TEL AVIV – Saudi Arabia’s official daily Okaz published an article attacking the U.S. for allowing the “great terrorist Satan,” Maj. Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force – the covert external wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – to attack the Islamic State-controlled city of Fallujah in Iraq.
Soleimani, who Okaz brands “a war criminal” and “No. 1 murderer,” paid a visit last week to an Iran-backed Shi’ite force in Fallujah – Al-Hashd Al-Sha’abi – fueling Saudi fears of a takeover of the largely Sunni city.
The May 30 article, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and entitled “Soleimani – The Arch-Terrorist Satan,” is accompanied by an illustration of Soleimani’s head above a pile of human skulls.
It begins by outlining Soleimani’s bloody campaigns:
He was the No. 1 murderer in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, and even in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan. He committed the most horrendous crimes against the Sunni Muslim residents of these regions, meting out to them the harshest of punishments in order to actualize his despicable sectarian perception.
The editorial lambastes the International Criminal Court for allowing “the greatest murderer to remain free.” The U.S. is also accused of doing nothing to deter Soleimani, despite being aware of the instability his interference in Iraq is causing.
The commander, according to Okaz, is a direct subordinate of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, reaffirming reports by Western media that Soleimani “has Khamenei’s ear,” with the latter praising him as “the living martyr of the Iranian Revolution.”
The article delves into Soleimani’s experiences in battle, highlighting his role in the 1979-80 suppression of an armed Kurdish revolt in the city of Mahabad in northwest Iran, before concluding: “The greatest sectarian Satan is [today] waging war against the residents of Fallujah in order to divide Iraq and transform it into a submissive sectarian state.”