Chanting anti-American slogans hundreds of people rallied in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the killing of an Iranian general.
A US drone strike on January 3, 2020 killed General Qasem Soleimani, who was the head of Iran’s elite Qods (Quds) Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.
Supporters of Shiite factions aligned to Iran were bused in from across Iraq so that they could take part in the rally.
“We will not let you stay after today in the land of the martyrs,” some of the placards read. American and Israeli flags were strewn on the ground, with people trampling on them.
The killing of Soleimani and al-Muhandis pushed Iran and the United States perilously close to all-out conflict and sparked outrage among Iran’s supporters in Iraq, leading parliament to call for the expulsion of all foreign troops from Iraq.
The US-led coalition formally ended its combat mission to support Iraqi forces in their fight against the Islamic State group at the end of December.
Some 2,500 troops will remain for the foreseeable future, however, to continue supporting Iraqi forces in an advisory role.
Some militia leaders have insisted on the departure of all US troops.
Report by AP