On January 3, tens of thousands of Iraqis marched in the capita Baghdad to commemorate the first anniversary of the assassination of Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qassim Soleimani and Deputy-Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Soleimani, al-Muhandis and eight of their comrades were killed in a U.S. drone strike that targeted their vehicles near Baghdad International Airport exactly one year ago.
The Iraqi demonstrators gathered in the Tahrir Square to commemorate the two leaders and to condemn the unlawful assassination carried out by the U.S.
The demonstrators demanded revenge for Soleimani and chanted against the U.S, calling it the “Greater Devil.” Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who is close to Washington, was also criticized by the protesters.
“Oh al-Kadhimi, you coward, you are an agent of the Americans,” the demonstrators chanted.
The demonstrators also raised banners supporting pro-Iran Iraqi Shiite armed groups and “resistance” movements in Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen.
Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, General Secretary of Kata’ib Hezbollah, released a statement on the occasion, praising the demonstration in Baghdad.
“Today, we will not enter the embassy of evil [the U.S. embassy], and we will not overthrow this government, as there is still time,” al-Hamidawi said. “Our weapons are more controlled and organized than the most prestigious armies and military institutions throughout history. It is the most legitimate and rational one, and it will remain in our hands until God wills.”
In Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, a series of gatherings were held to commemorate the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
President Donald Trump justified the assassination a year ago by claiming that Soleimani was plotting to attack U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Trump alleged that the assassination will make U.S. troops in the Middle East safer.
A year after the assassination of Soleimani, it is safe to say U.S. military presence, interests and allies in the Middle East have never been more threatened.
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