The killing for sure has changed the rules of engagement and brought the anti-Iran policy to a direct confrontation as the first step for the Deep State to confront all its rivals. (Reuters)By Dr Waiel AWWADIt has already been invaded by the US and the UK based on a lie. This time oil-rich Iraq was clear that it will stand silently and let it be looted of its natural resources. What happened last week, the objective is very clear — the refusal of the US administration to pull out their troops from Iraq after the intentional killing of two prominent leaders: Abu Mehdi Al Mohandes, Iraqi head of the People Mobilization Unit (PMU) and Al-Quds forces led by Iranian Maj General Qassem Soleimani.What happened was a crime committed by the US forces in violation of the agreement with the Iraqi government by killing a leader of a legitimate force recognized by the government that fought Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which has been recognized by the United Nations as terrorist organizations.On the other hand, the Iranian General was a guest of Iraq, who had arrived by a civilian airline, landed in Baghdad International Airport and was escorted by Al Mohandes when the Americans fired at the vehicles and killed ten occupants including the two top leaders. Hence, it is a matter of extrajudicial assassination carried out by occupational forces, irrespective whether you like or hate them.The first salvo to the murder came from the Iraq parliament, which unanimously approved a bill “demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States”.It is worth mentioning that the people of Iraq agreed to withdraw from the area of the American embassy in Baghdad after the government of Iraq decided to take the matter of the killing straight to its parliament.A lot of focus by the global media intentionally was on the murder of Soleimani but not Al Mohandes. The killing of the Iraqi PMU leader is an insult to the Iraqi government and a gross violation of the treaty with the Iraqi government.The PMU played a leading role in defeating terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria in the span of four years when the US was anticipating the terror group to last 30 years. After gaining strength and getting closer to Al Quds forces, the US asked Baghdad to dissolve it but was refused. The US retaliation was obviously against Iraq because of this reason, in addition to opening the borders with Syria, and its closeness to China and purchase of weapons.Targeting Iran – the first stepThe killing for sure has changed the rules of engagement and brought the anti-Iran policy to a direct confrontation as the first step for the Deep State to confront all its rivals. There was no imminent threat to the US personnel as claimed because it was Soleimani who helped the US to withdraw its forces from Iraq and there was an unwritten understanding between the US and Iran not to target any person from either side.For Iran, the targeted killing was revenge for crossing red lines by inviting Russia and China for military exercises and the growing apprehension of the US failure in isolating the trio and containment of China.One of the main reasons behind President Trump’s win in the election was based on his vow to revoke the Nuclear Deal with Iran, which he did. Like his predecessors, he continued to apply pressure on Iran economically and militarily. Let there be no mistake in understanding the motive for the crime. It is well thought and executed for an easy target to send a message across the globe that the US will not tolerate any objection to its dominance in global affairs. President Trump is seeking re-election and needed a boost to raise his popularity and delay the impeachment process. The Deep State is preparing for a war with China, and militarization of Asia Pacific is unabated with US arsenal moving closer to the Chinese shore.Blowing dynamite in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)The MENA is witnessing the worst time of its history with wars and inter-fighting among different fictions especially after overthrowing of the late President of Libya, President Qaddafi, and turning Libya into a hub of terrorists.Turkey is now taking full advantage in disturbing European energy supply and joining hands with the government of Tripoli by sending troops to Libya, which will lead to a direct confrontation with Egypt and keep the Mediterranean water boiling.What will happen if Iran retaliates? This will cause closure of Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and Bab-el-Mandeb in the Red Sea, which will halt 40% of the oil and global trade and will have a direct, negative impact on China and Europe.Trump’s future at stakeCan he start another war and attack Iran to be reelected? He might provided that no body bags of their soldiers get back to the US. No one can rule out this hypothetical question, as President Trump still believes America is the only superpower and can still apply Exceptionalism and Unilateralism in its Foreign Policy to achieve its objectives. I am unsure how the world will remember President Trump if he loses re-election.India’s National SecurityIndia is a large stakeholder in the Persian Gulf and any war will result in collateral damages to its strong Expat community. There are around 8 million Expats in the Gulf, which includes USD 40 billion incoming remittances (annually), 14 million visiting the region (annually) and USD 200 billion trade in addition to energy imports. The immediate impact was felt with the 4 per cent rise in petrol prices. The Indian economy needs uninterrupted energy supply and Direct Foreign Investment. New Delhi cannot afford to stay merely a spectator and wait for the next move of the US.So, what is next?There is no doubt that the Iranian government will retaliate for the cold-blooded killing of its military Commander by all means available. The world is sympathizing with Iran for the gruesome murder. Pragmatic Iran will not lose sight and will not make rash decisions. The US will face tough times in Iraq at the moment, as both countries are united against the presence of US military troops and bases. The US refusal to withdraw its forces means it will be in direct confrontation with the angry people of both countries. Loss of lives cannot be ruled out. It will be catastrophic if a war breaks out in the Middle East because every country will be directly or indirectly affected. This vicious cycle of madness must end and the US must pull its troops from the region gracefully. According to one Tweet, “The US could read the mind of Soleimani and killed him as a preempted measure to save the American lives from thousands of miles away, but failed to read the minds of those inside the US who blew up the World Trade centre.”Who is the next target? Checkmate Russia and China …(The author is an internationally renowned journalist and an expert on West Asia. Views expressed are personal.)Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.