Al-Maliki praises Soleimani's "pivotal role" in propping up Assad, says "We are all resistance"

Dec 26, 2020

In an interview with Iran’s state Al-Alam channel, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki emphasized what he called the pivotal role of the late Iranian Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, in the Syrian crisis, praising the killing and destruction of the Syrian people and their cities by the latter.

In the interview held to mark the upcoming first anniversary of Soleimani's death in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020, Al-Maliki said that Soleimani, and “the Iranian mujahideen” had “resisted in Syria and we are all resistance. We stood up and said if we see the possibility of the fall of the Syrian regime, then we will take our army and fight, because the fall of the regime in Damascus is a collapse for us.”

Al-Maliki, who fled Iraq in 1979, living under the protection of the Iranian regime and the Assads in Syria until returning to Iraq following the 2003 US invasion and the deposing of Iran's and Assad's regional foe, Saddam Hussein, is widely lampooned for ‘riding to power on an American tank’.
He claimed that "Soleimani was able to stop more than one plan for change in the region”, indicating that “The regime in Syria was intended to fall with a scheme in which Israel, Arab countries, and America participated.” He added, “With the fall of Bashar al-Assad's regime, the story does not end and the project does not end.” Rather, he said, it would “begin after the fall of the regime, with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda and other terrorists will come to take action on Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.”

Al-Maliki explained that Soleimani "was the most prominent model in the process of standing up to prevent the collapse of the Syrian regime, so it is natural for Washington to target him." The former Iraqi Prime Minister added that he refused the siege of the Assad regime, and allowed planes and Iraqi fighters to travel to and from Syria.

Al-Maliki also claimed that Washington is angry at him, Bashar al-Assad and others, but said this anger is worthless, saying that he had assured President Barack Obama, who made a statement claiming he supported Assad being overthrown, that he [Maliki] objected to this, saying, “No one has the right to tell the president of another country, ‘Get out your country.’”