Iraq: Citizens of Baghdad share mixed opinions on Soleimani killing

Citizens on the streets of the Iraqi capital Baghdad gave differing viewpoints on the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on Friday. Resident Mohammed Ali blamed Iraqi politicians of being puppets in a conflict between Iran and the USA, saying ''sovereignty is a joke to them. They are just agents doing their job either for USA or Iran.'' Whilst he said that the ''people are the only... Еще ones to face the consequences.'' Another citizen Ali Almusafri shared this sentiment, blaming ''weak'' leadership in Iraq, adding that the government ''can't save the country.'' He called for an overthrow of the regime saying ''the protesters' demands of replacing this government with a salvation government are righteous,'' adding ''successive governments have been those under both American and Iranian influences.'' Protests have been occurring in Iraq since October amid anger over corruption and economic inequality. Hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured in the violence. A further resident Husein Almaliki's stance was more anti-Iranian, he said he ''encourage[s] the USA to hit Iran,'' adding ''this person [Qassem Soleimani] is a pig who died. He was responsible for the killings among the protesters.'' Soleimani and the deputy leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi, also known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and other Iran-backed militia leaders were killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport in the early hours of Friday morning. The Quds Force leader was regarded as the second most powerful figure in Iran after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Pentagon released a statement confirming the US had carried out the airstrike at the order of US President Donald Trump, calling it a «decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad.» Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said «severe revenge awaits the criminals» behind the attack.

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