Iran declares ‘end of ISIS’ after territory retaken in Syria
Claim made by both President Hassan Rouhani and Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guards
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State in an address broadcast live on state TV on Tuesday.
A senior commander of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of the jihadist outfit in a message sent to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. It was published on Sepah News, the news site of the Guards.
Videos and pictures of Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force, the branch of the Guards responsible for operations beyond Iran’s borders, have been posted frequently by Iranian media in recent years, showing him at frontline positions in battles against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Last week, Iranian media published pictures of Soleimani at Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, a town which he said on Tuesday was the last territory retaken from Islamic State in the region.
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran‘s most powerful military force – which also oversees an economic empire worth billions of dollars, has been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the central government in Baghdad for several years.
More than a thousand members of the Guards, including senior commanders, have been killed in Syria and Iraq.