Soleimani managed Syria operations from 'Assad's war room'
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, currently special aide to Iran's parliamentary speaker, was in Tehran as he paid tribute to the apparently "all-encompassing role" played by Iran's elite Quds Force head in "consolidating regional peace, security and justice", according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.
Abdollahian, who had served under Soleimani's forces when appointed to the Iranian foreign ministry, lauded the Quds Force chief for his "bravery" and "strategic vision" when rebel forces advanced on the capital in 2012.
"It was a time when Damascus was on the verge of collapse. Terrorists had built underground tunnels which led directly into government buildings where Iranians were working," he said.
Exposing himself to clear danger, Soleimani allegedy made the decision despite protests from Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to Abdollahian.
"I am going to Damascus to deliver Bashar al-Asad a message - I am with him and I will monitor and manage the situation from his own operations room," the general defiantly proclaimed to his country's ruling authorities.
He followed through with his vows, monitoring battles as they unfolded in the Syrian capital, where fighters from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Force (IRGC) and various pro-regime local and foreign militia groups were based.
US President Donald Trump ordered strikes that killed General Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), on 3 January.
In the early hours of 8 January, the IRGC launched retaliatory airstrikes on the US Ain al-Assad airbase in Anbar province in western Iraq, as part of its promise for "tough revenge" for the US attack.
The response marked the most direct confrontation between the US and Iran since the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
Read more: Scores of US troops sufferred injury in Iran attack
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