vicinity of Baghdad’s airport. General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces deputy-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were both killed, among others.
 
Local Iraqi media reports that earlier today, January 3, two Iraqi militia leaders supported by Iran were arrested: Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the Badr Brigade, and Qais Khazaali, commander of Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

The airstrike was in response to the Popular Mobilization Forces' attack on the US Embassy, which was authorized, planned, and supported by Iran, via Soleimani. Attacking a nation's embassy is considered an "Act of War" equivalent to attacking the nation itself, as an embassy is considered "sovereign soil" of that nation. 

Additionally, General Soleimani is considered a terrorist under US Law since he heads the IRGC Quds Force, which is officially designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Soleimani is a murder who is responsible, directly and indirectly, for many thousands of deaths, including an estimated 600+ American service members according to the US State department. 

Some folks opposed to Donald Trump are calling this an "assassination" of a foreign leader. It was not. As David French, a Iraq War Vet, attorney, and journalist, explains "I'm seeing a lot of people calling the strike on Suleimani an "assassination." Some are even bringing up Reagan's EO 12333, prohibiting assassinations. Killing an enemy commander, in a war zone, with a military strike conducted under the law of war is not an "assassination.""

A statement released by the Pentagon reads, in part, "At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. 

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region..."

The emerging Democratic talking point and mainstream media narrative that Soleimani was a "revered" figure in Iran is also demonstrably false. Instead, he was a greatly feared man, a monster responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians.

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad posted on her Twitter account last night "IMPORTANT: For many Iranians Qassem Soleimani was a warmonger who caused massive casualties in Syria. He was no hero to average Iranians who chanted against the country’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas 1/" and "Unfortunately Western media misses the point by glorifying Soleimani— He was the common enemy for people in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. His Involvement in crackdown against university students in late 1990s was another black mark against him. 2/".


So feared and hated by many, some parts of the Middle East actually erupted with joy and celebration at the announcement of Soleimani's death.  Sara Assaf tweeted a video of one such celebration taking place at Tahrir Square, Baghdad.  The video can be viewed on her Twitter account at https://twitter.com/SaraAssaf/status/1212920600508936192

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