There is little question that the controlling regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a grave threat to their neighbors in the Middle East, especially Israel, and a significant portion of that threat is posed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, particularly their elite Quds Force.
According to The Times of Israel, the Quds Force is tasked with carrying out both open and secretive military operations outside of Iran, and it has been led for at least the past 20 years by a general named Qassem Soleimani, who may now be living on borrowed time.
The Times reported on an exclusive scoop from Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida which claimed that top U.S. intelligence and military officials have granted Israel a “green light” to proceed with a plan to conduct an assassination of the senior Iranian general, if an opportunity presents itself.
That report noted that Israel had been on the verge of taking out Soleimani about three years ago, but the plan fell through after the administration of former President Barack Obama tipped off the Iranians about the plot — most likely in a bid to prevent their much-wanted nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic from being derailed.
It is worth noting that Soleimani has been a key figure in Iran’s efforts at propping up the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad in their lengthy civil war against various rebel groups.
He is also believed to have played an important role in supporting other Iran-aligned military and terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.
According to Haaretz, the Kuwaiti paper Al-Jarida is known throughout the Arab world to break exclusive stories from Israel.
It is thought that the Kuwaiti paper has been used in the past as a platform through which Israel can indirectly send messages to their Middle Eastern neighbors.
Haaretz stated that the report from Al-Jarida claimed that when the Obama administration scuttled the previous Israeli assassination attempt on Soleimani, it unsurprisingly “sparked a sharp disagreement between the Israeli and American security and intelligence apparatuses regarding the issue.”
According to the Kuwaiti paper’s unnamed source in Jerusalem, the administration of President Donald Trump has given Israel a “green light” to assassinate Soleimani because now “there is an American-Israeli agreement” which viewed Soleimani as a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.”
That Kuwaiti report also noted that Soleimani’s second-in-command was a general named Mohammad Reda Falah Zadeh. It was pointed out that Zadeh, as well as other prominent Iranian actors in the region, “might be a target” for Israeli assassination as well.
According to pro-Syrian regime media outlet Al Masdar News, aside from his assistance to Assad’s forces in Syria, Soleimani also led Iranian troops and Iran-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq as they battled against the Islamic State group.
Specifically, they noted that Soleimani’s leadership of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units in 2014 and 2015, with help from Kurdish forces, prevented the Islamic State group from entering Baghdad and toppling the Iraqi government — which many view as the moment when Iran asserted their control over their Iraqi neighbors.
What Al Masdar left unsaid, but was duly noted by The Times of Israel, is that Soleimani has also provided military aid over the years to both Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon — two terrorist organizations with an openly expressed intent to destroy the nation of Israel.
But now that the prior administration of Obama is gone — which went out of its way to avoid offending the Iranians in favor of securing the nuclear deal — Soleimani’s remaining days as a force in the region are probably numbered … and that is excellent news for both America and Israel.
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