Author Archives: Amir Toumaj

Amir Toumaj is a Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Qods Force commander to advance Tehran’s influence as ambassador to Iraq

An Iranian general from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this week began his new position as Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq. The selection of Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, the senior adviser to the commander of the IRGC extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, highlights Tehran’s strategy to assert itself as the dominant foreign power in its western neighbor following the Mosul campaign. Since 2003 all Iranian ambassadors to Iraq have been Qods Force officers.


Qassem Soleimani reportedly spotted in Syria’s Hama province

A photo surfaced on Friday claiming to show Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, in the northern countryside of Syria’s central province of Hama. Meanwhile, the IRGC announced the deaths of three additional Guard soldiers including a brigadier general second class in Syria.


IRGC members killed in Syria’s Hama province

Iranian authorities have confirmed that at least two Iranians were killed in combat in Syria’s Hama province. Pro-Assad regime forces have been fighting a major insurgent offensive that was launched by a number of groups in Hama earlier this month.




IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia forms ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’

The Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba this week announced the formation of its “Golan Liberation Brigade.” This announcement reflects Tehran’s post-Aleppo priorities in southern Syria: sustain ideological commitment to fighting Israel while planning to pose militarythreat to the the Jewish state from the Golan Heights. The Islamic Republic is also sending signal to Arab states that are in talks with Israel over a military coalition against Tehran’s influence.


Iranian sniper embedded in Iraqi militia killed near Mosul

The casket of an Iranian killed in combat in Iraq on February 25 was received in Tehran two days ago. The combatant’s funeral poster shows him wearing the arm patch of the Hezbollah Brigades, an Iraqi Shiite militia close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that has been designated by the US Treasury as a terrorist group.