Iran crowds mourn general killed by U.S. strike


The series of tweets came as the White House sent to Congress a formal notification under the War Powers Act of the drone strike on Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a senior administration official said.

"Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain US assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters,"the president tweeted".

"Death to America", they chanted at a mass gathering in the streets of the southwestern city, where Soleimani's remains arrived from Iraq before dawn, according to semi-official news agency ISNA.

That was until early Friday in Baghdad, when a United States air strike killed Soleimani, who headed the overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards and was regarded as the second most powerful figure in Iran after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

USA security services had tracked Iran's top military commander Qassem Soleimani for years and on multiple occasions considered taking him out, current and former U.S. officials said, but they were always reluctant to act.

"The ministers emphasized that USA actions are a gross violation of fundamental global law and do not contribute to finding solutions to the complex problems that have accumulated in the Middle East, but lead to a new round of escalation of tension in the region", the statement said.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites "very hard" if Iran attacks Americans or US assets after a drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic candidate, told reporters on Saturday that Trump has taken the United States "to the brink of war" and called his actions "reckless".

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Meanwhile, three fans were ejected from the Amex Stadium for "unacceptable abuse" during Wednesday's game. Jahanbakhsh's acrobatic finish capped a fine festive period for Brighton's Iran striker.

During a phone conversation at the initiative of the Iranian side, Lavrov expressed his condolences over the killing of Soleimani in a US airstrike, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. On Saturday, tens of thousands of people marched in Iraq to mourn both commanders.

In a sabre-rattling tweet, Trump said: "If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!"

After the mourning in Baghdad, rockets were launched inside or near the Green Zone on Saturday, an area that holds government offices and foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.

With security worries rising after Friday's strike, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and a separate US-led mission suspended their programmes to train Iraqi security and armed forces, officials said.

"The safety of our personnel in Iraq is paramount".

The decision to take out Soleimani followed Trump's hastily arranged meeting at Mar-a-Lago on Sunday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, and Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on Saturday "the Trump Administration's provocative, escalatory and disproportionate military engagement continues to put servicemembers, diplomats and citizens of America and our allies in danger". No one was killed and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Several other people were also killed in Friday's attack.