Skip to main content

Iran's Man in Iraq and Syria

Iranian Quds Forces leader Qasem Soleimani, who played a central role in post-2003 Iraq, has taken a different slant in his approach to the Syrian conflict, writes Mushreq Abbas.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

Members of the revolutionary guard attend the anniversary ceremony of Iran's Islamic Revolution at the Khomeini shrine in the Behesht Zahra cemetery, south of Tehran, February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi  (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY MILITARY) - RTR2X5DT
Read in 

It came as no surprise when Riad Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister who defected from the Assad regime, revealed in February that Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force — a division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard — was managing the conflict in Syria in favor of the regime, particularly given that as far as the Syrian crisis is concerned, Iran has had the most obvious stance.

Nevertheless, calling attention to Soleimani, who has made headlines in the media and within international intelligence circles following the role he played in Iraq throughout the last decade, on a basic level seeks to imply an Iranian military and intelligence role in Syria.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.