Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday declared “victory” over the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. He congratulated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its foreign arm the Qods Force for a “great victory” but insisted that the “main work was accomplished by the people and armies of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. We helped them in accordance with our religious and Islamic duties,” he said.
Iranian media on Sunday and Monday showed footage of Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani in the Syrian border town of Albu Kamal, reporting he personally directed operations that recaptured the jihadists’ final urban bastion over the weekend. In a message released by the Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani congratulated supreme leader Khamenei on this “decisive victory” over IS. “I announce the end of this group,” the statement said.