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What is occurring in Iraq after the assassination of Qasim Suleimani?

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Iraq

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Huge crowds of people have descended on the streets of Iraq's capital Baghdad to join Iran's military commander, General Qasim Suleimani.

On Thursday, Qasim Sulemani was killed in the US attack. Five Iranians and five Iraqis, including Sulemani, were killed in an airstrike outside Baghdad Airport.

Sulaimani was the head of Iran's much talked about Quds Force. This force is known for carrying out military operations abroad by Iran.

Suleimani had worked to strengthen Iran and its allies in the Middle East through planned attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and other Gulf countries for years.

Sulemani continued to be regarded as the chief strategist for conducting Iranian activities in West Asia. After his death, it is believed that Iran will avenge it.

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Sulaimani's body will be sent to Iran after a huge condolence meeting in Baghdad city on Saturday. Then his body will be buried after the prayers of Janamez in Kuleman (central Iran), Sulaimani's home district.

The mob gathered in Baghdad is also mourning the death of Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Commander Abu was the head of the Qatib Hezbollah faction backed by Iran.

However, there is a section in Iraq that celebrated the news of Sulaimani's death. According to him, Sulemani was accused of taking violent action against the pro-democracy people who were performing peacefully in the last few months.

In order to join Sulaimani's funeral, crowds started gathering on the streets of Baghdad in the early morning hours.

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'Three days of mourning'

People in the crowd have held the Iraqi flag in their hands, some have Qasim Sulemani and pictures of Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. These people are constantly raising slogans of 'America Murdabad'.

According to local media reports, Sulaimani's body will be flown to Iran on Saturday evening where a three-day national mourning has been announced.

According to these reports, Sulaimani's body will be buried on Tuesday.

According to the BBC's leading international correspondent, Liz Dusset, the priority of Iran's leaders now will be to give a concrete message on the death of Qasim Suleimani, which shows how important Sulemani was to Iran.

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Sulaimani was very important to Iran as a military officer. He was an important intelligence officer. It would also not be wrong to call him Iran's most important political face.

Qasim Sulemani was seen as the mastermind of Iran's ambition in the Middle East and the de facto foreign minister when it comes to war and peace.

So now Iran will try to organize a procession on the death of a popular leader in all its big cities. Also, there will be an attempt to present him as a martyr.

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Reuters

Meanwhile, Iraq's official TV channel has said that 24 hours after Sulemani's assassination on Friday, there was another air strike in Iraq.

A source in the Iraqi army has told news agency Reuters that six people have been killed in this second air raid on Saturday morning.

However, a spokesman for the US military has said that the US-led coalition is not behind the second air strike.

After the death of Sulaimani, the US has said that it has decided to deploy three thousand additional military forces in the Middle East to respond to any action by Iran.

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AFP

Why did America consider Sulaimani as an enemy

On October 25, 2007, the US declared Quds Force as a terrorist organization and completely banned any American transaction with this organization.

Sulemani's influence in politics increased during the tenures of Prime Ministers Ibrahim al-Jafari and Nouri al-Maliki since the formation of Iraq's new government in 2005 following the fall of Saddam Hussein's empire.

At the same time, the Shia-backed Badr faction was made part of the government. The Badr organization is called Iran's oldest proxy force in Iraq.

When civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Sulemani asked his Iraqi proxy force to help the Assad government, while the US wanted to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's government.

US sanctions on Iran and pressure from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel are not hidden from anyone.

And amidst so many international pressures, General Qasim Sulemani's role was very important in increasing the influence of his country or rather, he was the reason why he was caught in the eyes of the trio of America, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The US had also declared him a terrorist.

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