March in Baghdad Marks First Anniversary of Soleimani Murder
Thousands of Iraqis gathered to protest in central Baghdad, marking the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The crowd chanted anti-American slogans such as “America is the Great Satan” on Sunday. On Saturday evening, thousands of Iraqi protesters had staged a mock funeral procession for Solemani and for Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on the highway leading to the Baghdad airport, where the US drone strike that killed the two men took place.
Also on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel of a plan to spark a war between Iran and the United States through attacks on US troops in Iraq. “New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli,” Zarif said in a tweet. He called on President Donald Trump not to get “trapped” by the alleged plot.
Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, called Zarif’s statements “nonsense,” in an interview with Kan, Israel’s national broadcaster. He called it a warning to Israel that Iran is “looking for an excuse to lash out at Israel.”