Chief of Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani (left)
Chief of Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani (left)Reuters

General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, Executive Director of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said on Saturday that the elimination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani was a “major below to Iran’s enterprise of terror and entrenchment across the Middle East.”

In a series of tweets, Yadlin predicted that it will be difficult for Iran to replace Soleimani.

“The Iranians miscalculated on American embassies traumas: from Tehran ‘79 to Benghazi 2012. They mistook a sleeping lion for a dead one,” he added.

Yadlin noted that it remains to be seen if this change in US policy “represents a broader change in its policies and strategic priorities towards Iran, terror and the region at large.”

“Trump now has two Middle Eastern terror chiefs on his belt: [ISIS leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the linchpin of Sunni terrorism, and Qassem Soleimani, the symbol of Shiite terrorism. These are impressive accomplishments in his legacy,” he wrote.

He also predicted that Iran will be forced to respond to Soleimani’s death and “[t]he targets will either be U.S. forces or U.S. allies, like KSA and Israel.”

“Israel is not the most likely target of an Iranian response with its considerable record foiling Iranian attacks and reputation for exacting costs,” wrote Yadlin, adding, “U.S forces in the Iraq are more accessible, yet dangerous to provoke. The Saudis may be both more vulnerable and with the lesser potential for retribution against Iran. That being said, it is appropriate to raise Israel’s intel awareness and operational readiness.”