Analysis - Remembering the great Gen. Soleimani: From Baghdad Square to Lebanon’s Olive Tree

Analysis - Remembering the great Gen. Soleimani: From Baghdad Square to Lebanon’s Olive Tree

Monday marked the second anniversary of assassination of two anti-terror commanders, Iran's General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Masses across the region and mainly the states of the Axis of Resistance — Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine— commemorated them and appreciated their legacy by arranging massive gatherings.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Monday marked the second anniversary of assassination of two anti-terror commanders, Iran's General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Masses across the region and mainly the states of the Axis of Resistance — Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine— commemorated them and appreciated their legacy by arranging massive gatherings. 

Remembering the 1:20 a.m, the time of a heinous attack at Baghdad International Airport 

The followers and lovers of General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis' ideals commemorated the two brave commanders on Monday as they did over the past few days in various occasions. They attended the martyrdom scene at 1:20 a.m. 

According to Al-Ahd news network, on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Generals Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, tens of thousands of Iraqis gathered at 1:20 a.m. at the site of the martyrdom of them at Baghdad International Airport to commemorate the two martyrs and their comrades.

From the early hours of the night, the Iraqi people marched to the site of the missile strike, holding pictures of the two martyrs, and went to greet the ceremony to renew their commitment, including a number of political figures. Zeinab Soleimani, the daughter of General Soleimani, as well as Minar al-Muhandis, the daughter of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, attended the ceremony and delivered speeches. 

Iraqi media reported fury and sadness were noticeably visible on the faces of the participants in the ceremony, and that they called for revelation of the results of the investigation into the 2020 crime. 

"On this cold night, the fire of grief for your loss will not cool," the participants chanted in loyalty to the brave commanders. They, including children, lit candles and stressed on "continuation of the martyrs' path." 

Iraqi government commemorates the martyrs 

In addition to the citizens and political factions, the Iraqi government also honored the memory of the resistance commanders.

The office of the president of Iraq in a statement recalled the courageous actions and sacrifices of then since the very beginning of ISIS emergence and attacks in Iraq. 

"The Iraqis, with their strong will, the bravery of the army, police, Popular Mobilization Forces, peshmerga and anti-terrorism forces, as well as the fatwa of jihad of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali al-Sistani, the supreme authority of the Iraqi Shiites, and the support of neighboring countries and the anti-ISIS coalition, managed to crush terrorism and defeat ISIS and protect the region and the world from its dangers," the statement said, adding: "Today, we are on the eve of the formation of a new parliament and cabinet on the need for national unity and solidarity to maintain social peace, to block the way for terrorists who want to undermine our security and stability, and to be loyal to the pure blood shed to protect the country. We emphasize the continuation of the path of reform, the consolidation of the foundations of good governance and the strengthening of the country's authority with full sovereignty and the creation of an independent, stable, secure, and sovereign Iraq that supports the interests of all Iraqis and the whole region that is involved in tensions and conflicts." 

In addition, Qasim al-Araji, Iraq's national security adviser, wrote on his Twitter page: "On the second anniversary of the Baghdad airport incident, we emphasize that what happened was a criminal attack and a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Considering the conditions of the country and the interests of the people, we must interact with wisdom, rationality, and patience in such difficult events." He wrote in another tweet: "Commanders of victory, may your martyrdom be pleasant to you." Wishing mercy and immortality to the martyrs, Al-Araji wrote: "In these moments, we condemn targeting the commanders of victory and the heroes of freedom." 

In addition to government officials, Sayyid Ammar Hakim, the head of the Iraqi National Wisdom Movement, spoke Sunday, saying that the two commanders with their glorious stances against terrorism "immortalized their names in the memory of the Iraqi people and other free nations." 

Emphasizing stronger resistance 

Undoubtedly, one of the most intriguing reactions was a message by the former Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. He wrote in a statement on the anniversary occasion: "The commanders of victory, we kneel in respect to you, we kiss your heads that brought pride to us. We kiss your toes in which the rings of victory countered the hostile rockets. We kiss the soil under your steps that paved the way of liberation and freedom. On the battlefields, you were as strong as a fortress and in one body, and you won, and today you embraced each other in tombs in the east and west of the earth, giving us the good news of the future victories of the ummah. Not to occupation, not to normalization of relations, our nation rises, the East rises, the world rises. The nation has become stronger after two years, your nations and children have become stronger after two years, and their determination and unity has increased. Your blood watered the fields of immortality and great victories. Death is the destiny of all human beings, but martyrdom is a position that only human beings with high fortune can attain." 

General Soleimani represented a hurdle ahead of American domination of Muslim world 

On the other hand, many political activists in different Islamic countries mentioned General Soleimani as a great character of the Islamic world to fight against a Western domination project. Abu Mujahid, the spokesman of the Palestinian Resistance Committees, on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, said: "Martyr Soleimani stood as a strong barrier against American greed and plans to dominate the Islamic Ummah." Despite the pro-normalization projects, his path would win, Abu Mujahid said referring to Arab countries normalized ties to Tel Aviv. 

"Martyr Soleimani is a symbol of courage and victory for all the free and great people around the world. He makes a model and a symbol of countering Zionist and American coercion and bullying," he went on.

Planting " General Soleimani olive trees" 

Lebanon's Hezbollah has launched a tree planting campaign called "Soleimani olive trees" on Lebanon's border with occupied Palestine in the "Garden of Iran" in Maroun El-Ras. The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nabil Qawouq, a member of the Hezbollah Central Council, and Hassan Izz al-Din, a member of the Lebanese parliament's Loyalty to Resistance bloc, and a number of religious and political figures and residents of the area.

After planting an olive tree in memory of the top general, a number of loyalists swore allegiance and movement "in the path of the martyrs." After that, Sheikh  Qawouq said in a speech: "We are planting trees here, on the borders of Palestine, where Hajj Qassem Soleimani stood and we emphasize that with his martyrdom, our presence in the fields of resistance will grow more and more deep-rooted. In any future war, we will confront the enemy with a thousand of fighters who carry the spirit, will, faith and determination of General Soleimani. The slogan we are Qassem means that Hajj Qassem has become a nation and millions of people from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza are all Hajj Qassem Soleimani."

Remembering General Soleimani in Yemen 

In Yemen, a large commemoration ceremony was held to remember the resistance leaders. According to Al-Masirah news network, the Yemenis held large gatherings in the streets of the capital, holding pictures of resistance commanders and keeping the memory of the martyrs alive. 

In addition to this large street rally, Abdulaziz bin Habtour, the head of the Yemeni National Salvation Government, said in a speech: "Martyr Soleimani embodied the spirit of a resilient fighter, a fighter who overcame all obstacles in the face of the Zionist-American project. We are proud of our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which stood by Yemen when the Arab countries turned their backs on us. Here we remember Hassan Irloo, the late Iranian ambassador to Yemen, who stood by the Yemenis in the shadow of suffering and hardship. We must stand not only with the resistance of Palestine and Lebanon, but also with all the free people of the world." 

Foreign media admit General Soleimani assassination was state terrorism 

In addition to the political parties and people, media outlets also covered the anniversary ceremonies Monday. Meanwhile, the Middle East Monitor focused on how illegal the assassination was. 

In a special article focusing on the assassination case, Middle East Monitor wrote: "The date of 3 January invites us, on the one hand, to reflect on the fight against terrorism and, on the other, to continue fighting for justice, freedom and sovereignty. That's because, on this date in 2020, a direct order from US President Donald Trump materialised in a terrorist attack that martyred the commander of the Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani and Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis…. General Soleimani sacrificed himself for the most important cause of humanity today – the just struggle for the liberation of Palestinians, with a focus on reclaiming Arab and Palestinian lands and lifting the sacred mosque of Al-Aqsa from the siege and destruction attempts by the state of Jewish supremacy that took over Palestine since 1948." 

The article continued that the assassination outside of a war situation and on foreign territory was more than a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. It was an explicit act of state terrorism and a violation of conventions and international law. This action was yet another "futile attempt by the US and its partners" to curb the Axis of Resistance that involves Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, resistant Palestinian groups, and other pro-liberation movements.


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