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Qassem Soleimani in Venezuela: The lesser known motive behind his assassination

By Hasan Illaik | The Cradle | January 3, 2023

On 3 January 2020, the US military assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), along with his companion, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Three years later, the motives for this decision – and its timing -are still being debated. The reasons for the US’s shock killing, however, may not be solely related to Soleimani’s role in regional conflicts, but could also arguably stem from his growing international clout.

Why was Soleimani assassinated?

Soleimani was reportedly responsible for leading Iran’s plan to surround Israel with an arc of missiles and precision drones in the West Asian region – from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq and Gaza, all the way to Yemen – which was viewed by Israeli officials as an existential threat to the Jewish state.

The US has long accused Soleimani of being behind much of the resistance it faced after invading Iraq in 2003, as well as allegedly ordering operations against US forces in the period leading up to his assassination.

The Quds Force commander – along with Muhandis – were critical in the Iraqi effort to defeat ISIS, outside of the control and agenda of the US and its regional allies, who often used the terrorist group to secure political and geographic gains.

Furthermore, the US held Iran, and by extension Soleimani, responsible for the Yemeni attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities on 14 September, 2019. The Aramco attack was so massive that it disrupted half of Saudi oil production, and was the largest of its kind since former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

A leader in the Resistance Axis

Soleimani was the “keyholder” in the Axis of Resistance, according to an Arab politician with strong ties to decision-making circles in both Washington and Riyadh.

“Hajj Qassem,” says the politician, was uniquely capable of making decisions and then implementing them, which is considered a “rare advantage” among leaders. He was able to achieve significant strategic results – rapidly – by moving freely and negotiating directly with various statesmen, militias, and political movements.

Examples of this are rife: The Quds Force commander persuaded Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 to intervene militarily in Syria, and organized the complex ‘frenemy’ relationship between Turkiye and Tehran through Turkish intelligence director Hakan Fidan.

Soleimani played a pivotal role in preventing the fall of Damascus, maintained and developed important links with Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in Beirut, led a region wide campaign to defeat ISIS, and successfully managed the delicate balances between various political components in Iraq. In Yemen, he was able to supply the Ansarallah movement with training and arms that arguably changed the course of the Saudi-led aggression.

Together or separately, the aforementioned points made him a desired target of assassination for both the US government and the security establishment in Israel.

A visit to Venezuela

There may, however, be additional factors that contributed to the US decision to assassinate Soleimani on 3 January, 2022. While some analysts cite, for instance, the storming of the 2019 US embassy in Baghdad by demonstrators three days before the extrajudicial killing, US decision makers were unlikely to have mobilized its assassins in reaction to this relatively benign incident.

More significant for them would have been Soleimani’s unannounced trip to Venezuela in 2019, which crossed Washington’s red lines within its own geographic sphere of influence.

His visit to the South American country was publicly revealed more than two years later by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, during an interview with Al-Mayadeen in December 2021.

Maduro stated that Soleimani visited Caracas between March and April 2019, during which time the US launched a cyber and sabotage attack on Venezuela, resulting in widespread power outages. He glorified the Iranian general as a military hero who “combated terrorism and the brutal terrorist criminals who attacked the peoples of the Axis of resistance. He was a brave man.”

Although Maduro did not reveal the exact date of the visit, it can be assumed that it took place on 8 April, 2019, and that Soleimani came on board the first direct flight of the Iranian airline Mahan Air between Tehran and Caracas.

At that time, the US attack on Caracas was at its peak: Washington’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela, comprehensive economic sanctions, and then, at the end of April, the organization of a coup attempt that succeeded only in securing the escape of US-backed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to the Spanish embassy.

Expanding military ties with Caracas

During Soleimani’s Caracas visit, military cooperation between Iran and Venezuela was likely a key topic of discussion. Prior to his visit, Maduro had announced the establishment of “People’s Defense Units,” or revolutionary militias, to maintain order in the face of US-backed coup attempts.

Both Iranian and Latin American sources confirm that Tehran had a role in organizing these militias. However, the most significant military cooperation between the two countries has been in the field of military industrialization.

Since the tenure of late, former President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has been working on a project to manufacture drones. This was announced by Chavez on 13 June, 2012, noting that “We are doing this with the help of different countries including China, Russia, Iran, and other allied countries.”

A few months earlier, the commander of the US Army’s Southern Command SOUTHCOM (its assigned area of responsibility includes Central and South America), General Douglas Fries, spoke about the same project, downplaying its importance by claiming that Iran was building drones with “limited capabilities” in Venezuela for internal security purposes.

Developing drones

In fact, Iran, represented by Soleimani’s Quds Force, was busy increasing military cooperation with Venezuela by developing new generations of drones and providing Caracas with spare parts for its existing American-made aircrafts. Interestingly, the raising of the Iranian flag has become routine in the Venezuelan Air Force’s military ceremonies.

On 20 November, 2020, President Maduro delivered a speech announcing plans to produce different types of drones. Near him, on display, was a miniature model of a drone which appeared to be that of the Iranian “Muhajer 6” aircraft that entered service in Iran in 2018.

This issue was raised by then-Israeli Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, while receiving the heads of American Jewish organizations in February 2022.

Soleimani’s legacy in Latin America

These developments were the direct result of Qassem Soleimani’s efforts. A Venezuelan official has confirmed to The Cradle that the country’s drone project was built with full Iranian support: from training engineers to setting up research and manufacturing centers, all the way to production.

In October 2019, the commander of US Southern Command, Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, warned that Russia, China, Iran and Cuba were operating in varying capacities in SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility. He noted, specifically, that Iran’s influence and presence is being felt in South America.

In March 2020, the US SOUTHCOM commander repeated the same warning, placing Iran at the “top of the list of countries” that have assisted Venezuela in skirting US sanctions.

The US has long viewed Latin America as its “backyard” and has sought to prevent the influence of rival or hostile powers in the region through its adherence to the Monroe Doctrine. The influence of Soleimani in the western hemisphere may have been viewed as a threat to US interests and a crossing of this “red line.”

His role in assisting Venezuela in developing military capabilities, including the production of drones, was seen in Washington as a qualitative leap in Iran’s foreign relations and was likely a factor in the decision to assassinate Soleimani.

January 3, 2023 - Posted by | War Crimes | , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Soleimani was murdered because Israel wished it.

    Like

    Comment by papasha408 | January 3, 2023 | Reply

  2. US vital interests encompass the globe while the US complains about other nations violating the Monroe Doctrine! Again, Hypocrisy of the highest order. The US uses sanctions against nations when it feels like it, violating the UN Charter.
    How many countries has the US invaded since the end of WWII? Twenty-five! How many countries have invaded the US? Zero. Who is the biggest threat to peace in the world then? The USA by far.

    Like

    Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | January 3, 2023 | Reply

  3. Fake RINO swamp thing warp speed Epstein rapist traitor Trump also freed three Israeli spies including Jonathan Pollard. So many reasons to execute this bastard next to the Clinton’s he never arrested nor ever intended to evidenced by the installation of all swamp things like Jeffy Sessions then Bill Epstein connected Barr

    Like

    Comment by Larry47460 | January 5, 2023 | Reply

    • Excellent comment w/ concise proof. Suleimani had also opened doors to rapprochement w/ Saudi Arabia shortly before his murder. His dealings w/ China and a future base in Iran were also factors. He was becoming legitimized on too global a scale for the zionist-controlled American machine to tolerate.

      Like

      Comment by milert | January 5, 2023 | Reply

  4. I was walking across the courts with my young Jewish tennis student, then 12 years old.

    She looked up at me and said;

    “Did you see where we killed that Iranian General, Soleimani? That wasn’t smart.”

    I could ask 50 adults in my town and IF…..they even knew about it (doubtful), then the response would be something like;

    “Oh, yea. Trump killed some terrorist or something, right?”

    Further, THE most successful ‘Iraqi sniper’, killing US service personnel, was an Israeli, a Mossad-trained shooter.

    Yep. ‘Our best friend and ally in the Middle East’.

    Like

    Comment by Occams | January 5, 2023 | Reply

    • The assassins who killed Soleimani represented the same assassination bureau that killed JFK and attempted to kill Reagan. It has a British element to it identified as SOE-British Special Operations Executive, an arm of British Secret Intelligence Services, MI6. The American OSS and later CIA, worked directly with Britain’s MI5 MI6. Hoover’s FBI Division V (Cointelpro) was created by Hoover and SOE chief for North America, Major Louis Bloomfield, the replacement of Sir William Stephenson.
      British SIS/SOE linked up with the OSS during the war to carry out clandestine operations against Chinese leader Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek. The objective? Preventing Chinese nationalist Chiang Kai-shek from ruling China after the war in favor of communist leader Mao. Chiang Kai-shek was abandoned by the allies and he and his nationalist Kuomintang retreated to Formosa nee Taiwan.

      So, the British, masters of geopolitics, collaborated with the “bankers” OSS/CIA cabal to form an Assassinations Bureau that would pull off every high-level assassination and regime change since WWII.

      Identified as PERMINDEX or “Murder Inc” by French SDECE Permindex attempted several times to kill Charles De Gaulle. It was suspected of killing Egypt’s Nehru. It deposed Mossadegh in Iran, and assassinated Patrice Lumumba, JFK, and Panamanian General Omar Torrijos Herrera. President GHW Bush would authorize the regime change of President Manuel Noriega in 1989 as retaliation for refusing to send Panama special forces into Nicaragua in support of the Contras during the Iran-Contra war against the Sandinistas.
      Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark traveled to Panama after learning that mass graves of more than 10,000 Panamanian men, women, and children were found. They were suspected of being murdered by US helicopter gunships in the slum of Chorillo. The assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan was another British/US attempt to kill a sitting US President for the purpose of putting one of their own in the oval office. Most recently Argentina’s VP Christina Fernandez was almost assassinated by them. They contracted the Mansion Family of contract killers to kill President Gerald Ford not once but twice. Both hits failed but Ford failed to make the connection and his removal would have to wait until the 1976 election where vote fraud in Wisconsin, Ohio, and NY, elected David Rockefeller and the Trilateral Commission’s smiling Rhesus monkey, Jimmy Carter.

      The Anglo-American assassination bureau is still active and openly threatening to kill President Putin which could quite conceivably start WW3.

      Like

      Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | January 5, 2023 | Reply

      • I agree with Michael Collins Piper that Israel had much to do with JFK’s assassination. Bibi Netanyahu talked Trump into taking out Soleimani.

        Like

        Comment by papasha408 | January 5, 2023 | Reply

        • Obama’s Arab Spring was intended to regime change Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Then the Saudis made a tacit agreement with Israel not to interfere in Syria. The Saudis had bankrolled the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan and then the Russians were defeated Prince Salman became the bagman for al Qaeda. ISIS was something else altogether. It was an initiative of the British government. Young Muslims were recruited into ISIS from the Saudi sponsored Madrassass and Mosque in London, England. From there they were sent to train in Jordan at secret CIA training camps. This is around 2012. They were armed by the CIA and deployed by the CIA. Their mission was the same as that of CIA puppet Obama’s. To erect radical Wahhabi sect Islamic Caliphates in Libya, and Syria, invade Lebanon, run cross border attacks into Iran. This would completely eliminate Russia’s influence in the region and take away Russia’s only warm water port. But all these actions and developments were intended to set the table for something even bigger.
          A NATO war with Russia.

          Like

          Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | January 7, 2023 | Reply


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