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1/ Outside of core supporters, few in the #Arab world will shed tears over the death of Qassem Soleimani, who in their view went from a hero of resistance to Israel to mastermind of ethno-sectarian cleansing + decade-long campaign of weakening, isolating, butchering Sunni Muslims
2/Soleimani had emerged, in many people’s minds, as both the mastermind and symbol of Iran’s alleged hegemonic ambitions in the #Arab world and the leader of yet another foreign occupation force on Arab lands. #QassemSoleimani #Iran
3/ Seeing the Iranian Soleimani appear in Damascus, on the frontlines in #Syria, #Iraq, and at the heart of #Baghdad, was a constant reminder of the decline of not only Syrian and Iraqi regional influence and national sovereignty- but the defeat of #Arab nationalism itself
4/ However, all see the #US airstrike as a blatant violation of Iraqi national sovereignty, as people would put it, “even by American standards.” There is a feeling of frustration of #US and #Iran using Arab countries as their “bloody playground” to fight out their proxy wars.
5/ #Iraq and #Lebanon protests are a sign of #Arab publics moving beyond sectarian + political lines- much of it engineered and encouraged by Iran and its foes- to demand a return of national sovereignty and ouster of corrupt proxy politicians that #Tehran and others propped up
6/ The #US strike in #Baghdad is now a direct threat to these democratic movements and natural calls for transparency, fairness, a dignified life, independence and participation in the decision-making process in their national interests- not of others.
7/ There is fear and concern here in the region that seemingly imminent further escalations between the #US and #Iran will take place yet again on #Arab soil- perhaps farther afield from the traditional battle-grounds of #Iraq, #Syria and #Lebanon.
8/ Arab #Gulf countries such as Saudi and the UAE, which has recently toned down their rhetoric and worked to de-escalate their own tensions with #Iran to avoid conflict and disruptions to their economies, are concerned they might be in the firing line as #US allies.
9/ Even Arab countries who have stayed largely neutral and out of the conflict are on alert due to either the presence of #US troops, military bases, large diplomatic presence or commercial interests in their countries may emerge as a target in what has been an asymmetrical war.
10/ The feeling here today is a combination of disbelief, wariness and an urge to shout to both #Tehran and #Washington to, “just leave us alone” and “leave us out of this.”
11/ Too many in the #Arab world have lost their lives to what is seen as a #US- #Iran conflict that has trampled over Arab independence, sovereignty and self-determination.
12/ The bet in Arab capitals was, until now, that #Trump was a “transactional businessman averse to war” and that conflict would be too high of a political and personal cost for the president. Previous lack of response to #Iranian escalations in Gulf, Aramco reinforced this.
13/ #Trump administration’s reluctance to respond, and lack of reliability in general was one of the driving forces behind recent Arab rapprochement with #Iran and its allies in #Syria and #Iraq.
14/ Now #Arab governments, groups and citizens are bracing themselves for a potential escalation that may appear any time, anywhere, any-how either in the immediate present or the far future. Quite simply, all bets are off. #Trump #Iran #QassemSoleimani
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