On Thursday, U.S. warplanes struck targets in the Abu Kamal region of Syria, a zone on the country’s eastern border that is heavily used by Iranian-backed Shiite militias to smuggle weapons, exert strategic control, and carry out attacks against various foes in Syria, including the Islamic State. The airstrikes weren't as insignificant as critics say.
The daughter of Iran’s former president has publicly broken two of the Islamic Republic’s biggest political taboos. Does this reveal a genuine split at the top or mere maneuvering by political elites?
Despite the differences between Saddam and Soleimani, the commonalities were striking. Both men had caused enormous suffering. Both were defiant, and simply too large to die. Yet both were shown to be vincible.
The height of Iran’s influence — at least as presently expressed through the IRGC — has probably passed. Whether we’ve entered a period of stasis or decline is as yet unclear, but the latter seems more probable.