Stampede at Soleimani Funeral Kills 50, Injures 212

  • Women, men, the elderly and children are among the victims of the stampede in Kerman, whose hospitals are on alert and where the health minister has visited.
  • On Monday, Iranian police said millions of people had gathered in Tehran to pay tribute to the general and the other victims of the US attack.
  • General Qassem Soleimani, 62, was known as a hero in Iran. For the United States and its allies, Soleimani was an infamous figure.

More than 50 people were killed and 212 were injured in a stampede today, during during the funeral procession of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Kerman. The semi-official ISNA, citing Kerman relief chief Mohammad Sabéri, said of the 212 people injured in the stampede, “a small number” is in “serious condition.” Abbas Amian, chief of the forensic institute, said the 50 victims were asphyxiated, as reported by the Iranian media.

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and since 1998 commander of its Quds Force—a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. Soleimani was killed in a targeted U.S. airstrike on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Women, men, the elderly and children are among the victims of the stampede in Kerman, whose hospitals are on alert and where the health minister has visited. The inhabitants of Kerman flocked today to the Iranian city center for Soleimani’s funeral. The top Iranian general, and commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed on Friday in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad.

On Monday, Iranian police said millions of people had gathered in Tehran to pay tribute to the general and the other victims of the US attack. Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, Ali Shamkhani, said today that he had identified “thirteen scenarios” for “strong revenge” against the United States for the assassination of General Soleimani. “The weakest of the thirteen scenarios is a historic nightmare for the United States,” Shamkhani warned.

WHO WAS QASEM SOLEIMANI?

Hero to some, infamous to others, is the best description of the 62-year-old general killed on Friday in US drone attack. Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis was killed in the same attack on Baghdad International Airport, ordered directly by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as the People’s Mobilization Committee (PMC) and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias that are mostly Shia Muslim groups, but also include Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi groups. The popular mobilization units as a group was formed in 2014 and have fought in nearly every major battle against ISIL.

The Iranian was a general of the Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards since 1998, and was touted as the brain behind the country’s military and geopolitical strategy. He played a key role in the political negotiations to form a government in Iraq, and was instrumental in strengthening Tehran’s diplomatic influence in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. The general was also regarded as a key player in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq for helping to arm and train a paramilitary force. Many Iraqis, despite the force playing a significant role in Daesh’s defeat, consider it a form of colonization.

Soleimani was also very close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. Khamenei said on Friday that “the perpetrators of the assassination will suffer harsh revenge,” and declared a three-day period of national mourning.

THE ATTACK

According to US media reports, Soleimani was leaving Baghdad International Airport with members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iranian-backed militia. They were traveling in two different cars when they were attacked by U.S. drones. In a statement, the Pentagon took responsibility for the attack, and said the United States “will continue to take all necessary action to protect its people and interests.”

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

One thought to “Stampede at Soleimani Funeral Kills 50, Injures 212”

  1. Interesting statement:
    Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, Ali Shamkhani, said today that he had identified “thirteen scenarios” for “strong revenge” against the United States.
    I wonder how many of those scenarios were designed by Soleimani? They obviously were already on the drawing board, planned for America anyway.

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