Photos have emerged of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, in Aleppo, Syria. Forces allied with the Syrian government declared victory this past week.
As the Islamic State has taken the ancient city of Palmyra and battle rages on in the outskirts for T4 military air base, two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers have been announced killed in Palmyra. IRGC-backed Fatemiyoun Division have fought in the area, augmenting Syrian forces backed by Russian air power.
Aleppo is on the verge of falling to the pro-Assad coalition. A diverse range of Syrian and foreign militias, backed by Russian airpower, have contributed to this success.
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have announced plans about securing the border with Syria and pushing into the country following the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq. There are discussions in Western policy circles that PMF’s movement is part of a broader Iranian strategy to establish a land corridor stretching from Iraq to the Mediterranean. However, Iran already exercises freedom of movement via its air bridge to Syria, and is unlikely to risk hard-fought gains for building a sustainable land bridge. Tehran has other plans for Iraq and Syria, in which the PMF plays important roles.
Akram al Kabi, a senior Iraqi militia leader, says IRGC Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani is in Iraq. Soleimani’s last confirmed sighting was on Oct. 28 in Tehran, Iran.
Iraqi Shiite militia strongman and Imam Ali Brigades commander, Abu Azrael, was spotted alongside the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) as they make their way through the western axis of Mosul toward Tal Afar. The PMF is attempting to prevent the Islamic State’s escape to Syria through Tal Afar, which is 33 miles west of Mosul. Abu […]
Iranian-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launched an operation in the western axis of Mosul on Oct. 30, and announced on Nov. 2 that they cut off the Islamic State’s supply route from Mosul to Raqqa. The PMF is advancing towards the town of Tal Afar west of Mosul, which has Sunni Turkmen population.
Indicators suggest that Tehran supports the Houthi anti-ship missile attack against the US Navy this past week. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held the US directly responsible for the devastating Saudi-led coalition bombing last week in Sanaa, Yemen. The IRGC sought to pressure the US in order to push the Saudis to deescalate the war, calculating that the US wants to avoid more involvement in the war in Yemen.