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Iran president announces end of Daesh
November 22, 2017
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BEIRUT: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Daesh on Tuesday while a senior military commander thanked the “thousands of martyrs” killed in operations organised by Iran to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

“Today with God’s guidance and the resistance of people in the region we can say that this evil has either been lifted from the head of the people or has been reduced,” Rouhani said in an address broadcast live on state TV.

“Of course the remnants will continue but the foundation and roots have been destroyed.” Major General Qassem Soleimani, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, also said Daesh had been defeated, in a message sent on Tuesday to Iran’s supreme leader which was published on the Guards’ news site, Sepah News.

Soleimani acknowledged the multinational force Iran has helped organise in the fight against Daesh and thanked the “thousands of martyrs and wounded Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan and Pakistani defenders of the shrine.”

He pointed to the “decisive role” played by Hizbollah and the group’s leader Seyed Hassan Nasrallah and highlighted the thousands of Iraqi Shi’ite volunteers, known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, who have fought Daesh in Iraq.

On websites linked to the Guards, members of the organisation killed in Syria and Iraq are praised as protectors of Shi’ite holy sites and labelled “defenders of the shrine.”

Iranian media have often carried video and pictures of Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force, the branch of the Guards responsible for operations outside Iran, at frontline positions in battles against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The Revolutionary Guards, a powerful military force which also oversees an economic empire worth billions of dollars, has been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the central government in Baghdad for several years.

More than a thousand members of the Guards, including senior commanders, have been killed in Syria and Iraq.

The Syrian conflict has entered a new phase with the capture at the weekend by government forces and their allies of Albu Kamal, the last significant town in Syria held by Daesh, where Soleimani was pictured by Iranian media last week.


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