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IRGC Commander Reaches Mosul Borders to Examine Military Field | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani uses a walkie-talkie at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in the town of Tal Ksaiba in Salahuddin province, March 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Baghdad, Dialah- An Iraqi parliamentarian has revealed that Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani reached Nineveh Governorate’s border to be briefed about the conditions there and the possibility of starting a battle to liberate Mosul.

“Soleimani, along with his companions and bodyguards, headed for Kirkuk then Nineveh without having to cross Baghdad”, said the lawmaker who preferred to remain anonymous.

“An Iraqi officer informed me that Soleimani and his companions entered the Iraqi territories with four wheel vehicles holding Iranian licence plates without presenting their passports, as usual.

The officer contacted relevant security authorities who in their turn affirmed that Soleimani needs no passport, since he is a consultant to the Iraqi government,” added the MP.

“Then, I communicated with supreme authorities and their response was that Soleimani is a military consultant participating in the war against ISIS,” he continued.

A prominent figure in Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) admitted that Iran is offering massive support to PMF; Member of PMF Nazem al-Assadi told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We don’t receive the support directly from Iran but through the Iraqi government by virtue of Iranian-Iraqi agreements that aim at fighting ISIS.”

PMF spokesperson Ahmad al-Asadi stated that Soleimani will lead the Mosul liberation battle, affirming that he is not a military consultant to the PMF only but also for the army, federal police and Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service.

A Kurdish security source told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is an Iranian camp in Iraqi Kurdistan that consists of officers from the IRGC and the so-called Hezbollah. These members are carrying out training for Shi’ite Iraqi militias to participate in Mosul battle.

However, MP Hamed al-Matlak expressed rejection to Soleimani’s participation in Mosul’s upcoming battle or any other battle in Iraq.

“The Iraqi army has major military leaders of wide experience in the field since the Iran-Iraq war. We should seek help from them and not the Iranian commander.”