Iran's allies in Iraq and Lebanon have been competing with each other to praise Ghassem Soleimani, Chief Commander for the Qods Force, which is responsile for the Revolutionary Guards' extraterritorial operations. Soleiman leads Iran’s military operations in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as well as Yemen and other places in the Middle East.
Two music vidoes celebrating the commander’s military might and steely resolve have been released recently. Last year pro-Hezbolah Lebanese singer Ali Barakat released a video showing Soleimani with Jihad Mughniya, a Hezbollah soldier killed who was killed earlier this year. Jihad was the son of prominent and revered Hezbbollah leader Emad Mughniya, who was killed in 2007.
The new video in this article was made by Iraqi Shias, and is a powerful reminder of Iran's impact in the region. “We see the victory in his eyes/All the enemy’s soldiers together can’t destroy him,” chimes the accompanying song, a fitting honor for a true Persian hero — a “living martyr”, as the song puts it.
Over the last year, the one-time “the puppeteer of the Middle East” has appeared everywhere in the media, from photographs in the Iranian media to a New Yorker profile. He has also been more prominent on the public stage, expressing support for Hamas, speaking to journalists about Islamic State, and openly mourning at the funerals of Iranian soldiers and commanders.