Thousands of Iraqis are converging on a landmark Baghdad square on the anniversary of the killing of a powerful Iranian general and a top Iraqi militia leader in a U.S. drone strike.
By Abdulrahman Zeyad and Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BAGHDAD (AP) — Chanting anti-American slogans, thousands of Iraqis converged on a landmark square in central Baghdad on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of the killing of a powerful Iranian general and a top Iraqi militia leader in a U.S. drone strike.
Roads leading to Tahrir Square were closed off and security was tight as the crowds gathered in response to a call by powerful Iran-backed militias for a rally marking the occasion and demanding the expulsion of U.S. troops from Iraq.
“No, no to America!” shouted some in the largely mask-less crowd. “You killed our guest. There is no place here for your embassy,” read some of the banners.
Protesters at one point set fire to a large U.S. flag, drawing cheers from the crowd.
The killing of Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad’s airport pushed Tehran and Washington perilously close to all-out conflict and sparked outrage in Iraq, leading parliament to pass a non-binding resolution days later calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from Iraq.