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Those who Lost after Soleimani’s Killing

Those who Lost after Soleimani’s Killing

Saturday, 11 January, 2020 - 12:45
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The four Arab capitals that the Iranians were proud to have invaded were not alone in rushing to defend Iranian interests after Qassem Soleimani was killed. It was not only Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa that adopted the Iranian mourning position over the leader of the Quds Force, which led the Shiite militias’ operations in the region.

The strategy of other countries, which found Soleimani’s absence to be against their interests either because they were safe from attacks by the militias led by Soleimani or because they benefited in one way or another from the operations against its enemies, appeared. That’s why some reactions reflected an invisible alliance with Soleimani, even in terms of his responsibility for the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of victims, let alone that the militias were responsible for the murder of hundreds of Iraqi protesters based on Soleimani’s orders in the last few months.

All of that does not matter, so long as their interests were protected in Soleimani’s actions and behaviors. Turkey was the loudest diplomatic voice for the Iranian position, besides its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling Soleimani a martyr before Ankara took back that statement, Turkey considered that the killing of Soleimani - the death of the man who led 150,000 fighters in his militias - will lead to “instability in the region and a lack of security”, after it had used its diplomacy directly defending Iran’s position.

The Qatari position was not so different. Its foreign minister was the first to take a flight to Tehran to show solidarity and express “deep pain and sadness”, standing side by side with Tehran while Qatar hosts the most extensive US military base in the Middle East.

A third country’s position was similar; the new ally of Iran, Malaysia. Its Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad predicted that the Iranian general’s death would lead to a rise in terrorism.

What about Hamas? Its position was no surprise when it mourned the “martyr” after the blinds were raised on it. After today, nobody will trust Hamas, not after it had attached itself to Soleimani’s coat, calling him the “martyr of Jerusalem”.

It is true that the countries that mourned Soleimani, including Hamas, are allies of Tehran. This is not new, but perhaps what is most provocative is that Soleimani’s hands are covered with blood everywhere. In addition, he is on the terrorist list in many countries. Despite that, the Tehran team’s political position was very significant for showing sympathy for the death of an international terrorist that will be written in black letters, and this will not be easily erased out of its political history.

At the level of movements and organizations, leftist organizations also joined the party in wanting to take advantage of Soleimani’s death to move forward in their own path to destabilize the region, and despite this, their efforts having been frustrated before they began.

They even tried to resort to sectarianism. For example, while the people of Baghdad had been taking to the streets every night to protest against their government, they did not take to the streets after Soleimani, the man who most of the region considers being responsible for the instability in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s regime was overthrown, was killed.

It is also entirely understandable that Democrats in the US hassle the Trump administration about Soleimani’s murder, as the West has generally proven its inability to understand issues in the area, thousands of miles away from them. However, to be from this region that is living through disasters caused by the Revolutionary Guard Corps and stand by it nevertheless, that is the most robust expression of contradictions and standing by enemies, however terrorist they were, and this is a shame that will not be erased from whoever shed a tear over Soleimani’s death. The Tehran alliance is very close to Iran’s policies, with the latter being at the forefront while the former surrounding it and defending it diplomatically, justifying its positions from behind the scenes.

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