BAGHDAD ( Associated Press) – Hundreds of people chanting anti-American slogans rallied in the Iraqi capital on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the killing of a powerful Iranian general and a top Iraqi militia leader in a US drone strike.
A crowd called for the evacuation of the remaining US forces from Iraq during a demonstration to commemorate the airstrike on Baghdad airport. The attack involved General Qassem Soleimani, who was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.
Some placards read, “After today we will not let you live on the land of martyrs.” American and Israeli flags were scattered on the ground and people were trampling them.
The killings of Soleimani and al-Muhandis at Baghdad’s airport brought Iran and the United States closer to the conflict altogether and sparked outrage in Iraq, causing parliament to pass a non-binding resolution calling for all foreign troops. called for expulsion from the country. Iraq.
The US-led coalition formally ended its combat mission supporting Iraqi forces in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group in late December. However, in the near future some 2,500 soldiers will remain in an advisory role to continue to support Iraqi forces. Some militia leaders have insisted on the departure of all US troops.
“We will accept nothing less than a full refund in exchange for the blood of our martyrs,” said Hadi al-Ameri, head of the Iran-aligned coalition.
Supporters of Iran-aligned Shia factions from various Iraqi provinces were rallied in Jadriyah near the headquarters of the powerful militias.