The targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the deputy chief of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandisi, is a game-changer for Middle Eastern politics. Immediately after the attack that killed Soleimani, Iranian leadership threatened the U.S. and its allies in the region. Iran fired missiles at two American bases in Iraq in retaliation to the assassination of Soleimani. No casualties were declared in Iran's retaliatory attacks. Leaders of both countries escalated the tension, but they were careful not to let the crisis get out of control.
Trump's Iran policy completely differs from the former U.S. administration's as it contains the possibility of both winning or losing in the region
Since the killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and senior Hashd al-Shaabi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. strike at Baghdad airport, the power struggle between the United States and Iran in Iraq has transformed into a hot conflict. Washington's latest move has the potential to irreversibly up the ante in the long-standing hostilities between the two nations.
The killing of Qasem Soleimani and his close associates in an American airstrike in Baghdad Thursday night was without question one of the most significant developments in the Middle East over the last several years – significant in terms of the profile of its target as well as the unexpectedness of such an attack.