Thus spake Army Chief of Staff General Odierno about Iran's Revolutionary Guard General - Qods Force Commander General Qassem Suleimani.
Suleimani, now 57, was in his early 20s when he joined Iran's forces in the war Saddam launched against the country in 1980 – a conflict that became the longest conventional war of the last century and which left more than a million dead on both sides in its eight bloody years. Afterwards he was deployed to Iran's eastern border, fighting drug smugglers from Afghanistan. In 1998, he was appointed commander of the Quds (Jerusalem) force.Kinda make ya wonder why this cat is still breathing...
The Quds Force is the special forces external wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, responsible for supporting terrorist proxies across the Middle East. It reports directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Estimated to be several thousand strong, the Quds force carries out a range of highly sensitive functions: intelligence, special operations, arms smuggling and political action – anything that constitutes protecting the revolution or attacking its enemies, Israel foremost among them. "It combines the functions of MI6, the SAS and DfID," a British official quipped. "It is Iran's long arm – everywhere."
Suleimani was also pictured last year with the son of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah military commander whose assassination in Damascus in 2008 was widely blamed on Israel's Mossad secret service.
Experts agree that is hard to overestimate Suleimani's role in Iraq. "At times of crisis Suleimani is the supreme puppeteer," said Prof Toby Dodge of the London School of Economics. "He is almost like a Scarlet Pimpernel. He is everywhere and he's nowhere. He can be blamed for everything. Suleimani is doing in Baghdad what he did in Damascus – giving advice and help to an ally in trouble, Maliki in this case."
On July 24, one week before Secretary of State John Kerry testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee and faced questions about the newly struck nuclear deal, Suleimani arrived in Moscow for meetings with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin. It was not immediately clear what the Iranian leader discussed, but the revelation comes as the United Nations and European Union arms embargo against Iran is slated to be lifted in five years as part of the comprehensive nuclear agreement announced in July from Vienna.