Following the assassination of the leader of Failaqal-Quds, General Qassem Soleimani, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that this move will cause escalation of tensions throughout the region.
“That will not result in anything but escalating tensions in the region, which will be sure to affect millions of people,” Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, wrote on her Facebook page.
The same sentiment echoed wide in the region as similar statements were issued by the Syrian Ministry of Exterior and Immigrants as their official statement strongly condemned the horrific American attack that caused the death of Soleimani and Deputy Chief of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. It was also considered it a dangerous escalation to the situation in the region, according to the ministry.
How credible are claims at possible escalation?
In the statement issued by the department of defense issued the night of Jan. 2, 2020, the US claimed that: “Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and servicemen in Iraq and throughout the region.”It also added that Soleimani and his forces were: “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans…”
The strike was aimed at deterring future attacks by Iranian forces, also according to the same statement.
It is important to note that the decisive military action that killed Soleimani alongside 10 other high-profile Iranian and Iraqi military personnel in the Iranian Failaq al-Quds as well as the Iraqi Popular Mobilization was directly authorized by Trump.
Trump has been keen on de-escalation in the Middle East and has promised his electorate to stop the policy of endless wars. For such a calculated attack to occur, Trump would have to be assured that this would unlikely cause a new war. In his statement on Friday, Trump said: “We took action last night to stop a war, we didn’t take action to start a war.”
While every government far and wide made statements in condemnation or in approval, it seemed that in both cases escalation was never in the books, especially after Iran named the replacement for General Soleimani, and later stated that their retaliation would come at the correct time and place; a statement that has been historically paired with empty threats.