While the US government at that time was talking about defeating ISIS for several decades and by separating the good ISIS from the bad ISIS, it was aiming to exploit this violent group for a long time, Sardar Soleimani gathered this dangerous group in a short period with a clever strategy His oppressed martyrdom was a vital blow to the fight against terrorism in the West Asian region and a gift to the remnants of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the West Asian region.
At the height of the demonstration of the power of ISIS (or, as they say, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), a large conference was held in Beirut from January 23-25, 2015, with the presence of personalities and great thinkers from the Arab world and West Asia. The co-organizers of this conference were the University of Beirut, the Institute for Political and International Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Lebanese think tank, and important figures from the former Lebanese Foreign Minister to famous thinkers such as Munīr Shafīq and others who participated in it. At that time, more than a year had passed since the occupation of Mosul by ISIS, about half of the territory of Syria and large parts of the northwestern regions of Iraq were under their control, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was thinking to further advances in the West Asia region from his self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa. An atmosphere of panic and despair prevailed throughout the region, from Lebanon and Jordan to Iraq and Syria.
The common point that was heard in the speeches of most of the speakers of the Arab world at this conference was that, first of all, the most crucial issue and point of concern for most of them was the expansion and continuation of the control of ISIS in the West Asia region. Second, despite all the differences between the Arabs and the inefficiency of their governments, they did not imagine a prospect for the defeat of ISIS. The third is that the foreign powers see the activities of ISIS, especially in Syria, as favorable and openly and in the media talk about their inability or, in fact, their unwillingness against this violent group. At that time, the Obama government publicly stated that the defeat of ISIS would take decades. At the same time as separating the activities of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it declared its goal only to protect American people and bases in Iraq, as well as some sensitive targets in the capital of Iraq. It did not even agree to intervene effectively and seriously to save Erbil from the siege of ISIS. The authorities of the Kurdistan Region criticized this issue many times. If it were not for the will and role of Sardar Soleimani, the Kurdistan Region would have been captured by ISIS. In addition, credible reports of the tactical cooperation of American forces with ISIS members were published mainly in Syria and the border areas of Iraq and Syria, which showed that the United States does not have the ability or motivation to fight this dangerous group seriously. At the same time, some parties, especially think tanks and circles close to the Israeli regime, described ISIS as an opportunity and not a threat to America and advised the then-American government to keep this bone between sore for a long time in favorable areas in West Asia. At that time, the Israeli regime entered these recommendations' practical phase. By allowing some ISIS forces to enter their occupied territories to save them from the attacks of the resistance forces or to treat some of their wounded, they tried to prolong this ominous presence in the region.
Less than two years after this conference, on November 21, 2016, Sardar Soleimani, through a letter to the Supreme Leader, officially announced the end of ISIS control over Iraq and Syria. The news was a valuable gift for the entire West Asian region, and few experts could predict this malignant tumor's destruction in a short time. This issue was made possible, more than anything else, due to the genius and overall vision of Sardar Soleimani, who did not distinguish between good and bad. At the same time, some people in domestic circles suggested that Iran, like the Americans, should selectively and only limit the fight against ISIS to the areas of their interest and, in the areas that have less overlap with Iran's interests, at least don't take action against ISIS. Against these proposals, due to the fluidity and degree of flexibility of ISIS, Sardar Soleimani considered this strategy of selective fighting to allow ISIS to renew its strength and continue its presence in the region. He emphasized the comprehensive and absolute fight against ISIS in all regions of Iraq and Syria. This ingenious strategy was the key to Iran's success in defeating ISIS.
On January 3, 2019, two years after the valuable gift of martyr Sardar Soleimani to the people of the West Asian region in the destruction of ISIS, the terrorist regime of Trump martyred him while he was an official guest of the Iraqi government, along with another hero of the fight against terrorism, namely martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and gave a great gift to the remnants of ISIS and other regional and extra-regional artificial and non-artificial terrorists. Although Iran responded to this stupidity of the Trump administration with precise and calculated attacks on American bases at that time, however, the diligent pursuit of this arbitrary killing should still be on the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with the cooperation of the Iraqi government and people, the perpetrators and executors of this great crime should be held accountable. Efforts have been made in the past three years, but actions in this field should be increased.
Alireza Miryousefi, a senior expert at the Institute for Political and International Studies
(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)