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Iraq: in Baghdad, thousands of people gathered for the anniversary of Soleimani's death

2022-01-01T16:17:50.417Z

Protesters demanded on Saturday the withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq, two days before the 2nd anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mehdi al-Mouhandis by the United States.



Thousands of supporters of Iraqi armed factions called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, at a rally in Baghdad on Saturday to mark the 2nd anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and his lieutenant Iraqi.

Read alsoHow Baghdad tracks down the mole who allegedly delivered Soleimani

On January 3, 2020, on the orders of Donald Trump, an armed drone sprayed the vehicle where Soleimani, architect of Iranian strategy in the Middle East, and Abu Mehdi al-Mouhandis, number 2 of the Hachd al-Chaabi, coalition of factions, were located. integrated into the Iraqi state.

The night attack, on a road to Baghdad international airport, had raised fears of a war between Tehran and Washington, two enemies and two powers acting in Iraq.

Protesters sing slogans during the rally in tribute to Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mehdi al-Mouhandis.

AHMED SAAD / REUTERS

"No to America!"

In central Baghdad, thousands of Hachd al-Chaabi supporters, some with their families and their children, swept into a square closed to traffic, an AFP correspondent noted.

Large white flags bearing the Hachd badge, but also Iraqi flags dominated the crowd.

No to America!

Chanted the demonstrators, some of whom brandished portraits of Soleimani and Mouhandis.

"US terrorism must stop," read a sign.

Read also Assassination of Iranian General Soleimani: illegal and arbitrary, according to a UN expert

Chief of the tribe, Eyad Jawad castigated a “

crime

” tinged with “

treachery

”, the two men not having been killed “

at the front

”.

Washington "

wanted to stifle the voice of the Free, mark its presence in Iraq and show that it was here to stay,

" the protester told AFP.

Iraqi women are also participating in the protest.

SABA KAREEM / REUTERS

Candlelight vigil at Baghdad airport

Addressing the crowd, Faleh al-Fayyad, a senior Hashd official, praised the memory of the two “

martyrs

”, seeing in their assassination “

a crime against the sovereignty of Iraq

”.

He again called for the "

total withdrawal of foreign and American forces

" from Iraq.

A few days after Soleimani's assassination, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at Iraqi bases housing American soldiers.

To read also Trump tells the strike against Soleimani: "10, 9, 8 ... boom!"

As part of the commemorations, a candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday evening at Baghdad airport.

Where, dislocated iron carcass, now sits the vehicle that transported Soleimani and Mouhandis.

In Tehran, Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei received the family of the slain Iranian general on Saturday, in the presence of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards and the head of the Quds force, an elite unit in charge of foreign operations, formerly led by Soleimani.

In Iran, the main commemorations will be held on Monday.

An exhibition of Iranian ballistic capabilities is scheduled for January 7.

Faleh al-Fayyad, a senior Hashd official, speaks during the rally.

SABAH ARAR / AFP

"Avenge the Martyrs"

Iraq is continually caught in the grip of tensions between its big neighbor Iran and the United States. In recent years, dozens of rocket attacks and drone bomb attacks have targeted US troops and US interests in Iraq. Never claimed, these attacks are systematically blamed by the United States on pro-Iran Iraqi factions. But for weeks these attacks have been more and more sporadic.

Pro-Iran factions have repeatedly called for the withdrawal of American troops stationed in the country as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition.

On December 9, Iraq announced the “

end of the combat mission

” of the coalition, which to this day retains its troops on Iraqi soil to continue a training and advisory role.

Read alsoThe background to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad

In fact, some 2,500 American soldiers and 1,000 soldiers from coalition member countries are now stationed at three bases held by Iraqi forces.

These foreign troops had already served as advisers and trainers for more than a year, after helping Iraqi forces defeat the jihadist group Islamic State.

"

If we want to avenge the blood of the martyrs, it will be through the expulsion of all foreign forces to achieve full national sovereignty

," hammered Saturday Hadi al-Ameri, who heads a faction of Hashd, in his address to the demonstrators.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-01-01

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