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The reports that #IRGC Quds commander Qassem Sulaymani and his Iraqi deputy, Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), have been killed by a drone strike [apparently American] in Baghdad are now coming from Iraqi politicians close to #Iran/#Hashd and #Hizballah outlets, FWIW.
The #US should have killed Quds Force commander Qassem Sulaymani and the other senior members of the #IRGC network in Iraq, Abu Mahdi chief among them, many years ago. What's odd is "why-now?", if this has happened. Where they aiming for a Hashd guy and got lucky?
By "odd", what I mean is - despite the clear rhetorical and tit-for-tat escalations on the Gulf and at the Iraqi bases - the #US is in no way positioned to absorb what #Iran will throw at them if they have killed Qassem Sulaymani.
Add to the reports from #Iraq and sources close to #Iran's agents in the country: it's now coming from the #US side, too, that Qassem Sulaymani and his Iraqi deputy, Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), have been killed tonight in Baghdad.

As @Doranimated says, now we wait
Oh my God -

An official in #Iraq has announced on television that the head of #Iran's #IRGC-Quds Force Qassem Sulaymani and his Iraqi deputy, Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), are dead.

(H/T @Joyce_Karam)
The Hashd leadership (#Iran's Shia proxy militias in #Iraq) confirm that the head of #Iran's #IRGC-Quds Force Qassem Sulaymani and his Iraqi deputy, Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), have been killed.
Killing #Iran's external operations chief, Qassem Sulaymani, the man charged with the export of the Islamist revolution, is far more significant strategically than the killing either of Al-Qaeda's Usama bin Laden or IS's Ibrahim al-Badri (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi).
One can wish that this was done as part of a serious #US politico-military strategy to roll back #Iran's empire, and have grave trepidation about Tehran's response, but across the region tonight will be near-unanimous celebration that Sulaymani has gone.
It's hard to fathom the importance if Qassem Sulaymani really is dead. He's the driving force of #Iran's theocratic expansionism; he was willing to gamble on this project, in #Syria + under the cover of the anti-IS war, against a lot of opposition at home, and looked to have won.
For #Trump to have done this intentionally is so out of character and shocking. After Raqqa, Kirkuk, Deraa, the drone in June, and ARAMCO, it looked like he was sticking with the Obama path on #Iran, albeit while changing the soundtrack.
Fair's fair: #Trump carried through on this one, and for once #Iran actually paid a meaningful price for a lethal provocation against the United States.
There is a claim here, to be taken with extreme caution, that #US Marines in Al-Jadriya, Baghdad, have arrested Hadi al-Ameri (head of the Badr Corps, #Iran's oldest Iraqi proxy) and Qays al-Khazali (head of another Iranian proxy militia, Asaib Ahl al-Haq)
Actually in shock; physiological shock. If "black swan" has any meaning, Trump killing Qassem Sulaymani is it - and by the looks of it, it is a decapitation strike for the Iranian revolution's entire imperial apparatus. It has reshuffled the deck in a serious way for the region.
Al-Arabiya has deleted the tweet, suggesting this is untrue:
There are good logistical/logical reasons to think this is true. And it is useful to have the rumour out there in any case.
I have been saying this all night: the Trump presser about Sulaymani's demise will rob the moment of any dignity or gravitas, but it will stamp it in an unalterably Trumpian way and, of course, be amusing, probably unintentionally.
The Bolsheviks competing fiercely with the Obama bros, NIAC, and Barb for the title of Most Distressed by the head of #Iran's spy-terrorist apparatus, Qassem Sulaymani, being killed tonight in Baghdad.
Pentagon statement says it killed the head of #Iran's expeditionary Quds Force, Qassem Sulaymani, as part of its force-protection efforts and to deter future attacks.

I'm surprised they didn't claim it was part of the anti-ISIS mission. But who gives a damn? Sulaymani is dead.
*Competition for the worst takes intensifies*

Once we add the Realists, Right and Left, to the Bolsheviks, Obama bros, NIAC, and Barb, we are getting close to discovering the secret.
I spoke much too soon about where the worst takes on Qassem Sulaymani's demise would come from.

I had not factored in the United Nations, which in the stakes for calamity and contributions to disaster and evil has a record few can parallel
An extremely powerful entry here.

Advantage Bolshevism, in the Sulaymani takes stakes.
Bolsheviks opening up a decisive lead now in the Sulaymani takes stakes.
Deeply upsetting: peace with the clerical theocracy dedicated to erasing Western influence in the Middle East and the Jewish state seemed so close at hand. If only the US had not killed the lead instrument of its expansionist policy of massacre and mayhem
Surveying the damage that can be done to #Iran's theocratic imperialism with even the minimum application of American power and resolve ...
The Obama officials are so upset because their legacy-making realignment of the Middle East, which would allow the US to leave, relied on Qassem Sulaymani and his Quds Force, the most zealous and blood-drenched part of the zealous and blood-drenched regime in #Iran. Now it's over
All talk of #JCPOA empowering "moderates" in #Iran was nonsense: there aren't any, and the cash was sent direct to #IRGC to be used to massacre the Syrians and Iraqis resisting the Iranian rule of their countries, with fairly active US support under the "counter-ISIS" banner.
And there's still no solid guarantee he has the distinction mastered.
For the avoidance of doubt: anyone using this talking point about #Iran being the most effective anti-#IS force is (wittingly or not) channelling the clerical regime's propaganda.
#Iran and its militias relied on American air power against #IS, directly in #Iraq and more indirectly in #Syria. This was a disgraceful Obama era policy. As with other "anti-ISIS" forces, Iran carried out its own expansionist agenda disguised as anti-terrorism.
In a region that is especially notable for a disconnect between public and actual state policy, this is a useless metric.
As ugly as helping #Iran murder half-a-million people in #Syria? Because if not, you should probably sit this one out.
Thinking ahead, one beneficiary of this shift in focus after #Iran's Qassem Sulaymani has been killed is #Turkey. A serious political and messaging effort was being built against the Turks' move in #Libya, a country many in Europe were discovering existed.
Depending on subsequent events, it is possible #Turkey could rethink how it deals with #Iran (and therefore #Russia), but this would require a proper change in #US policy that seems very unlikely.
A more immediate run consequence of the US killing the head of #Iran's spy-terrorism apparatus Qassem Sulaymani could well be some alleviation of the pressure on #Idlib in northwest #Syria, as the Iranian empire composes itself. Would give #Turkey some time to fortify the area.
When it comes to #Iran, some people have lost their damn minds. They've managed to wrap their partisan affiliations and/or ideological ones up with the interests of the Islamic Republic, including regurgitating its half-baked messaging against US allies.
It is quite difficult to believe the good faith of people who object to #Trump having killed the leader of #Iran's state terrorism on the basis of "international law" or "it could lead to war". It is at best an indication they neither know nor care that #Syria and #Iraq exist.
The fate of the Iranian revolution was always a question of American will. In both directions. Had America toppled #Asad and not supported #Iran and its militias as part of the anti-#IS war, the clerical theocracy would not have risen so far.
The Iraqi Defence Ministry mourns the loss of "the hero [and] martyr" Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), the head of the Hashd al-Shabi (the Iranian-run Shia militias that are formally part of Iraq's state), and the deputy to Qassem Sulaymani.
The son of Qassem Sulaymani [on the right, as you look at the picture] weeping in Tehran at the demise of his father. #Iran
Syrians in #Idlib, the last province under control of anti-Asad/Iran forces, celebrate the elimination of Qassem Sulaymani, one of the men most responsible for the murder, displacement, and destruction in #Syria over the last nine years.
Jamal al-Ibrahimi (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis), the head of the Hashd [Iranian-controlled Shia militias now incorporated into #Iraq's state] and deputy to #Iran's external security leader Qassem Sulaymani, was killed by the #US as collateral. Amazing.
Statement from #Turkey's Foreign Ministry expresses worry about the "escalating tension between the #US and #Iran" and says the killing of Qassem Sulaymani "aggravate[s] insecurity and instability", but stops well short of condemning the US. mfa.gov.tr/no_2_-kasim-su…
#Saudi response is the same as #Turkey's. Avoids praising or outright condemning the #US for killing #Iran's Qassem Sulaymani, while appealing for calm.
The Islamic Centre of England, a Shia seminary in Paddington, London, releases a statement of "condolence" for the "martyrdom of the honourable Islamic Commander" Qassem Sulaymani. Praises his work against the "diabolic powers of the world." ic-el.com/en/show_news.a…
Hadi al-Ameri was being shopped around by certain Obama officials as a plausible Iraqi Prime Minister not that long ago, and to this day arguments are made that Al-Ameri and Badr are not "really" instruments of #Iran |
Grotesque, not to mention stupid. #Turkey had put out a perfectly good Foreign Ministry statement that avoided exactly this kind of nonsense.
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