Gen. Soleimani Thwarted US Plot to Change Region’s Identity, Nouri Al-Maliki Says

Gen. Soleimani Thwarted US Plot to Change Region’s Identity, Nouri Al-Maliki Says

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The former Iraqi prime minister and current secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party said the main reason behind the assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, was that he thwarted the US plots to change the identity of the region.

"The US decided to assassinate Soleimani because he thwarted many of its plots to change the identity of the region. Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis succeeded in stopping more than one scheme for changing the region, which bothered the Americans a lot,” Nouri al-Maliki told Al-Alam TV on Saturday.

He added, "Qassem Soleimani helped the peoples and fronts in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, to withstand and become strong in the face of the aggression, and perhaps his position in Syria is the most prominent, where he stopped the plot of its collapse, which was prepared by Israel and Arab countries."

Al-Maliki revealed how General Soleimani helped Iraq in its war against Daesh, and provided it with weapons, which the US refused to give it.

Al-Maliki said, "I spoke with Soleimani directly, because I had a good relationship with him and always met with him, and when events escalated, he came himself to Baghdad and told me what we can help you with."

"I asked him to help us by providing us with weapons," he added.

"This is the point of strength that we must not forget about the Islamic Republic and Qassem Soleimani, that they enabled our forces to defend and confront the threat of ISIS when they equipped us with weapons from their warehouses, and not from new industries," al-Maliki said.

"This (assassination) was a heinous crime because first, it violated the sovereignty of Iraq, and secondly because it targeted a great and dear guest to Iraq and the Iraqis, and thirdly because of the way of assassinations that the gangs do not a country like the US that raises slogans of freedom and democracy, "the former prime minister said.

Al-Maliki said, "The Iraqi government must have a role in uncovering this crime and its circumstances, whether there is a role for some Iraqi individuals or Iraqi parties, or not, and referring the perpetrator to the judiciary."

He continued, “Until now we did not provide sufficient explanation, how did the crime happen? We only have announced that drones left the base and targeted the convoy of cars in which Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis were.

"But who gave them the information that Qassem Soleimani is now in Baghdad? Who told them that he left Baghdad airport? Such an issue needs a process of detection and accountability for the party that was behind the accident”.

General Soleimani was the former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). He was assassinated by a US strike on January 3, when he was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Hitting his convoy, the barbaric assault also led to the martyrdom of many others, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force.

Recently, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei vowed that those behind the assassination of the top commander will definitely face revenge whenever possible.

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