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Shadowy Iranian General Plots With Putin In Moscow

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

The leader of Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani of the notorious Quds force, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials last week in Moscow.

According to anonymous sources speaking to the Iran’s media propaganda arm Fars News Agency (FNA), “General Soleimani held a meeting with President Putin and high-ranking Russian military and security officials during a three-day visit last week to pursue the issues raised during the (the late November) meeting between Putin and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (in Tehran).”

Soleimani is the head of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, the paramilitary organization responsible for conducting covert operations in the Middle East. Soleimani and his Quds force have been Iran’s spearhead force fighting Islamic State, organizing and supporting Shia Muslim militias in Iraq and Syria, and propping up Syria’s Bashar Assad. Soleimani’s whereabouts are a close-guarded secret, however he has been perhaps the largest Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria.

At one time, the mysterious Iranian leader was more myth than man, known mostly for his legendary exploits shared among Iranian soldiers. Now, Soleimani has become a cult figure not only in the Iranian military, but across Middle Eastern society. Taking a picture with him on Twitter has become a prized opportunity, and he has even become glamorized in his own Iranian pop music video.

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Soleimani’s visit to Moscow is his second this year. He traveled to the Russian capital in late July in what appears to have been a meeting with Russian officials to discuss the upcoming Russian intervention in Syria. Assad is allied with both Iran and Russia and has been actively supported by both countries in his struggle to maintain power.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.