Earlier today, several diplomats and anonymous officials revealed that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani has departed to the Russian capital as to discuss military and political solutions in Iraq and Syria with the Kremlin.
“General Soleimani traveled to Moscow last night to discuss issues including the delivery of S-300 Air Defence Systems and further military cooperation,” one senior Iranian security official said.
Qassem Soleimani is the commander-in-chief of the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.
Another Moscow-based Western diplomat said he understood Soleimani would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. A Kremlin spokesman said a meeting with Soleimani was not on Putin’s schedule.
Soleimani flew to Moscow in July 2015 to help Russia plan its military intervention in Syria and forge an Iranian-Russian alliance to support of the Syrian Government.
Shortly after, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – backed by Russian jets and Shiite militias – launched a major campaign in southern Aleppo, thus capturing over 50 villages in less than three months, effectively capturing territory held by rebels since the summer of 2014.