Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has for the first time spilled the details of an Arab-Israeli plot to assassinate Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of its elite Quds Force who played a central role in leading the anti-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria.
Hossein Taeb, the IRGC’s intelligence chief, said Thursday that anti-terrorism units of the force foiled a sophisticated operation that sought to kill General Soleimani in an explosion in the southeastern province of Kerman.
According to the plan, a team of terrorist recruits would first buy a property neighboring a a Husseiniyah (religious hall) which belongs to General Soleimani’s late father.
They would next plant 350-500 kilograms of explosives beneath the place and blow it up on September 8-9, when the general was expected to attend Tasu’a and Ashura mourning processions on the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein.
Taeb said the terrorist recruit didn’t know they were under close surveillance long before the operation, when they traveled to a neighboring country to receive training.
The three-member group were arrested in a “precise and smart intelligence operation” by the IRGC’s intelligence unit, he added. The terrorists have admitted that they were paid to carry out the operation in order to disrupt the internal order and public opinion of Iran.
General Soleimani led Iranian military advisers who were deployed to Iraq and Syria to support the Syrian and Iraqi government forces in their fight against terror groups that received funding and equipment from Israel and certain Arab regimes of the region, namely Saudi Arabia.