The man who threatened to destroy all American capabilities

NEW DELHI: challenged the United States openly and repeatedly. He cemented Iran's influence in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen His death opens a new chapter in global geopolitical tensions.

The second most powerful man in Iran.

Major General Qassim Suleimani, 62, led the Quds Force, an elite arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps working across borders, since 1998.

Considered the second-most powerful person in Iran after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, he was key in Iran’s efforts to expand its influence across Middle East. Born in 1957 to a poor family in eastern Iran, he rose through the ranks during the Iran- Iraq war in the 1980s and enjoyed immense popularity. A former CIA analyst said that “to the Middle Eastern Shi’ites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one”.

Awarded the Order of Zolfi qar, Iran's greatest military honor, in 2019. Sanctioned several times by the US government. UU. He survived numerous assassination offers for two decades. It was rumored that he died in a plane crash in 2006 in Iran, in a bombing of Damascus in 2012, and while leading pro-Assad forces in Aleppo in 2015. In October 2019, Iran said it had thwarted another attempt by Israeli agencies. and Arabs.

Quds Force provides military help to pro-Iranian and pro-Shiite movements and leaders. It was created during the Iran- Iraq War in 1980. Quds refers to Jerusalem and means ‘Holy’ in Persian. It has been sanctioned since 2007 by US for terrorism.

Involved in Middle Eastern conflicts

After US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Quds was involved with Shiite-dominated Iraq i government. During Syrian civil war, starting 2011, Suleimani mobilised militias in support of President Bashar al-Assad Quds is helping Houthi rebels fighting the government in Yemen, locking it in a conflict with a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.

In Iraq , Quds helped the Popular Mobilisation Forces, an Iran-backed paramilitary outfit, in fight against Islamic State.

Quds's father, the Guard, is key to Iran's military economy

The size of the Guard is much smaller than the conventional Iranian army of 350,000. It has ground, naval and air forces. He is also in charge of ballistic missiles and Iran's nuclear programs.

The Guard was created to protect the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran. Report to Ali Khamenei. The Guard has the task of patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world's oil supply passes. It is believed to control about a third of Iran's economy through a series of facade companies.

Also killed: Iraq i militia leader

Iraq i-origin Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, 66, was the leader of the Iran-backed Iraq i militia, Kataib Hezbollah. As deputy head of Popular Mobilisation Forces, he also led fight against Islamic State in Iraq . In 2009, he and Kataib Hezbollah were designated as terrorist outfits by US.

USA US-Iran: on the edge for decades

January 1984: The United States designates Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism and punishes sanctions.

July 2015: Iran agrees to deal with the United States and other Western nations to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions.

May 2018: U.S. President UU. Donald Trump withdraws from the nuclear agreement with Iran. The United States imposes sanctions again.

April 2019: USA UU. Designate the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist team.

July: Iran seizes a British flag tanker and releases it six weeks later. The United States blames Iran for a series of attacks on vessels passing through the Persian Gulf.

September: Iran-backed Yemen rebels attack two large Saudi oil facilities, halving their oil production.

Dec 27: An American contractor dies in rocket attack by Iranian-backed militia. US launches retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia outposts in Iraq and Syria.

December 31: The pro-Iran militia besieges the US embassy in Baghdad to protest the US attacks.

January 3, 2020: Suleimani dies in a US air strike. Deputy Commander of Quds, Brig. General Esmail Ghaani named his successor.