The rare joint statement both eulogizes Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis and offers vague threats of retaliation in Bahrain.
Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, addressed late last month a commemoration held in Iran for slain Lebanese Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh (AKA Hajj Radwan).
As tensions mount between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, several Iranian-backed group have deployed more troops to contested areas near Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu. As both sides remain steadfast in their claims to the oil rich province, tensions continue to mount and the risk of military escalation rises.
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.
Yesterday, photos emerged on social media of Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala, Iraq, during a holy period in Ramadan. Soleimani was photographed next to his deputy Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the operations commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), which was enshrined into a legal and separate military corps last year, thus technically making Muhandis a government official.
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.
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.
IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani was spotted in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government area yesterday visiting the family of a deceased Kurdish Peshmarga commander. The visit marked the first confirmed sighting of Soleimani in Iraq since the siege of Mosul was launched last week.
Two top officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF) delivered remarks commemorating the most senior IRGC commander killed in Syria last year. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC-QF, spoke about the strategic importance of Syria, and claimed that the Islamic State was established with the goal of threatening Iran.
The IRGC’s construction arm is helping to develop a massive complex in a Shiite shrine in Najaf Iraq. Its partner, the Headquarters for the Restoration of Holy Shrines, is a front organization for the Qods Force.
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, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, was spotted in southern Aleppo on September 6, inspecting the positions of Iraqi Shiite militia Harakat al Nujaba in advance of assaults.
The photo shows Soleimani’s and the militias dependent on Iran’s importance in the fight for Fallujah.
The photo comes just days after Soleimani was spotted in Latakia addressing Iranian and Syrian troops. The Syrian regime also relies on Shiite militias from Iraq and elsewhere, which are often trained and advised by the Iranian Qods Force.
Several Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups continue to operate in Tikrit, despite claims by US government officials that most of these militias had left the battle. The US continues to launch airstrikes to support Iraqi forces and these militias, many leaders of which are responsible for killing US and Coalition servicemen during the Iraq War.
Several Shiite militias, which are supported by the Iranian Qods Force, and the Iraqi Security Forces have taken over several surrounding towns of Tikrit. These militias have published several photos and videos from these towns in recent days.
Several photos have been released by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars showing Qassem Soleimani on the battlefield near Tikrit. Other photos circulating on social media show the leader of the Qods Force with various Shiite militias taking part in the current offensive in central Iraq.
Massive columns of Shiite militas, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit. Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani has been spotted at the front lines.