Middle East Braced for Backlash After Killing of Qassem Soleimani - Editorial

Background: The United States Kills General Soleimani in drone Strike

The U.S. forces killed Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani, head and leader of the elite Quds Force, in the planned airstrike near Baghdad airport, Iraq. The attacked was confirmed by Pentagon and Iran.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (Iraqi militia commander and also an advisor to General Qassem Soleimani, was also killed in the attack. The attack was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump. The attack was triggered by an event of Iranian mob siege to the U.S. Embassy in the capital city Bagdad, Iraq.

US officials reported Gen. Soleimani was killed in the drone strike, but Iranian revolutionary guard reported that Gen Soleimani was killed in the attack made by the American helicopters.

Middle East Braced for Backlash After Killing of Qassem Soleimani - Editorial

Gen. Soleimani was considered to be the chief architect of Tehran’s spreading the influence of the military in west Asia. Gen. Soleimani killing escalated tensions in West Asia and triggered the shadow war between Iran, the United States and US allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia). Any further movement by Iran against US actions will have repercussion, as US allies are ready to ratchet up the responses.

Soon after the attack, Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned serious action against the United States. Its nothing new that Iran has been in conflict with the United States song very long time, this conflict was escalated quickly, when the Iranian mob siege and attached US embassy in Bagdad, Iraq after U.S. airstrike the Kataib Hezbollah militia, created by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (advisor of Gen. Soleimani). There are around 5350 US military troops now stationed across different parts of Iraq.

Reaction from Iraq:

Adel Abdel Mahdi, Iraq’s Prime Minister said, the attack was the ‘Flagrant violation’ of a security accord with the United States. This attack from the United States might ignite the devastating war in Iraq, he warned.

Also, the oil prices in the international market spiked and prices went up by $3 (three) per barrel after the news of Gen. Soleimani killing went across the world. Speaking of the numbers, internationally oil prices seen a 4% sudden rise in price, after the news od Gen Soleimani killing went out, this was the massive movement and many investors lost their investments within minutes. Such incidents and uncertain situations may put certain commodities out of control.

Iraq is the Mecca and home to myriad Iranian-aligned Shia militia groups believed to have great influence in the security institution and government.

This complete Islamic regime, sponsor regular proxies in the region, which they consider as an integral part of their national security and maintain the influence strategy.

Not internationally but locally at the regional level, stress level may spike about Gen Soleimani’ death and may get avenged by the attack on the interest of the US and its allies.

Some of the possibilities are the attacks on oil tankers and oil supply line, especially economically high-value targets majorly into the crude oil sectors.

Iranians are very well known for their fearless attitude and their hunger for riposte runs deep into their culture. Maybe the U.S. went too ahead and too hard with their “fear premium” attitude. Although the United States has its military base all across the globe, situations remain very unpredictable. This might also trigger the Global War.

Probable or Possible fallout, on India:

Indian has already had substantial difficulties in navigating through the course set by Iran-U.S. cold war, full of hindrance and obstacles.

India needs to be on the right side of the U.S. without disturbing out good relation with Iran for our oil requirements. This is because, despite the sanctions that ware imposed on Iran for oil export, India still purchased oil from Iran and India have very good relations with Iran ever since.

India has a very critical and important stand, apart from “civilizational” cross borders ties, each country has its own “geostrategic logic”.

Now the cold war between Iran and the U.S. has turned hot, and the situation tends to be very unpredictable, its adverse effect on India could magnify. For instance, Indian share market Sensex fall 788 points and Nifty below 12000 after the new of Gen. Soleimani killing. This was devastating, investors collectively lost around 3 lakhs-crores in one day (i.e. ₹ 3,000,000,000,000).

Indeed, oil is the main commodity in this entire conflict, but despite these rises in oil prices and more difficulties in supplies and transportation, the safety of around eight million expatriates and Gastarbeiter still remains unanswered and it may get affected.

Looking at the current scenario, Iran has the upper-hand in disrupting the U.S.-Taliban peace process undergoing in Afghanistan, which is also the neighbouring country to Iran. This might create a bigger headache for the U.S. and its allies.

Last but not least, after Iran, India accounts for the largest population of Shia Muslims population and there is the dense possibility of some of them might get radicalised by this event and may contribute their help to the terrorist organizations and militant groups.

Important Argument

The attack and killing of Gen. Soleimani, now has ended any possibility of negotiation the nuclear deal. Any sovereign country will see this an “act of war”, Iran is no different, they are right to their decision.

Being the head of the most powerful country in the world, President Donald Trump can be considered to where U.S.-Iran relation stands today, he single-handedly managed to ruin the possibility of constructive talk and co-operation between U.S.-Iran established in the year 2015, Iran nuclear deal. Donald Trump on his own, pulled the U.S. out an agreement, the year 2018 and re-introduced the series of sanctions and ban on Iran.

This attack made by the U.S. on Gen. Soleimani, had sent a bad ripple across the globe and, it is feared that this might ignite multiple attacks throughout the region, undermine it further, may cause heavy loss of lives and create a groundwork for extremist militant groups to re-emerge, which will further destabilise the region and cause more harm.

Pulling the U.S. from the agreement in the year 2018 was one thing, the worst part was the attack and killing Gen. Soleimani. This has destroyed, the long going peace-talk, and Mr Trump's single action had pushed both countries U.S. and Iran down the valley of no-return.

Conclusion

From Indian Perspective: India needs more and better strategic choices if the neighbouring west Asia region gets further pushed down the slope of War.

Would is least worries about India, but we already paying the price for the actions of Mr Trump. Our interest in the region is deeper than ever before and the prices we pay are very huge. Hence it is very unpredictable at this point in time, how the chips will fall.

India will have to have considerable attention on Afghanistan, that being the geopolitical epicentre and conflict theatre, followed by the side actors Iran and Iraq.

Indian administration must be busy in preparing the contingency evacuation plan, for the worst-case scenario that might erupt in the region. Looking into the past couple of the situation, now India is backed with the experience of implementing contingency plan in troubled situations.

India’s envious neighbourhood Pakistan might take this opportunity and try their hands to create a ripple in Indian economic system by regular threats, but with series of experience, not India knows well to take care of the situation.

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