At a difficult and critical moment, Martyr Soleimani gave Iraq a hand in the path of the fight against terrorism, Salih said, addressing a ceremony held by Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, to commemorate the second anniversary of martyrdom of General Soleimani in Baghdad.
The ceremony was also attended by Iranian Envoy to Iraq Iraj Masjedi, Head of Hashd al-Sha’abi forces Faleh al-Fayadh as well as a number of other high-ranking Iraqi officials.
Addressing the ceremony on Wednesday, Salih hailed the role of martyr Soleimani in the fight against terrorism.
At a difficult and critical moment, Martyr Soleimani gave Iraq a hand in the path of the fight against terrorism, he said.
“On the occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of the commanders of the victory, we once again commemorate their defeat of the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq,” Salih added.
Also, former Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki said that thanks to the services of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iraqi the armed forces and the PMU forces were able to overcome the Takfiri terrorism in Iraq.
What General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis did in terms of the fight against terrorism, lit up the way for all free and dignified countries who face terrorism, he said, adding that all nations must learn from the experience of Iraqis in liberating their country from terrorists.
Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inad also said that the Commanders of Victory did the most valuable work and played an active role in liberating Iraq from ISIL terrorism.
According to him, General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis spent difficult nights on the battlefield where the enemy had occupied one-third of Iraq.
Othman al-Ghanmi, the Interior Minister of Iraq also read a statement on the behalf of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, saying that the crime of the assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis will not be forgotten in history and it will inspire all freedom-seeking nations in the world.
Former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s PMU, and ten of their deputies were martyred by an armed drone strike as their convoy left Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020. The attack was ordered by then US President Donald Trump.
To date, Iran’s chief civilian prosecutor has indicted tens of individuals in connection with the assassination, among them former president Trump, the head of US Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., and former US Secretaries of State and Defense Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper.
The file remains open to the further addition of individuals that Tehran determines to have played a role in the killing.
Both commanders were highly popular because of their key role in fighting against the ISIL terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
Back in January 2020, two days after the assassination, the Iraqi parliament passed a law requiring the Iraqi government to end the presence of the US-led foreign forces in the Arab country.
Last year, Baghdad and Washington reached an agreement on ending the presence of all US combat troops in Iraq by the end of 2021.
The US military declared the end of its combat mission in Iraq this month, but resistance forces remain bent on expelling all American forces, including those who have stayed in the country on the pretext of training Iraqi forces or playing an advisory role.
Since the assassination, Iraqi resistance forces have ramped up pressure on the US military to leave their country, targeting American bases and forces on numerous occasions, at one point pushing the Americans to ask them to “just leave us alone”.
Iran and Iraq in a joint statement last month underlined their determination to identify, prosecute and punish the culprits behind the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
Iran and Iraq have issued a joint statement on an investigation into the “criminal and terrorist” assassination by the US of top anti-terror commanders of the two countries in Baghdad in 2020, Deputy Head of Iran’s Judiciary for international affairs and secretary general of the country’s High Council for Human Rights Kazzem Qaribabadi said.
He added that the statement was issued during the second session of a joint Iran-Iraq committee investigating the murder of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
Qaribabadi said that in the statement, Iran and Iraq stressed that the assassinations were a “violation of the rules of international law, including relevant international conventions on the fight against terrorism”.