Iranian assistance?

Issue 972 - 20 Jun 2014 | 2 minute read

As Sunni militants extended their control in Iraq, Iran moved quickly to reinforce its Shiite powerbase. According to an Iraqi source in Baghdad, Major General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, arrived in the Iraqi capital on the morning of 12 June, together with a team of senior IRGC officials. “He brought 45 of the officers who are running the war in Syria,” the source told GSN. “He was fuming. They have few options.” Suleimani – a regular visitor to Baghdad whom the Kurds have described as Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s “number one adviser” (GSN 931/3), is reported to have personally inspected defensive positions to the north of Baghdad. This fits with his reputation as being a hands-on tactical commander as well as the chief strategist of Iran’s policy in Iraq and Syria.

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