We Tracked Iran's Covert Military Unit on Social Media, Here's What We Found | Visual Investigations

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We Tracked Iran's Covert Military Unit on Social Media, Here's What We Found | Visual Investigations 4.5

Before his killing, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran was everywhere. His persona is a clue into how the elite Quds Force he commanded operates.

Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.

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Hi — I’m Haley, one of the producers on this video! Here to give some insight into how we put this piece together. It’s a visual explainer that uses visuals of a top Iranian general to analyze a complicated topic — how Iran’s covert Quds Force operates.

After Qassim Suleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike, we combed through hundreds of images and videos of him. We wanted to know more about his unit, the Quds Force. Sightings of Quds Force members are extremely rare, but Suleimani had quite the public persona. So we compiled a spreadsheet of videos and images of Suleimani, going back to the 1980s when he served in the Iran-Iraq War.

We noticed that the “shadow commander” really started popping up around 2014, right after ISIS took Mosul. Experts told us that this was on purpose — part of how the Quds Force carefully shaped its narrative around Suleimani.

We treated the visuals as evidence, packed with information — we geolocated them to find out where Suleimani was and identified who he was with (whether it be a senior Hezbollah commander or a fighter from the Iraqi militia Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba). Weapons and insignia in the visuals act as further clues of Iranian influence. And all of these sightings put together are a unique lens into how the Quds Force operates — through a network of partner and proxy forces along a corridor that stretches from Iran all the way to Lebanon.

Author — Haley Willis


I would like it if the NYT makes this Visual Investigations series an even bigger priority. It is one of the best things NYT shares on Youtube.

Author — Art by Jeremy Maya Robinson


This is BS, anyone following the debacle in Syria knows full well that Iranians were fighting there, along with Hezbollah. Nothing covert about it, they were up front and in your face with it

Author — Antipodean33


I don't understand how US is blaming other for what they have done so many years suplying weapons to rebels in diferent parts of the world.

Author — Playonmob


Iran* destroys isis in Aleppo.
NYT* imma pretend i didnt see that

Author — Musa Kazem


The greatest anti ISIS and AlQaida fighter in the Middle East.
Saved Baghdad from ISIS while Obama could not make up his mind wether to help Iraq fight ISIS or keep supporting ISIS to overthrow Assad.
You don't get more two faced than that.

Author — Skippy


So actually Google tracked him by social media, too bad

Author — he who says


i love how US media talks about how iran and the axis of resistance see civilians as “collateral damage” and they just over look the fact that the US entered iraq on a false claim of “weapons of mass destruction “ and that the US funded and started ISIS and al-nusra, they would even call them “moderate rebels”... The US military and government has caused millions of deaths in the middle east, the US funds isreal which bombs palestinian civilians like there’s no tomorrow. Hezbollah and KH fight in syria against ISIS a well know savage and terrorist organization, and they say we fought to keep bashar in power? We fought ISIS to protect our homes and families from a monster you created. WAKE UP

Author — ??


If there is a terrorist in the World 🌍 So is USA 🇺🇸 ☠️( war war war war)

Author — zaid Almousawey


A very disappointing news to all participating criminals who finally managed to Assassinate general Qasim Solaimani in another man’s land.
Middle East has already given birth to many more like him!!
So;Back to the drawing board.

Author — Alex Al


Big shame you didn't show all the photos & videos of him speaking with all of the USA Generals.

Author — Cliveuų King


there's a typo at the end. "remain in the shadows is all part of THE game."

Author — trollderiu


on the next episode of investigates...

Author — Mike jade


would you make a video aznd explain what the heck is usa is doing in middle east?

Author — dany alam


Like we gonna believe anything a media owned by zionists says. Mixing facts and fiction to suit your agenda is pretty old.

Author — stormyfire


Sulimani was a Real Hero who eliminated ISIS from Iraq and Syria. Without him ISIS would have been killed millions of people around the World. Rest in Heaven my Hero Sulimani.

Author — Muhammad qayyum


The new York times loves drumming up war.

Author — Daniel Garcia


Correction: Al-Muhandis was the leader of "Popular Mobilization Forces" PMF or "الحشد الشعبي".
Although "Kataib Hezbollah" of Iraq is joined at the hips with PMF.

Author — Justice Hussein


Now the ✡️ York Times can locate the 21 Trillion missing from the Pentagon look at Israel first. Then find the THOUSANDS of US Military Dupes hidden even from Congress starting wars and Coups. Then move on to a full expose of Israeli War Crimes.

Author — yfelwulf


He who controls the media controls the narrative. He is in his own backyard..so..
What of the time he fought alongside our troops in Iraq..

Author — jesse shadrack