He’s been called “a living martyr of the Revolution” by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while other Iranians called him “Mr. Fix-it” or “the Shadow Commander,” but now he’s dead.
An American drone killed Qassem Soleimani, legendary commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, when he, together with the commander of the Iraqi militia Kata'ib Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and other Iraqi officials, were on their way to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The order to assassinate Soleimani came directly from President Donald J. Trump after the Quds commander ordered an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad last week.
Soleimani’s assassination is more important to world peace than the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin-Laden who was killed in a hide-out in Pakistan after his organization suffered significant blows in the war against Islamism.
Soleimani’s death is also more significant than the recent assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who committed suicide after US Special Forces attacked his hide-out in northern Syria.
In a previous analysis for Arutz 7, I called him “the most dangerous Iranian” on earth - and dangerous he was.
The only time Soleimani found his Waterloo was in May 2018 when the Israeli military (IDF) set a trap for him after striking the Quds Force and its allies in Syria numerous times.
On May 10, 2018 Soleimani ordered a massive missile strike on northern Israel only to find out that the IDF had been waiting for his order, and while no Iranian missile exploded within Israeli territory, the Israeli air force decimated the Iranian military facilities in Syria with a fleet of F-15 warplanes.
Soleimani was designated a terrorist by the US in 2011 after he plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States and later again over war crimes committed in Syria by his Quds Force.
What I wrote about Soleimani in August 2018:
Soleimani oversaw virtually every major battle in Syria and Iraq during the civil wars there and later founded the al-Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella organization of predominantly Shiite militias in Iraq who were integrated into the Iraqi army at the beginning of 2018.
The commanders of al-Hash al-Shaabi take their orders from Soleimani, not from the Iraqi government and the Iranian-backed militias were more than instrumental in the battle which resulted in the re-conquering of territories lost to Islamic State.
The Quds commander had also overseen the major battle against rebels in Aleppo, Syria and the Qalamoun offensive where Iran reportedly is running an underground nuclear facility in the vicinity of the town of Qusayr.
More recently Soleimani interfered in the forming of a new government in Iraq after the elections in May and forced Shiite firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr into forming a coalition with pro-Iranian parties.
“Iran won’t accept the creation of a Shiite bloc that is a threat to its interests. It’s a red line,” Soleimani told reporters after his meeting with al-Sadr.
At about the same time Qassem Soleimani organized the battle against rebels in the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in southern Syria and gave orders to attack Israel with more than 30 missiles during the night of May 10th.
That attack resulted in what was dubbed by the IDF “Operation Chess,” the massive IAF assault on Iranian bases and other military facilities belonging to the Quds Force in Syria.
The Israeli operation in Syria was prepared well and came after Soleimani founded the ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’ a Shiite force led by Iraqi militia Hezbollah al-Nujaba.
“We are fully prepared to participate in any war with the Syrian Arab Army to liberate the Golan if the Syrian state agrees or requests so,” Sheikh Akram al-Ka’abi, the leader of Hezbollah al-Najuba had said at the end of November 2017.
Al-Ka’abi takes his orders directly from Soleimani and said his militia would work in tandem with Lebanese Hezbollah which has thousands of fighters in Syria and is now controlling the northern Golan Heights opposite the Druze village of Magdal Shams on the Israeli Golan Heights.
“Israel will be destroyed” read a banner in a video released by the ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’ when the foundation of the new force was announced.
Threatening Trump and the USA
At the end of July, Soleimani made headlines again when he threatened the United States and warned President Donald Trump not to begin a war with Iran because the Iranian military would “end it.”
While accusing Trump of using the language of “nightclubs and gambling halls,” Soleimani said it was his duty as a soldier to respond to Trump’s threats against president Hassan Rouhani of Iran.
After Trump warned Rouhani “never ever threaten” the U.S. again the Quds commander said the President should talk to him, not to Rouhani.
“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine ... Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war,” Soleimani was quoted as saying by state-controlled Tasnim News Agency in Iran.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) revealed Soleimani has an Instagram account which features a graphic of the Quds Force commander using a walkie-talkie while he stands in front of an exploding White House.
“We will crush America under our feet,” read the caption under the graphic.
The account also contains a photo of Soleimani delivering a speech in which he warned the “gambler Trump” not to threaten the lives of Iranians.
“Don’t threaten our lives! You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare.” Soleimani said.
MEMRI earlier reported Soleimani has an obsession with the United States and the Trump Administration in particular.
“Not a night goes by when we don't think about you in our sleep. Let me tell you, Mr. Trump, the gambler... Let me tell you... Know that we are near you, in places that don't come to your mind. We are near you in places that you can't even imagine. We are a nation of martyrdom. We are the nation of Imam Hussein. Ask around. We have endured many hardships,” the Quds Force commander said during a speech in the city of Hamedan, Iran on July 26, 2018.
At the end of 2019, Soleimani overplayed his hand again when he interfered in the crisis in Iraq where angry protesters demanded the fall of the Iraqi government and an end to Iranian meddling in Iraqi internal affairs.
The Quds commander personally ordered the Iraqi government to use snipers against the protesters and also interfered again in the political crisis in Iraq when he demanded Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi be replaced with another pro-Iranian politician.
Soleimani reportedly also ordered the attack on the American embassy in Baghdad this week after the US launched a devastating string of attacks on the Iranian proxy Kata’ib Hezbollah which had been involved in attacking US personnel in Iraq for months.
The Pentagon made clear after Soleimani’s assassination that he had been involved in the killing of hundreds of US soldiers and the wounding of thousands of others.
“You can’t do a damn thing” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account in a war of words with President Trump. He now knew the US has capabilities to hit Iran hard but he had no intentioons of stopping his aggression.
Khamenei has already appointed deputy Quds commander Esmail Ghani as the new head of the IRGC branch that is tasked with exporting the Iranian Islamic Revolution and he will most likely attempt to deliver the predicted “harsh response” in typical Iranian fashion.
That means that Iran’s numerous proxies in the Middle East and Hezbollah’s sleeper cells in the US will likely to be activated to deliver the announced quick response.