Iranians, according to author and researcher Mohammad Sadeq al-Husseini, believe that four elements were the pillars of their country after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979: belief, determination, education and reason, and that there is a fifth element that protects all other four, represented by the Commander of al-Quds Force, General Qassem Suleimani. Many assert that he is the same person who chased the American army upon occupying Iraq, and “the Israeli army upon its aggression against Lebanon in 2006, as well as “ISIL’s” militants on the fronts of Iraq and Syria.”
Al-Husseini further considered that Suleimani “prevents the vibes of defeat among the supporters of the axis of resistance, raising their morale, and at the same time terrify any enemy;” therefore, “he must be exhibited when fighting in the field.”
This might explain Suleimanithe reason behind leaking news about the “General’s” presence on many fronts lately, whether in Iraq or Syria, in parallel with the battles or even before they begin, by publishing photos that document his presence among the fighters in the field, while keeping the security aura that has always been surrounding such a controversial figure.
Al-Husseini linked this hypothesis with what he has heard from the Head of the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc in Iraq and the Head of the “al-Resali Brigades” that participated in fighting “ISIL”, Adnan Shahmani, as saying “Hajj Qassem’s presence with us in Jurf al-Sakhr, especially after spreading the news of his presence there since the beginning of the battles, had a major role in the collapse of the four defensive lines created by the enemy, in which when we arrived to the fourth line after a very huge job, no more than 8 Afghani Takfiris were still operating as mercenaries under the Takfiris.”
A source in the IrSuleimaniaqi Popular Resistance, which General Suleimani played key role in establishing to stop “ISIL’s” progress, said, based on intelligence information, that “the enemy used to get very confused just as they hear news related to Suleimani’s personal presence in the field,” stressing to al-Manar website that his presence, according to them, referring to the Takfiris, means “losing the battle.”
In September of 2013, al-Husseini met Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. At the time, upon discussing field developments in Syria, al-Husseini stressed that President Assad told him that “the presence of General Qassem Suleimani with us in several field battles was a main and important reason in transforming the image.”
Al-Husseini told us, when asked about the many photos published for General Suleimani, last of which was in Rif Aleppo and Sahl al-Ghab in Rif Hamah, explaining the importance of this publishing for the “psychological war it conducts against the enemy.” He earlier explained how effective Suleimani’s presence is on the field developments, adding that “in the Baba Amro’s battles for example, which I can confirm he was there according to information from people close to him, General Suleimani supervised the militants’ defeat in that region, which represented the major room for operations planned to downing Damascus.”
Moving from the Syrian to the Iraqi front, it witnessed in mid-June 2014 critical developments, in which “ISIL” dominated Mosul and major parts of al-Anbar Province, threatening the capital city of Baghdad and the holy city of Samarra’. A source in the Popular Mobilization Forces told al-Manar website that “at the time, it was Hajj Qassem Suleimani’s first appearance in Baghdad, in which he came in a hurry to save Iraq from “ISIL’s” expansion.” The same source further stated that “as Suleimani descended from the airplane, he was welcomed by the Leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Hajj Abo Mahdi al-Muhandes and the Leader of Ahlul Haqq League Sheikh Qaiss al-Khazzali, as well as national security chancellor Faleh al-Fayyad. At the time, they were asked to head to Samarra’ directly in which the city was the starting point of the General’s deterring action on the one hand, and to begin liberating the Iraqi lands on the other hand.”
Al-Manar Channel correspondent fellow Hassan Hamze meHamze-Suleimanit the Commander of al-Quds Force when covering the battles conducted against “ISIL” in Dayala Province, especially in the Khanqin region. Hamze noticed “humbleness of the legendary leader, especially as he asked how things were going on in the Syrian city of Aleppo, after he learned that I was covering there, he further questioned my safety and the safety of the crew there.” During that meeting, Hajj Qassem said that there is no difference between the Iraqi and the Syrian fronts, in which he sees a “single project.” Hamze also narrated that he asked Suleimani for an interview, for which he replied: “time here is for work, not for interviews.”
According to Hamze’s observations, Suleimani’s influence in the field didn’t only reach the enemy, but also the fighters of the Popular Mobilization and other forces: “Those who were fighting when he was there were certain that things were heading toward victory and achievements,” adding that this spirit “was also penetrating to our souls, we, the journalists.” At this point, Hamze recalled the battle of liberating the town of “Sa’diya” in the Dayala Province, noting how Suleimani was certain from the very first moments after the battle started that they will achieve the goal of expelling militants from the town within few hours, despite all what was circulated in the military medium that it was difficult to achieve it.
The source in the Popular Mobilization Forces, who accompanied the “Hajji” in several battles, narrated the level of support Suleimani was offering to the fighters as “he was present among them in the front lines of confrontation, in which he refused to leave the risky spots during clashes, he rather insisted to stay there without wearing any flak jacket; he was also present in the areas where clashes are taking place inside non-armored cars.” He later noted that “in the battles of Tikrit, he used to ride a motorcycle and go forward to monitor the enemy before the attack, he was brave and didn’t fear death. When a bomb exploded near him, he used not to react, as if nothing had happened.”
On this basis, Suleimani enjoyed “amicable presence among those operating with him, besides his huge military experience, stressed by his calm personality and ability to listen in all gatherings, even when they used to interrupt him to express their opinions,” according to Hamze, “in addition to his modesty that was clear through his love to the fighters, in which he was keen to sit with them and sleep just as they sleep, and question their situations,” according to the popular Mobilization source who stressed that he saw Hajj Qassem “kissing the hands of the fighters and the wounded many times.”
As for the fighters under the Iraqi factions, the “Hajji” was as close to them “as the down-to-earth humble expert leader,” as al-Husseini stressed, noting that he got to know him since 2009 in the Imam Ali Faculty of the al-Quds Force in Tehran, “discussion between us circulated around the al-Quds and the Palestinian cause, in which Suleimani considers fighting on all fronts is for the sake of this cause,” adding that “despite this closeness, he was for Americans as a ghost who haunts them.”
In the same context, al-Manar correspondent quoted a top source he met in Iraq as saying that the Americans sent the Commander of the al-Quds Force a message that says: “We are observing your military work in Dayala, and we are ready to offer help,” for which he responded that we have enough potential and members to achieve our goals.” Moreover, according to the “Israelis,” he is a “permanent target”, just as he was in the July 33-day war on Lebanon. Relatively, al-Husseini uncovered that the “Israelis” were aware that he was present on ground during the war, and “perhaps he was the target of the famous landing that took place meanwhile in the city of Tyre.”
What was mentioned stresses that the Commander of Brigade 41, as he was known during the Iran-Iraq war, has a double influence. On the one hand, he influences the fighters under his supervision from whom they are supplied with high fighting spirit that was revealed in the Jurf al-Sakhr victories, as well as those in Samarra’, Tikrit, Rif Aleppo and others. On the other hand, he influences the rivals who realized the results of the General’s presence in which they fear him. Therefore, they should have been told about his presence here or there, in which the measurements of victory and loss would take another direction.