The commander of faithful Imam Ali said Value of a man depends upon his courage, his veracity depends upon his self-respect, and his chastity depends upon his sense of honor.
General Qasim Suleimani possessed all these traits and perhaps this was the reason behind a severe propaganda campaign orchestrated by the West which he faced his entire life. The multi-million dollar smearing campaign marred the personality of the real Qasim Suleimani which was deliberately kept hidden from the world. In true letter and spirit, Qasim Suleimani lived like Ali (AS) and died like Hussain (AS).
He changed the shape of the Syrian civil war and tightened Iran’s grip against the terrorists and tyrant regimes. He was behind hundreds of ISIS deaths in Iraq and planned movement against Israel’s oppression. And for two decades, his every move lit up the communications networks — and fed the obsessions — of intelligence operatives across the Middle East. He was known as the two-edged sword of Syed Khamenei and regarded as the most revered soldier of all time. Qasim Suleimani was not just a soldier he was the decorated savior.
In the wee hours of 3rd January 2020, Maj Gen Qasim Suleimani, the powerful and shadowy 62-year-old spymaster at the head of Iran’s security machinery, was killed by an American drone strike near the Baghdad airport.
Just as his accomplishments shaped the creation of a Shiite axis of influence across the Middle East, with Iran at the center, his death has now proved central to a new chapter of geopolitical tension across the region.
General Qasim Suleimani was at the vanguard of Iran’s revolutionary generation, joining the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in his early 20s after the 1979 uprising that enshrined the country’s Shiite theocracy.
He rose quickly during the brutal Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. And since 1998, he was the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ influential Quds Force, the foreign-facing arm of Iran’s security apparatus, melding intelligence work with a military strategy of nurturing proxy forces across the world.
In the West, Qasim was seen as a clandestine force behind an alleged Iranian campaign of international terrorism. He and other Iranian officials were designated as terrorists by the United States and Israel in 2011, accused of a plot to kill the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, one of Iran’s chief enemies in the region, in Washington. Last year, in April, the entire Quds Force was listed as a foreign terrorist group by the Trump administration.
But in Iran and throughout the Muslim countries, many saw him as a larger-than-life hero, particularly within security circles. Anecdotes about his asceticism and quiet charisma joined to create an image of a warrior-philosopher who became the backbone of a nation’s defense against a host of enemies.
He was close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Friday issued a statement calling for three days of public mourning and “forceful revenge,” in a declaration that amounted to a threat of retaliation against the United States.
“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission,” he said.
The first years of General Qasim Suleimani’s tenure in the late 1990s were devoted to directing the militant group Hezbollah’s effort against the Israeli military occupation of south Lebanon. General Qasim Suleimani, along with Hezbollah’s military commander, Imad Mugniyah, drove a sophisticated campaign of guerrilla warfare, combining ambushes, roadside bombs, suicide bombers, targeted killings of senior Israeli officers and attacks on Israeli defense posts.
In the end, the price for Israel was too high, and in May 2000 it withdrew from Lebanon, marking a major victory for General Qasim Suleimani, his Quds Force and Hezbollah.
In recent years, the man whose face had rarely been seen became the face of Iran’s foreign operations.
In Syria, he oversaw a massive operation to shore up the government of President Bashar al-Assad, whose own troops had been depleted by widespread defections and fierce fighting with rebels seeking to topple the government since 2011. His command of Arabic helped put local commanders at ease as he welded them into a support network for Mr. al-Assad.
When Iranian and Iranian-backed forces became major combatants against ISIS after the group took over roughly a third of Iraq in 2014, pictures of General Qasim Suleimani on the battlefield in fatigues began being widely shared on social media. The publicity spawned rumors that General Qasim Suleimani was trying to widen his fame for a possible run for Iran’s presidency; he denied them, saying he always saw himself as just a soldier. That conflict, from 2014 through 2017, was a rare instance of Iran and the United States nominally fighting on the same side. General Qasim Suleimani was directing ground forces against the ISIS militants. It was the vision and strategy of General Qasim Suleimani who wiped out ISIS from the face of the Middle East and saved the lives of millions. “He was so big that he achieved his dream of being martyred by America,” wrote a reformist politician and former vice president, Mohammad Ali Abtahi.
During military operations against ISIS by Iraqi Special Forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga was a brief description of what these troops discovered when they entered a village in Iraq that had been occupied by ISIS fighters. A naked woman, tied to a tree, who had been repeatedly raped by ISIS fighters. Another woman was discovered in a second village, similarly naked, tied down, and repeatedly raped. The fighters, it appears, are “rewarded” by being allowed to have their way with captured women.
ISIS has received considerable world attention for its savage beheadings, executions of captured soldiers and men in conquered towns and villages, violence against Christians and Shiites, and the destruction of non-Sunni shrines and places of worship. For the West, Qasim Suleimani was a puppet master but for these poor souls, he was the liberator who saved them from the brutalities of ISIS.
General Qasim Suleimani had received the country’s highest military honor, the Order of Zolfaghar, established in 1856 under the Qajar dynasty. He became the only military commander to receive the honor in the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Khamenei pinned the medal on General Qasim Suleimani’s chest last February, and in remarks that now seem prophetic, said: “The Islamic Republic needs him for many more years. But I hope that in the end, he dies as a martyr.” Death as a martyr was the most cherished wish of General Qasim Suleimani and he used to seek prayers from the people for his martyrdom. For the West it was a targeted attack but for us the lovers of Qasim Suleimani, it was his dream come true as he died fighting against the terrorists and oppressors. His legacy will live on through the good deeds and positive changes he made for the oppressed people of the world.