The Islamic State (IS) group has welcomed the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force.
In a statement, it described the general’s demise as an act of divine intervention that benefitted jihadists. However, it made no mention at all of the US, which carried out the deadly drone strike against Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January.
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.