By Jonathan Spyer:
First, it is worth recalling the sequence of events. The killing on Thursday of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani outside Baghdad International Airport by a US MQ9 Reaper Drone firing a Hellfire missile, was the latest escalation in a process that began with the killing of an American contractor by the Iran-supported Kataib Hezbollah militia on December 27. The death of this US citizen led to US action against five facilities of Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq. This, in turn, led to the militia and other pro-Iran elements storming into Baghdad’s Green Zone and beginning a violent demonstration outside the US Embassy. This latter protest raised the specter of the Iran embassy siege of 1979.
The US killing of Soleimani (as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, commander of Kataib Hezbollah and a number of other IRGC officials) was the latest move in this process of escalation.
Read more: Middle East Forum