Angry vigils mark death anniversary of Soleimani and Muhandis in Iraq

Iranian Quds force commander Esmail Ghaani speaks during a ceremony on the occasion of the first anniversary of death of former Iran's Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani in Tehran

"Trump called me last New Year's Eve at around nine o'clock Baghdad time, and thanked us for ending the storming of the American embassy and asked me whether the attackers were Iraqis or Iranians, so I told him they were Iraqis who objected to the U.S. air strikes on armed factions on the border with Syria", Abdul-Mahdi said in a documentary feature on the assassination of the commander of Iran's Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Forces Deputy Chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

He added that the assassination was a "terrorist crime", and said the red notice request also includes USA military commanders and officials both in the region and at the Pentagon.

No known Iran-backed groups have claimed responsibility.

Numerous demonstrators were holding posters of Soleimani and al-Mohandes while some demanded the expulsion of US troops from Iraq.

PMF head Faleh al-Fayyad and politician Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the Badr Organization militia, who were both at the rally addressing the crowds, called for the expulsion of USA troops.

"We will not enter the embassy of evil nor topple the government, there is plenty of time for that", Abu Hussain al-Hamidawi, secretary general of Iraq's Kataib Hezbollah militia said Sunday in a statement.

A ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of General Qasem Soleimani's assassination is being held in his home city of Kerman, Iran.

The Soleimani strike intensified a long-standing dilemma for Iraqi leaders, who must juggle the desires of the United States, a major financial and military ally, with those of Iran, with whom Iraq shares a long border and deep religious and social ties.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel of trying to trap US President Donald Trump into starting a war before his impending departure from office and warned that it would respond to any escalation.

While most Iraqi political leaders acknowledged the anniversary of Soleimani's killing, some with statements, others with tweets, the prime minister made no public mention.

He coordinated the activities of militias loyal to Iran in Iraq and other countries.

There is constructive cooperation with neighbouring Iraq on the issue, the spokesman added.



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