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Thousands attend Soleimani’s assassination anniversary, mock funeral

Middle EastThousands attend Soleimani's assassination anniversary, mock funeral

Qassem Soleimani’assassination last year dramatically intensified tensions in the region and brought the US and Iran to the brink of war.

Baghdad: Thousands of people participated on Sunday in an artificial funeral procession in Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq. This has marked the first death anniversary of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The assassination of Qassem Soleimani last year dramatically intensified tensions in the region and brought the US and Iran to the brink of war.

The procession came as Iraq’s military said that explosives experts with its naval forces successfully dismantled a mine that was discovered stuck to an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf two days earlier.

The statement Saturday said Iraqi authorities have opened an investigation into the incident. No group has claimed responsibility for placing the mine.

Professor of English Literature and Orientalism, University of Tehran wrote in his Twitter handle, “Despite #COVID19, Iraqis felt they had to commemorate the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis & their companions in the war on ISIS They protested against the US occupation & reaffirmed the strong bonds between Iraq & Iran.”

The mourners marched on the Highway leading to the Baghdad airport, where the two men were killed in a drone strike carried out by the United States.

Posters of Soleimani and al-Muhandis adorned both sides of the road, as the scene of the bombing was turned into a shrine-like area sealed off by red ropes, with a photo of both the men in the middle, as mourners lit candles.

Soleimani headed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, responsible for the Islamic Republic’s foreign operations and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria.

The discovery came amid intensified tensions between Iran and the United States in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.

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