Source: Niamh Harris
ISIS has welcomed the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
In a statement the group described the killing of the elite Quds Force leader as an act of divine intervention that will be of benefit to them.
The terrorists said that while their enemies were fighting each other, draining energy and resources, they would be able to regroup in Iraq.
BBC reports: President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Gen Soleimani set off a chain of consequences – one of the first was on the unfinished war against jihadists.
Almost immediately the US-led coalition fighting IS suspended operations in Iraq. The US and its allies announced that their main job was now defending themselves.
From a military point of view, they probably had no choice.
Iran and the militias it sponsors here in Iraq have sworn vengeance for the killings caused by the missile fired by a US drone at Soleimani’s vehicle as it left Baghdad airport on Friday.
That puts US forces in Iraq, and those from Western allies working alongside them, squarely in the firing line.
It is also very good for IS, and will speed up its recovery from the blows it took when its “caliphate” was smashed.
It is also good news for the extremists that the Iraqi parliament passed a motion demanding an immediate American withdrawal from the entire country.
IS has been grimly resilient over many years. It regenerated itself from the ruins of an earlier group, al-Qaeda in Iraq.
A big military operation in 2016 and 2017 was needed to end IS control of territory straddling Iraq and Syria.
Many jihadist fighters ended up dead or in prison. But that did not kill the organisation.
It is still active in its old stamping grounds in Iraq and Syria, mounting ambushes, extorting funds, and ending more lives.
The Iraqi state has effective elite army and police units, mainly trained by the Americans and European allies who joined the fight against IS.
Since Soleimani’s assassination, the US has suspended training as well as operations. So have Denmark and Germany.
The Germans are pulling military trainers out to Jordan and Kuwait.
Iraqi forces take most of the risks on the ground in operations against IS. But as well as training, they have relied on vital logistical help from US forces, who are now hunkering down in their bases.
IS militants have something else to celebrate. When Mr Trump decided to kill Soleimani they were gifted the spectacle of one of their enemies, the US president, assassinating another.