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Iran, Iraq hold joint parade in homage to Gen. Soleimani, Muhandis

Iranians and Iraqis take part in a joint maritime parade on January 6, 2024 in a border river to pay homage to top late Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Iran and Iraq have staged a joint maritime parade in a border river to pay homage to the top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi companion Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were assassinated in a US drone strike in 2020.

A total of 313 heavy and light vessels from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij volunteer forces as well as Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha'abi, took part in the parade at the Arvand international waterway on Saturday.

The event was held under the auspices of the Third Naval Region of the IRGC Navy and the PMU central command. A number of Iranian and Iraqi officials were in attendance.

Admiral Mehdi Hashemi of the IRGC's Third Naval Region said the joint parade was representative of the unity of the Iranian and Iraqi nations to tread the path of the two revered martyrs in confrontation with global arrogant powers.

“Arrogant powers had better realize that freedom-loving nations and the Axis of Resistance, under the tutelage of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, will continue the struggle until the eradication of the Zionist regime,” Hashemi said.

General Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force, Muhandis, the second-in-command of the PMU, and their companions were assassinated in the drone strike authorized by then US President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Both commanders were highly revered across West Asia due in large part to their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

On January 8, 2020, the IRGC targeted the US-run Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar with a wave of missiles in retaliation for the assassination.

The Pentagon said more than 100 US troops suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans who perished during the strikes.

Iran says the missile strike on Ain al-Assad was only a “first slap.”

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