Qassem Suleimani is “the head of the Qods Force, the foreign arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.” The Revolutionary Guards Corps is actually named the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, but the Western media generally leaves out the “Islamic” part.
Anyway, the U.S. misadventures in the Middle East are empowering Iran. Iran is taking full advantage of American weakness, lack of purpose and fecklessness. “For the Iranians, really, the gloves are off.”
“Iran’s Military Mastermind Is ‘The Leader Of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, And Yemen,'” by Michael B. Kelley, Business Insider, December 5, 2014 (thanks to John):
As the US provides air cover for Iranian-backed militias fighting ISIS (aka the Islamic State, ISIL, and/or Daesh) in Iraq, t he [sic] longest continuously serving American official in the country has strong opinions about who is in control.
Ali Khedery, who served as a special assistant to five US ambassadors and a senior adviser to three heads of US Central Command between 2003 and 2009, told The New York Times: “For the Iranians, really, the gloves are off.”
He highlighted the role of Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Qods Force, the foreign arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Qods is directing sectarian militias in both Iraq and Syria. At the same time, Suleimani is nurturing the guerilla proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis rebel group in Yemen — in other words, he is controlling powerful Shia proxies all across the Middle East.
“Suleimani is the leader of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen,” Khedery said. “Iraq is not sovereign. It is led by Suleimani, and his boss, [Iranian Supreme Leader] Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”
For the Americans, any campaign against ISIS means US planes and combat advisors working in parallel with Iranian planes and Shia militias who have US blood on their hands.
“In Iraq, a degree of coordination between the American military and Iran’s is imperative but also awkward,” The Times notes, “making it appear that the United States is working in tandem with its adversary.”
The Obama administration, while denying any coordination, does not seem to mind Iran’s empowerment as the two countries negotiate a potential nuclear deal that Obama hopes will rebalance the region for the better…
Unlikely in the extreme.