RNA - "The Assyrian society is indebted to martyr Soleimani because he made much efforts to free the Assyrians in Syria," Betkelia said in an interview with Fars News Agency.
He explained that nearly 300 Assyrian people in Syria were held captive by the ISIL and General Soleimani released 225 of them, adding that 75 of them had earlier been killed by the terrorists.
Betkelia also added that when the ISIL had attacked Erbil in Iraq in which over 30,000 Assyrians live, General Soleimani's presence forced the terrorists to withdraw and he rescued the lives of 30,000 people.
Iran has been providing Iraq and Syria with military advisory and humanitarian aid in their fight against terrorist groups.
General Soleimani said in March 2016 that Takfiri terrorism threatened all Muslims, and Iran had waged war on those terrorists that traded enslaved women and children.
"The fire of Takfiri and Takfirism has engulfed in homes of our Sunni brothers. Those behind this are under the illusion that they can bring Shiism and the Islamic Republic to their knees. More than anywhere else, Takfiri groups have targeted the sanctity of humanity and the Sunni world," General Soleimani said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran.
General Soleimani then asked those behind the smear campaign to question Iran's policy in its ongoing war on terror, "Is it adventurism if the Islamic Republic makes sacrifices to defend Muslims? Is it wrong for the Islamic Republic to battle a group that in just one region is buying and selling some 20,000 unfortunate enslaved young women? Is it wrong for the Islamic Republic to stand against the anti-Muslim current and stop the demolition of Mosques and Muslim holy sites?"
His remarks came after Iraqi Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Mahdi Ameen al-Bayati said the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has sold more than 5,000 women and girls merely from Iraq’s Izadi Kurdish minority in their slave market.