By Batool Subeiti
Two years on from the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the events that have transpired in West Asia signify a retardation for the American strategy in the region. America bet on weakening the resistance front through eliminating its figurehead, that thwarted America’s plans through his efficacy, strategic thinking, solid relationships, and long-term experience on the battlefield. However, America’s shrinking in the region is directly a result of a strengthened resistance front, that has become more stable and effective in the new regional phase post-assassination, signifying the spread of the real principles and values Soleimani planted the seeds of.
The first important sign of shifting to a new phase is the expansion and depth of the resistance alliance that Soleimani had coordinated in various countries, with the action becoming more institutionalized after having been reliant on a heavyweight figure. Certainly, the action at the beginning, especially during the resistance phase required reliance on an effective and active individual such as Soleimani, who fulfilled this mission. This was seen on countless occasions, such as Soleimani’s pivotal role in the leadup to Lebanon’s 2000 victory, spending the whole 33-day war in Lebanon strategizing; shipping cargo with tonnes of weapons to Fatah during the second intifada, proposing the idea of training the resistance fighters in Gaza to manufacture long range missile; reaching an agreement with the Taliban to curb the extreme factions; swiftly coordinating the resistance factions that were armed with weapons to fight within a very short span when ISIS entered Iraq, visiting President Putin and securing Russia’s involvement in the fight against terrorists in Syria and Soleimani’s influence on Kurdish leaders to withdraw from Kirkuk, which avoided military confrontation between Kurdish and Iraqi troops, to name a few.
The influence of Soleimani was more than that of the Quds Force as whole, as he had easy access to all of Iran and to the Leader himself, however this influence has now become more institutionalized and the mass effect is therefore bigger. Examples we have seen of the resistance front increasing in efficacy post-assassination, with more influence and coordination between the allies themselves is the Al-Quds Sword Battle of 2021; the victories in Ma’rib on the hands of the Houthis; the effective relationship of Iran with the Taliban despite the absence of Soleimani; the reaction of the Iraqis to the rigged elections where the Fatah Alliance went from maintain 48 seats to 17- the Iraqi State was almost non-functioning and the protestors even marched towards the Green Zone, manifesting tools of confrontation that is built upon an institution that has greater momentum.
Whilst it is clear the Western campaigns with the regional puppets are coordinated on the orders of America, such that when they order them to normalize or cut ties they immediately listen, the second important shift is the united front and cooperation of the resistance front, from Iran to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine that consider an attack on one as an attack on all- such that when an entity is being attacked and they need assistance, the other parties will come in. This was seen again in the Al-Quds Sword Battle when the Iraqi PMU announced its readiness to support the resistance if the Zionist regime persists with its aggression. When the West felt there was a real threat, it intensified its pressure on the regime and Biden even spoke with Netanyahu privately six times, culminating in the regime calling for a ceasefire on the 11th day- a short period of time considering previous aggressions. These talks and the American pressure were an acknowledgement of failure and the new balance of powers, whereas previously, the resistance groups in the respective region used to defend themselves on their own during a war and they weren’t linked logistically. It is clear the tools of defense, the missiles and drones of the resistance have caused an existential issue for an entity like the Zionist regime, such that they are now threatening America to act alone against Iran if they do not receive their security and military cover. Whilst the Western campaign are operating as one united with different countries to bring down the resistance front, the counter is also united as one against the malign Western influence in the region.
The third important shift is the resolve of the resistance to fill the vacuum, because of the assassination, with the readiness for confrontation more than before in terms of morale, widening presence and control on the ground, advancement of weaponry and manufacturing of defense tools. Whilst America wished to hit the resistance with a deathblow, the reverse has transpired and their influence has only increased.
The fourth shift is the blow on America’s prestige and the removal of the American mask, through displaying to the real world the illegitimate means on an international level that have been deployed. The killing of a General from another nation’s military in a foreign country, who was operating within a diplomatic framework, broke the prestige by which America is followed in identifying the ‘enemy’, revealing the forgery they wish to establish, such that other countries looking up to America couldn’t follow through with this deception.
The fifth shift is the conflict of interest between the West and the Zionist regime; the latter wants to milk and blackmail the West if they can, however as they are tools in the hands of an imperial master, the decisions are not really in their hands. Trump admitted Netanyahu wanted to plague America in a war with Iran ‘to the last American soldier’, whilst America seeks to go in the direction of compromise with Iran and recognizes the burden of the Zionist regime in this regard. Biden also represents a reverse in Trump’s policies, representing the position of the American establishment in remaining within the JCPOA and even acknowledging Soleimani’s killing went against America’s interests, claiming it ‘almost certainly will have an opposite effect’ and showing a failure in policy.
The current phase in West Asia is one where America is withdrawing, as seen in places like Afghanistan that is almost American free, whilst the resistance front is in the phase of Liberation.
Batool Subeiti is a London-based political analyst.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Ansarpress.)