Iran, Iraq conclude a fourth meeting to probe al-Muhandis, Soleimani's killing

Iran, Iraq conclude a fourth meeting to probe al-Muhandis, Soleimani's killing

Shafaq News/ The Iranian-Iraqi joint judicial committee to probe the assassination of the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, and deputy commander of Iraq's al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, concluded a two-day convention in Tehran today, Tuesday.

The convention that began on Monday is the fourth since the assassination that took place in Baghdad three years ago.

The committee's communique reiterated its commitment to prosecuting the killers of the "victory's leaders", in reference to the duo's involvement in the battle against the Islamic State that established a self-proclaimed "Caliphate" across swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Iran's deputy chief Justice for international affairs and secretary general of the higher council for human rights, Kazem Gharibabadi, said the meeting held in Tehran reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during the previous conventions and exchanged new documents relevant to the case.

Soleimani, Iran's most powerful military commander, was killed on January 3, 2020. The 62-year-old spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of the overseas arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

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

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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