Daily Memo: Assassination Anniversary

Tensions are flaring in the Middle East a year after Qassem Soleimani was killed.

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Tensions around Iran. The upcoming anniversary of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, is creating tensions throughout the Middle East. Iraqi media report that the U.S. installed a rocket defense system at Camp Victory at Baghdad International Airport. The U.S. Department of Defense ordered the USS Nimitz carrier strike group to remain in the Middle East instead of returning to the U.S. as originally planned. Meanwhile, the Iranian military seized a South Korean-flagged vessel in the Strait of Hormuz and announced that a large-scale drone exercise will take place in Semnan on Jan. 5-7. As if that weren’t enough, an Iranian spokesman also said the government had started to enrich uranium to 20 percent. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not accept Iran becoming a nuclear power. The Israeli military has been on high alert for an attack by Iranian proxies. And Emirati intelligence also reported that it arrested an Iranian group in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that was suspected of plotting attacks against Israelis. More power for Xi. Amendments to China’s National Defense Law have expanded the power of the Central Military Commission over mobilizations of military and civilian resources at home […]

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