By Dr. Doron Itzchakov, April 16, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The recent visit to Iraq by the new Quds Force commander, Esmail Qaani, had several purposes: to display the continuity of Tehran’s involvement in the country, to rally the Shiite factions against the formation of a pro-US government by Adnan Zurfi, and to enable Qaani to stake a claim as a worthy successor to Qassem Soleimani. Yet Zurfi’s abdication and his replacement by Mustafa Kadhimi does not necessarily constitute an Iranian achievement because of Kadhimi’s diverse political associations and ties across the Middle East and the international arena.
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Russia’s attempts to centralize the command of numerous pro-Assad militias operating in Syria have been a mixed bag, to say the least.