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The New Arab

Iran's General Soleimani spotted with Iraqi fighters in Syria

Soleimani has been heavily involved in the fight against IS [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2017

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Iran's General Qassem Soleimani has been filmed with Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces in eastern Syria, in new footage that emerged on Sunday.

Iran's notorious commander Qassem Soleimani appears to have fought alongside Iraqi militias during the campaign against the Islamic State group-held eastern Syrian city of Albukamal, a video that emerged on Sunday shows.

Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' al-Quds Force is seen to be taking "selfies" with Popular Mobilisation fighters - also known as Hashd al-Shaabi - speaking the Iraqi dialect.

"It is in the Syrian city of Albukamal," the cameraman, who witnessed fierce battles between the Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi and its allies against the Islamic State group.


The video was also published by the Lebanese Hizballah's central military information, a key ally of the Syrian regime.

On Sunday, the allies announced the recapture of Albukamal - an urban militant-stronghold along the Iraqi border - from IS militants.

"Syrian troops and allied forces took full control of Albukamal, and are removing mines and explosives left by IS," a military source in Deir az-Zour told AFP.

"IS put up fierce resistance and tried to use explosives and suicide bombers, but besieging the city allowed the army to clinch the offensive and take full control of the city."

State news agency SANA also reported the advance in Albukamal, saying the "Syrian army and its allies eliminated the last Daesh (IS) terrorist pocket in the town".

A string of territorial defeats across northern and eastern Syria had left Albu Kamal as the last significant Syrian town held by IS.

Lebanon's Hizballah, Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi militias had fought alongside regime troops, backed by Russian air power.

IS seized large areas of both Syria and neighbouring Iraq in a lightning 2014 campaign, but this year has lost much of the territory it once held.

The loss of Albu Kamal caps the group's reversion to an underground guerrilla group with no urban base.

It comes as news that another Iranian commander was killed in the fight for Albukamal, the latest senior Revolutionary Guards officer to die in Syria.

 

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