ERBIL — A senior advisor to Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, is in Tuz Khurmatu, commanding the Iranian-controlled Iraqi militias in the city.
BasNews has learned that Iqbali oversaw the October 16 operation by the Shi’ite militias to take over Tuz Khurmatu.
Iqbali has frequently travelled to Tuz Khurmatu, and he appeared most recently in a meeting with Raza Kawsar, a commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in Tuz Khurmatu.
Kawsar is the head of the security committee in Tuz Khurmatu mayoral council and one of Shi’ite Turkmen leaders within Hashd al-Shaabi who had played a major role in the crimes against Kurds in the city.
The Iraqi army, with support from the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, took over the disputed territories, including Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu and Khanaqin on October 16.
The invasion created a humanitarian crisis as the militias forced around 200,000 civilians to flee their areas, mainly Tuz Khurmatu. The militiamen also pillaged and destroyed hundreds of houses and businesses of Kurdish people in Tuz Khurmatu.