The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says late commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani thwarted the entire plots by Iran’s enemies, stressing that the Islamic Republic will “sooner or later” avenge the US assassination of the top anti-terror icon.
Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks in a ceremony on Sunday in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman, General Soleimani's hometown, to mark the third anniversary of the IRGC's air strike on the US-run Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
“The enemy had come in a powerful array to conquer the Islamic world, assail the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the independence and dignity of its people. They intended to occupy the entire Islamic territories from the eastern Mediterranean to the eastern Afghanistan,” Salami said.
“Haj Qassem’s deed dispelled the charm of all powers and he foiled all the plots of the enemy.”
Stressing that the enemy’s mistake cannot be forgiven and that Iran is still seeking revenge, the IRGC’s chief commander said, “we avenge every day, [we] still seek to take revenge on those who perpetrated it, we will take revenge and we will do it sooner or later.”
Salami also highlighted the Islamic Republic’s achievements and said, “We are just at the beginning of the way and we are moving forward, we are resolving our problems but will never compromise or surrender to the enemy.”
General Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and their companions were assassinated in a US drone strike authorized by Former US President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that required the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.
Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
On January 8, 2020, the IRGC targeted the US-run Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar with a wave of missile attacks in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleimani, describing its missile attack as a “first slap”.
According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of Americans who perished during the retaliation.