(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Major General Qassem Soleimani of Iran says the Islamic Republic does not seek materialistic interests in supporting Iraq and Syria — where it has advisory military presence — and the Palestinian cause.
“When we entered Iraq, we didn’t differentiate between our interests and those of Iraq; and we were not after [taking control of] oil wells or seizing cities like Mosul or Kirkuk. We did not and do not have monetary demands, either,” Major General Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said on Sunday.
He also said that Iran did not support the Palestinian people because of “Shia interests.” Almost all Palestinians are Sunnis, he said, and yet “we defend them.”
The senior commander also said that in spite of the violent capacities of the ISIS terrorist group and the creation of such other militant outfits as Jaish al-Islam in Syria, Iran had been able to bring stability to Syria.
Referring to ISIS terrorists, he said, “These are people who send a hundred suicide bombers to the battlefield every day.”
“It was with religion that we fought against their religious war, not with military power,” the Iranian commander said.
ISIS launched a terrorist offensive inside Iraq in 2014. It swiftly took over territory in the Arab country and posed a threat to seize the capital, Baghdad, too. Iran then offered advisory military assistance to both the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan, helping them both maintain ground and win back territory lost to the terrorist group.
In Syria, too, Iran has been offering advisory support to the government. An armed conflict broke out in Syria in 2011 and soon transformed into a foreign-backed militancy by a hodgepodge of terrorist groups, including ISIS.
Major General Soleimani said the Iranian government had succeeded in transcending matters of language and race, thus bringing about stability.
He said Iran was now enjoying a status of real power in the region.