Iraqis celebrate Soleimani killing, Pompeo tweets

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Fri, 03 Jan 2020 - 06:20 GMT

Iraqis marching the streets on Jan. 3, 2020 to celebrate killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani (Screenshot from footage).

Iraqis marching the streets on Jan. 3, 2020 to celebrate killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani (Screenshot from footage).

CAIRO – 3 January 2020: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted a video on Twitter Friday that showed Iraqis celebrating the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.



Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force and Hashed al-Shaabi militia in Iraq, was killed during an attack on Baghdad's airport early Friday.

"Iraqis — Iraqis — dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more," Pompeo wrote, alongside footage of scores of people running along a road waving what appeared to be Iraqi flags and other banners.

According to a statement from the Iraqi military, rockets slammed into the airport after midnight, targeting a Hashed paramilitary convoy, killing eight people dead, including "important figures."

Iraqi State television reported Soleimani's death in a breaking news alert, citing sources from the Hashed, which is dominated by Shiite-majority factions close to Tehran.

“It is now 4:30 am and these are celebrations of Soleimani’s killing,” the footage commentary said. “This is for all Iraqi martyrs and victims, everyone is celebrating today.”

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" for the killing of Soleimani.

Mohsen Rezai, a former IRGC head, said on Friday that “revenge would be exacted on the United States for killing Soleimani.”

The airport attack also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the group's deputy chief.

For his part, President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of the American flag after the death of Soleimani was announced.



On Tuesday, a mob of Hashed supporters and militia surrounded the US embassy and held several diplomats inside in outrage over American air strikes that killed 25 fighters from the network's hardline Kataeb Hezbollah faction, which is backed by Iran.

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