The Islamic Republic marked the one year anniversary of Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani on Sunday, with the general widely admired in his native Iran and throughout much of the Middle East for his assistance in squashing Daesh (ISIS)* and al-Qaeda* terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
The assassination of Qasem Soleimani has added fresh impetus to the resistance against the US and Israel, and will hasten America’s ultimate expulsion from the Middle East, Iranian Ambassador to Syria Javad Torkabadi has said.
Speaking at a ceremony in Damascus on Thursday dedicated to Soleimani and his support for Syria in its decade-long battle with terrorism, Torkabadi said that “the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani was a violation of international law,” and “will bring ultimate defeat for the United States in the region.”
Torkabadi stressed that Iran “will continue our efforts to avenge the martyr,” and suggested that while the US “aggressors” sought to defeat the Iranian people by killing the Quds commander, they failed in their efforts. “This ugly crime backfired on those who committed it,” he said.
“The result of this criminal act of the US administration was the pouring of new blessed blood in the veins of the resistance bloc,” the diplomat said. “General Soleimani will be remembered in history as a fighter for justice,” Torkabadi added.
The ambassador also praised Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in his remarks, saying his leadership in the face of the terrorist threat helped keep the rest of the region safe from the consequences of “evil-oriented plans.”
“The success of the Syrian Army is the essence of the victories of the Axis of Resistance and we will support it until its total victory,” he said, referring to the loose alliance between Iran, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, as well as Iraqi Shia militias, in opposition to US, Israeli, and Gulf State activities in the region.
Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in January 2020 during a visit to Baghdad, Iraq. His death prompted Iran to lob more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq, with the strikes leaving over 100 US troops with traumatic brain injuries. Iran threatened further “revenge” attacks throughout the year, with the Revolutionary Guard recently even warning that “someone inside” America could “respond” to the killing.
In late December, Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, hinted that Iran may not need to resort to violence to avenge the commander, and said that “the expulsion of American forces from the region can be revenge for General Soleimani’s blood.”
Soleimani’s killing prompted Iraq’s parliament to issue a resolution demanding a US withdrawal from Iraq. Last year, Iraqi and US officials spent months negotiating the details of a partial withdrawal and the handover of US bases to the Iraqi side. In November, the Pentagon announced that it would be scaling back troop numbers in Iraq to 2,500 troops total by mid-January 2021.