How Strong Is Iran's Military?
The IRGC itself is made up of five subgroups. One of those groups, the Quds Force, was led for decades by Soleimani until his assassination in a U.S. drone strike on January 3 -- the event that put Iran and the United States in their current quandary. The Quds Force is mostly tasked with overseas operations, predominantly in the Middle East. Estimates of its exact number of forces vary. But Jack Watling, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told NBC News that it is a “divisional strength military formation” of around 17,000 to 21,000 members.