TEHRAN (FNA) – Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Brigadier General Esmayeel Qa’ani said Baghdad remained untouched by ISIL terrorist group due to Iran’s support and assistance.
“The ISIL terrorists sought to surround Baghdad but they failed in reaching their ominous goals thanks to Iran’s supports,” Qa’ani said in North Khorassan province on Sunday.
Noting that the ISIL terrorists have been left with no more command center and are searching for new shelters, he said ISIL is becoming weaker and weaker day by day and is being annihilated.
On Wednesday, senior military officials in Baghdad said Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani planned the liberating operations of Jurf al-Sakher from the ISIL terrorist group’s occupation some three months ago.
After the ISIL fled from the embattled town of Jurf al-Sakher last week, the Iraqi military gained a victory against the extremist group, with state television showing tanks and Humvees parading through the town and soldiers touring government buildings that had been occupied by the militants since August.
Photos soon emerged on independent Iraqi news websites revealing presence of the powerful Iranian general Soleimani, whose name has become synonymous with the victories of Iraqi ground forces.
An Iraqi commander, who agreed only to be identified by his nickname, Abu Zeinab, said Soleimani began planning the Jurf al-Sakher operation three months ago.
Militia commanders told the AP that General Soleimani was on the front lines in Jurf al-Sakher, providing weapons training to some 7,000 troops and militia fighters, and coordinating with military commanders ahead of the operation.
Some other militia commanders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media, described Soleimani as “fearless” — one pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a flak jacket, even on the front lines.
“Soleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,” one commander said.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL militants took control of Mosul in a lightning advance on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) Northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
They have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations and crucifixions, against all Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others.
The West and its regional allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are giving financial and military support to the militants.