Photo released by Harakat al Nujaba
Harakat al Nujaba, an Iraqi Shiite militia that operates in both Iraq and Syria, has posted a photo of its fighters posing with Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Aleppo province.
On its official Facebook page, Harakat Nujaba said that “Al Hajj Qassem Soleimani oversees the conduct of the battles, which is being waged by the champions of the Islamic Resistance Harakat al Nujaba in Aleppo, Syria.” A fighter in the background can be seen wearing a shirt with what appears to be the Harakat al Nujaba logo, however, another photo alleging to show Soleimani in Aleppo likely shows fighters from other militias, as well as Syrian regime and Hezbollah troops. Iranian troops or advisers could have also been present.
The photos come just days after Soleimani was photographed in Latakia province in northwestern Syria. His presence in Latakia was confirmed by Reuters. According to the news service, Soleimani was “addressing Iranian officers and Hezbollah fighters with a microphone, wearing dark clothes as he spoke to the men in camouflage.” [For more information, see LWJ report, Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani rallies Iranian officers, Hezbollah in Syria.]
Soleimani is instrumental in organizing Syrian and Iraqi militias, as well as Hezbollah, to battle Sunni jihadists and allied rebels in Syria. He has played a similar role in Iraq, where he has organized, trained, and equipped Shiite militias along the lines of Lebanese Hezbollah to fight the Islamic State. The leaders of some of these militias are listed by the US as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, and remain hostile to the US. Soleimani is occasionally photographed with these militia leaders.
[To see pictures of Soleimani in Iraq, see LWJ reports, Qods Force commander Soleimani reportedly spotted in Anbar province, Iraqi forces, Iranian-supported militias report success in Baiji, and Threat Matrix report, Iranian general at the forefront of the Tikrit offensive. ]
Another photo purporting to show Soleimani in Aleppo: