Before becoming a terrorist leader, ISIS chief was a prison informer in Iraq for U.S., records show “واشنطن بوست”: زعيم “داعش” كان مخبراً للأميركيين في سجنه بالعراق

Before becoming a terrorist leader, ISIS chief was a prison informer in Iraq for U.S., records show

U.S. military spokesman Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll in Baghdad on Oct. 15, 2008. The United States had announced that day that a foreign insurgent killed in the city of Mosul was Abu Qaswarah, shown on screen, the No. 2 in the Islamic State of Iraq, previously known as al-Qaeda in Iraq. (Ali Abbas/AFP/Getty Images)
Headshot of Joby Warrick

By Joby Warrick

April 7, 2021 at 3:54 p.m. PDT

In confidential interrogation reports, Iraqi detainee M060108-01 is depicted as a model prisoner, “cooperative” with his American captors and unusually chatty. At times, he seemed to go out of his way to be helpful, especially when offered a chance to inform on rivals within his organization, then known as the Islamic State of Iraq.

Over several days of questioning in 2008, the detainee provided precise directions on how to find the secret headquarters of the insurgent group’s media wing, down to the color of the front door and the times of day when the office would be occupied. When asked about the group’s No. 2 leader — a Moroccan-born Swede named Abu Qaswarah — he drew maps of the man’s compound and gave up the name of Abu Qaswarah’s personal courier.

Weeks after those revelations, U.S. soldiers killed Abu Qaswarah in a raid in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Meanwhile, the detainee, U.S. officials say, would go on to become famous under a different name: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi — the current leader of the Islamic State.

U.S. officials opened a rare window into the terrorist chief’s early days as a militant with the release this week of dozens of formerly classified interrogation reports from his months in an American detention camp in Iraq. Although the Defense Department had previously released a handful of documents that cast the future Islamic State leader as an informant, the newly released records are an intimate portrait of a prolific — at times eager — prison snitch who offered U.S. forces scores of priceless details that helped them battle the terrorist organization he now heads. The Islamic State grew out of an organization that was once called al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The appeal of ISIS fades among Europeans who returned home from Syria

“Detainee seems to be more cooperative with every session,” one 2008 report says of the man whose real name is Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abd-al-Rahman al-Mawla. “Detainee is providing a lot of information on ISI associates,” says another.

As spelled out over 53 partially redacted reports, Mawla’s cooperation with American forces included assisting with artists’ sketches of top terrorism suspects, and identifying restaurants and cafes where his erstwhile comrades preferred to dine.

In an ironic twist, Mawla appears in the reports to be particularly helpful in equipping the Americans to go after the group’s propaganda unit, as well as non-Iraqis in his organization — volunteers from across the Middle East and North Africa who joined the group during the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Foreign terrorism branches and media operations are regarded as the most effective components of today’s Islamic State.

“He did a number of things to save his own neck, and he had a long record of being hostile — including during interrogation — toward foreigners in ISIS,” said Christopher Maier, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, who discussed in an interview the records released by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, a Pentagon-funded academic institution at the U.S. Military Academy. “With the rise of ISIS, and the desire to form a caliphate with thousands of foreign fighters, that’s problematic” for Mawla.

The records, which were released as part of an academic study, have helped U.S. officials fill in blanks in the biography of Mawla, a relatively obscure functionary in the Islamic State when he was named “caliph” after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019. After some initial uncertainty about the true identity of the new leader, U.S. counterterrorism officials concluded that it was Mawla, an Iraqi figure well known to them from his previous captivity.

The Iraqi, then a 31-year-old mid-level official within the Islamic State of Iraq — later known simply as the Islamic State — was apparently captured in late 2007 or early 2008, and was subjected to dozens of interrogations by U.S. military officials. The precise date of his release is not known, but the interrogation record stops in July 2008. By then, Mawla has stopped being cooperative, and reports reveal that he was “anxious” about his status, suggesting that he expected to be rewarded for the quantity of information he supplied.

What is clear from the reports is that over a period of at least two months in early 2008, Mawla was an interrogator’s dream, revealing the identities of terrorism leaders and providing maplike directions on how to find them. In one instance, he walked U.S. officials through his personal phone book, a black notebook that was seized when he was captured. In one session, he pointed out the phone numbers of 19 Islamic State officials and even disclosed how much money some of them made.

“Al-Mawla was a songbird of unique talent and ability,” Daniel Milton, an associate professor at the Combating Terrorism Center and one of the researchers who reviewed the documents, wrote in an essay published by the national security blog Lawfare. “These [interrogation reports] are chock-full of such details.”

Islamic State defector inside Baghdadi’s hideout critical to success of raid, officials say

The officials who released the documents clearly understood their potential as a source of embarrassment for Mawla, although the Islamic State leader’s background as an informant was already known within Islamist militant circles. Prominent commentators on pro-Islamic State social media sites criticized the decision to elevate the Iraqi to caliph, arguing that he was not qualified for the job.

He took the position several months after the liberation of the last of the Islamic State’s territorial holdings in Syria, and since that time, he has kept a relatively low profile. U.S. counterterrorism officials think he is hiding out in Iraq or Syria, the terrorist group’s traditional base. There, he has continued to wage a low-grade insurgency marked by frequent attacks against military outposts and government and tribal officials.

The group’s propaganda organs, meanwhile, have sought to shift attention to the achievements of Islamic State branches in Africa, where well-armed terrorists are regularly killing government soldiers and occasionally seizing territory. Last month, militants seized the town of Palma on Mozambique’s northern coast in a brazen operation that killed dozens.

U.S. officials warn that even a tarnished and partially defanged Mawla remains dangerous, given the ample opportunities to acquire money, weapons and recruits in ruined and largely lawless provinces in eastern Syria.

“They’re biding their time and waiting for circumstances to change in their favor,” said John Godfrey, the State Department’s acting special envoy for the global coalition against the Islamic State. “They’re conducting just enough high-profile attacks to show that they’re still there and still relevant.”


“واشنطن بوست”: زعيم “داعش” كان مخبراً للأميركيين في سجنه بالعراق

Headshot of Joby Warrick

الكاتب: جوبي واريك

المصدر: واشنطن بوست

اليوم 10:53

كشف تقريران صدرا عام 2008 عن القرشي واسمه الحقيقي أمير محمد سعيد عبد الرحمن مولى أن المحتجز يبدو أكثر تعاوناً مع كل جلسة استجواب وأنه يقدم الكثير من المعلومات عن الشركاء في تنظيم “الدولة الإسلامية في العراق”.

صورة أرشيفية للزعيم
صورة أرشيفية للزعيم “داعش” المعروف باسم أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي

كشفت صحيفة “واشنطن بوست” الأميركية أن الزعيم الحالي لتنظيم “داعش” أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي كان “متعاوناً” مع خاطفيه الأميركيين خلال استجوابه، وخاصة عندما عرض عليه الإبلاغ عن منافسيه داخل تنظيمه السابق لـ”داعش”، الذي كان يُعرف آنذاك باسم “دولة العراق الإسلامية”.

M060108-01

وقالت الصحيفة إنه في تقارير الاستجواب السرية الأميركية، تم تصوير المعتقل العراقي ذي الرقم أم 060108-01 بأنه سجين نموذجي “متعاون” مع خاطفيه الأميريكيين ويتحدث بشكل غير عادي وبذل واسع جهده كي يكون مفيداً. وأضافت الصحيفة أنه بعد أسابيع من هذه الاستجوابات، قتل جنود أميركيون أبو قسورة في غارة على مدينة الموصل العراقية. 

وأوضحت الصحيفة أن هذه المعلومات كشف عنها المسؤولون الأميركيون مع الإفراج عن عشرات من تقارير الاستجواب السرية السابقة هذا الأسبوع تضمنت معلومات نادرة عن الأيام الأولى للقائد الإرهابي من الأشهر التي قضاها في معسكر اعتقال أميركي في العراق.

وعلى الرغم من أن وزارة الدفاع الأميركية كانت قد أصدرت سابقاً عدداً قليلاً من الوثائق التي تصور القرشي، زعيم “داعش” المستقبلي كمخبر، فإن السجلات التي تم إصدارها حديثاً هي صورة ودية لواشٍ في سجن غزير الإنتاج قدم للقوات الأميركية عشرات التفاصيل التي لا تقدر بثمن والتي ساعدتهم على قتال المنظمة الإرهابية التي يرأسها الآن والتي كانت تسمّى أنذاك “القاعدة في العراق”.

يقول تقرير صدر عام 2008 عن الرجل واسمه الحقيقي أمير محمد سعيد عبد الرحمن مولى: “المحتجز يبدو أكثر تعاوناً مع كل جلسة استجواب”. ويقول تقرير آخر: “المحتجز يقدم الكثير من المعلومات عن الشركاء في تنظيم “الدولة الإسلامية في العراق”.

وقالت الصحيفة إن أكثر من 53 تقريراً منقحاً بشكل جزئي أظهروا أن تعاون تضمن تعاون مولى (القرشي) مع القوات الأميركية تضمن المساعدة في رسم تقريبي لكبار المشتبهين بالإرهاب، وتحديد المطاعم والمقاهي التي يفضل رفاقه تناول العشاء فيها.

وأضافت أنه في مفارقة ساخرة، يظهر مولى في التقارير أنه كان مفيداً تحديداً في تزويد الأميركيين بالمعلومات اللازمة لملاحقة وحدة الدعاية التابعة للجماعة، وكذلك ملاحقة غير العراقيين في منظمته، وهم متطوعون من جميع أنحاء الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا انضموا إلى التنظيم أثناء الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق. تعتبر فروع الإرهاب الأجنبي والعمليات الإعلامية من أكثر المكونات فعالية لتنظيم “داعش” اليوم.

وقال كريستوفر ماير، مساعد وزير الدفاع الأميركي للعمليات الخاصة والصراع منخفض الحدة: إن مولى قام بعدد من الأشياء لإنقاذ رقبته، وكان لديه سجل طويل من العدائية – بما في ذلك أثناء الاستجواب – تجاه الأجانب في داعش”. وأضاف ماير، الذي ناقش في مقابلة السجلات الصادرة عن مركز مكافحة الإرهاب في ويست بوينت، وهي مؤسسة أكاديمية ممولة من البنتاغون في الأكاديمية العسكرية الأميركية: “مع صعود داعش، والرغبة في تشكيل خلافة بآلاف المقاتلين الأجانب، كان ذلك إشكالياً” لمولى.

وقد ساعدت السجلات، التي تم إصدارها كجزء من دراسة أكاديمية، المسؤولين الأميركيين في سد الفراغات في سيرة مولى، وهو مسؤول غامض نسبياً في “داعش” عندما سمّي كـ”خليفة” بعد مقتل أبو بكر البغدادي في تشرين الأول / أكتوبر 2019. فبعد بعض الشكوك الأولية بشأن الهوية الحقيقية للزعيم الجديد، خلص مسؤولو مكافحة الإرهاب الأميركيون إلى أن مولى هو شخصية عراقية معروفة لهم منذ أسره سابقاً.

وظهر أن العراقي، الذي كان آنذاك يبلغ من العمر 31 عاماً، وكان مسؤولاً متوسط ​​المستوى داخل “دولة العراق الإسلامية” – التي عُرفت لاحقاً باسم “الدولة الإسلامية” (داعش) – أُلقي القبض عليه في أواخر عام 2007 أو أوائل عام 2008، وخضع لعشرات الاستجوابات من قبل المسؤولين العسكريين الأميركيين. وغير معروف التاريخ الدقيق لإطلاق سراحه، لكن سجل الاستجواب توقف في تموز / يوليو 2008. وبحلول ذلك الوقت، توقف مولى عن كونه متعاوناً، وكشفت التقارير أنه كان “قلقاً” بشأن وضعه، مشيرة إلى أنه كان يتوقع أن يُكافأ على كمية المعلومات التي قدمها.

وما يتضح من التقارير هو أنه على مدى شهرين على الأقل في أوائل عام ، كان مولى حلم كل محقق، حيث كشف عن هويات قادة الإرهاب وقدم توجيهات شبيهة بالخرائط حول كيفية العثور عليهم. وفي إحدى الحالات، كشف للمسؤولين الأميركيين عن دفتر هاتفه الشخصي، وهو دفتر ملاحظات أسود صودر عندما تم القبض عليه. وفي إحدى جلسات الاستجواب، أشار إلى أرقام هواتف 19 من مسؤولي “الدولة الإسلامية”، بل حتى كشف عن مقدار الأموال التي جناها بعضهم.

وكتب دانيال ميلتون، الأستاذ المشارك في مركز مكافحة الإرهاب وأحد الباحثين الذين راجعوا الوثائق، في مقال نشرته مدونة الأمن القومي “لاوفير”  Lawfare: “كان مولى طائراً مغرداً يتمتع بموهبة وقدرة فريدتين. وتقارير الاستجواب هذه مليئة بمثل هذه التفاصيل”.

وقالت الصحيفة إن المسؤولين الأميركيين الذين نشروا هذه الوثائق قد أدركوا إمكاناتها كمصدر لإحراج مولى، على الرغم من أن خلفية زعيم “داعش” كمخبر كانت معروفة بالفعل داخل الأوساط الإسلامية المتشددة. وكان معلقون بارزون مؤيدون لـ”داعش” قد انتقدوا على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي الموالية للتنظيم قرار ترقية مولى إلى منصب الخليفة، بحجة أنه غير مؤهل لهذا المنصب.

وقد تولى مولى هذا المنصب بعد أشهر عدة من تحرير آخر معاقل تنظيم “داعش” في سوريا ، ومنذ ذلك الوقت، ظل بعيداً عن الأضواء نسبياً. يعتقد مسؤولو مكافحة الإرهاب الأميركيون أنه يختبئ في العراق أو سوريا، القاعدة التقليدية للجماعة الإرهابية. وهناك، واصل شنّ تمرد منخفض الدرجة تميز بهجمات متكررة ضد المواقع العسكرية والمسؤولين الحكوميين والقبليين. 

في المقابل، سعت أجهزة الدعاية لتنظيم “داعش” إلى تحويل الانتباه إلى إنجازات أفرع التنظيم في إفريقيا، حيث يقوم الإرهابيون المسلحون بشكل جيد بقتل الجنود الحكوميين بشكل منتظم والاستيلاء على مناطق جديدة أحياناً. فالشهر الماضي، استولى متشددون على بلدة بالما على الساحل الشمالي لموزمبيق في عملية جريئة أسفرت عن مقتل العشرات.

ونقلت “واشنطن بوست” أن المسؤولين الأميركيون يحذرون من أنه حتى مولى، الملطخة سمعته جزئياً، لا يزال خطيراً، نظراً للإمكانات الوفيرة للحصول على المال والأسلحة والمجندين في المحافظات المدمرة في شرق سوريا، والتي ينعدم فيها القانون إلى حد كبير.

وقال جون غودفري، القائم بأعمال المبعوث الخاص لوزارة الخارجية الأميركية إلى التحالف العالمي ضد “داعش”: إن مقاتلي “داعش” ينتظرون حلول وقتهم وينتظرون تغيّر الظروف لصالحهم. فهم يشنّون ما يكفي من الهجمات البارزة لإظهار أنهم ما يزالون هناك ولا يزالون مفيدين.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: الميادين نت

Suleimani Will to Be Read during Ceremony Marking 40 Days on His Martyrdom

 February 9, 2020

The will of Iranian powerful commander Qassem Suleimani who was killed by a US strike last January will be read on February 13 during a ceremony marking 40 days on his martyrdom.

Commander of the Tehran division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Reza Yazdi, said that the ceremony will be held on Thursday evening from 18:30 to 20:30 local time at Tehran-based Mosallah, Mehr news agency reported.

The new commander of Quds Force Brigadier General Ismail Qaani, who succeeded Suleimani, is going to read the will, Yazdi said, noting that IRGC commander Major General Hossein Salami will also address the event.

“Since the will of Martyr Suleimani is long, as he has left special wills for each segment of the society, only selected parts of the will is going to be read in the event,” added Yazdi

He went on to say that guests from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, some Persian Gulf states, and some African countries will attend the event.

General Suleimani was assassinated alongside Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi paramilitary force, by a US strike on Baghdad international airport on January 3. Millions of people in Iran and Iraq came to streets on funeral ceremonies of Martyr Suleimani and Al-Muhandis in different cities to pay tribute to their hero.

Source: Iranian media

Iran keeps openly blaming itself, yet there is a Ukraine Air cover-up?

Source

Monday, 13 January 2020 3:40 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 13 January 2020 4:16 PM ]

Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slain top general Qasem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions, in his hometown Kerman on January 7, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

By Ramin Mazaheri

Many people have been quite shocked by Iran’s response to the tragic, mistaken downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight.

Iran’s President Rouhani said, “I will never apologize for Iran – I don’t care what the facts are.” Tehran plans to never apologize, admit wrongdoing nor to accept responsibility.

All of the Iranian soldiers involved were awarded Combat Action Ribbons, the air-warfare coordinator received a Commendation Medal and the commanding officer was awarded the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious conduct.”

No one in the Iranian armed forces will ever be punished.

Many believe Iran shot down the plane purposely in order to instigate war.

No intention to cover up cause of Ukrainian plane crash: Shamkhani
The secretary of Iran

Obviously, all four of these paragraphs are totally false… but only when applied to Iran and not the US. The shocking belligerence, shamelessness and inhumanity I just recounted was the very real response from Washington after they shot down civilian Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, killing 290 people. Anyone who has been following the recent tragic events is aware that Iran’s official response has been the complete opposite of how Washington handled a very similar tragedy.

But firstly: I find it incredible that some accuse Iran of a cover-up?

While, of course, the Western Mainstream Media will commit any lying exaggeration to further their billionaire masters’ instructions to topple Iran’s popular revolution, I lay the blame primarily at the unreasonable demands modern society puts on government servants via the 24/7 news cycle.

Iran admitted it was their missile which felled the airplane just three days afterwards, and – crucially – in conjunction with prepared apologies, self-recriminations and promises of punishing the negligent and/or fatally erroneous.

Iran’s reaction to Trump’s tweet: Don’t dishonor our language Iran has called President Donald Trump

However, three days was too long for some. I really wonder at the naiveté of such, often well-meaning, people.

Is no delay acceptable? No verifications needed at all?

In such a situation doesn’t everyone know there is a protocol to be followed? We are talking about the armed forces – does not everyone understand (as every nation has an army) that they have a chain of command, rules and a bureaucratic hierarchy which must be followed? The more important something is – especially for a horrific admission such as this – the longer the verification process necessarily takes. If the soldier who had pressed the “fire” button had rushed out of the base and declared to all who would listen, “It was my fault!”, he would be treated as a dangerous madman in any nation. However, it is as if some people expected this type of an instantaneous confirmation in the Ukraine Airlines tragedy?

I suggest such impatience – from those who want to get it “now” instead of getting it “right” – has been fostered by a 24/7 news cycle which does not want to hear about the need for interviewing those involved, testing and calibrating equipment, reviewing all the data, etc. Three days… well, I just find it hard to believe that anyone would find that unacceptable? Some people – due to their quite understandable grief over this tragedy – are being unreasonable, but many Western media and politicians do not have such sincere motivations for such a complaint.

A verification process like I have described would have been an acceptable delay – at least to me – under normal circumstances. Here, of course, the Western Mainstream Media is doing all they can to sweep under the rug the fact that Iran was in a state of high military alert provoked entirely by the recent assassination of Iran’s top general, a top Iraqi general and retaliatory missile strikes which had been fired by Iran just hours before the plane’s downing.

Iran’s retaliation for the appalling assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was nowhere near as severe as US aggression merited. Washington tapped CNN to produce a propaganda report entirely designed to give the impression that the missile attack was not significant, but the point was not proportional revenge: the Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei said it was merely to give a “slap in the face”. Therefore, nobody can say that Iran overreacted. However, the assassination proves to many in Iran that Washington is hell-bent on fomenting war with Iran. “High alert” is no exaggeration of the tensions at the time of the take-off of the Ukrainian airliner.

US troops knew Al-Asad air base would be attacked and sheltered in bunkers, exclusive tour reveals United States troops at the Al-Asad air base in Iraq were aware that an Iranian attack was imminent, allowing them to take shelter two-and-a-half-hours before missiles struck on Wednesday, CNN has been told during an exclusive tour of the devastated site.

Therefore, it is incredible that Iran is somehow being portrayed as being wholly responsible for the tragedy of the Ukraine plane downing? The bulk of the condemnation for the tragedy must obviously be aimed at Washington for creating this atmosphere which produced the tragedy, if anyone truly cares about justice.

Unfortunately, I am reminded of the old saying: “Everybody talks about peace, nobody talks about justice.” The incident is being used as the latest plank in the 40-year Iranophobia campaign, sadly.

Is the alleged ‘cover-up’ occurring in between the public lamentations and self-criticisms?

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: Paper General Soleimani’s assassination may trigger the ultimate objective of ending the US military presence in Iraq, a British paper says.

 The Ukrainian airliner downing shattered the peace of many families, but what we can say with total certainty today is that nobody in Iran wanted the destruction of a civilian airliner.

It was US President George Bush who famously refused to apologize, not Rouhani, but there are too many obviously sincere apologies from every level of Iran’s government. What cover-up? The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards testified to Parliament, “I swear to almighty God that I wished I were in that plane and had crashed with them….” Two days earlier the chief aerospace commander told a press conference, “I wish I was dead and such an incident hadn’t happened….”

Where is the defiance, deflection and distraction of this alleged “cover-up”?

Trump warns US has 52 Iranian targets to hit if Iran launches attacks Trump posts tweets warning that US would respond to Iranian retaliation for general’s assassination.

There is obviously – at all levels of the Iranian government and military – sadness, regret and complete acceptance of responsibility. I feel sorry for those Iranian soldiers involved because they express such feelings of culpability – if you feel sorry for George Bush, or the soldiers he decorated, I don’t know what basis you have for such feelings because they were never uttered?

The 1988 IranAir flight was downed in the final month of the Iran-Iraq War. The US shot down the Iranian plane as an expression of their frustration that their proxy war with their ally-dictator-mass murderer Saddam Hussein had failed. It was a message that Washington would still act with murderous impunity, and that their war was not finished – they have stayed true to this murderous posture all these decades hence. Compare that with the situation in 2020.

Despite the illegal, inhuman slaying of Soleimani Iran is not about to be baited into war, which was Washington’s true intention. Tehran is not going to put all of Iran – and the region – at risk over the decision of an idiot/assassin, who is trying to distract from his impeachment trial (as well as from the indictment trial of his ally in Tel Aviv) and who may be back on reality television in 11 months.

Zarif: Iran missile strikes legitimate self-defense against US terrorism Foreign Minister Zarif says Iran’s retaliatory missile attack on American bases in Iraq was an act of “legitimate self-defense” against “legitimate targets” in response to US terrorist act.

The Ukraine Airlines flight was – unlike for Washington in 1988 – undoubtedly not a provocation, nor an incitement to continued conflict, assassination and war.

This is the reality which the West cannot see, as they are blinded by Islamophobia and Iranophobia: the Iranian government showed the humane response which one would expect of a truly progressive government, which they are. They did not respond with belligerence, defiance and a Washington-style cover-up. But the Iranian government gets no credit in the West ever – it’s their editorial policy.

Frankly, while this is obviously a tragedy, I want more information as to how it happened: I find it extremely coincidental that the plane came from Ukraine, which has undoubtedly been the site of (yet another) far-right coup/civil war supported by Washington. I am not disparaging all Ukraine, of course, but it’s fair to assume that the Pentagon has unlimited access to Ukrainian planes as well as a history of using cyber warfare and sabotage against Iran.

And we know they have already shot down civilian airliners in Iran with zero expressions of regret.

Try as they might, this tragedy cannot overshadow the Soleimani assassinations

The assassination of Soleimani and the tragedy of Ukraine Airlines must not be mixed: the former is an illegal, inhuman slaying of an anti-terror hero which must remain in the spotlight until Washington – the boasting perpetrator! – conforms with international justice; the latter is a tragedy, and Iran has made it crystal-clear that they will work openly with countries like Ukraine, France and Canada to find the root cause.

No one in Iran is pleased, openly or secretly, about the Ukraine Airlines tragedy, but the boasting murderers in Washington are no doubt glad the spotlight is now off their actions. Their assassination laid bare their aggression to Iran and their view that Iraq is a powerless US colony.

That is injustice on a grand scale, and it cannot stand.

Nasrallah says Iran missile strikes showed all US bases in West Asia within range“Look at the faces of the US leaders… Do they look like victorious faces?” Nasrallah asked.

There were protests in Iran after the Ukraine Airlines downing, and it is natural: many students were aboard the airplane, therefore many Iranian students had personal connections with the departed. This is why students led protests.

However, as is the case so often in Iran, counter-revolutionary groups stepped in to dangerously hijack the protests. That is proven by the video circulating of a “protester” dressed like Black Bloc member stomping on and pulling down a picture of Soleimani, a man who just days earlier had inspired millions to publicly attend his funeral.

The orders-of-magnitude support in Iran for the government as opposed to those who want to topple is revealed by the orders-of-magnitude larger turnout for Soleimani compared with the initially sincere, student-led grief protests. This is a simple, factual reality, but – as is the case with every protest in Iran – the Western MSM tries to pervert everything in Iran to topple the popular democratic revolution of 1979.

Of course, they are in overdrive now because they are being told to distract from the Soleimani slaying. That must not last.

Sadness in the world and Iran over the Ukraine Airlines tragedy will continue, especially for the bereaved families.

But if we are judging by responses to accidentally shooting down civilian airliners, one would think people would be clamoring for the fall of the American system and not the Iranian one?

Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran’s retaliation against US only ‘a slap’ Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said Iran’s early morning retaliation against US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani was just “a slap”.

Finally, I’d like to point out that due to Western sanctions airplane tragedies in Iran are woefully common. If the West really wants to make Iranian air travel more safe they could – as any humane person would – allow the sale of replacement parts for these machines which carry so many lives between their wings.

Another way the West could avoid such tragedies? End the hot, cold and assassinating war against Iran.

Iran has accepted responsibility for the mistake – assuming further investigations do not reveal new facts – but the West needs to accept overall responsibility for the Ukraine Airlines tragedy as they fabricated such a dangerous, anti-democratic, inhumane climate of war.

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’)

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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