- Qasem Soleimani (11 March 1957 – 3 January 2020) was an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
- From 1998 until his death in 2020, he was commander of its Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.
- He was considered the second most powerful person in Iran behind Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as being his right-hand man.
- Soleimani initially worked in construction before joining the Revolutionary Guards in 1979 and assembling and leading a company of men when the Iran–Iraq War began in 1980, rising through the ranks to become commander of the 41st Division in his 20s.
- Following September 11th, 2001, Iranian diplomats under his direction collaborated with the U.S. to fight the Taliban.
- Soleimani was widely popular among Iranians, who viewed him as a "selfless hero fighting Iran's enemies"
- Soleimani was one of the first to support Kurdish forces, providing them with arms.
- In 2012, Soleimani helped bolster the government of Bashar al-Assad, a key Iranian ally, during Iran's operations in the Syrian Civil War and helped to plan the Russian military intervention in Syria.
- Soleimani was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad, which was approved by President Donald Trump.
- Hours after Soleimani's burial on 7 January 2020, the Iranian military launched missiles against U.S. bases in Iraq; no American or Iraqi lives were lost in the attack.