Historic Farewell to General Soleimani

Glorious Farewell to General Soleimani
Glorious Farewell to General Soleimani

Millions of people bid a glorious farewell to Martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani after the funeral prayer, led by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, was followed by a huge procession. 
Soleimani, the head of Quds Force of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, was assassinated in an airstrike by the United States in Baghdad on Friday along with Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and eight others in their entourage, reported.  
US President Donald Trump had personally ordered the strike, accusing him of planning attacks against Americans in Iraq and the Middle East in future.
Elaborate funerals had been held for the great men in Iraqi holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, before Soleimani's body was transferred to Iran.  
Iranians turned out in massive numbers to mourn his tragic martyrdom in the southwestern city of Ahvaz and the holy northeastern city of Mashhad on Sunday. 
He was then moved to the capital to be received by the people of Tehran and top Iranian officials as well as key regional figures from the resistance front that oppose the US and Israeli hostile aggressions in the region. 
Regional attendants of the ceremony included Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Lebanon's Hezbollah deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem. 
The Leader thanked God for bestowing the honor of martyrdom to the fighters of His path and prayed for the highest heavenly status and reward for Soleimani.  
The funeral procession started from the University of Tehran and moved toward Azadi Square in western Tehran. 
The body of the top commander is set to be transferred on Tuesday to his hometown Kerman where he will be eventually laid to rest. 
General Soleimani was a war veteran of the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war and played a key role in combating terrorist groups in the region and defeating the self-styled Islamic State group. 
Iranian officials have strongly condemned the hostile move as an act of crime, pledging to wreak a harsh revenge for the assassination of a top commander. 
Washington has threatened to target 52 sites in Iran in response to any retaliatory measure. 
Other nations have called for restraint on both sides, fearing further escalation in an already volatile region. 
Heads of state of three European countries, namely French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, issued a joint statement on Monday in this regard. 
"There is now an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped," they said. 
They warned that another crisis could jeopardize years of efforts to stabilize Iraq.
"We stand ready to continue our engagement with all sides in order to contribute to defuse tensions and restore stability to the region." 

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