A Tribute to Qassem Soleimani
By Abdullahi Usman
Qassem Soleimani was born on 11th March, 1957 in a Village called Qanate-e Malek in Kerman Province of Iran.
When he concluded his schooling, he moved to the city of Kerman and worked on a construction site.
He joined the Army during Iranian Revolution in 1979. Martyr Haj Qassem Soleimani arrived in Baghdad on 3rd of January, 2020 at the invitation of senior Iraqi officials. After leaving the Baghdad International Airport, Gen. Soleimani was martyred in a attack on the direct orders of the US President Donald Trump.
More so, the strike was strongly condemned by many countries, human right activists, including the Iranian government. He and other casualties were given a multi-city funeral that was held simultaneously in Iraq and Iran as well as by other well wishers in other countries across the world.
Soleimani assembled and led a company of soldiers when the Iran-Iraq War began in 1980, rising through the ranks to become commander. He was later involved in extraterritorial operations, and in the late 1990s became commander of the Quds Force.
Soleimani was popular among many Iranians, with many viewing him as a “selfless hero fighting to protect common man”.
Slain Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani played a considerably dominant role in fighting against ISIS across the Middle East.
In Syria, he saved the people of the Country from the Takfiris (ISIS).
Indeed, his assassination by an American airstrike leaves many of Syrian people in fear of attacks from the remnants of ISIS in Syria.
The concerns about an ISIS resurgence in both Iraq and Syria were on the rise with increased reports of night-time raids, sleeper cells, and IED attacks. Already in the short term, the fallout from Soleimani’s martyrdom appears to have negative ramifications for the counter-ISIS campaign.
Over the longer term, if Soleimani’s martyrdom had provoked a deeper conflict between the United States and Iran, the resulting chaos and instability in both Syria and Iraq will benefit ISIS. The extremist group thrives under such conditions: it will exploit heightened sectarianism to seek additional recruits.
The uncertainties surrounding Baghdad before the arrival of Soleimani can best be imagined in a report by Christa Waegemann, who is a Humanitarian Aid Worker in Baghdad Iraq. She told Business Insider Magazine that: “My favorite moments were driving around the city, feeling its heartbeat.
“Traffic jams allowed me to people-watch and observe the street life of the city. Baghdad was crumbling everywhere but still had a charm and sometimes a cosmopolitan air.”
Yet working as country director for the local Iraqi organization Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid (HM) in 2016, Waegemann spent most time confined to her office/home for security reasons. Then at 29, and the first expat at HM, she lived outside the Green Zone, in the upper middle-class district Karrada.
“All you need is one person who gets it in their head to kidnap you,” Waegemann says, “or one person to pass information onto ISIS.”
The terror group never conquered the capital, but it had a grip on the city nonetheless. On July 3, five months after Waegemann’s arrival in Iraq, an ISIS suicide truck slammed into the popular Hadi Center in Karrada. The blast killed 324 people. Waegemann lived just a few streets away.
“Hearing the explosion, I sat up in bed thinking ‘that was a bomb,'” she remembers, “and then I promptly went back to sleep. I had gotten too accustomed to Baghdad’s regular bomb and mortar noises.”
With the help of Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the Iranian Quds Force who was assassinated by a US airstrike in Baghdad on January 3rd 2020 everything changed in the region as he provided a strong resistance against the terrorists who are being supported by the US. Because, Haj Qassem managed to organize the Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani and Iraqi fighters into an effective and unique fighting force which ultimately annihilated ISIS’ dark regime.
The Popular Mobilization Front, PMF was originally founded by Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2014, both to fight ISIS and maintain security and peace in the County.
In 2016, the Iraqi parliament passed a law institutionalizing the PMF as a state military force reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
The PMF’s main supporter, though, was Soleimani: From an early stage his Quds forces trained and coordinated the fighters and to protect the Iraqi people from ISIS.
And on August 6 that year, a spokesman for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Front announced that Soleimani is in Iraq to oversee the retaking of Mosul.
“General Soleimani is in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to provide military counseling to the Iraqi forces” the spokesman announced.
Soleimani’s presence in Iraq during the battle of Mosul was never celebrated by the Iraqi people. But even before then, the Iranian General became known under a now infamous term, “The Shadow Commander.”
The fighting is just 60 minutes away, but most roads to Mosul are closed. Safe routes for humanitarian aid workers through the war zone change on a daily basis. An assignment in late December took Waegemann to a field hospital in the town of Hamam al-Alil, which had just been retaken from ISIS.
Waegemann, her Kurdish colleague, and an Iraqi-French surgeon approached the town in a dust storm.
“The road was destroyed. A large long ditch ran parallel to it, where ISIS had been fighting. Along the way were shells of remaining suicide bombers’ cars, all twisted and rusted,” she remembers. “Most houses along the road were in heaps of rubble. A couple shepherds tended their herds in the thick dust, letting the sheep wander. Almost no one was on the road except a few military vehicles, blaring their lights in the storm.”
Hamam al-Alil had been liberated by a combination of elite Iraqi forces and the Iraqi police. Yet when Waegemann left the town, rumors spread that ISIS would return in the night to retake it. Protracted fighting like this dominated the battle for Mosul for months on end. Iraqi forces fought alongside troops from the international coalition — with the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces always part of the equation.
Waegemann remembers meetings of the UN health cluster group in Kurdistan in which the fighting style of the PMF was discussed. While the coalition forces held back on the battlefield to evacuate civilians, the Shia militias would not. Because areas controlled by the PMF were not accessible for humanitarian workers, no one really knew about conditions and casualties there.
Waegemann left Iraq on August 1, 2017. Being of American-German citizenship, she now lives in Berlin, working for an organization that supports humanitarian work in Syria.
On January 3, the day a MQ-9-Reaper drone struck Soleimani’s convoy outside the Baghdad airport, Waegemann didn’t check the news before she arrives at work at about 8:45 a.m. When she heard of Soleimani’s death, when the messages from former coworkers and friends in Iraq started coming in, some optimistic, some fearful, she was shocked.
“Soleimani was instrumental in the design of, and eliminating the ISIS and bringing peace in Iraq, Syria and Middle East in general.
Now a year without Soleimani, Terrorist group ISIS will likely be the winner not Iraqis or Syrians.
Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, was assassinated on 3rd January 2020 in a U.S. airstrike directed by President Donald Trump.
The crisis sent tensions between the U.S and Iran rocketing and triggered ni retaliation threats from Tehran. It also raised questions about the future of American troops in Iraq.
Abdullahi send this from No 4, Muhammadu Buhari Way Kaduna.