ANALYSIS: After Soleimani, How Iran and Israel are Preparing for War
New documentary hints at Israel’s direct involvement in assassination of top Iranian general
Last week Monday, Israeli national broadcaster KAN 11 aired a documentary about Qassem Soleimani the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the architect of the emerging Shiite Crescent.
Soleimani was assassinated by the US military on January 3rd this year shortly after he arrived in the Iraqi capital Baghdad where he was scheduled to have meetings with Iraqi officials about the forming of a new pro-Iranian government.
The KAN documentary featured among other experts Ronen Bergman the writer of the book The Secret War With Iran who is considered one of the best informed Israeli investigative journalists because he has contacts in the Israeli intelligence community.
Bergman revealed that the plan to assassinate Soleimani came up for the first time 18 months ago but that it had been very difficult to execute the plan because the Quds commander used to buy a number of flight tickets for different flights to the same destination before he travelled to an airport.
Soleimani also took other preventive measures such as arriving moments before the take-off of the plane he was travelling with thus making it more difficult to hit him.
When Soleimani arrived in Baghdad usual security protocol such as taking him off the plane first and putting him in one of two cars which were waiting for him on the tarmac was executed but then something extraordinary happened.
The second preventive measure should have been that at the exit of the airport two other cars would join the two SUV’s and Soleimani was supposed to change cars to make it extremely difficult to know in which car he was actually travelling.
The Americans already six times had rehearsed Soleimani’s assassination based on the four-car-scenario but this time the Iranians, or were it the Iraqi’s, made the job much easier for them Bergman revealed.
Asked about the depth of Israel’s involvement in the assassination Bergman waited a few seconds and then asked for the next question. This pattern was repeated throughout the documentary every time Bergman was asked about Israel’s involvement he refused to answer the question.
Soleimani was singlehandedly responsible for the export of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and built a mighty all-Shiite force of hundreds of thousands of fighters in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and, Yemen who are now preparing for war with Israel.
For this reason Soleimani also enlisted the Sunni Arab terror organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) into the Resistance Axis which aims to ‘liberate’ Jerusalem and annihilate the State of Israel.
The reason Soleimani was able to enlist Hamas into the Resistance Axis was the Israeli assassination of Sheikh Yassin the slain leader of Hamas who hated Shiites Bergman said.
Under supervision of Soleimani Hezbollah, Hamas and PIJ were turned into well-trained and well-equipped fighting forces similar to conventional armies but with characteristics of terrorist organizations.
Ninety-five percent of Hamas’ current military capabilities is due to the work of Soleimani according to Bergman who also said that the US invasion of Iraq early 2003 when the regime of Saddam Hussein was toppled constituted a huge present to Iran that used the ensuing chaos to entrench itself in the Arab country.
David Petraeus, the former commander of US Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and a former CIA director told KAN 11 that Soleimani had become America’s number one enemy even before US Special Forces assassinated Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Roadside bomb attacks against the US Army in Iraq which were ascribed to Al-Qaeda were in reality the work of Soleimani Petreaus claimed.
Soleimani sent a threatening letter to Petreaus in which he told him that he Qassem Soleimani was, in fact, running Iraq, Syria and Lebanon but Petreaus decided to ignore him and to try to wipe out the Quds commander’s project.
Bergman then said something remarkable about the quiet that followed the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
It was a war Hezbollah started against the will of Soleimani who thought the terror organization was not ripe enough for a confrontation with the Israeli military but the outcome of the war satisfied him.
Not Hezbollah was deterred by the war but Israel was Bergman said while claiming Israel was frightened after witnessing the power of Iranian proxy.
Ever since Israel has changed its strategy in the now not so covert war against the Iranian axis and last week revealed it was opening a new IDF command tasked with neutralizing the growing Iranian threat as part of a new strategic plan called ‘Momentum’.
The new Iran Command of the IDF will further transform the Israeli military and make it a rapid and more lethal force that will be able to end the expected war with the Resistance Axis quickly before it can unleash its massive missile arsenal which is now no longer limited to Lebanon and Gaza but also includes the arsenal of the Hashd al-Sha’abi umbrella organization of predominantly Shiite militias in Iraq and that of Ansar Allah (Houthis) in Yemen.
Iran last week for the first time officially admitted it was training and equipping Ansar Allah which it said was part of a 3000 kilometre-wide Axis which is preparing to raze Tel Aviv to the ground and to annihilate Israel.
Perhaps the Iranians realized it made no longer sense to deny its support for Ansar Allah after the USS Normandy, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser seized 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of the Russian Kornet ATGM and a large number of other missiles and weapons bound for the Shiite militia in Yemen, according to the US military.
The Israeli air force (IAF) last week showed off part of the new ‘Momentum’ strategy when IAF jets launched Delilah cruise missiles at Iranian military facilities near Damascus and killed seven Iranians and Shiite fighters while destroying new advanced weapons which were delivered by an Iranian Boeing 747 shortly before the Israeli missile strikes.
Sources inside Syria reported, furthermore, that Ishmail Ghaani the new commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps arrived on the same plane in Damascus but apparently, he wasn’t among the seven victims who died as a result of the Israeli strikes.
The same Syrian sources claimed that at least ten Delilah cruise missiles were launched by IDF jets from the Golan Heights something that seems to be true because shortly before the new Israeli attack on the Iranian axis IAF warplanes were spotted by this reporter flying over the Sea of Galilee in the direction of the Golan Heights.
It could be the IAF decided to launch the missiles from the Golan Heights because of the presence of two Russian Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets in the skies above southern Syria at the moment the Israeli air force wanted to strike the new delivery of Iranian sophisticated weapons to the Quds Force.
Hezbollah, meanwhile, provoked Israel again by revealing a giant statue of Soleimani who points in the direction of Jerusalem (al-Quds) next to the Palestinian flag in a field near the border village of Ras al-Amoun along the Israeli border.