World, Middle East

Regional reactions to US killing of Iran's Soleimani

Iraqi prime minister condemns killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, calling it 'breach of Iraq’s sovereignty'

Mohammad Majid and Haydar Karaalp   | 03.01.2020
Regional reactions to US killing of Iran's Soleimani FILE PHOTO


Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi blasted Friday the killing of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force, in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq at dawn.

The airstrike is a "breach of Iraq’s sovereignty", Abdul-Mahdi said in a written statement, and that this act may lead to a war in Iraq, the region and the world.

The airstrike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militant group, or Popular Mobilization Units.

Abdul-Mahdi stressed that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were symbols of the victory against the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

He added that the strike also offends against the conditions for the presence of the U.S. forces in Iraq.

Mahdi said he invited the parliament to convene an extraordinary session to take legislative actions that would safeguard Iraq's security and sovereignty.

Conveying condolences to Iran for the killing of Soleimani, Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered on Friday Al-Mahdi Army and Yawm Al-Mawoud Brigade to be ready for protecting Iraq.

Al-Sadr stressed that the U.S. attack will not end their struggle and determination.

The Palestinian Hamas group on Friday also mourned assassination of Soleimani.

"Hamas mourns commander Soleimani and the Iraqi martyrs who were killed today by a U.S. airstrike," said the Hamas statement statement.

The group expressed its condolences to the Iraqi people for those killed in the airstrike.

The statement also presented the Hamas's condolences to the Iranian people on the "assassination of General Soleimani who provided various support to the Palestinian resistance."

"We condemn such U.S. policy of insolence and the continued U.S. crimes which aim at creating chaos in the region for the benefit of the Zionist enemy," the group added.

The statement concluded holding the U.S. responsible for the repercussions of the assassination in the entire region.

Reports coming out from the region on Friday confirmed that Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

The attack came amid heightened tensions after thousands of Iran-backed protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday.

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Defense Department confirmed the killing of Soleimani in Baghdad under direct instructions from President Donald Trump.

Soleimani was the long-time commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, which has been designated as a terror group in the U.S. since 2007. The group is estimated to have 20,000 members.

Shortly after reports of the airstrike, Trump posted the U.S. flag on Twitter with no comment.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of planning to carry out attacks on the U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region, saying the slain leader was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and coalition service members. 

*Ahmed Asmar and Zehra Nur Duz contributed to this report from Ankara.

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