June 17, 2014

Qassem Soleimani: Puppeteer of the Mideast

Black & Dehghan, The Guardian

AP

Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is a useful man to have on your side in a crisis. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, must have been relieved to see him last week as he scrambled to organise a counterattack against the Sunni jihadis of Isis who have taken swaths of territory and were threatening Baghdad. Suleimani is a regular, though usually unannounced, visitor to the Iraqi capital, where he has been a key player since even before the 2003 US invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Stiffening resistance, mobilising militias and greasing palms is the stuff of a clandestine career which has given him the reputation of being one of the most powerful and mysterious men in the Middle East.

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TAGGED: IRGC, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Middle East, Syria, Iran, Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani

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