Mary Beth Long@LongDefense
FMR Asst Sec Defense, Chair NATO’s HLG, CIA Clandestine Service, Successful Entrepreneur, Republican for strong national defense, lawyer, PSU grad.
Let’s have some straight talk on #Soleimani, shall we?
1. Suleimani took command of the Quds Force over 20 years ago and his job is to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor: thru military force, by assassinating rivals and arming allies.
2. His twenty year focus is directing a network of militant groups that has killed hundreds of U.S in #Iraq and others.
3. I know of only ONE American who has ever met him, John Maguire, describing him as soft-spoken yet the most powerful man in the MidEast. Thoughtful, strategic, smart, charismatic – 100% dedicated
4. He personally runs #Iran’s war in #Syria and brought in thousands of #Quds Force when #Assad’s army began to fail.
5. Suleimani and #Nasrallah of #Hezbollah #Lebanon are old friends and cooperate globally where Hezbollah has performed terrorist acts at Iran’s behest.
6. His power comes from his impeccable revolutionary credentials and his close relationship with #Khamenei, The Supreme Leader, who has referred to Suleimani as “a living martyr of the revolution.” Suleimani is a hard-line supporter of Iran’s authoritarian system but is rich and has built the #IRGC into an economic powerhouse.
7. He hates #Israel and Jews and is well known to its intelligence services as a superbly effective operative; in some ways, he is both hated and admired
8. #Suleimani has orchestrated terrorist attacks in places as far flung as #Thailand, #New Delhi, #Argentina, #Lagos, and #Nairobi— at least fifty attempts in the past 20 years. The most notorious was in 2011 against #KSA Ambass #AdelalJubeir when #Iran hired a drug cartel to blow him up at in D.C. Suleimani’s agent turned out to be a #DEA informant .
9-#Suleimani was pragmatic. He worked indirectly with #RyanCrocker of State Dept in helping the U.S target the #Taliban and in selecting Shia officials for the new #Iraqi Gov’t.
10. That cooperation was short lived, however. In 2004, the Quds Force began flooding Iraq with“explosively formed projectiles “ that accounted for nearly twenty per cent of U.S Iraq combat deaths. Roadside E.F.P.s were made by skilled technicians in Iran and were supplied by #QodsForce. They also resulted in tens of thousands of maimed U.S and Iraqi soldiers.
11. In recent years, the #IRGC has posted social media videos of #Soleimani directing attacks in #Mosul and against #IraqiKurd forces. He has traveled widely and has unprecedented autonomy in carrying out his military-terrorist mandate.
12. Those who refer to his death as “political assassination” of a “foreign official” are either grossly ill-informed or willfully blind. In my experience, his involvement in targeting U.S military personnel alone has made him a legitimate target of at least TWO U.S Presidents, although@realDonaldTrump is the first to have succeeded. On at least two occasions in which I am aware, previous operations in other administrations were canceled due to intel or other complicating factors.
13. Given the prominence of #Soleimani in all of #Iran’s extra-territorial operations, both military and civilians have considered the implications of directing operations aganist him on multiple occasions, including 2nd and 3rd order impacts/retaliation from various adversaries.
14. I hope this is useful. There is an excellent profile of #Soleimani from Dexter Filkins@NewYorker from 2013 that gave a good feel for #Soleimani using excellent sources.
Michael Knights@MikeknightsiraqI know everyone is having fun being outraged, but there would not be «cultural» targets on any US target list. Such sites are on a «no-strike list» and/or a «restricted target list» including all UNESCO sites and many others, incl mosques, schools, etc.