The killing of Iran's military figure — Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guard's elite fighting force — in a U.S. airstrike near the Baghdad airport could have a huge, immediate and lasting impact.
Killings of major political and military figures have been a recurring factor in the modern Middle East, often presenting a defining moment and changing the contours of history in several instances.
Whether carried out by a foreign or domestic attacker, the slayings — including some high-profile assassinations — have derailed promising peace efforts, fueled tinderbox conflicts or ushered in new leadership.
The U.S. action could be such a moment as the region and world braces for Tehran’s retaliation and a potential wider conflict that could draw in various nations and militias. Read on to learn more about the fallout and implications.
Why US killing of Iran general triggers global alarms
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The killing of Qasem Soleimani, one of the most powerful men in Iran, is a dramatic escalation of an already dangerous situation in the Middle East, threatening to trigger violence from the Gulf to the shores of the Mediterranean.
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