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Iran Looks to Iraq for Syria Support

Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Qods Force, has been seeking assistance from Iraqi Shiite forces to provide support to the Syrian regime but without much apparent success.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif (L) speaks during a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad, September 8, 2013. The United States will ignite a fire across the Middle East if it attacks Syria, Zarif said on a visit to Iraq on Sunday, warning Western powers against warmongering. REUTERS/Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Pool (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX13CUF
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The Sept. 8 visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Iraq caught the media's attention, but that of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, in late August largely passed unremarked. While in Baghdad, Zarif denied that Iran had any intention of hitting US interests in Iraq in response to a potential strike on Syria. He warned, however, “Whoever starts the war on Syria will not be able to contain it or put an end to it.” Soleimani’s talks, however, were shrouded in an air of secrecy and confidentiality.

Informed sources told Al-Monitor that Soleimani, dispatched to deal with developments involving Syria, had been disappointed by the failure of Iran’s “Iraqi friends” to stick together in confronting dangerous regional developments deemed fateful by Tehran. 

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