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Rudaw

Middle East

Tehran’s man in Iraq resurfaces in new picture

By Rudaw 26/10/2014
General Suleimani (seated in light uniform) chats with Hadi al-Ameri (seated left) and other unidentified soldiers.
General Suleimani (seated in light uniform) chats with Hadi al-Ameri (seated left) and other unidentified soldiers.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force and Tehran’s ‘eminence grise’ in Iraq, has resurfaced in a new photo, pictured alongside the leader of a powerful Iraqi Shia organization.

Despite a shadowy role in Iraq’s affairs going back years, Suleimani had been something of an invisible man in the upheavals the country has endured.

That has changed, however, as Tehran attempts to assert its role as Iraq’s defender in the face of onslaughts by Islamic State fighters. Iran insists that its assistance was the only thing that prevented Baghdad falling to ISIS fighters earlier this year.

Tehran has also sought to play up the importance of its aid to the Kurdistan Region, which faced an ISIS offensive in August, until the US launched air strikes to halt a militant advance on Erbil.

Earlier this month, photos surfaced on social media showing the silver-haired Suleimani alongside Peshmerga soldiers of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the main Kurdish parties, which has good relations with Iran.

The latest photo again shows a relaxed Suleimani, this time in conversation with Hadi al-Ameri, head of the Badr Organisation, the political successor to the powerful Badr Brigades militia, widely seen as an agent of Tehran and led by Iranian officers.

The photo, on pro-Badr websites, gave the location merely as “at one of the main battlefields of Iraq".

The new photo emerged as Iraq’s new interior minister, Mohammed Gabban, also a senior member of the Badr Organsiation, criticized US air strikes against ISIS as ineffective. He was speaking at a press conference in the Shia holy city of Kerbala.

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Dugi | 26/10/2014
I dont know what he espect ? Ineffective !! Irak guverment dont want any ground trops , west give weapon and try to trening Iraqi force , many of targets is destroy ,Kobani is stil live thanks to great and brave Kurds forces and air support , some importand Kurds lider say , if we have 10% weapons what is USA left Iraqi guverment the war will be finish long time ago . West send new weapons and Iraqi army lost territory ,base and again left all that weapons to ISIL. I read one ISIS fighter say " i didnt know how is easy defeat Iraq army and take towns and weapons . 80 % good hard weapons isis take from iraq. Kurds fihters say we dont have trust in iraqy army ,they are not good in fight . Without Kurds and airstrikes Iraq have falen long time ago . Last days we see first time and Iraq army have some good victory , but every attack are starting with airstrikes like big support , and many place are saving with airstrike . Deep in Iraq attacking isis troops , weapons, oil rafineries and all others isis eqipment . Many army man say " thanks to aristrike" we defeat town are have some progress . I wish all the best Iraq and Kurds army and fast victory ! Big hello from Europa
BacheBaneh | 26/10/2014
http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/444678/آذوقه-یک-دختر-پیشمرگه There are tremendous support among Iranian public for Kurds in their current struggle against ISIS. The above article is one example.. Note the amount of overwhelming positives "+" to comments the readers have given in praise and support of a Kobani defender who has uploaded a photo of her meager supply of food and weapon; one of them a very old rifle a limited supply of food to show the difficulty of and resilience to fend off against the ISIS animals. Just copy and paste the link to read the article and use Bing translator to translate the article and the comments.
ari | 26/10/2014
They at least came to help us. Not like Turkey!!!
acig | 26/10/2014
Dugi, please learn english, man! Or let it doublecheck by anyone before putting in here. :-)
Some one from Iran | 26/10/2014
Kurds are Iranian people,and the whole Iran will defend them,no matter what some idiots would like to comment in meetings or blogs.....

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