Last week’s momentous killing of a top Iranian general was in the spotlight in Turkey’s capital Ankara this Friday, where a panel discussed the shocking development and its repercussions for the Mideast and global politics.

Qasem Soleimani was killed on Jan. 3 when U.S. drones struck his vehicle in Baghdad, triggering Tehran to retaliate with missile attacks on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers. on Jan. 8.

Sabir Askeroglu, representing the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM) panel, said the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq paved the way for rising Iranian influence in

Read more: Turkey: Think-tank discusses Soleimani’s death