On The Brink of War #36

deepnews logo

Deepnews Digest #36

On The Brink of War

The U.S. strike that killed Iranian general Qassim Soleimani has set the entire Middle East on edge, with worries that each country’s next move risks bumbling towards war. Some pundits are trying to cool things down as others warm to the idea of open conflict, and an Internet full of hot takes about what each actor should do can make it hard to find the facts. For this digest Deepnews, which read thousands of articles on the subject, we decided to spotlight only those pieces adding reporting, rather than a mix that included pure opinion writing. Here are 25 gathered by the Deepnews Scoring Algorithm.

Story Source
AP
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader wept Monday over the casket of a top general killed in a U.S. airstrike, his prayers joining the wails of mourners who flooded the streets of Tehran demanding retaliation against America for a slaying that’s drastically raised tensions across the Middle East.

Editor’s Note:

Quartz
US president Donald Trump addressed Americans on Wednesday, briefly discussing his decision to kill Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. “Last week we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives,” the president said.

Editor’s Note:

Al-Monitor
As the tremors unleashed by the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani continue to reverberate across the region, Iraq’s Kurds are quietly weighing the opportunities and risks posed by the demise of Iran’s most influential soldier and strategist ahead of a potential trip to Washington by Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani at the invitation of US President Donald Trump

Editor’s Note: The U.S. and Iranian moves over the last week are taking place within the tangled web of different groups’ connections in the Middle East. One of those groups is the Iraqi Kurds, whose relationship with the Iraqi government and Iran is explored by Amberin Zaman here.

The Federalist
Repercussions mount over U.S. strike, with Iran nuclear deal pullback and Iraq call for U.S. troop pullout,’ the Los Angeles Times tells us, waiting 14 paragraphs to explain the resolution is not binding.

Editor’s Note:

The Nation
On Friday morning, France’s deputy minister for foreign affairs echoed global concerns about President Trump’s unilateral decision to order the assassination of a top Iranian military commander, General Qassem Soleimani, and other key Iranian and Iraqi figures.

Editor’s Note:

Politico
Mike Pompeo has assumed an outsized role from his perch in Foggy Bottom.

Editor’s Note:

The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Iran’s declaration Wednesday that a missile attack on Iraq had “concluded proportionate measures” against the United States in response to the killing of its most important general may amplify the Trump administration’s attention on computer systems as the next battlefield in its showdown with Tehran.

Editor’s Note:

Foreign Policy
We were in the White House when President Bill Clinton was wrongly accused of using military power to aid his own political fortunes. Here’s why this time is different.

Editor’s Note:

The Daily Beast
As President Trump grappled with how to respond to Iran throughout the last year, one of the people he turned to for advice was his personal attorney and unofficial envoy, Rudy Giuliani.

Editor’s Note:

Jersualem Post
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (left) stands on the frontlines during an offensive operation against Islamic State in the town of Tal Ksaiba, in Iraq, in 2015 Hajj Qasem, the “shadow commander,” Israel’s “most dangerous enemy,” has been killed in Iraq alongside his key disciple Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. An airstrike near or at Baghdad International Airport targeted a motorcade with the men in it just days after their followers stormed the US Embassy compound and scrawled “Soleimani is our leader” on its walls.

Editor’s Note:

Congressional Research Service
Since May 2019, U.S.-Iran tensions have heightened significantly, and evolved into conflict after U.S. military forces killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and one of Iran’s most important military commanders, in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on January 2, 2020.

Editor’s Note:

CBC
In one of the world’s largest Iranian communities outside Iran, news of the killing of one of the country’s most notorious figures, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, is being met with a mix of fear, exhilaration and, most of all, anxiety.

Editor’s Note: Toronto has one of the largest Iranian communities outside Iran, with a diaspora nervously looking towards its native country. This piece from the CBC gets their views, though importantly, was published before the downing of the Ukrainian Airlines plane with large numbers of Iranian-Canadians on it.

CNN
When the US government killing of the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was first announced, officials from the Pentagon up to President Donald Trump were careful to make clear the strike was meant to head off an imminent attack on Americans.

Editor’s Note:

NPR
Iran’s cultural heritage is suddenly a topic of urgent global interest, after President Trump threatened to strike such sites if the country retaliates for the United States’ killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

Editor’s Note:

Vancouver Sun
Profiling the B.C.-based victims of the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 crash near Tehran

Editor’s Note:

The American Conservative
Military sources say the recent strikes against Iran wouldn’t have happened under the former secretary’s watch.

Editor’s Note:

The Atlantic
Tehran’s immediate retaliation for Qassem Soleimani’s killing could be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate. Will Trump take it?

Editor’s Note:

Defense News
WASHINGTON — A Senate resolution to block President Trump from further escalating hostilities with Iran faced an uphill battle Tuesday, as key Republicans had yet to commit their support.

Editor’s Note:

LA Times
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon made plans Monday to send an additional 2,500 U.S. Marines to the Middle East, the latest fallout from President Donald Trump’s order to kill a powerful Iranian general last week, but one that could increase the risk of the kind of grinding conflict that the president has vowed to avoid.

Editor’s Note:

WSJ ($)
The changing dynamic was evident on Sunday when Shiite lawmakers, who constitute a majority in Iraq’s parliament but are often divided among themselves, pushed through a nonbinding resolution urging Prime Minister Adel-Abdul Mahdi to evict foreign forces.

Editor’s Note: More reporting on the situation within Iraq comes here from WSJ’s Isabel Coles, who breaks down the Shiite, Sunni divide in Iraqi parliament and in Iraqi society.

AP
JERUSALEM — Iran’s dramatic announcement that it no longer intends to honor its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers could soon revive discussions in Israel over a possible military strike on Iranian targets.

Editor’s Note:

LA Times
President Trump’s order for the targeted killing of a top Iranian general and Iran’s quick retaliation have scrambled the 2020 campaign, thrusting issues of war and peace to the center of a contest that so far has been dominated by domestic issues.

Editor’s Note:

Washington Post
“At some point, we want to get out,” Trump said. “But this isn’t the right point.”

Editor’s Note:

Middle East Eye
The Iranian-backed Iraqi armed factions are lost, distracted and unable to effectively strike American forces in Iraq after the loss of two key leaders last week, Shia leaders have told Middle East Eye.

Editor’s Note:

The Guardian
The giant, billowing Iranian flag that filled the screen gave way to footage of missiles launching into the sky and cries of “God is great”.

Editor’s Note: One thing that has been hard to come by is accurate reporting out of Iran itself, as few outlets have journalists inside the country. Here The Guardian’s Michael Safi reports from Beirut, with the help of an unnamed reporter in Tehran.

($) = This source has a hard paywall. You will need to suscribe to view this article.