Qasem Soleimani Wiki
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Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and from 1998 until his death, commander of its Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.
For Iran, Major General Qasem Soleimani was a figure of national resilience in the face of four decades of US pressure.
On the other hand, he was a shadowy leader of Iran’s geopolitical ambitions, which aimed at expanding the Shia power’s arc of influence, or so-called “axis of resistance” from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
“You should know that I, Qasem Soleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan,” Soleimani reportedly told US General David Petraeus over the phone in 2008, when Patreaus was deployed in Iraq as a commander of the US army.
As Soleimani was killed on Friday morning in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, it marked one of the most dramatic episodes of the Iran-US rivalry.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 3, 2020
Fast Facts You Need to Know
Qasem Soleimani Early life
Soleimani was born on 11 March 1957 in the village of Qanat-e Malek, Kerman Province, to an impoverished peasant family. In his youth, he moved to the city of Kerman and worked as a construction worker to help repay a debt his father owed. In 1975, he began working as a contractor for the Kerman Water Organization. When not at work, he spent his time lifting weights in local gyms and attending the sermons of a traveling preacher, Hojjat Kamyab, a protege of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Qasem Soleimani Father
Soleimani was a Persian from Kerman. His father was a farmer who died in 2017.
Qasem Soleimani Mother
His mother, Fatemeh, died in 2013.
Qasem Soleimani Family
He came from a family of nine and had five sisters and one brother, Sohrab, who lived and worked with Soleimani in his youth. Sohrab Soleimani is a warden and former director-general of the Tehran Prisons Organization. The United States imposed sanctions on Sohrab Soleimani in April 2017 “for his role in abuses in Iranian prisons”.
Qasem Soleimani Children
He had four children: two sons and two daughters.
Qasem Soleimani Career
— CNN (@CNN) January 3, 2020
Soleimani began his military career at the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, during which he led the 41st Division. He was later involved in extraterritorial operations, providing military assistance to Shiite and Kurdish anti-Saddam groups in Iraq, and later to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. In 2012, Soleimani helped strengthen the Syrian government, a key ally of Iran, during the Syrian Civil War, particularly in its operations against ISIS and its ramifications. Soleimani also helped lead the Iraqi combined government and Shiite militia forces that advanced against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014-2015.
Soleimani died in a US airstrike on January 3, 2020, in Baghdad, Iraq. The members of the Popular Mobilization Forces were also killed. He was promoted to lieutenant general (sepahbod) posthumously. Solemaili was succeeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds force.
Threats to Soleimani
It was rumored that Soleimani was killed several times, including in an aviation accident in 2006 that killed other military officers in northwestern Iran and after a bombing in 2012 in Damascus that killed the main assistants of Syrian President Bashar al -Assad.
In November 2015, rumors circulated that Soleimani was killed or seriously injured the leading forces loyal to Assad while fighting around Aleppo of Syria.
There have been repeated airstrikes at the Quds bases in Syria and in August Israel accused the force of planning “killer drone attacks” and said its airstrike showed Tehran that its forces were vulnerable anywhere.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said at the time that Israel was working to “uproot” Soleimani, according to Israeli media.
More recently, in October, Tehran said it had thwarted a plot by Israeli and Arab agencies to kill Soleimani.
Qasem Soleimani Death
Soleimani was killed on 3 January 2020, after missiles shot from American drones targeted his convoy near Baghdad International Airport. He had just left his plane, which arrived in Iraq from Lebanon or Syria. Also killed were four other Popular Mobilization Forces members, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the PMF. His body was identified using a ring he wore on his finger, with DNA confirmation still pending.
The airstrike followed attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad by supporters of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia and the 2019 K-1 Air Base attack.
The United States Department of Defense issued a statement that said the U.S. strike was carried out “at the direction of the President” and asserted that Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019 and was meant to deter future attacks.
Qasem Soleimani Death Video Footage
A top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, has been killed by US forces in Iraq