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.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that two men, Ali Kourani and Samer El Debek, had been arrested and charged with carrying out various missions on behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization. The IJO serves as Hizballah’s external operations wing, carrying out clandestine missions on behalf of Iran around the world. The complaints allege that Kourani and El Debek were both members of the IJO, which is ultimately controlled by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who in turn reports “directly” to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
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.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Guard Corps’ Qods Force, has been photographed allegedly with Iranian-backed Iraqi militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the northwestern countryside of Iraq near the Syrian border. The photo’s precise location and date are yet unconfirmed; however it surfaced on May 29.
Backed by the Iraqi air force, The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella organization of diverse militias, launched an offensive this week in Nineveh Province, southwest of Mosul, to capture territory from the Islamic State. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has embedded operatives in the PMF.
Iraqi Shiite militia leader Akram al Kabi has met with top Iranian government official in Iran. Kabi, who is a member of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces that has become an official part of the Iraqi government, boldly proclaimed his allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Qassem Soleimani will play a “major” role in upcoming operations to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, according to the spokesman of the Iraqi Population Mobilization Front.
The photo offers more evidence of another Iranian-backed militia in Iraq owning and using a US-made M1 Abrams tank.