Hundreds of Iraqis have rallied ahead of the second anniversary of the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani, burning a model of the US embassy in Iraq.
General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike authorized by former President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
On Friday, demonstrators convened in front of the capital Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which hosts diplomatic buildings, including the US embassy, to remember General Soleimani and al-Muhandis ahead of the second anniversary of their assassination. The demonstrators were carrying national flag and holding up posters of Gen Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
They also built and burned a model of the US diplomatic mission in Iraq to express their strong dissent against the US leaders and any American presence in the Arab country.
“Today we are remembering the day the evil embassy entered Iraq, the embassy of the great devil. This American embassy that never brings good things to all countries, bringing harm to the Iraqi people. Today, the Iraqis also mourn Qassem Soleimani, and the heroic martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who walked on this path,” said a demonstrator.
The demonstration was organized by the PMU, better known by the Arabic name as Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Last year, Baghdad and Washington reached an agreement on ending the presence of all US combat troops in Iraq by the end of the year.
The US military declared the end of its combat mission in Iraq in December, but resistance forces remain bent on expelling all American forces, including those who have stayed in the country on the pretext of training Iraqi forces or playing an advisory role.
Iraqi demonstrators on Friday also marked the second anniversary of torching a security post at the US embassy by people protesting against US airstrikes.
The demonstrators further called for the quick withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq.