63 Facts About Qasem Soleimani


Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian military officer who served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


Qasem Soleimani was later involved in extraterritorial operations, and in the late 1990s became commander of the IRGC Quds Force.


In 2012, following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, Qasem Soleimani helped bolster the Government of Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad, a key Iranian ally.


Qasem Soleimani ran Iran's operations in the Syrian Civil War and helped plan and organize the Russian military intervention in Syria.


Qasem Soleimani masterminded Iran's intervention in Iraq and had a significant role in Iran's fight against ISIL.


Qasem Soleimani was amongst the most popular personalities in Iran, viewed by many as a "selfless hero fighting Iran's enemies", by others as a "murderer".


Qasem Soleimani was personally sanctioned by the United Nations and the European Union, and was designated as a terrorist by the United States in 2005.


Qasem Soleimani was assassinated in a targeted American drone strike on 3January 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq, on the orders of US President Donald Trump.


Qasem Soleimani was born on 11 March 1957, in the village of Qanat-e Malek, Kerman Province.


Qasem Soleimani left school at the age of 13 and moved to the city of Kerman to work on a construction site to help repay his father's agricultural debts.


Qasem Soleimani joined the Revolutionary Guard in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, which saw the shah fall and Ayatollah Khomeini take power.


Qasem Soleimani quickly earned a reputation for bravery, and rose through the ranks because of his role in successful operations to retake the lands Iraq had occupied, and eventually became the commander of the 41st Tharallah Division while still in his 20s, participating in most major operations.


Qasem Soleimani was engaged in leading and organizing irregular warfare missions deep inside Iraq by the Ramadan Headquarters.


On 17 July 1985, Qasem Soleimani opposed the IRGC leadership's plan to deploy forces to two islands in western Arvand Rud, on the Shatt al-Arab River.


Qasem Soleimani was considered one of the possible successors to the post of commander of the IRGC when General Yahya Rahim Safavi left this post in 2007.


Qasem Soleimani helped arrange a ceasefire between the Iraqi Army and Mahdi Army in March 2008.


Qasem Soleimani strengthened the relationship between Quds Force and Hezbollah upon his appointment, and supported the latter by sending in operatives to retake southern Lebanon.


On 24 January 2011, Qasem Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


Khamenei was described as having a close relationship with him, calling Qasem Soleimani a "living martyr" and helping him financially.


Qasem Soleimani was described by an ex-CIA operative, responsible for clandestine operations, as "the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today" and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran's effort to deter Western influence and promote the expansion of Shia and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East.


Qasem Soleimani was involved in planning and carrying out the Siege of Baba Amr during the Siege of Homs since 2011, according to the Syrian Minister of Defense, Ali Abdullah Ayyoub.


Qasem Soleimani reportedly coordinated the war from a base in Damascus at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shia militia coordinator were mobilized, in addition to Syrian and Iranian officers.


Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani, the Basij's former deputy commander, helped to run irregular militias that Qasem Soleimani hoped would continue the fight if Assad fell.


Qasem Soleimani helped establish the National Defence Forces in 2013 which would formalize the coalition of pro-Assad groups.


Qasem Soleimani was much credited in Syria for the strategy that assisted President Bashar al-Assad in finally repulsing rebel forces and recapturing key cities and towns.


Qasem Soleimani was involved in the training of government-allied militias and the coordination of decisive military offensives.


In 2015, Qasem Soleimani began gathering support from various sources to combat the newly resurgent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and rebel groups which had both successfully taken large swaths of territory from Assad's forces.


Qasem Soleimani was reportedly the main architect of the joint intervention involving Russia as a new partner with Assad and Hezbollah.


Qasem Soleimani had a decisive impact on the theater of operations, which led to a strong advance in southern Aleppo with the government and allied forces re-capturing two military bases and dozens of towns and villages in a matter of weeks.


Qasem Soleimani was reported to have personally led the drive deep into the southern Aleppo countryside where many towns and villages fell into government hands.


Qasem Soleimani reportedly commanded the Syrian Arab Army's 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba, Kata'ib Hezbollah, Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-Abbas, and Firqa Fatayyemoun.


In late March 2017, Qasem Soleimani was seen in the northern Hama Governorate countryside in Syria, reportedly aiding Major General Suheil al-Hassan to repel a major rebel offensive.


Qasem Soleimani had a significant role in Iran's fight against ISIL in Iraq.


Qasem Soleimani was described as the "linchpin" bringing together Kurdish and Shia forces to fight ISIS, overseeing joint operations conducted by the two groups.


In 2014, Qasem Soleimani was in the Iraqi city of Amirli, to work with Iraqi forces to push back ISIL militants.


Qasem Soleimani seems to have been instrumental in planning the operation to relieve Amirli in Saladin Governorate, where ISIL had laid siege to an important city.


In November 2014, Shia and Kurdish forces under Qasem Soleimani's command pushed ISIL out of the Iraqi villages of Jalawla and Saadia in the Diyala Governorate.


Qasem Soleimani played an integral role in the organization and planning of the crucial operation to retake the city of Tikrit in Iraq from ISIL.


In 2016, photos published by a Popular Mobilization Forces source showed Qasem Soleimani attending a meeting of PMF commanders in Iraq to discuss the Battle of Fallujah.


Qasem Soleimani reportedly refused to be nominated for the election.


In March 2007, Qasem Soleimani was included on a list of Iranian individuals targeted with sanctions in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747.


Qasem Soleimani was sanctioned by the Swiss government in September 2011 on the same grounds cited by the European Union.


Qasem Soleimani's father, Hassan, was a farmer who died in 2017.


Qasem Soleimani's younger brother, Sohrab, who lived and worked with Soleimani in his youth, is a warden and former director general of the Tehran Prisons Organization.


Qasem Soleimani left five surviving children: three sons and two daughters.


In January 2015, Hadi Al-Ameri, the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq, said of him: "If Qasem Soleimani was not present in Iraq, Haider al-Abadi would not be able to form his cabinet within Iraq".


Qasem Soleimani was a popular national figure in Iran, considered a hero by the conservatives.


Qasem Soleimani was often considered the second most powerful person and general in Iran, behind Ayatollah Khamenei.


Qasem Soleimani cultivated public relations and a personality cult that formed part of his image.


Qasem Soleimani was assassinated on 3 January 2020 around 1:00am local time, by US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.


BBC News, NBC News, DW News, Time, The Guardian and other media outlets have said Qasem Soleimani was assassinated or described the killing as an assassination.


Qasem Soleimani was on his way to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and had just left his plane, which arrived in Iraq from Lebanon or Syria.


Adil Abdul Mahdi said Qasem Soleimani was bringing Iran's response to a letter that Iraq had sent out on behalf of Saudi Arabia in order to ease tensions between the two countries in the region.


Qasem Soleimani's body was identified using a ring he wore on his finger, with DNA confirmation still pending.


Qasem Soleimani was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and praised as a martyr by speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani and Mohsen Rezaei, a former commander of the IRGC.


Qasem Soleimani was succeeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.


The death of an Iraqi-American contractor in a rocket attack in December 2019 was reportedly used as justification for the strike, contradicting the Trump administration's claim that Qasem Soleimani was targeted because he was plotting "imminent" attacks on Americans and had to be targeted in order to stop these attacks.


The US Defense Department said the strike was carried out "at the direction of the President" and asserted that Qasem Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019, and that the strike was meant to deter future attacks.


Democrats, including top 2020 presidential candidates, condemned the killing of Qasem Soleimani, arguing that it escalated the conflict with Iran, and risked retaliation or war.


Qasem Soleimani's remains were taken to the holy Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf.


Qasem Soleimani was given a multi-city funeral, and his funeral procession was said to be the second largest after that of Ayatollah Khomeini.


In 2017, a computer animated film, Battle of Persian Gulf II, where Qasem Soleimani is portrayed as the hero of the film.


Shortly after his death, various representations of Qasem Soleimani appeared in many wall paintings and propaganda posters in Iran.