3:06 PM, Nov 25, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Sources in Beirut are confirming reports from various Middle East media outfits that Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ expeditionary unit, was wounded in the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo recently. Fighters from Hezbollah, according to sources close to the party of God, believe the Quds Force commander may be in a hospital in Tehran, or already dead.
According to AsrIran, an anti-regime website close to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Suleimani was seriously injured along with two other personnel in an anti-tank rocket attack 12 days ago. Other sources say the wounds he sustained were not that serious. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, told AFP that Suleimani was "lightly injured three days ago in the Al-Eis area in the south of Aleppo province.”
All lies, says the IRGC, which contends that reports of injuries are Israeli fabrications. Hajj Qassem is “in perfect health and full of energy," says IRGC spokesman Rameza Sharif. “Often, the Israelis write down their dreams in the form of news and spread them through their media in the cyberspace,” he said. “The fake news about Major General Qassem Suleimani’s martyrdom is of this sort.”
It’s certainly the case that there have been rumors of Suleimani’s death previously, but the overly animated nature of the Iranian denials is evidence of an anxiety that runs much deeper than the fate of the IRGC’s celebrity general. While pictures of Hajj Qassem at Middle East battlefields, from Syria to Iraq, have become a fixture of Iranian propaganda the last few years, the fact is that the regime’s Mr. Fix-It has a mixed record, at best.
As Israeli analyst Yossi Mansharof explained recently, the anti-regime opposition has long been documenting the numerous battlefield deaths of senior officers and other key figures close to the Quds Force commander—the “Curse of Suleimani,” they call it. If Suleimani has fallen victim to his own curse, then so eventually will the rest of the regime. The stark reality is that Iran and the Shiite International it has enlisted to fight in Syria will someday lose the war it has started in the middle of the Middle East. It’s simply a matter of numbers.
The war is destined to take many more twists and turns and shows no signs of stopping. If John Kerry thought the Vienna negotiations were on track to put an end to the fighting, Turkey’s shooting down a Russian jet suggests that the fighting is about to take another turn for the worse. There is plenty of killing and dying that remains to be done in Syria, and the Iranian side will suffer the worst. After all, the Shiites are the regional minority. If the Shiite community once believed that the Islamic Republic of Iran was on course to overthrow more than a millennium of history, politics, theology, and war that identified the Shiites as also-rans, right now the Shiites are fighting to defend themselves against the majority Sunnis. Eventually, they will be fighting for their survival. The question then is, looking down the road, what role will the nuclear weapons program play in the thinking of a millenarian regime with its back against the wall?
1:34 PM, Nov 19, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Yesterday, members of Congress observed a moment of silence to commemorate casualties suffered by a community aligned with Bashar al-Assad in his exterminationist war against Syria’s Sunni Arab population.
Nov 9, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 09 • By LEE SMITH
Last week, the Obama White House moved to ensure Hezbollah’s ability to point 100,000 missiles at Israel. That’s not how they would describe it, of course. But it was the Obama administration—as U.S. officials are quietly letting on—and not Russia that invited Iran to participate in talks in Vienna to resolve the Syrian civil war. By doing so, the White House legitimized the Islamic Republic as a “stakeholder” whose interests in Syria must be respected.
Sep 28, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 03 • By LEE SMITH
Even now with the Russians on the verge of combat operations in Syria, the White House still says it believes that they’re there to fight ISIS. John Kerry says that his Russian counterpart told him that the Russians are “only interested in fighting” the Islamic State. Other administration officials hold out hope for a grand U.S.-Russia coalition against ISIS. But that’s nonsense: Vladimir Putin landed troops in order to protect his investment in Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
Accuses radio host of "gotcha questions."7:15 PM, Sep 3, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Donald Trump Thursday and asked the Republican frontrunner some details on foreign policy. After Trump confused some terminology, he accused Hewitt of asking "gotcha questions."
6:12 PM, Aug 25, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Over the weekend, thousands of Lebanese took to the streets to protest against their country’s corrupt political culture.
Killing Samir Kuntar.8:04 PM, Jul 29, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Israeli media is reporting that an IAF strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border
10:20 AM, Jun 23, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
In response to yesterday’s Bloomberg View report that Iran’s forces and the United States share bases in Iraq, Senator Tom Cotton has issued a strong
3:45 PM, Jun 17, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Immediately after the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship Tuesday night with a 105-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the commentators asked Golden State coach Steve Kerr who he was thinking about. “Lute Olson,” said Kerr, referring to the legendary University of Arizona coach whom Kerr played for in the mid-80s.
Unfortunately, they're right.3:37 PM, May 6, 2015 • By TONY BADRAN
Last week, the Israeli Air Force struck a cache of long-range missiles belonging to Hezbollah and put the Shia militia on notice.
A better way forward in the Middle East.Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By MAX BOOT and MICHAEL DORAN
The ouster of ISIS fighters from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, has been widely celebrated. Although this victory was brought about in no small part by American airpower, it was a triumph for Iran more than for the United States. The vast majority of fighters on the front lines belonged to Shiite militias, many of them trained, equipped, and advised by the Iranians. Their de facto commander is Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, which is charged with exporting the Iranian revolution.
Is Iran’s Lebanese client losing its grip? Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By LEE SMITH
Last week Hezbollah buried one of its princes, Jihad Mughniyeh, the 22-year-old son of the late Imad Mughniyeh, a legendary Hezbollah commander implicated in such infamous operations as the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. The assassination