Palestinians burn US flags: World reacts to airstrike death of Iran commander Soleimani 

Pro-Tehran Palestinians have burned US flags in Gaza City, while in Toronto Canadian-Iranians celebrated the death of Iran‘s highest ranking general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

The Stars and Stripes and Star of David were torched by Palestinians in Gaza City during furious demonstrations at the death of Soleimani, who commanded loyalty among terrorists in the region.

And in Berlin, pro-Iran demonstrators held Iraqi militia flags and condemned the US as ‘Der Aggressor’ in the attack early on Friday outside Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.

In contrast, Iranian-Canadians danced in the streets of Toronto on Friday after the Pentagon announced it had killed Soleimani. 

They were joined by supporters of the US action in London, with British-Iranians holding placards saying ‘Down with Khamenei’ and others bearing the pre-Islamic Revolution flag of Iran.

In Pakistan angry mobs set fire to American and Israeli flags, while in Russia candles and flowers were laid outside the Iranian consulate in Moscow.

In Baghdad on Saturday thousands of mourners chanting ‘America is the Great Satan’ marched in a funeral procession through the Iraqi capital for Iran’s top general and Iraqi militant leaders, who were also killed in the US strike.

Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force and architect of its regional security strategy, was killed in an airstrike early Friday near the Iraqi capital’s international airport. The attack has caused regional tensions to soar.

GAZA CITY, PALESTINE: Palestinians burn US and Israeli flags as they attend a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in Gaza on Saturday

GAZA CITY, PALESTINE: Palestinians burn US and Israeli flags as they attend a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in Gaza on Saturday

GAZA CITY, PALESTINE: Palestinians burn US and Israeli flags as they attend a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Qassem Soleimani, the Iran’s head of the Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in Gaza on Saturday

BERLIN: Demonstrators hold placards of Soleimani, wave pro-Iran militia flags and Syrian flags featuring the face of the brutal despot Bashar al Assad

BERLIN: Demonstrators hold placards of Soleimani, wave pro-Iran militia flags and Syrian flags featuring the face of the brutal despot Bashar al Assad

BERLIN: Demonstrators hold placards of Soleimani, wave pro-Iran militia flags and Syrian flags featuring the face of the brutal despot Bashar al Assad

TORONTO, CANADA: Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general Soleimani on Friday bearing the flags of pre-Islamic Revolution Iran

TORONTO, CANADA: Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general Soleimani on Friday bearing the flags of pre-Islamic Revolution Iran

TORONTO, CANADA: Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general Soleimani on Friday bearing the flags of pre-Islamic Revolution Iran

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: A man lights candles in the memory of killed Iran's Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani in front of the Iranian embassy on Friday

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: A man lights candles in the memory of killed Iran's Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani in front of the Iranian embassy on Friday

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: A man lights candles in the memory of killed Iran’s Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani in front of the Iranian embassy on Friday

LAHORE, PAKISTAN; An angry mob set light to American and Israeli flags in the Pakistani city on Friday after news of Soleimani's death spread throughout the world

LAHORE, PAKISTAN; An angry mob set light to American and Israeli flags in the Pakistani city on Friday after news of Soleimani's death spread throughout the world

LAHORE, PAKISTAN; An angry mob set light to American and Israeli flags in the Pakistani city on Friday after news of Soleimani’s death spread throughout the world 

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport, during a demonstration in London

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport, during a demonstration in London

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport, during a demonstration in London

Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of an all-out war. U.S. President Donald Trump says he ordered the strike to prevent a conflict. His administration says Soleimani was plotting a series of attacks that endangered American troops and officials, without providing evidence.

An official with the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq said it has scaled back operations and boosted ‘security and defensive measures’ at bases hosting coalition forces in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations.

Washington has dispatched another 3,000 troops to neighboring Kuwait.

Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s regional policy of mobilizing militias across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, including in the war against the Islamic State group. He was also blamed for attacks on U.S. troops and American allies going back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The mourners, mostly men in black military fatigues, carried Iraqi flags and the flags of Iran-backed militias that are fiercely loyal to Soleimani. They were also mourning Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi militia commander who was killed in the same strike.

The procession began at the Imam Kadhim shrine in Baghdad, one of the most revered sites in Shiite Islam. Mourners marched in the streets alongside militia vehicles in a solemn procession.

The mourners, many of them in tears, chanted: ‘No, No, America,’ and ‘Death to America, death to Israel.’ Mohammed Fadl, a mourner dressed in black, said the funeral is an expression of loyalty to the slain leaders. ‘It is a painful strike, but it will not shake us,’ he said.

Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani

Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Funeral processions were held for the 62-year-old Soleimani (left), chief of the elite Quds Forces arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, as well Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, 66, (right) commander of a pro-Iran Iraqi militia in Baghdad on Saturday

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday. The general was killed alongside Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike early Friday outside Baghdad International Airport

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday. The general was killed alongside Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike early Friday outside Baghdad International Airport

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday. The general was killed alongside Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike early Friday outside Baghdad International Airport

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, with PMF flags, Iraqi banners and placards condemning the US as the aggressor

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, with PMF flags, Iraqi banners and placards condemning the US as the aggressor

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, with PMF flags, Iraqi banners and placards condemning the US as the aggressor 

Pakistani Shia Muslim supporters of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) burn US and Israeli flags to condemn the death of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike near Baghdad, during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan January

Pakistani Shia Muslim supporters of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) burn US and Israeli flags to condemn the death of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike near Baghdad, during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan January

Pakistani Shia Muslim supporters of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) burn US and Israeli flags to condemn the death of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike near Baghdad, during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan January 

A few dozen Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto

A few dozen Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto

A few dozen Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto

Palestinians in Gaza City burn a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani (portrait on banner) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US air strike a day earlier, on January 4, 2020

Palestinians in Gaza City burn a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani (portrait on banner) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US air strike a day earlier, on January 4, 2020

Palestinians in Gaza City burn a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani (portrait on banner) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US air strike a day earlier, on January 4, 2020

Palestinian Hamas policemen stand guard next to posters of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in front of a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Sleimani in Gaza City, Saturday

Palestinian Hamas policemen stand guard next to posters of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in front of a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Sleimani in Gaza City, Saturday

Palestinian Hamas policemen stand guard next to posters of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran’s head of the Quds Force who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in front of a mourning tent held by Palestinian factions for Sleimani in Gaza City, Saturday

Two helicopters hovered over the procession, which was attended by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and leaders of Iran-backed militias. The procession later made its way to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, in central Iraq.

The gates to Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses government offices and foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy, were closed.

Iraq, which is closely allied with both Washington and Tehran, condemned the airstrike that killed Soleimani and called it an attack on its national sovereignty. Parliament is to meet for an emergency session on Sunday, and the government has come under mounting pressure to expel the 5,200 American troops based in the country, who are there to help prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

The U.S. has ordered all citizens to leave Iraq and closed its embassy in Baghdad, where Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters staged two days of violent protests earlier this week in which they breached the compound.

Britain and France also warned their citizens to avoid or strictly limit travel in Iraq.

No one was hurt in the embassy protests, which came in response to U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 Iran-backed militiamen in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. said the strikes were in response to a rocket attack that killed a U.S. contractor in northern Iraq, which Washington blamed on the militias.

Protesters demonstrate with the cardboard reading 'The aggressor is the USA' in front of the Brandenburg Gate, close to the US embassy in Berlin

Protesters demonstrate with the cardboard reading 'The aggressor is the USA' in front of the Brandenburg Gate, close to the US embassy in Berlin

Protesters demonstrate with the cardboard reading ‘The aggressor is the USA’ in front of the Brandenburg Gate, close to the US embassy in Berlin

A protester holds a cardboard showing a portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Lieutenant general and commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani during demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate

A protester holds a cardboard showing a portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Lieutenant general and commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani during demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate

A protester holds a cardboard showing a portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Lieutenant general and commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani during demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy in Berlin, Germany, among the Iraqi and Palestinian flags is a white flag bearing the emblem of the People's Mobilization Forces (PMF) who besieged the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy in Berlin, Germany, among the Iraqi and Palestinian flags is a white flag bearing the emblem of the People's Mobilization Forces (PMF) who besieged the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week

Protesters demonstrate close to the US embassy in Berlin, Germany, among the Iraqi and Palestinian flags is a white flag bearing the emblem of the People’s Mobilization Forces (PMF) who besieged the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have steadily intensified since Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and restore crippling sanctions.

The administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has led Iran to openly abandon commitments under the deal. The U.S. has also blamed Iran for a wave of increasingly provocative attacks in the region, including the sabotage of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure in September that temporarily halved its production.

Iran denied involvement in those attacks, but admitted to shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone in June that it said had strayed into its airspace.

On Saturday, billboards appeared on major streets in Iran showing Soleimani and carrying the warning from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that ‘harsh revenge’ awaits the US.

Iranian state television also aired images of a ceremony honoring Soleimani at a mosque in the Shiite holy city of Qom, where a red flag was unfurled above the minarets. Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolize both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Soleimani’s home in Tehran to express his condolences.

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Solemeini was a ruthless commander and reviled in the West

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Solemeini was a ruthless commander and reviled in the West

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Solemeini was a ruthless commander and reviled in the West

Iranian-Canadians hold placards of Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei saying 'Down with dictator' and pre-Revolution flag of Iran

Iranian-Canadians hold placards of Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei saying 'Down with dictator' and pre-Revolution flag of Iran

Iranian-Canadians hold placards of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei saying ‘Down with dictator’ and pre-Revolution flag of Iran

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto, Canada - 03 Jan 2020 Gen. Qassem Soleimani was the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, and was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on 2nd January 2020.

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto, Canada - 03 Jan 2020 Gen. Qassem Soleimani was the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, and was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on 2nd January 2020.

Iranian-Canadians gather to celebrate the death of a top Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of Iran General Qassem Soleimani, Toronto, Canada – 03 Jan 2020 Gen. Qassem Soleimani was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on 2nd January 2020.

‘The Americans did not realize what a great mistake they made,’ Rouhani said. ‘They will see the effects of this criminal act, not only today but for years to come.’

On the streets of Tehran, many said they mourned Soleimani and some demanded revenge.

‘I don’t think there will be a war, but we must get his revenge,’ said Hojjat Sanieefar. America ‘can’t hit and run anymore,’ he added.

Another man, who only identified himself as Amir, was worried.

‘If there is a war, I am 100% sure it will not be to our betterment. The situation will certainly get worse,’ he said.

Global powers had warned Friday that the killing of Soleimani could spark a dangerous new escalation, with many calling for restraint.

Iran’s state TV reported that Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, made an unplanned trip to Iran where he met with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The Qatari diplomat was also set to meet with Rouhani.

Palestinians step on a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani

Palestinians step on a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani

Palestinians step on a US and an Israeli flag during a mourning ceremony organised in honor of slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani 

Palestinian man carries a poster of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force

Palestinian man carries a poster of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force

Palestinian man carries a poster of Qassem Soleimani, the Iran’s head of the Quds Force

Qatar hosts American forces at the Al-Udeid Air Base and shares a massive offshore oil and gas field with Tehran. It has often served as a regional mediator.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, took to Twitter to reiterate the kingdom’s call for ‘self-restraint’ to avoid ‘unbearable consequences.’

Another Saudi official confirmed to The Associated Press that the U.S. did not give a heads-up to Saudi Arabia or its other Gulf allies before carrying out the strike that killed Soleimani. The official was not authorized to discuss security matters and so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Italy’s Foreign Minister meanwhile condemned the strike that killed Soleimani, in a rare criticism of the U.S. strike from a Western ally.

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest against Tehran's government opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport, during a demonstration in London, Friday

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest against Tehran's government opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport, during a demonstration in London, Friday

Activists of the National Council of Resistance of Iran protest against Tehran’s government opposite Downing Street after the US killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport, during a demonstration in London, Friday

Protesters outside Downing Street in London with placards denouncing Iran's supreme leader after the US killed General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport

Protesters outside Downing Street in London with placards denouncing Iran's supreme leader after the US killed General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad's international airport

Protesters outside Downing Street in London with placards denouncing Iran’s supreme leader after the US killed General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport

Protesters, holding a photograph of the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran Massoud Rajavi, an opposition leader, outside Downing Street in London

Protesters, holding a photograph of the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran Massoud Rajavi, an opposition leader, outside Downing Street in London

Protesters, holding a photograph of the leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran Massoud Rajavi, an opposition leader, outside Downing Street in London

In a Facebook post, Luigi Di Maio said the use of violence threatens to bring ‘destabilization and devastating humanitarian and migratory effects.’

Italy has long been one of Iran’s biggest trading partners in the European Union, and it has more than 800 regular soldiers and some 80 special forces in Iraq.

Illustrating Soleimani’s regional reach, Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, including the territory’s Hamas rulers, opened a mourning site for the slain general and dozens gathered to burn American and Israeli flags.

Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, said the killing of Soleimani was ‘a loss for Palestine and the resistance.’ Iran has long provided aid to the armed wing of Hamas and to the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group.   

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