Impact of Soleimani's Death Is Playing Out in Unexpected Ways

(Guardian-UK) Martin Chulov - Conversations with representatives of regional powers over the past week reveal a mix of surprise that Qasem Soleimani was killed and relief at an aftermath that, in their minds, has sharply weakened Iran's regional hand. In Syria, where Soleimani had jostled with Vladimir Putin for influence over Bashar al-Assad, Moscow now appears to hold a much easier hand. Never comfortable with Iran's view of what a post-war Syria should look like, Russia's efforts to assert its will look as though they will be relatively unimpeded. In Lebanon, the most significant arm of Iran's foreign projection, Hizbullah is taking stock after the loss of its main patron. Saudi Arabia, an arch foe of Soleimani, has been greatly reassured by the relative lack of comeback in the region. Turkey, too, has a freer reign in northern Syria. The regional project that Iran had so painstakingly built no longer looks as sustainable as it was. In some parts, it looks positively shaky.

2020-01-13 00:00:00

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