Qassem Suleimani: Commander of Iran's Quds Brigade

[Ha'aretz] Yossi Melman - Iranian Brig.-Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the al-Quds brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is credited with brokering a cease-fire between the Shiite militias in Iraq and the Iraqi government. Suleimani's achievement underscores the deep involvement of Iran in Iraq, and its control, in effect, of the Mahdi Army and the other pro-Shiite militias operating in that country. Suleimani is also the coordinator of Iranian strategy vis-a-vis Hizbullah. The al-Quds force was set up at the beginning of the 1980s in the framework of the Revolutionary Guards as an elite unit for special tasks behind enemy lines. A former U.S. army intelligence officer, David Dionisi, says that al-Quds is divided into eight geographic departments, with responsibility for the West; Iraq; Afghanistan (including India and Pakistan); Lebanon; Israel and the Palestinians; North Africa; Turkey; and the Arabian Peninsula. According to Western intelligence sources, Suleimani was the main person responsible for equipping Hizbullah with missiles and long-range rockets. Suleimani created especially close ties with Imad Mughniyeh, the military commander of Hizbullah, who, according to American sources, used to sleep at Suleimani's house whenever he went to Tehran.

2008-04-17 01:00:00

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