(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – A senior Iran Revolutionary Guard commander, Qassem Suleimani, is currently in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government, said the secretary general of Iran-backed Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba militia, Akram al-Kaabi.
The revelation Kaabi made to Alsumaria TV on Saturday casts more light on Iran’s active involvement in the conflict in battles in Iraq against the Islamic State.
“Qassem Suleimani and Iranian advisors are currently in Iraq,” said Kaabi in an interview with Alsumaria TV on Saturday.
“Iran has given us help since the start of Daesh occupation. Iranians have sacrificed blood in Iraq, not only weapons, and many testify to that,” he added, revealing that Suleimani existence comes as per a request from the Iraqi government.
Moving to developments on the battle field, Kaabi said that 1500 square kilometers had been liberated since the start of operations against ISIS militants in the western section of Mosul, Islamic State’s last stronghold in Iraq where government forces, assisted by Shia militias and US air forces, is carrying out a three-week old liberation campaign.
“Phase one of operations in western Mosul has come to an end to an end today after 1500 square kilometers had been liberated. That is a big and open area, so difficult that it needs armored vehicles,” Kaabi stated.
According to Kaabi, the existence of al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Mosul operations will stymie what he described as “US plots” in Iraq, “Daesh plans to divide Nineveh” and “Barzani’s expansive project,” referring to Kurdish president Masoud Barzani.