Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has promoted its drone strikes against the Islamic State near the Iraqi border in Syria. The IRGC says the strikes were carried out as “revenge” for an Iranian soldier who was beheaded by the so-called caliphate.
The US-led coalition carried out an air strike to block Islamic State fighters from reaching eastern Syria after they were evacuated from Lebanon. As part of the deal, the Islamic State was to hand over the body of an IRGC fighter who has become a household name in Iran.
The milestone marks the first instance the US will designate the military branch of a foreign country for terrorism.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are running a propaganda campaign to appropriate victory in Mosul and the broader war against the Islamic State as their own, while omitting US military support, which has been critical in the campaign.
At a July 10 ceremony commemorating a Revolutionary Guard commander recently slain in Iraq, Major General Qassem Soleimani hailed victory in Mosul against the Islamic State. Addressing the crowd with the flags of the Islamic Republic, Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestine and Iraq draped behind him, the Qods Force chief praised Iraqi actors, as well as Iran’s material and combat support to Iraq during the war.
On July 3, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force, spoke at an Iran-Iraq war veterans gathering in his home province of Kerman.
Soleimani praised the Islamic Republic’s decades-long effort to take the mantle of the Palestinian cause and boasted that Tehran’s influence in the Middle East has expanded as a result of the Syrian war. He excoriated Saudi Arabia, as well as domestic Iranian critics of the Guard Corps. And the general also lamented the drop in religious observance in Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies abroad on Friday commemorated Qods (Jerusalem) Day, an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan and established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to express support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel. The regime has not shied away from reiterating its call for Israel’s destruction during the annual event.
Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al Abadi arrived in Tehran today to met with senior Iranian government officials, including Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an “important and blessed phenomenon,” Khamenei said. “The reason the Americans oppose the popular forces is because they want Iraq to lose its important factor of strength,” he added.