Hundreds of protesters chanted anti-American slogans and trampled U.S. and Israeli flags at an event in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday marking the second anniversary since the killing of the senior Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020.
The powerful Iranian general and a top Iranian-backed Iraqi terrorist Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed in an American drone attack ordered by former U.S. President Donald Trump outside Baghdad airport. While it was officially an all-American operation, the Iranian regime has blamed the Jewish state for aiding the U.S.
In December, IDF Maj. Gen. Tamir Heyman, a retired ex-intelligence chief, confirmed Israeli involvement in the killing of Soleimani. Israeli intelligence reportedly “had access to Soleimani’s numbers” including his flight details from Damascus to Baghdad and passed on the intelligence to its U.S. counterparts.
Some of the protesters in Baghdad called for the expulsion of the remaining U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.
“We will not let you stay on after today in the land of the martyrs,” read some of the placards held during the protest.
As the former commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the late Soleimani was considered one of the most powerful and feared men in the Middle East. Soleimani, who was close to the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, was responsible for building and developing Iran’s extensive network of foreign terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East, threatening Israel and much of the Sunni Arab world, and responsible for lethal attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.
Soleimani played a prominent role in the anti-American insurgency in Iraq which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers.
The general served as Iran’s de facto foreign minister and point man for coordinating Iran’s complex web of foreign relations with powerful terrorist proxies – Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, pro-Iranian militias in Iraq – as well as maintaining relations with Russia and beyond.
After Soleimani’s death, Iran launched a symbolic rocket attack against American troops at the Iraqi Ain al-Asad Airbase but no American soldiers were killed. On the first anniversary of the Soleimani assassination in January 2021, Ebrahim Raisi – now Iran’s radical president – threatened targeted strikes against senior U.S. officials, including Trump.
“Do not presume that someone, as the president of America, who appeared as a murderer or ordered a murder, may be immune from justice being carried out. Never,” Raisi said during a rally last January at Tehran University. “Those who had a role in this assassination and crime will not be safe on Earth.”
In its continued efforts to portray Soleimani as a “martyr,” the Iranian regime has decided to devote an entire week of events commemorating the late general – including showcasing “Iran’s missile capabilities” on Jan. 7.
The new Iranian movie, “72 Hours,” will be screened on the anniversary of Soleimani’s death as part of the ayatollah’s propaganda toolbox. The film reportedly took two years to complete and covers Soleimani’s final hours in another effort by the Iranian regime to emphasize his importance and leadership. It is unclear whether the Iranian movie will reveal any new information concerning his death, including Israel’s role in the assassination.
“This documentary is a new and unpublished narrative of the 72 hours leading up to the martyrdom of Haj Qasem Soleimani,” the report states.
Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei openly cried during the funeral of Soleimani in Tehran in 2020, underscoring the close personal relationship the Iranian ruler had with Soleimani, often described as the second most powerful man in Iran after the supreme leader.