Issue Brief on “Recent Iran-US Tensions: An Assessment”


The year 2020 dawned with an ominous shadow of war looming upon the world and the Middle Eastern region in particular. Although the entire previous year has seen numerous instances of dangerous escalations in this region; the most recent one by far has been the closest scenario to a possible regional war. On January 3, 2020, a US drone attack targeted a convoy at the Baghdad International airport in the early hours of the morning killing the head of the Iranian Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani.[1] The attack carried out on direct orders from the US President Donald Trump also resulted in the killing of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Chairman of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces.[2] The killing of the Iranian General came as a reaction to the death of an American defense contractor in Iraq in late December 2019 and storming of the US embassy in Iraq where hordes of pro-Iran Iraqi militia fighters breached the high-security Green Zone.[3]

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