Defeat of ISIS: Souvenir of Gen. Soleimani
TEHRAN- Falih al-Fayadh, the Secretary-General of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), has lavished praise on Iran’s anti-terror icon in a speech during an official festival in Baghdad attended by senior government and security figures.
Defeat of ISIS: Souvenir of Gen. Soleimani – The stage, which was set up for marking the fifth anniversary of Victory over Terrorism Day, was flanked by large posters of Iran’s slain Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and the second in command of the PMF, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Both of the popular commanders, along with a small security team, were assassinated by the United States in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport at 01:20 local time on the 3rd of January 2020.
The former administration of U.S. President Donald Trump publicly announced that the assassinations via drone strikes were undertaken by his orders.
Following the largest funeral procession in the history of funeral processions, Iran responded on January 8?, 2020, by launching missile strikes on the American-controlled Ayn al Asad military base in Iraq’s Western Anbar province.
Despite giving Washington a two-minute warning, allowing U.S. troops to seek underground shelter, which they did, more than 100 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following Iran’s ballistic missile attack.
The Iranian attack razed the base to the ground.
The leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said the attack was just “a slap in the face” for the U.S. and revenge over the assassination will come at a later time.
“The era of hit and run” has come to an end, the leader noted.
In his speech, al-Fayadh said “the Iraqi victory over terrorism is a source of pride for this generation and future generations,” adding “victory over terrorism has been achieved and the those who achieved this victory were the martyrs, headed by the leaders of victory martyrs.”
Iraqi officials and the general Iraqi public use the term “victory martyrs” in reference to both Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Al-Fayadh stressed that “we are all Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis” and “we are all Qassem Soleimani” in defending the country.”
The martyrs he said, who shed their blood for their nation and their faith, are the ones who achieved victory and that they are the first to be highlighted in “our prayers, our praise and our remembrance of this day.”
All those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and were martyred on the battlefield, he said, must be remembered, in particular, the “victory martyrs”.
Referring to Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, he said “we are honored” to be associated with them, “we are honored” to raise their names and photos and to raise our children on the principles that they held.
The occasion, he pointed out, represents a juncture (in Iraq’s history) that corrected the country’s path as the “participants here remember from the posters in front of us” in reference to the posters of the slain Iranian Iraqi commanders, who fought Daesh together and assassinated together.
He said that “the Popular Mobilization Forces was formed during difficult days that represented a special type of situation for Iraq,” noting that “awareness is the weapon with which the Popular Mobilization Forces confront their enemies and the enemies of Iraq.”
But, al-Fayadh said the achievements of PMF in defeating the Takfiri group were a sign of pride and dignity for the Iraqi forces in defending their people and the holy sites in the country.
The top security chief affirmed the rejection of any foreign domination, insisting that “Iraq is free and the actions of the martyrs tore apart all kinds of divisions between Iraqis,” pointing out that the PMF “has turned into a national role model.”
The top military official stated that some are trying to tamper with security so that Iraq does not rise, while he indicated that there are those who put “sticks in the wheel” of the new government to hinder its progress.
Al-Fayadh accused some – whom he did not name – of trying to obstruct the new government’s work.
Iraqi officials have previously accused foreign forces, the U.S. in particular, of attempts to stoke division among supporters of different Iraqi political parties.
The Iraqi Media and Communications Commission has previously called on all local media outlets to “avoid broadcasting false news and rumors,” calling for “accuracy and not to take biased positions that contradict the rules of media broadcasting.”
The commission stressed the need to refrain from “broadcasting material that incites violence and hatred,” adding, “and not to be drawn into speeches that contribute to escalating the situation.”
Expanding on the PMF, al-Fayadh pointed out that it is “a security institution that has political awareness and dedicates its existence by providing martyrs for the sake of the country’s security,” stressing that “the Popular Mobilization Forces and all Iraqi security forces are capable of maintaining security,” without the need for outside forces.
He also stated that the PMF “dealt the deadly blow to Daesh terrorists in Iraq,” calling on the Iraqi government to protect and preserve the political process through constitutional institutions with regard to the PMF.
Al-Fayadh stressed the need to “defend our security and stability” and that “the PMF will always defend Iraq’s security.”
As al-Fayadh pointed out “the Popular Mobilization Forces were launched during difficult days, and the Iraqi people went through a series of challenges to achieve victory over terrorism, in which all Iraqi people volunteered,” to join the ranks of the PMF.
He said the victory over Daesh is a day that will go down in history while hailing the Iraqi people’s call by the highest religious authority in the holy city of Karbala to volunteer in the fight against the terrorists.
In the summer of 2014, Daesh rolled into the northern Iraqi city of Mosul with American-made Abrams tanks consolidating their occupation over large swathes of the country’s northern and western provinces.
The terror group further extended its territorial gains by reaching the outskirts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish capital of Erbil.
This followed the collapse of the U.S.-trained Iraqi army.
When Daesh rolled into town in the summer of 2014, so did the terror group’s future nemesis: Qassem Soleimani.
The top Iranian general who commanded the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps led a team of Iranian military advisors.
They helped train the newly formed PMF of Iraqi volunteers and led their victory over Daesh.
Unlike U.S. commanders (who had trained the Iraqi army prior to the emergence of Daesh) who sat in their offices sipping coffee, Major General Soleimani’s motto was “follow me” as he led the Iraqi forces to the frontline himself.
In one of his speeches about a fellow Iranian military advisor in Iraq and Syria, who was martyred during the era of Daesh, General Soleimani said our commanders advise their forces to “follow me” not “go ahead”, highlighting the major difference between the two.
Seeing commanders like General Soleimani or Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis alongside them on the frontline significantly boosted the confidence of the newly formed Iraqi volunteer forces.
The PMF was and is a unique force, unlike the U.S.-trained Iraqi army that lost all its morale because of the instructions it received from the American military.
During the three-year battle against Daesh, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were always seen on the frontline.
American military figures said it would take around ten years to defeat Deash.
The PMF, backed by other Iraqi armed forces, finished the job in three years.
That would not have happened had it not been for Qassem Soleimani (who landed in Iraq in its hour of need) and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Two commanders whose names will go down in the history books for preventing Daesh terrorism from expanding beyond Iraq and Syria to West Asia and the world.
Western politicians and mainstream media intentionally and falsely refer to the PMF as an “Iranian-backed Shia militia”.
The PMF actually has been incorporated into the Iraqi national armed forces in a bill passed by the Iraqi parliament.
In other words, they receive their paychecks and pensions from Baghdad, take orders from the Iraqi commander-in-chief, and have all the same attributes as other Iraqi armed forces.
But as they spearheaded the victory over Daesh, the PMF holds a special place in the hearts of the Iraqi people.
To debunk a few of the other myths by the West, the PMF has a quota system which means there are more Sunni Muslim members among its ranks than in the regular Iraqi army.
In addition to that; one of its units is a Christian (Babylon) brigade with a Christian commander, Rayan al-Kaldani in addition to the brigades from other minority groups.
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who trained and advised all the PMF units “represent a thorn in the eyes of the enemies,” al-Fayadh pointed out.