On Tuesday night, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps \"Al-Quds Brigade\" commander Kasim Sulaimani was killed in an attack carried out by U.S. forces, Xinhua reported.
The statement said the attack was aimed at deterring Iran and eliminating its plans for a future attack. According to the statement, Sulaimani had planned to attack U.S. diplomats and military personnel in Iraq and the region, killing hundreds of U.S. and international coalition soldiers and injuring thousands of others.
U.S. officials believe General Suleimani, commander of the Al-Quds Brigades of the elite Revolutionary Guards, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers during the Iraq war and Iranian hostilities throughout the Middle East.
Al-qudsforce, a special branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, was founded in 1979 as the product of the Islamic revolution. As its name implies, it bears the responsibility of guarding Iran's ideology, primarily against any internal or external factors that threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Indeed, its impact on Iran and the Middle East as a whole is not limited to its simple and passive defence function. At the same time, it is also expanding to assist tough and aggressive armed fighting in the region. The main task of the Holy City Brigade is to conduct intelligence analysis and participate in unconventional warfare (Editor's Note: One of the main differences between unconventional and conventional warfare is to set objectives. The objective of unconventional warfare is to force the other side through various means to realize that the victory of the war is without peace and security and that concessions are the ultimate solution.
The Al-Quds Brigade is under the command of General Kasim Suleimani. From the Revolutionary Guard as a whole, whether it is the training level or equipment quality, the jihadist brigade is at the top level. Of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, about 8,000 are part of the war plan for unconventional warfare. Unlike conventional forces, al-Quds operates mainly on overseas battlefields and has fully supported a number of non-state actors, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, and militias in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are reports that the al-Quds Brigade is also linked to some Sunni extremist groups, such as al-Qaeda, but this information has not been officially confirmed. It can be said that in Iran's strategy of pursuing regional interests by supporting armed forces in the Middle East, the Al-Quds Brigade is a very central and sharp executor.
The Al-Quds Brigade has an indisputable special position in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard because of its special mission. This particularity embodies many aspects, and it also carries some mystery. It has been reported that the al-Quds Brigade was financed directly by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and that data could not be found in Iran's regular military reports.
At present, the Holy City Brigade has bases in both Iran and abroad, and soldiers are divided into different branches according to the combat country or region. These branches are carefully divided and cover parts of the four continents:Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, the former Soviet States of Central Asia, the West(including Europe and North America)and South Africa(Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan and Morocco).
A large number of local training bases, controlled by the Al-Quds Brigade, are used to train lean soldiers involved in unconventional warfare. Al-Quds also has similar training bases in the Sudan and Lebanon. Iran's main training base is in Imam Ali University in northern Tehran. While receiving military training, soldiers will also be strengthened ideological education.
Al-Quds Brigades also have close cooperation with many Iranian embassies, many of which have offices for Al-Quds Brigades, but it remains unclear whether Al-Quds Brigades are independent of the Embassy's affairs. It also shows that the Iranian intelligence services, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian diplomatic service are involved in the affairs of the Al-Quds Brigade.
The Al-Quds Brigade was accused of being involved in two bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, although the Iranian government strongly denied the charge.
In January 2007, Iran's Supreme National Security Council decided to put the Al-Quds Brigade in charge of Iran's military operations in Iraq. At the same time, increase the total to 15000. Some U.S. intelligence officials believe the Al-Quds Brigade provides or delivers weapons to Sunni (and possibly Shia) militants. This has not only significantly changed Iraq's form of operations, but has also improved the quality of its armed forces, particularly the introduction of remotely controlled explosives.
In 2007, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency accused the Al-Quds Brigades of collaborating with Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence to lead transnational terrorist operations. In addition, other sources of intelligence indicate that the Al-Quds Brigade's priority is to support Shiite military operations in Iraq. With the renewal of Al-Quds's equipment and the change of its combat methods, the new threats are becoming more and more prominent, so that the Al-Quds's brigade has gradually become a force that cannot be ignored in the war.
As early as the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran began to support the Assad regime. The al-Quds Brigade was forced to withdraw from the Syrian battlefield in 2012, but since 2015, there have been reports of the involvement of Al-Quds Brigade soldiers and casualties. In mid-July 2013, Al-Quds Brigade leader Suleimani went to Moscow and met with Putin, the Huffington Post reported. Since 2007, the United Nations has frozen the general's property and banned him from leaving the country. The United States listed Al-Quds Brigade as a terrorist supporter in 2007 and imposed sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a whole. In 2011, the EU implemented the same policy.
Both Iran and Russia have positions in support of Assad's government in the Syrian civil war and are allies on the front against ISIS. Supporting mr assad's government is an essential part of iran's position in syria's civil war, but it has retained its grip on syrian territory and assets to ensure that it can meet its regional interests even if mr assad steps down.
The Al-Quds Brigade entered Syria as part of Iranian Revolutionary Guard intelligence and military support for Assad's government. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi'ite forces it supports have joined the war in support of Assad's government. So the Al-Quds Brigade not only personally assisted Assad's government in military, intelligence, money, and weapons, but also brought more regional forces into Syria's civil war, making the situation more complicated. The strong ability and willingness of Iran to engage in military operations in the region have also been fully demonstrated. Christopher Booker, a leading columnist for the Daily Mail, has written about the fact that the Assad regime would have long ceased to exist without the Al-Quds Brigade as the main force behind his government.
However, Al-Quds's activities are generally more secretive. Therefore, the scale of its activities, the actual role, and the specific linkages with individual organizations are not conclusive. The Al-Quds Brigade's relationship with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, for example, is ambiguous. There is evidence that Al-Quds has also provided military training, arms and monetary assistance to the Palestinian militants. However, the scale of such assistance is unclear in terms of public information. Not only that, the specific information about the holy city brigade, such as the number of people, the form of operation, and so on, only stay at the level of speculation.