A lethal opening attack. Nearly ruthless, untraceable proxies scattering anarchy on multiple continents. Exorbitant miscalculations. And thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands — murdered in a conflict that would dwarf the war in Iraq.
Welcome to the US-Iran war, which has the potential to become the worst conflicts in history!
Gen.Qasem Soleimani was killed on Thursday night. He is the man who led Iranian covert intelligence and operations and was one of the most senior military officials in the country. His death has brought the States and Iran in close proximity to fighting a full-fledged war that has the potential to destroy the planet. According to experts, Iran now has every reason to retaliate, by using its proxies in the Middle East to target US commercial interests, American troops, American allies and diplomats posted in regional embassies and bases.
This is why a prominent international consulting firm, the Eurasia Group, not places the chance of a major or limited military confrontation at about 40 percent.
The reality is that the whole situation didn’t start on Thursday. Iran and America have remained engulfed in a standoff that is going on for months. Still, the case seems to get worse. The US has over the years placed many heavy sanctions on Iran’s economy over its support for terrorism and its growing missile program, plus, after withdrawing from the nuclear deal of 2015 last year; Iran has continuously fought back by breaching parts of the nuclear agreement, downing an American military drone and bombing oil tankers.
The situation between the two countries has become more fragile over the past week. Things took a downturn when an Iranian-backed militia murdered an American contractor while wounding others using rocket attacks. This led the American authority to retaliate by striking five targets in Syria and Iran, which killed 25 of the militia fighters. In protest, Ketaib Hezbollah-the militia organized a rally in Baghdad outside the US embassy, where some of them were able to get inside and set parts of it ablaze.
Experts have stated that not even one of the two countries wants a full-blown conflict, the President of the United States; Donald Trump says that he prefers peace over war when it comes to Iran. The possibility of war cannot be swept under the rug, especially now that Iran has sworn to avenge Soleimani’s death.
All this means that the relationship between the United States and Iran now hand by a thread, and it will not take a lot to cut it.
The sanctions imposed by the United States have obliterated, have crippled the economy of Iran, and the country seriously wants them lifted. The Iranian leaders do not have a lot of tricks under the belts. So they might choose to take a much violent route to make their point, especially after a well-liked General is assassinated.
Contrary to popular belief, Iran can inflict a lot of damage. It could target an American oil tanker that is traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, which is a vital waterway for the global energy trade and is continuously patrolled by Iran’s forces, resulting in a catastrophic oil spill and loss of life. The country also has a number of highly skilled hackers that could easily launch a major cyber-attack on the American allies in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arab.
Israel, another powerful ally of the US, could kill an Iranian nuclear scientist, which would lead to Iran striking back and grabbing the US by the collar, especially if Tehran chooses to respond with force. Or on the other hand, Iranian linked proxies could target as well as American murder diplomats and American Troops in Iraq.
Another thing that is a bit extreme but could happen, according to experts. In the year 1983, Iran bombed US Marine barracks killing about 600 US troops during the Iraq War. Iran could do that again if it wanted to or convince itself that it can.
At that moment, it would difficult for the Trump administration not to react at all. Trump will most definitely be advised to fight back with the same intensity that Iran did. This could lead to the beginning of World War Three.
If Iran went ahead and killed people, bombed an oil tanker, and caused oil to spill, the Americans might destroy some of Iran’s ships. If Iran went ahead and took out military drones belonging to the United States, then the US might damage Iran’s air defenses. If a militia backed by Iran attacks Americans in Iraq, then US troops will respond by killing the militia fighters and bombing their bases of operation in return. The US could even go as far as assassinating high-level officials and bombing Iranian training grounds.
In reality, at this point, both countries need to communicate their red lines to one another and how they shouldn’t be crossed. The major issue is that there aren’t any direct channels of communication between the two states, and they do not trust one another. So it’s quite easy for the entire situation to get out of hand and spiral out of control.
The best phrase to define the whole scenario is the Fog of War. This refers to how hard it is for enemy states to know what is going on in the heat of the battle. It is specifically challenging when the countries do not talk to one another, as is the case with Iran and the US.
At this point, one really can’t tell what the full-blown conflict between the two nations will look like. All we know is that it would feature a series of moves and counter moves. Plus, we will also see that it will be very confusing and messy, and it would also be extremely lethal.
The war might not even take place, but one should be prepared for the worst