Thousands rally in Baghdad on anniversary of Soleimani death

Thousands gathered Saturday in Baghdad to mark the second anniversary of the death of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and protest the U.S., with crowds calling for the expulsion of American forces still in Iraq.

In a live news feed captured by a Turkish broadcast company, protesters can be seen flooding a square in the Iraqi capital and hoisting up a flag depicting an image of Soleimani, a top Iranian general and Iraqi militia leader who was killed near Baghdad's airport on Jan. 3, 2020, in a drone strike ordered by former President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE.

The crowd chanted "Death to America" and called for an end to what they called U.S. terrorism.


Soleimani's assassination exacerbated long-standing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, prompting Iranian leaders to threaten retaliation.

The Baghdad square was filled with allies of the Iraqi organization Hashed al-Shaabi, which includes factions closely associated with Iran and has called for the removal of U.S. forces, according to Agence France-Presse.

About 2,500 American troops still remain in Iraq, per the outlet.

A candle-lit vigil is scheduled to take place at the airport in Baghdad on Sunday and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is set to meet with Soleimani's family on Saturday ahead of a main commemoration on Monday, the official anniversary of his death, Agence France-Press reported.