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Rudaw

Iran

Iran’s Qasem Soleimani back in Iraq 'for Mosul battle'

By Rudaw 4/8/2016
Qasem Soleimani, Head of the Iranian revolutionary guards: ISNA file photo
Qasem Soleimani, Head of the Iranian revolutionary guards: ISNA file photo

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—General Qasem Soleimani, Head of Iran’s elite Quds forces is said to be back in Iraq  to prepare for the Mosul battle with Iraqi government forces and leaders of the Shiite militia known as Hashd al-Shaabi.

“Soleimani has arrived in the Mosul area to have a look at the situation and to study the possibility of the Mosul liberation battle,” an Iraqi MP has told the pan-Arabic Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on condition of anonymity. “He entered the Iraqi territory through the Mundhirya border gate of Dyala province,”

The MP has said that Soleimani “with some of his colleagues and security guards went straight to Kirkuk and from there to the Nineveh area, without passing through Baghdad,”

The MP who hails from Dyala and is part of the Muttahidoon alliance led by Osama al-Nujaifi told the paper, “An Iraqi officer in Mundhirya border gate told me Soleimani and his colleagues entered Iraq with Iranian number plates, and without showing their passports, and the officer contacted the related security agencies and they told him that Soleimani was allowed to enter Iraq without passport and that he is an advisor to Iraqi government.”

Soleimani played an important role in the battle for Tikrit and parts of Diyala in 2014-15 by leading Shiite militia forces ahead of government troops to expel Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

According to Alarabiya TV, Soleimani has also spent time with Shite leaders in Najaf and Karbala on this most recent trip to Iraq.

Said Ahmed Assadi, a spokesperson for the Hashd Al-Shaabi confirmed Soleimani’s link to the Shiite militia, saying: “Soleimani is not only the military advisor to Hashd, but also advisor to the army, federal police and counter terror agency.”

A high-ranking Hashd official, Nazim Assadi, said that there was strong Iranian support for the Hashd al-Shaabi, and  “We receive the support from Iraqi government, not directly from Iran and our status is like any other security organization,” according to Asharq Al-Awsat’s Wednesday edition.

And Assadi said that Iran has been supporting the Shiite militia from the very start.

“I am here with Hashd and I confirm that from the establishment day there has been Iranian support according to an Iraqi-Iranian government agreement to support Iraq with weapons, advisors and trainers for the war on ISIS,” he told the paper. “This support is not only for Hashd, but for the ministries of defense, interior and counterterrorism agency.”

Iraq’s Sunni leaders have long complained that the Shiite militia are involved in extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses during their assault on Sunni towns and have blamed Iran for its interference in Iraqi affairs.

“The Iraqi army has great military leaders and they have long experience in combat since the Iran- Iraq war, and we have to rely on them not on the Iranian leader,” said Hamid Mutlaq, a member of the parliamentary security and defense committee. “Soleimani’s participation in the Mosul battle is rejected by us, because it will affect the Iraqi army’s reputation of its victories.”

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Alan | 4/8/2016
Shame on entire Kurdish media in Iraq, I was not expecting from Rudaw, while at least 21 Kurds are executes in Iran you don't have even a single news s about them!! and then here we go Qasem Soleimani back I Iraq to save you, he is no body with no expertise
yad | 4/8/2016
Whoever saw real devil by his eyes, nobody but if you want to see it see Qamin Suliemani who caused the destabilizing Iraq and Sunni territories especially. Sulaiemani who killing thousand of innocent Sunni in Rumadi, Tikret and Falija. And he came to border of Mosul for preparing to liberate the city where majority of people are Sunni, and he want to destroying the city as he destroyed those three Sunni area, so I call on every Sunni leaders, scholars and others to prohibit Hashdi-Alshahbi as it called Popular Mobilization that they never mean of human right and they such an animals
Circassian 4Ever | 4/8/2016
This bache kooni is the architect of the joint Hashd al-Shaabi-Iraqi Army assault on Tikrit from March 2015-16. 20,000+ Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi forces and 500 ISIS terrorists fought to a stalemate. Luckily the US-led coalition saved the day by bombing the shit out of the 500 ISIS terrorists left inside the city. The assault on Mosul may start later this year, but it will take at least 6 months to liberate the city. The Hashd al-Shaabi can lead the charge and become human mine-sweepers. The body washing stations in Karbala and Najaf will be working overtime!
duroi | 5/8/2016
Shoot 10 of Soleimani agents in KRG territory for each Kurds they hang. Suleimaniyeh region is full of IRI bastards and let Sunni Arabs deal with them by giving up to them their positions and give their coordinates as positions to be bombed by coalition forces.
Soleimani sucks | 5/8/2016
He gets whipped in syria despite Russian support. The western countries defeat daesh in Iraq and he takes credit for the win. This terrorist is a loser.

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