The leader of the Quds Force, the expeditionary unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qassem Sulaymani, sent a public letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamene’i, on 21 November. Sulaymani’s letter followed the apparent expulsion of the Islamic State from its last urban stronghold in Syria, al-Bukamal, on 19 November, by Quds Force-led troops—foreign Shi’a jihadists and the battered remnants of Bashar al-Asad’s army. Sulaymani informs Khamene’i that in overcoming the Islamic State and its caliphate, a “U.S.-Zionist-made” terrorist entity has been defeated. Sulaymani’s letter is reproduced below, with some noteworthy sections highlighted in bold.
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In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
“Verily, we have given you [Oh Muhammad] a manifest victory” [Fatah (48): 1].
To the dear and brave Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamene’i:
Salaamun Alaykum [peace and greetings upon you],
Six years ago, a dangerous plot like the ones at the time of Amir al-Mu’mineen [the Commander of the Faithful], which prevented Muslims from truly understanding the pure Islam of Muhammad, this time, mixed with the poison of Zionism and arrogance [meaning the United States], covered the Islamic world like a devastating storm.
This devastating and poisonous sedition was created by the enemies of Islam with an aim of initiating widespread war within the Islamic world and a fight among Muslims. The evil movement, under the name of the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” managed, in the early months, to deceive tens of thousands of Muslim youth from both countries, causing a very dangerous crisis for the influential and crucial countries of the Islamic world: Iraq and Syria.
They occupied hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of land from these countries along with thousands of villages, towns, and provincial centres; they destroyed thousands of factories, manufacturers, and major infrastructure of these countries—includeing roads, bridges, refineries, wells, gas and oil lines, and power plants; they destroyed or burned important cities with valuable historical monuments and national civilizations by bombing them.
Although it is not possible to calculate all the damage caused yet, the preliminary investigation estimates damages to be around $500 billion.
In this event, there were extremely horrendous crimes that could not be shown, which included the following: decapitation of children, skinning men alive before their families, taking young girls and women hostage and raping them, burning people alive and group massacres of hundreds of young people.
The people of these countries, astounded by this poisonous storm, either became victims of the takfiri criminals or left their homes, displaced throughout other cities and countries.
In this dark sedition, thousands of mosques and sacred centres of Muslims were destroyed or ruined, and sometimes a mosque along with the Imam and all the people in it were blown up.
More than 6,000 young people, deceived in the name of defending Islam, blew themselves up by way of suicide bombings, using explosive vehicles in city squares, mosques, schools, even hospitals and public places of Muslims; as a result of these criminal acts, tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children were martyred.
All these crimes have been designed and implemented by U.S. leaders and organizations, according to the acknowledgement of the highest-ranking U.S. official who is currently president of the United States. Moreover, this scheme is still being modified and implemented by current American leaders.
What, in addition to the favour of God and the special grace of the great Prophet Muhammad and his honourable household, led to the defeat of this dark and dangerous conspiracy was the wise leadership and guidance of his Excellency, Ayatollah [Ali] al-Sistani, who mobilized all facilities to deal with this toxic storm.
Certainly, the resistance of the Iraqi and Syrian governments and the perseverance of the armies and youths of these two countries, especially the holy al-Hashd al-Shabi, and other Muslim youth from other countries, with the prominent presence of Hizballah, led by its great leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, played an important role in overturning this dangerous event.
Definitely the valuable role of the nation and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran—the respected president [Hassan Rowhani] in particular—the parliament, the Defense Ministry, as well as police, military and security organizations of our country, in supporting the above mentioned states and nations, is admirable.
This humble person, as a soldier called upon by your eminence to serve on this battlefield, announces the termination of the rule of this vicious cursed entity, following the completion of the liberation operation in al-Bukamal, ISIS’s last fort, bringing down the flag of this U.S.-Zionist-made terrorist group, and raising the flag of Syria. On behalf of all the commanders and anonymous fighters on the battlefield, the thousands of Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Afghan, and Pakistani martyrs and disabled defenders of the holy shrines—who gave their lives to defend the lives and honor of Muslims and their sanctities—I congratulate and felicitate you and the noble nation of Islamic Iran, as well as the nations of Iraq, Syria, and other Muslims of the world. I prostrate before the Almighty God in gratitude for this great victory.
“Victory comes only from God, the mighty and wise” [Ali Imran (3):126].
Your son and soldier,