Iraqi president calls for prosecuting al-Muhandis, Soleimani's killers

Iraqi president calls for prosecuting al-Muhandis, Soleimani's killers

Shafaq News/ Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid on Thursday called for prosecuting the killers of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF).

President Rashid's remarks came in a speech delivered by his representative, Abdullah al-Alyawi, during a ceremony organized by the PMF on the third anniversary of al-Muhandis and Soleimani's assassination.

Reading out the speech on behalf of President Rachid, al-Alyawi said the assassination of the two commanders is "proof of their importance and greatness".

The president said that "condemnation and rejection" should be a priority of Iraq's political pursuit for justice.

Soleimani, Iran's most powerful military commander, was killed by a US air strike near the airport on January 3, 2020. The 62-year-old spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran's elite Quds Force.

He was killed at the Baghdad airport, along with al-Muhandis, the PMF's deputy commander back then, in a strike ordered by former US President Donald Trump.

Iran and groups allied with it in Iraq and other countries have been holding events to honor Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iranian judicial officials have communicated with authorities in nine countries after identifying 127 suspects in the case, including 74 U.S. nationals.

Confirming the Iranian general's death at the time, the US Department of Defense said, "Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." The IRGC is a US-designated terrorist organization.

The attack came hours after then-US defense secretary Mark Esper said Washington was ready to step up activities to push Iran-backed forces out of Iraq, including preemptive strikes.

The assassination marked a major escalation in a simmering conflict between the US and Iran. Several days after the general’s death, Iran responded by firing ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq. The Pentagon said dozens of troops suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result.

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