Thousands in Iraq mark two year anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's killing

Thousands in Iraq mark two year anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's killing
2 min read
03 January, 2022
Thousands of people have marked the two year anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by marching on the streets of Iraq carrying placards vowing for revenge.
The Pentagon said Soleimani's killing was a 'decisive defensive action to protect US personnel' [source: Getty]

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Iraq to mark the second anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's assassination. 

The Iranian commander was killed alongside Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis in a US drone strike under the orders of then-President Donald Trump on 3 January 2020. 

Carrying flags and chanting, protesters marched towards Baghdad's airport, the site of the assassination, to mourn the loss of the powerful military figure - with some carrying placards vowing for "revenge". 

"Thousands march towards the Baghdad airport in Iraq, near the site of the Assassination to mark the second anniversary," wrote journalist Syed Shahriyar on Twitter on Monday together with a video showing the protesters.

The hashtag #InternationalHeroDay flooded social media Monday as Soleimani supporters expressed sorrow on the two-year anniversary.  

"Tens of thousands [of] people gather at place of martyrdom," wrote one user, who posted pictures of flowers and candles as well as children dressed in military uniforms. 

Members and supporters of Iraq's al-Hashed al-Shaabi ex-paramilitary alliance take part in a demonstration and a symbolic funeral for slain top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani
Members and supporters of Iraq's al-Hashed al-Shaabi ex-paramilitary alliance take part in a demonstration and a symbolic funeral for slain top Iranian commander Soleimani [source: Getty]

Soleimani led the Quds Force, an elite operations arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards until his death. 

He was widely viewed as the mastermind of Iran's Middle East ambitions, spearheading their involvement in the war in Syria, the fight against Islamic State as well as other conflicts. 

Trump claimed Soleimani#s assassination was in response to a wave of attacks on US interests in Iraq. 

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for "revenge" against "those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani". 

In the days following the attack, Iraq's parliament passed a resolution calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from the country. 

While the US ended their combat mission in Iraq in December 2021, a number of troops remain to offer training and assistance to national forces.