Mourning and celebration across the Middle East

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Iraqis perform a mourning prayer for slain Iranian Revolutionary Guards Major General Qasem Soleimani at the Great Mosque of Kufa, 10 kilometres (about 6 miles) northeast of the shrine city of Najaf in central Iraq on January 3, 2020. - Iran warned of "severe revenge" and said arch-enemy the United States bore responsiblity for the consequences after killing one of its top commanders, Qasem Soleimani, in a strike outside Baghdad airport. (Photo by Haidar HAMDANI / AFP) (Photo by HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP via Getty Images)

News of the US airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military general, was greeted with grief, anger, and celebration across the Middle East.

In Iran, where Soleimani was revered as a national hero, crowds dressed in black gathered in the capital Tehran for a prayer of mourning.

There were furious protests in Tehran, with some demonstrators holding signs that read, “Down with USA.” Some people cried openly. Similar anti-US protests took place in Pakistan, with many holding posters of Soleimani and burning American flags.

Iraqis also performed a mourning prayer for Soleimani at the Great Mosque of Kufa, in central Iraq.

A mourning prayer for Qasem Soleimani at the Great Mosque of Kufa in central Iraq on January 3.
A mourning prayer for Qasem Soleimani at the Great Mosque of Kufa in central Iraq on January 3.  HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP via Getty Images

Elsewhere, there was celebration. Iraqi anti-government protesters held demonstrations in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, with some clapping and flashing the V-sign of victory.

People in Syria also celebrated the news, with some handing out candy next to signs that say, “Thank you Trump.” One wall mural in Binnish, Idlib, read, “Qassem Soleimani to the dustbin of history.”

CNN

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