Thousands of people have gathered in the Iraqi capital to mark the second anniversary of the assassination of a senior Iranian official and his Iraqi lieutenant in a plot by the United States.
Singing “Death in America”, the protesters filled Baghdad’s court in honor of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who led the Quds military, the Revolutionary Guard’s foreign military force, until his death on January 3, 2020.
“US terrorists must end,” he read out a statement at a rally with pro-Iranian Hashed allies, also known as ” Famous Mobilization Forces (PMF), an old military alliance embedded in the Iraqi government’s defense equipment.
“We will not allow you to remain in the land of martyrs today,” read one sign. US and Israeli flags fell to the ground, people trampling on them.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed says protesters are using the conference as an opportunity to repeat their demands for US and foreign troops to leave Iraq.
“Thousands of protesters, members of the Iraqi Army’s Popular Mobilization Forces were chanting anti-US and anti-US presence in Iraq,” he said, quoting from Baghdad.
“They are blaming [Iraqi] the government because of what it thinks is linked to the US military, “he continued,” and there are no significant or significant findings in the investigation over the past two years since General Qassem Soleiman and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were assassinated. ”
Shia militants on the Iranian side boarded buses from various parts of Iraq to a rally in Jadriyah, near the headquarters of the militant forces.
Former US President Donald Trump has condemned a plot to assassinate Solomon near Baghdad airport along with his Iraqi lieutenant, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second to Hashed.
Trump had said the assassination came as a result of the US invasion of Iraq.
The assassination of Solomon – the builder of Iran’s military strategy in the Middle East – and al-Muhandis sent shock waves throughout the region and sparked fears of direct warfare between enemies of decades of Washington and Tehran.
A few days later, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution calling for the expulsion of foreign troops from Iraq.
Iran, which has power in neighboring Iraq, has warned of retaliation for Solomon’s death.
Five days after the killings, Iran fired shots at an Iraqi airfield near US military base near Erbil in the north.
Since then, more rockets and roadside bombs have been targeted at western security, military bases and embassies in Iraq.
Iraqi and white officials have blamed Iran’s pro-independence groups for the attacks, which they did not say.
In February last year, the US did shooting aircraft against Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi military force bordering Iraq and Syria, following rocket threats to its ambassador’s office in Baghdad and a U.S. military company located north of the capital.
Hashed has repeatedly called for US troops deployed to Iraq as part of an international agreement against ISIS (ISIS).
Hashed leader Faleh al-Fayyad reiterated his demands on Saturday, saying the assassination of Solomon and al-Muhandis was “a crime against the Iraqi government”.
In December, Iraq announced the end of the US-led “war against” ISIL. But about 2,500 American troops and 1,000 allied troops have been sent to Iraq to provide training, expertise, and assistance to the country’s armed forces.
“We will not accept anything but retaliation as revenge for the blood of our martyrs,” said Hadi al-Ameri, head of Iran’s alliance.