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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchQassem Suleimani and How Nations Decide to Kill

Qassem Suleimani and How Nations Decide to Kill

Authors: Adam Entous and Evan Osnos

Affiliation: The New Yorker

Organization/Publisher: The New Yorker

Date/Place: February 3, 2020, U.S.

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 9740


Keywords: Qassem Suleimani, Imad Mughniyeh, Assassination, CIA, Middle East.


This article explains in detail how nations stage the assassinations of people like Qassem Suleimani and Imad Mughniyeh. Since the Hague convention of 1907, killing a foreign government official outside wartime has generally been barred by the Law of Armed Conflict. Trump’s reason for killing Suleimani changed from being the “imminent threat to Americans” to “it really doesn’t matter, Suleimani anyway had a horrible past.”  Trump’s order to assassinate Suleimani was the culmination of a grand strategic gamble to change the Middle East, and the opening of a potentially harrowing new front in the use of assassination. The article further claims that the path to Suleimani’s killing began in effect with the lethal operation of assassinating Imad Mughniyeh, who was the architect of military strategy for Hezbollah. Israel launched many operations to kill him but which failed. The article quotes from the book “Rise and Kill first,” reviewing the history of Israeli assassinations, mentioning that Israel has conducted approximately five hundred killings between 1948 and 2000. But the U.S. describes such lethal operations as “targeted killings,” to distinguish them from assassinations. Watching the funeral procession of Suleimani while sitting in Tel Aviv, the Israeli intelligence officer, feeling uneasy, said, “If I want to lower the flames, I will bury him with three or five hundred people, even with the leadership there, I will keep it very quiet.”


By: Saima Rashid, CIGA Research Assistant



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