UK foreign secretary says Soleimani’s job was to attack Western troops ‘legitimately’ in the Middle East – like in Syria?
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was Qassem Soleimani’s job to attack Western troops deployed ‘legitimately’ across the Middle East. But who authorized the presence of those troops in Syria remains a mystery.
Raab went on the BBC to fully endorse Washington’s justification of the targeted assassination of the commander of Iran’s Quds Force as an act of self-defense. The Trump administration claimed the man was planning attacks on American citizens and that preemptively killing him on Iraqi soil was OK.
“It was General Soleimani’s job description to engage proxies, militias across not just Iraq but the whole region not just to destabilize those countries but to attack Western countries who were legitimately there,” the top British diplomat told Andrew Marr. “In those circumstances the right of self-defense clearly applies.”
Soleimani was a crucial figure in organizing military support of the governments of Syria and Iraq in their fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The Sunni terrorist organization grew out of an Iraq-based off-shoot of Al-Qaeda that gained strength on the chaos and smuggled weapons pumped into Syria by nations bent on toppling the Syrian government before overrunning US-trained Iraqi troops in the 2014 lightning offensive.
The US and a coalition of its allies, including Britain, too fought IS on both sides of the border. Noticeably the fighting in Syria was done without a mandate of the UN Security Council and in blatant disregard for the opinion of the government in Damascus. American troops remain in the east of the country controlling oil fields and denying access to Syrians.Also on rt.com The US unwittingly helped create Qassem Soleimani. Then they killed him.
In the drive to vilify Soleimani, US President Trump branded him as the “number one terrorist anywhere in the world” – a title presumably ‘bestowed’ on the man after the killing of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last October. Vice President Mike Pence went further and falsely accused the Iranian general of having a hand in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Soleimani’s actual record is quite complicated and includes, for example, assisting the US in their fight against the Taliban before George W. Bush put Iran on his “axis of evil” list.
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