BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 P.M.) – The prominent Iranian commander of the Al-Quds Force, Major General Qassem Suleimani, made a surprise visit to the Iraqi-Syrian border this week to meet with military personnel from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi), Liwaa Fatemiyoun, and Hezbollah.

General Suleimani’s visit to the Syrian government-held crossing in southeast Homs marks the first time the Al-Quds commander has crossed into Syria from Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.

Unlike the Iraqi Army, the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (Iraqi paramilitary) are heavily influenced by Iran’s military; this is one of the reasons why General Suleimani is often pictured with them in Iraq.

The Syrian government forces and their allies launched an important offensive in the southeastern countryside of the Homs Governorate this month, targeting the occupied border-crossings into Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.

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