In Iran, a massive crowd at the funeral of General Soleimani

In Kerman, Tuesday January 7, 2020.
In Kerman, Tuesday January 7, 2020. ATTA KENARE / AFP

Residents of Kerman gathered en masse on Tuesday, January 7, demanding revenge at the cries of "Death to America" after the assassination of General Ghassem Soleimani, who is to be buried in the afternoon in this city in south-eastern Iran. The center of the officer's hometown was invaded by a human tide similar to those that swept through Sunday and Monday in Tehran, as well as in other cities where the coffins of the general and his comrades-in-arms killed with him passed for a popular tribute.

Head of the Al-Quds Forces, an elite unit in charge of the external operations of the Revolutionary Guards, Ghassem Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s strategy in the Middle East. He was killed on Friday by the strike of an American drone outside Baghdad airport in Iraq.

Read also Huge crowd in Iran calls for revenge by US-killed Ghassem Soleimani

The process"US expulsion from the region has started"threw Major General Hossein Salami, Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guards, to the crowd at Kerman. “Our will is firm. We also tell our enemies that we will take revenge, and that if they (strike again), we will set fire to what they worship ", he said in an enigmatic tone. "They themselves know which places I am talking about. "

"The martyr Ghassem Soleimani is more powerful and alive now that he is dead", and "More dangerous for the enemy", assured the head of the guards in front of the coffins of the officer and his right arm, Brigadier General Hossein Pourjafari, exposed among wreaths of flowers in Azadi Square (" freedom " in Farsi) by Kerman. According to state radio, Soleimani is to be buried in Kerman in the early afternoon.

"No decision has been made to leave Iraq"

As the main Iranian civil, religious and military leaders take turns to announce a terrible revenge since the assassination of Ghassem Soleimani, calls for the " de-escalation " are increasing around the world. In this extremely tense climate following months of pressure between Washington and Tehran, against a backdrop of military escalation in the Gulf and tensions around the Iranian nuclear issue, the United States added to the confusion on Monday by transmitting in error to Iraqi authorities a letter announcing preparations for the withdrawal of their soldiers deployed to Iraq.

Written on behalf of General William H. Seely, commander of American forces in Iraq, a letter, a copy of which was consulted by Agence France-Presse, announced to Iraqi military officials that Washington was in the process of "Reposition" troops in the country for withdrawal. It was actually a "project (letter) Unsigned "said the Chief of the General Staff, General Mark Milley. "He should never have been sent", he added, referring to "An error committed in good faith".

Read also "American aggression is an unexpected but not necessarily lasting benefit" for Iran

The letter made reference – "We respect your sovereign decision which orders our departure" – in a vote in the Iraqi parliament on Sunday urging the government to expel foreign troops from Iraq in reaction to the death of General Soleimani. According to US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the United States redeploys its troops to Iraq but does not leave the country. "No decision has been made to leave Iraq. Point ", the Pentagon chief told reporters.

Mr. Esper, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the day before, also stood out from President Donald Trump's threats to strike, among other things, Iranian cultural sites in the event of an anti-American attack on Iran. . "We will respect the laws on armed conflict", which prohibit hitting cultural sites, said Mr. Esper in response to a question.


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