Qasem Soleimani, 1957–, Iranian general. He joined the Revolutionary Guards following the 1979 revolution and was considered a hero of the Iran-Iraq War. In 1998 he became head of the Quds [Jerusalem] force, a special forces unit responsible for foreign operations; it has been especially active in Iraq, training and equipping the Shiite forces that came to power after the fall (2003) of Saddam Hussein. The force has also aided in suppressing the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011. Soleimani was promoted to major general in 2011.