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Des milliers de personnes en deuil furieuses se sont pressées dans les rues de Bagdad aujourd'hui lors des cortèges funèbres du général iranien assassiné Qassem Soleimani et d'un commandant de milice irakien décédé avec lui lors de la grève américaine d'hier.

Ils ont scandé “ Death to America '' et “ America is the Great Satan '' alors qu'ils marchaient à côté des cercueils de Soleimani, architecte de la stratégie militaire mondiale de l'Iran, et d'Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, chef de Kataeb Hezbollah, à Bagdad.

Les deux hommes chevauchaient dans un convoi à deux véhicules décimé par trois missiles d'un drone américain MQ-9 Reaper dans les premières heures de vendredi à l'extérieur de l'aéroport international de Bagdad.

La grève – qui a également tué quatre autres gardiens de la révolution islamique iranienne et cinq membres du réseau paramilitaire iranien pro-iranien – a rendu furieux Téhéran, qui a juré le jihad à l'Amérique.

Pendant ce temps, l'Irak, dont le Premier ministre a assisté aux funérailles aujourd'hui, a menacé d'ordonner l'expulsion de toutes les troupes américaines du pays après ce qu'il a appelé "une violation effrontée de la souveraineté de l'Irak".

Le président Donald Trump a déclaré qu'il avait ordonné le meurtre de Soleimani pour empêcher la guerre, ajoutant que le commandant complotait des attaques “ imminentes et sinistres '' contre les Américains.

«Nous avons pris des mesures hier soir pour arrêter une guerre. Nous n'avons pris aucune mesure pour déclencher une guerre », a déclaré vendredi le président lors d'une brève allocution à Mar-a-Lago.

Faites défiler vers le bas pour la vidéo.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil portent les cercueils du général iranien Qassem Soleimani et d'Abou Mahdi al-Muhandis, commandant adjoint des milices soutenues par l'Iran en Irak, connues sous le nom de Forces de mobilisation populaire, lors de leurs funérailles à Karbala, en Irak

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes ont assisté au cortège funèbre et ont agité des drapeaux et des banderoles à l'appui des chefs militaires tués.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil soulèvent les cercueils à l'intérieur du sanctuaire de l'imam Hussein dans la ville irakienne de Karbala

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Une Iranienne fond en larmes lors d'un rassemblement anti-américain pour protester contre le meurtre du général populaire et vénéré

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de citoyens furieux se sont pressés dans les rues de Bagdad aujourd'hui lors des cortèges funèbres du général iranien assassiné Qassem Soleimani et d'un commandant de milice irakien décédé avec lui lors de la grève américaine d'hier

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Un membre iranien de la milice Basij lutte pour contenir l'émotion alors qu'il participe à un rassemblement anti-américain à Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil entourent samedi une voiture transportant le cercueil du commandant militaire iranien Qassem Soleimani dans les rues de Bagdad. Le général a été tué aux côtés du chef paramilitaire irakien Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis lors d'une frappe aérienne américaine vendredi matin à l'extérieur de l'aéroport international de Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des cortèges funèbres ont eu lieu pour Soleimani, 62 ans (à gauche), chef de la branche d'élite des forces Quds des Gardiens de la révolution iraniens, ainsi que pour Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, 66 ans (à droite), commandant d'une milice irakienne pro-iranienne à Bagdad samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil entourent des voitures transportant les cercueils du chef paramilitaire irakien tué Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, du commandant militaire iranien Qasem Soleimani et de huit autres personnes lors d'un cortège funèbre dans la ville irakienne centrale de Karbala

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil portent les cercueils du chef paramilitaire irakien tué Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis et d'autres personnes à l'intérieur du sanctuaire de l'imam Hussein dans la ville sainte irakienne de Karbala, lors d'un cortège funèbre le 4 janvier

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Le chef paramilitaire irakien Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, le commandant militaire iranien Qasem Soleimani et huit autres sont honorés à l'intérieur du sanctuaire de l'imam Hussein dans la sainte ville irakienne de Karbala

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil ont brandi des drapeaux et des pancartes portant les visages de Soleimani et d'Abou Mahdi al-Muhandis pendant le cortège funèbre

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les partisans des forces paramilitaires irakiennes et des brigades du Hezbollah irakien posent pour une photo à côté d'une affiche du commandant militaire iranien Qassem Soleimani et se tiennent sur des drapeaux américains avec le visage de Donald Trump superposé lors d'un enterrement, pour Soleimani et Muhandis dans le quartier d'Al-Jadriya à Bagdad, à Bagdad, samedi dans la zone verte de haute sécurité de Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Une femme irakienne tient une pancarte de vengeance pour le meurtre du général iranien Soleimani lors du cortège funèbre de Bagdad samedi. Parfois, l'humeur de la foule était sombre, à d'autres moments, elle était marquée par des chants de colère de «Death to America» et «America is the Great Satan»

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les Iraniens brûlent des drapeaux américains et israéliens lors d'une manifestation anti-américaine contre les meurtres lors d'une frappe aérienne américaine du commandant militaire iranien Qasem Soleimani et du chef paramilitaire irakien Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, dans la capitale Téhéran samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil entourent une voiture transportant le cercueil de Soleimani après sa mort lors d'une frappe aérienne américaine, lors d'un cortège funèbre à Kadhimiya, un quartier de pèlerinage chiite de Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil furieuses ont scandé 'Death to America' et 'Death to Israel' lors du cortège funèbre dans la capitale irakienne samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes pleurent samedi dans les rues de Bagdad pour pleurer Soleimani et Muhandis tués dans une frappe américaine à l'extérieur de l'aéroport de la capitale irakienne dans les premières heures de vendredi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes en deuil envahissent les rues samedi pour le cortège funèbre du major-général iranien Qassem Soleimani, commandant en chef de la force d'élite Quds des Gardiens de la révolution, et du commandant de la milice irakienne Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, qui ont été tués lors d'une frappe aérienne à Aéroport de Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Un véhicule de la milice – un gros camion Chevrolet – est orné de fleurs et d'affiches du général iranien alors que son cercueil est conduit dans les rues de la capitale irakienne samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Le Premier ministre intérimaire irakien, Adel Abdel Mahdi, assiste au cortège funèbre samedi à Bagdad. Vendredi, Mahdi a averti que la frappe de roquettes allait “ déclencher une guerre dévastatrice en Irak '', ajoutant que l'assaut des États-Unis était “ une violation effrontée de la souveraineté de l'Irak et une attaque flagrante contre la dignité de la nation ''.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil portant les drapeaux de la PMF et le drapeau irakien participent à un cortège funèbre vendredi pour Soleimani, haut commandant de la force d'élite Quds des Gardiens de la révolution, et le commandant de la milice irakienne Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Kataeb Hezbollah milice irakienne – les militants soutenus par l'Iran responsables d'une série d'attaques de missiles contre les États-Unis ces derniers mois – se réunissent samedi avant les funérailles du commandant de la milice irakienne Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, qui a été tué lors d'une frappe aérienne à Vendredi, à l'aéroport de Bagdad, à Bagdad, en Irak. On peut voir des foules tenant des affiches de Muhandis et du général Soleimani tué qui était dans le même convoi que Muhandis

Les personnes en deuil dans la capitale irakienne portaient aujourd'hui des affiches de Soleimani et des drapeaux de la milice Kataeb Hezbollah soutenue par l'Iran, qui a commis des attaques effrontées contre des bases américaines ces derniers mois, culminant avec un siège de l'ambassade américaine mardi.

La procession a commencé au sanctuaire de l'Imam Kadhim à Bagdad, l'un des plus vénérés de l'islam chiite, avant que la foule ne se dirige vers le sud jusqu'à un point proche de la zone verte, le quartier de haute sécurité abritant des bureaux du gouvernement et des ambassades étrangères, y compris des États-Unis.

Pendant ce temps, des milliers de manifestants en colère se tenaient devant les bureaux de l'ONU dans la capitale iranienne, exigeant des représailles pour le meurtre de Soleimani.

Le chef de la force d'élite iranienne Quds sera inhumé mardi dans sa ville natale de Kerman dans le cadre de trois jours de cérémonies à travers le pays, ont annoncé les Gardiens de la révolution.

Hier, le chef suprême de l'Iran, l'ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a visité la maison familiale du père de cinq enfants, âgé de 62 ans, et a présenté ses condoléances après avoir juré «jihad» à l'Amérique pour la frappe de drones.

Il intervient alors que l'ambassadeur de Téhéran à l'ONU, qui représente la seule mission diplomatique de l'Iran aux États-Unis, a déclaré à CNN vendredi que la frappe aérienne "équivalait à ouvrir une guerre contre l'Iran".

"Les États-Unis ont déjà commencé une guerre contre l'Iran, pas seulement une guerre économique mais quelque chose au-delà en assassinant l'un de nos principaux généraux", a déclaré Ravanchi. "Il y aura une vengeance sévère … La réponse à une action militaire est une action militaire."

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil se réunissent pendant le cortège funèbre du chef paramilitaire irakien tué Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (dans l'image, à droite), du commandant militaire iranien Qasem Soleimani (à gauche) et d'autres

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil brûlent un drapeau américain lors des funérailles du général iranien Qassem Soleimani et d'Abou Mahdi al-Muhandis, commandant adjoint des milices soutenues par l'Iran en Irak, connues sous le nom de Forces de mobilisation populaire, à Bagdad samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des femmes se tiennent devant le sanctuaire de l'imam Kadhim à Bagdad – un lieu de pèlerinage pour de nombreux musulmans chiites iraniens – tenant des drapeaux des paramilitaires iraniens pro-iraniens et des affiches de Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Le conseiller de la sécurité nationale irakienne Falih Faisal Fahad Alfayyadh (à gauche) et le commandant des Brigades Badr Hadi Al-Amiri – qui ont tous deux mené le siège à l'ambassade américaine à Bahdad mardi – lors des funérailles de la capitale samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des hommes pleurent aux funérailles du major-général iranien Qassem Soleimani samedi à Bagdad – ses cortèges funèbres doivent s'étendre sur plusieurs jours avant qu'il ne soit finalement inhumé mardi dans sa ville natale de Kerman, en Iran.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil assistent aux funérailles du major-général iranien Qassem Soleimani, haut commandant de la force d'élite Quds des gardiens de la révolution

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des gardes d'honneur irakiens en robe rouge et casques à plumes blanches se tiennent à bord du corbillard transportant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis lors d'un cortège funèbre dans le centre de Bagdad samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Le drapeau blanc de la Force de mobilisation populaire pro-iranienne entoure le camion transportant le cercueil du commandant iranien dans les rues de Bagdad samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil brandissant le drapeau du Kataeb Hezbollah entourent les cercueils des commandants assassinés samedi à Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil entourent le camion portant le cercueil du commandant iranien Soleimani dans la capitale irakienne samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

L'ancien Premier ministre irakien Nouri al-Maliki (à gauche) et le conseiller à la sécurité nationale irakienne, Falih Faisal Fahad Alfayyadh (à droite). Mardi, Alfayyadh a conduit des militants pro-iraniens aux portes de l'ambassade américaine

Aujourd'hui, des personnes en deuil dans la capitale irakienne, dont beaucoup en larmes, scandaient: «Non, non, l'Amérique» et «Mort en Amérique, mort en Israël».

Mohammed Fadl, un endeuillé vêtu de noir, a déclaré que les funérailles sont une expression de loyauté envers les dirigeants tués.

"C'est une grève douloureuse, mais cela ne nous secouera pas", a-t-il déclaré.

Deux hélicoptères ont survolé la procession, à laquelle ont assisté le Premier ministre Adel Abdul-Mahdi et les chefs des milices soutenues par l'Iran.

Les restes seront ensuite transportés dans la ville sainte chiite de Najaf au sud, et les restes des gardes seront ensuite transportés par avion en Iran, qui a déclaré trois jours de deuil.

Suite aux violentes attaques contre l'ambassade lors des marches pour d'autres “ martyrs '' militants plus tôt cette semaine, les États-Unis se préparent à la possibilité d'un nouvel assaut.

Certaines des cortèges funèbres se tenaient dans des zones proches de la «zone verte» fortement fortifiée et les responsables se méfient extrêmement des masses de milices proches des bâtiments consulaires.

Toute tentative par les milices soutenues par l'Iran de violer l'ambassade “ se heurterait à une rafale '' de tirs des défenseurs américains, a déclaré le président en chef des chefs d'État, le général Mark Milley, plus tôt cette semaine.

"Nous sommes très confiants que l'intégrité de cette ambassade est forte et qu'il est très peu probable qu'elle soit physiquement dépassée par quiconque", a déclaré Milley lors d'un briefing au Pentagone.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil se rassemblent pour un cortège funèbre pour le général Qassem Soleimani, à Bagdad samedi 4 janvier 2020. Le chef de la force d'élite iranienne Quds et le cerveau de sa stratégie de sécurité régionale, a été tué dans une frappe aérienne tôt vendredi près de l'aéroport international de la capitale irakienne qui a fait monter les tensions régionales.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers d'Irakiens entourent les cercueils de Soleimani et de Muhandis à Bagdad samedi, le couple a été tué lors d'une frappe aérienne américaine vendredi matin

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Ils ont scandé 'Death to America' et 'America is the Great Satan' alors qu'ils marchaient à côté des cercueils du vénéré général iranien et de son allié irakien

Le fils du haut dignitaire religieux chiite irakien était là pour accueillir le cortège funèbre dans la ville sainte chiite de Najaf, a annoncé la télévision d'État.

"Mohammed Redha al-Sistani reçoit les corps des martyrs … à Najaf", a déclaré la télévision d'Etat.

Mohamed Redha est le fils du haut dignitaire religieux chiite du pays, le grand ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

Un cortège transportant les corps de Soleimani, de Muhandis et d'autres Irakiens tués lors d'une frappe américaine s'est déplacé samedi de Bagdad vers la ville sainte chiite de Kerbala et est finalement arrivé à Nadjaf.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Un homme tient une affiche du commandant tué du Kataeb Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis devant l'un des camions funéraires dans la capitale irakienne samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Un cercueil est vu à l'intérieur d'une voiture lors des funérailles du major-général iranien Qassem Soleimani, commandant en chef de la force d'élite Quds des Gardiens de la révolution, et du commandant de la milice irakienne Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les Marines américains avec le 2e Bataillon, 7e Marines renforcent le complexe de l'ambassade des États-Unis à Bagdad vendredi. L'ambassade se prépare à de nouvelles violences potentielles lors des funérailles de Soleimani samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Un Marine américain à l'ambassade examine la portée d'un système de tireur d'élite semi-automatique M110 vendredi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Le drapeau national iranien flotte à la moitié du personnel en signe de deuil, lors d'un mémorial pour le général Qassem Soleimani, garde révolutionnaire iranien, au consulat d'Iran à Istanbul, le 4 janvier

Un responsable américain de la défense a déclaré samedi à l'AFP que l'Amérique allait réduire ses opérations militaires en Irak et consacrer des effectifs à la défense de ses bases et de ses troupes.

"Nous allons mener des opérations limitées du groupe anti-État islamique avec nos partenaires de sécurité là où il soutient mutuellement nos efforts de protection des forces", a déclaré le responsable. "Nous avons renforcé les mesures de sécurité et de défense dans les bases irakiennes qui abritent des troupes de la coalition".

L'OTAN a annoncé samedi qu'elle suspendait ses missions de formation en Irak. La mission de l'OTAN en Irak, qui se compte par centaines, forme les forces de sécurité du pays à la demande du gouvernement de Bagdad pour empêcher le retour du groupe État islamique.

Alors que les tensions montaient dans la région, des informations ont fait état d'une frappe aérienne sur un convoi de miliciens soutenus par l'Iran au nord de Bagdad.

Quelques heures plus tard, l'armée irakienne a nié toute frappe aérienne. La coalition dirigée par les États-Unis a également nié avoir effectué une frappe aérienne.

Les Forces de mobilisation populaire (PMF), un groupe parapluie composé principalement de milices soutenues par l'Iran, et des responsables de la sécurité ont signalé la frappe aérienne à Taji, au nord de la capitale. Un responsable irakien de la sécurité a déclaré que cinq personnes avaient été tuées et deux véhicules détruits.

Il n'était pas immédiatement clair si un autre type d'explosion s'était produit.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des personnes en deuil scandent des slogans anti-américains lors des funérailles du général iranien Qassem Soleimani et d'Abou Mahdi al-Muhandis, commandant adjoint des milices soutenues par l'Iran en Irak, connues sous le nom de Forces de mobilisation populaire, à Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des hommes portant le jaune et le vert du Kataeb Hezbollah tiennent ensemble des bannières de Soleimani et de Muhandis lors des cortèges funèbres à Bagdad samedi

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les personnes en deuil assistent aux funérailles du major-général iranien Qassem Soleimani, commandant en chef de la force d'élite Quds des gardiens de la révolution, et du commandant de la milice irakienne Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. À l'arrière-plan se trouve le sanctuaire Imam Kadhim, l'un des plus vénérés de l'islam chiite

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani who was riding in the same car as the Iraqi Shia militia commander Muhandis when they were killed by missiles from a US MQ-9 Reaper Drone

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Militants of Muhandis' Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah (Brigades of the Party of God) group join the funeral procession in Baghdad on Saturday

The death of the top Iranian security and intelligence officer Soleimani has sparked concern that tension will escalate in the Middle East and caused U.S. officials to brace for possible retaliatory attacks.

The U.S. military's force protection condition level for troops in the Middle East has been raised to 'Charlie,' signalling that intelligence indicates a terrorist attack is imminent.

The strike has also frayed U.S. relations with Iraq, and that country's military it was a clear breach of U.S. status-of-forces agreements there.

Iraq's Ministry of Defense in an official statement called the slain al-Muhandis a 'hero martyr' and said he 'was martyred last night in a cowardly and treacherous attack carried out by American aircraft near Baghdad international airport.'

'We affirm that what happened is a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a clear breach by the American forces of their mandate which is exclusively to fight Islamic State and provide advice and assistance to Iraqi security forces,' the statement said.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Protesters demonstrate over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. Red flags in Shia tradition symbolize both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Thousands pack the streets in front of Imam Jafar Sadegh Mosque in downtown Tehran on Saturday afternoon

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi, who represents Iran's only diplomatic mission within the U.S., said in an interview with CNN that the airstrike 'is tantamount to opening a war against Iran'

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Mohammed al-Tabatabai (center), deputy Secretary General of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq faction, attending the funeral in Baghdad – the Asaib Ahl al-Haq faction fought against US coalition forces during the Iraq War and are today part of the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Militants mourners parade through the streets of Baghdad on Saturday during funerals held for Soleimani and Muhandis

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

People attend the funeral ceremony of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Forces, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, vice president of the Popular Mobilzation Forces (PMF), killed by US strike near Baghdad International Airport yesterday

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Pakistani Shiite Muslims burn U.S and Israel's 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 on Friday

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Militia and demonstrators wearing the yellow and green of the Kataeb Hezbollah Iraqi militia gather on Saturday ahead of the funeral of the their commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport alongside Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Protesters demonstrate over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A billboard bearing a portrait of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani hangs on a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday after three days of national mourning were declared in Iran

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Female protesters outside the United Nations building in Tehran on Saturday protesting the missile strike in Baghdad in the early hours of yesterday

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A billboard in memory of Qassem Soleimani is seen in Tehran on Friday after the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed him

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iranian demonstrators chant slogans during a protest against the killing of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran on Saturday

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iranians take part in an anti-US rally to protest the killings during a US air stike of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (picture) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in the capital Tehran

Iraq's parliament has scheduled an emergency session on Sunday, and is expected to vote overwhelmingly to kick U.S. forces out of the country, where America has maintained a presence ever since the 2003 invasion.

The United States and its allies have suspended training of Iraqi forces due to the increased threat they face in the country, according to the German military.

Trump had tough words in the wake of the airstrike that killed Iran's top military general and defended his action as necessary for the safety of the United States.

'Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him. Under my leadership America's policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you. We will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans and our allies,' Trump said.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

President Trump said Qassem Soleimani (above) was plotting attacks on Americans, caught in the act and terminated

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him embracing the son of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him visiting the family of Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with family members of the killed general

President Trump Statement on the death of Qassem Soleimani

Thank you very much and good afternoon. As president my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens. Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.

Under my leadership America's policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you. We will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans and our allies. For years the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force under Soleimani's leadership has targeted, injured and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen.

The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani. Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today we remember and honor the victims of Soleimani's many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over. Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved. Just recently Soleimani led the brutal repression of protesters in Iran, where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government.

We took action last night to stop a war. Nous n'avons pris aucune mesure pour déclencher une guerre. I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. Nous ne demandons pas de changement de régime. However, the Iranian regime's aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end and it must end now. The future belongs to the people of Iran, those who seek peaceful co-existence and cooperation, not the terrorist warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad.

The United States has the best military by far anywhere in the world. We have the best intelligence in the world. Si des Américains sont menacés, nous avons tous ces objectifs déjà entièrement identifiés et je suis prêt et prêt à prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires. And that in particular refers to Iran. Under my leadership we have destroyed the ISIS territorial caliphate, and recently American special operations forces killed the terrorist leader known as al-Baghdadi. The world is a safer place without these monsters.

America will always pursue the interests of good people, great people, great souls, while seeking peace, harmony and friendship with all of the nations of the world. Thank you, God bless you. God bless our great military, and God bless the United States of America. Merci beaucoup. Je vous remercie.

And he vowed to take whatever action necessary to combat terrorism.

'The United States has the best military by far anywhere in the world. We have the best intelligence in the world. If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary. And that in particular refers to Iran,' he said.

'Under my leadership we have destroyed the ISIS territorial caliphate, and recently American special operations forces killed the terrorist leader known as al-Baghdadi. The world is a safer place without these monsters,' Trump added.

Later in a rally-like speech at a Miami mega-church he added: 'Qassem Soleimani has been killed and his bloody rampage is now, forever gone. He was plotting attacks against Americans but now we've insured his atrocities have been stopped for good.'

The president applauded Thursday's 'flawless strike' at the Baghdad airport – that has thrown the Middle East into turmoil – while reminding the crowd he had killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi three months before.

At the same time as Trump spoke to evangelical supporters, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told reporters that Soleimani was planning future action in the Middle East –  but declined to say what it was.

'He had just come from Damascus where he was planning attacks on American soldiers, airmen, Marines, sailors and against our diplomats. This strike was aimed at disrupting ongoing attacks that were being planned by Soleimani and deterring future Iranian attacks,' he said in a phone briefing.

He declined to offer details of what kind of attack was planned, calling the information 'extraordinarily sensitive.' He later said that 'at some point there may be something we can discuss.'

He also said Iranian leadership knew what Soleimani was planning.

'They know what they were up to. We have the right to self-defense, they understand that,' he said.

'This was designed to prevent further blood shed. This was a defensive action,' O'Brien said of the strike on Soleimani.

He urged Iran to sit down with the United States, to give up its nuclear program, stop its 'escapades' in Middle East, stop taking hostages and to 'behave like a normal nation.'

His lack of definitive information about an imminent threat is likely to be seized on by Democrats already furious that Congress was told nothing about the attack beforehand and has still to be briefed the day after.

And in the wake of Soleimani's death, the United States is sending nearly 3,000 more Army troops to the Mideast even as officials said there is no indication of an imminent attack in the region. In January, Pompeo said that there were 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq.

The troops are from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and will join about 700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne who were deployed to Kuwait earlier this week after thousands of people stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad.

Trump has talked tough since Soleimani's death was announced by the Pentagon late Thursday night, boasting that the Iranian general should have been 'taken out many years ago.' The president accused him of killing thousands of Americans and claimed the people of Iraq don't want to be 'dominated and controlled' by Iran.

But the fallout from Soleimani's death was swift.

Tehran vowed 'harsh retaliation' for the killing of its most senior military leader and the State Department warned Americans to leave Iraq 'immediately' amid fears of conflict in the region. Major U.S. cities went on heightened alert for possible retaliatory action.

The Department of Homeland Security put out a statement on Friday to say there were 'no specific, credible threats' against the U.S. but added it is monitoring the situation.

'While there are currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland, DHS continues to monitor the situation and work with our Federal, State and local partners to ensure the safety of every American,' Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.

Additionally, U.S. stocks fell about 1 per cent at the market's opening in the wake of the news while oil prices surged. The price of gold, which investors buy in times of uncertainty, was up 1.6 per cent at $1,552.10 per ounce.

In his justification for the U.S. action, Trump cited Soleimani's ties to American deaths in the region, his crack down on protestors in Iran, and Iranian threats to its neighbor Iraq.

'General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself,' the president tweeted Friday morning.

'While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. Ils ne sont pas aussi tristes que les dirigeants laisseront croire le monde extérieur. He should have been taken out many years ago!,' he added.

President Trump also referenced Iran's interference in Iraq in his explanation for Soleimani's death. Tehran has sent billions of dollars and many military advisers to Iraq to keep its Shia-led government in power.

The president portrayed himself as a liberator in the region, claiming the people of Iraq didn't want to 'dominated and controlled' by Iranian forces.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

La mort de Soleimani (à gauche), un personnage profondément enraciné dans le régime iranien qui, selon beaucoup, serait le prochain dirigeant du pays, amène l'Iran et l'Amérique au bord d'une guerre totale. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis avait joué un rôle déterminant dans la conduite d'attaques contre l'ambassade des États-Unis (photo de droite, à l'extérieur du bâtiment)

'The United States has paid Iraq Billions of Dollars a year, for many years. That is on top of all else we have done for them. The people of Iraq don't want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice. Over the last 15 years, Iran has gained more and more control over Iraq, and the people of Iraq are not happy with that. It will never end well!,' he tweeted.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touted the administration's freedom argument when he went on the morning shows to talk about the airstrike.

'We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq but in Iran will view the American action last night as giving them freedom,' Pompeo told CNN Friday morning. 'Freedom to have the opportunity for success and prosperity for their nations and while the political leadership may not want that, the people in these nations will demand it.'

The death of Soleimani, who led the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was a blow for Iran and an escalation on Trump's part of relations with Tehran, which have been strained since the death of an American contractor in Iraq in late December.

Major American cities, including New York and Los Angeles, have stepped up security in the aftermath of the airstrikes to prevent any revenge attacks.

New York's Police Department is deploying heavily armed officers in key public spaces and The Los Angeles Police Department said – that while there was currently no credible threat to the city – officials were communicating with other security agencies regarding any intelligence that may develop.

The president is in Mar-a-Lago for the holiday season and did not go to his golf course on Friday, which is where he has spent the majority of his days while in Florida.

Earlier, the president taunted Iran in the wake of Soleimani's death, saying the country 'never won a war.'

'Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!,' the president tweeted on Friday morning in his first response to Soleimani's death.

It's unclear what the president meant in his tweet.

He was critical of President Barack Obama's policy in the region. The Obama administration pushed the 2015 agreement that froze Iran's nuclear program in return for sanctions relief as a way to avoid escalating tensions in the region.

President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, claiming Obama's agreement had emboldened Iran to invest in a campaign of violence in the region.

He began a series of punishing new economic sanctions that accumulated into Friday's military action.

Or his tweet could be seen as an offer to open negotiations with Tehran.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaimed his country would avenge the bitter loss of his highest ranking general, while Lebanon's Tehran-backed Hezbollah said it would ramp up its terror 'with the blessing of his pure blood.'

The Pentagon said Trump had ordered the 'decisive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Soleimani' who was 'actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.'

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Marine One, carrying President Trump to a speech he's giving in Miami, departs Mar-a-Lago as protesters watch

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

President Trump boarding Marine One to head to Miami for a speech to evangelicals

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Four precision missiles fired from a U.S. drone struck the two cars carrying Soleimani and his entourage, according to U.S. officials. The cars were struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport in the early hours of Friday. Soleimani had reportedly just arrived to Baghdad on a flight from Syria. Airport logs show a Cham Wings flight arriving from Damascus at 12.34am Friday Baghdad time, but it's unclear whether Soleimani was on that commercial flight or a private charter.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

An American airstrike on Baghdad airport has killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's powerful Quds force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy-leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (pictured, the burning remains of a car that was among a convoy the men had been travelling in)

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

An image which circulated on Iranian media in the aftermath purporting to show Quds commander Qassem Soleimani's hand after the strike in the early hours of Friday. Two officials from the Iran-backed People's Mobilzation Forces (PMF) said Soleimani's body was torn to pieces in the attack and a senior politician said his body could only be identified by the ring he wore on his left hand. The ring bears strong similarities to the ruby ring worn on Soleimani's left hand in other photos, however it is not a precise match and fellow victim Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis wore similar jewellery.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

House Minority leader Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy shared this image last night at the table with President Donald Trump (right), saying: 'A memorable and historic evening at The Winter White House. Proud of our President!' Dan Scavino, the White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President sits opposite McCarthy (back to camera) while White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley stands at the table

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Protesters in Tehran demonstrate over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iraqis perform a mourning prayer for slain Iranian Revolutionary Guards Major General Qasem Soleimani at the Great Mosque of Kufa

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN there was a threat of an 'imminent' attack in the region but declined to elaborate on details

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A massive funeral with thousands all dressed in black lined the streets of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani's hometown of Kerman in Iran today. The commander killed Friday in a US strike, was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies

And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN Friday morning there was a threat of 'imminent' attack in the region but won't elaborate on the details.

Putin Reaction to Soleimani's killing

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike risked 'aggravating the situation' in the Middle East.

'This action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region,' the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying during a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron.

His comments came after China and Russia joined European countries and nations across the world in urging 'restraint'.

Russia and Iran are key allies in the Middle East.

The decision to launch the air strike 'saved American lives,' Pompeo told CNN's 'New Day,'' adding that 'dozens, if not hundreds' of American lives were at risk from 'imminent' attacks in which Soleimani was involved.

He also noted the administration is not seeking war with Iran.

'The president has been pretty clear. We don't seek war with Iran, but at the same time we are not going to stand by and watch the Iranians escalate and continue to put American lives at risk without responding in a way that disrupts, defends, deters and creates an opportunity to de-escalate this situation,' he told 'Fox & Friends.'

Soleimani was among eleven people 'torn to shreds' by three missiles fired from an MQ-9 Reaper drone on two vehicles in the early hours of Friday. The commander was so badly maimed he could only be identified by the ruby ring he wore on his left hand.

The drone strike vaporized Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which besieged the U.S. embassy in Baghdad earlier this week. His body could not be recovered.

CCTV footage filmed close to the airport and shared by Iraqi TV station AhadTV appears to show the moment Soleimani was killed.

It shows a large explosion as one of the two cars was destroyed by precision missiles early on Friday morning.

Brigadier General Hussein Jafari Nia and Major-General Hadi Taremi were named among the dead by the semi-official Fars agency, along with Colonel of the Guards Shahroud Mozaffari Nia and Captain Waheed Zamanian.

Mohammad al-Shibani, Muhandis's son-in-law, is also said to have died along with Heydar Ali, Muhammed Reza al-Jaberi and Hassan Abdul Hadi, all senior PMF figures, after being struck by one of three American guided missiles fired by a Reaper drone.

Soon after news of the strike spread, Trump tweeted an image of an American flag.

Meanwhile, the State Department issued a warning to Americans in Iraq, telling them to leave 'immediately' – going by airline when possible and 'failing that, to other countries via land.'

Trump retweeted that warning.

The president has not been seen since the attack but House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy posted photos to his Instagram account of his time with Trump at Mar-a-Lago Thursday evening.

'A memorable and historic evening at The Winter White House. Proud of our President!,' McCarthy wrote on the series of photos, which included pictures of himself with White House Counselor Jared Kushner, President Trump, White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, and White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.

Russia and China rebuked the U.S. for the attack, Moscow warning it was 'an adventurist step that would lead to growing tensions' and Beijing urging that 'peace in the Middle East and the Gulf region should be preserved.'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Soleimani's death risked 'aggravating the situation' in the Middle East.

'This action can seriously aggravate the situation in the region,' the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying during a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Russia and Iran are key allies in the Middle East.

Britain, France and Germany called for 'stability' and 'calm' in the region, but did not vilify the assassination.

Pompeo confirmed he had spoken to concerned leaders from China, Britain and Germany, while thanking his allies for their recognition 'of the continuing aggressive threats posed by the Iranian Quds Force.'

It comes as the Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi warned the rocket strike would 'spark a devastating war in Iraq,' adding that the assault by the U.S. was 'a brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty and blatant attack on the nation's dignity.'

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

As the sun rose over Baghdad airport, daylight revealed the twisted remains of one of the vehicles the men had been travelling in. In total, a US drone fired three missiles that struck a convoy of cars, killing the two men and their entourage

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Images taken after sunup on Friday show the twisted wreckage left behind by the US missile strike on two cars

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Russia and China rebuked the US for the attack, Moscow warning it was 'an adventurist step that would lead to growing tensions' and Beijing urging that 'peace in the Middle East and the Gulf region should be preserved.' US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed he had spoken to concerned leaders from China, Britain and Germany, while thanking his allies for their recognition 'of the continuing aggressive threats posed by the Iranian Quds Force'

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured on Wednesday) has said the killing of an Iranian general in a US drone strike risks 'aggravating the situation' in the Middle East

On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers complained they had not been given a head's up on the attack. It's traditional for the president to brief the 'Gang of Eight' – Congressional leadership and the heads of the Intelligence committees – before taking such an action.

The strike was carried out without an 'authorization for use of military force' against Iran and without the consultation of Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

'The full Congress must be immediately briefed on this serious situation and on the next steps under consideration by the Administration, including the significant escalation of the deployment of additional troops to the region,' she noted.

Terrorist general with the blood of THOUSANDS on his hands: Qassem Soleimani masterminded the killing of hundreds of US troops in IED attacks, helped Assad slaughter his people in Syria and was 'more powerful than Iran's president'

Qassem Soleimani, who was killed Friday in a US strike, was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.

The 62-year-old head of the Quds, or Jerusalem, Force of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani shaped Tehran's foreign policy throughout the Middle East.

US officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against US troops after the invasion of Iraq.

Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution swept the shah from power and Soleimani joined the Revolutionary Guard in its wake.

He deployed to Iran's northwest with forces that put down Kurdish unrest following the revolution. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran and began the two countries long, bloody eight-year war.

Soleimani became known for his opposition to 'meaningless deaths' on the battlefield, while still weeping at times with fervor when exhorting his men into combat, embracing each individually.

Soleimani's charisma propelled him to the senior officer ranks. In 1998, he was named commander of the Quds Force.

His profile rose suddenly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran's intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos, documentaries – and even being featured in a music video and animated film.

Western leaders saw him as central to Iran's ties with militia groups including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was briefed on the forth coming attack when he was in Florida in late December.

He is not a member of the 'Gang of Eight' but is a close ally of the president's on Capitol Hill.

'I was briefed about the potential operation when I was down in Florida,' he told 'Fox & Friends' on Friday morning.

Graham played golf with the president at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach on December 30.

He said it was a pre-emptive move on the part of the United States.

'The intelligence was very strong that Soleimani was orchestrating chaos in Iraq at our expense and throughout the region. The president was informed of these potential attacks and he acted. This was a defensive strike to neutralize future attacks that were being planned and executed by Soleimani,' Graham said.

Thousands of Iranian mourners dressed in black flooded the streets of Soleimani's hometown of Kerman, a revered commander, he was responsible for shaping Iranian foreign policy throughout the Middle East.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Tehran to protest against the U.S. 'crimes' chanting 'Death to America', torching the Stars and Stripes and holding up posters of the slain commander.

Khamenei proclaimed: 'All friends – & enemies – know that Jihad of Resistance will continue with more motivation & definite victory awaits the fighters on this blessed path. The loss of our dear General is bitter. The continuing fight & ultimate victory will be more bitter for the murderers & criminals.'

It comes as Iraqi Shia militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr ordered the reformation of the Mahdi Army which fought against US troops during the invasion in 2003. Sadr had disbanded the group in 2008.

The leader of Lebanon's Tehran-backed Hezbollah group Hassan Nasrallah announced: 'We will carry a flag on all battlefields and all fronts and we will step up the victories of the axis of resistance with the blessing of his pure blood.'

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami also paid tribute to Soleimani, vowing: 'A crushing revenge will be taken for Soleimani's unjust assassination.'

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for the strike, saying: 'Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks.'

Announcing his death during a live Iranian-state TV broadcast, a news presenter embraced army spokesman Ramezan Sharif and the pair wept together as they informed the Islamic Republic of Soleimani's death.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said in a statement: 'Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the US Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately.

'U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.'

The State Department added: 'Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. US citizens should not approach the Embassy.'

The attack unfolded in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani and Iraq-based PMF militiamen who were picking him up from the airport.

Soleimani had arrived at the airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Moments later, as the cars passed through a cargo area headed for an access road leading out of the airport, the convoy was struck by three missiles fired by an MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Thousands of demonstrators on the streets of the Iranian capital after Friday prayers demonstrate against US 'crimes' in Iraq as they mourn the loss of the revered general Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Angry demonstrate torch US and British flags on the streets of Tehran today after the death of commander Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iranians burn a US flag as tens of thousands flooded the streets of Tehran to mourn the death of Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) general and commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani after Friday prayers

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Tens of thousands of Iranian demonstrators flock in the streets of Tehran to protest American 'crimes' after the death of commander Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Furious protesters in Tehran torch Israeli and British flags after Friday prayers in the Iranian capital following the news of Soleimani's death

Both vehicles were instantly reduced to smoldering wrecks – killing Soleimani, Muhandis, Jabri and two others who have yet to be identified.

Two officials from the PMF said Soleimani's body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis.

A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring he wore. Photos from the scene show a hand with large ring that looks identical to one Soleimani is seen wearing in old photos.

Local militia commander Abu Muntathar al-Hussaini told Reuters: 'Haj Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were riding in one vehicle when it was struck by two successive guided missiles launched from an American helicopter while they were on their way from the arrivals hall on the road that leads out of Baghdad Airport.'

Il a dit que le deuxième véhicule transportait des gardes du corps du PMF et avait été touché par une roquette.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Images which circulated online in the aftermath purported to show the body of Qassem Soleimani and other passengers, who were made up of pro-Iran Iraqi Shia militia riding in vehicles with the Iranian general

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Images uploaded in the aftermath purported to show people rifling through the pockets of the dead commander Soleimani and showing off Iranian bank notes on his person, featuring the face of the revolutionary cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iraqi anti-government protesters celebrate outside their protest tents in Baghdad's Tahrir Square following news of the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards top commander Qassem Soleimani in a US strike on his convoy at Baghdad international airport

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Jubilant anti-government protesters in Iraq celebrate Soleimani's death on Friday, they have been rallying against the country's executive for weeks over crushing economic conditions

While American forces did not make it clear how they had tracked Soleimani's location, he is thought to be kept under near-constant surveillance by US, Saudi and Israeli security forces.

The New York Times reported that Friday's attack drew upon a combination of highly classified information from informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance techniques.

The Defense Department said that the airstrike was justified to protect American lives.

'General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,' the Pentagon statement said.

The statement added that Soleimani 'orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months' including the embassy assault.

This afternoon, following Friday prayers thousands took to the streets of Tehran, with hundreds marching towards Khamenei's compound in central Tehran to convey their condolences.

'I am not a pro-regime person but I liked Soleimani. He was brave and he loved Iran, I am very sorry for our loss,' said housewife Mina Khosrozadeh in Tehran.

In Soleimani's hometown, Kerman, people wearing black gathered in front of his father's house, crying as they listened to a recitation of verses from the Koran.

'Heroes never die. CA ne peut pas être vrai. Qassem Soleimani will always be alive,' said Mohammad Reza Seraj, a high school teacher.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

An Iranian TV presenter consoles the army spokesman Ramezan Sharif during a live broadcast to announce the death of the general this morning, a man who was revered and loved in his homeland

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Shortly before he was killed in the strike, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted this photo of Muhandis helping to organize protests at the American embassy in Iraq

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring (above) he often wore

Iran condemns strike and vows 'vigorous revenge'

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, responded in a statement calling the U.S. strike an act of terrorism.

'The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,' Zarif said.

'The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,' he continued.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iran's foreign minister responded in a statement

An advisor to Iran´s President Hassan Rouhani quickly warned of retaliation imminent from Tehran.

'Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,' advisor Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. 'Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.'

A former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezaei, on Friday vowed 'vigorous revenge against America' for the airstrike.

'Martyr Lieutenant General Qassem Suleimani joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America,' Rezaei, who is now the secretary of a powerful state body, said in a post on Twitter.

ISIS and Al Qaeda are Sunni factions that are bitterly opposed to Shiite Iran, which sponsors anti-Sunni militant groups throughout the region.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani (right) is seen attending a religious ceremony with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a file photo. Soleimani was immensely popular in Iran and the Ayatollah has vowed 'harsh revenge'

Democrats chastise Trump for killing Soleimani without permission from Congress

Top Democrats, while condemning Soleimani, warned that that the airstrike had the potential to set off a war, and chastised Trump for not seeking congressional approval.

'Tonight's action represents a massive escalation in our conflict with Iran with unpredictable consequence,' said House Foreign Committee Chair Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, in a statement.

'To push ahead with an action of this gravity without involving Congress raises serious legal problems and is an affront to Congress's powers as a coequal branch of government,' Engel said.

'Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That's not a question,' said Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, in a statement.

'The question is this – as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?' Murphy said.

Andrew Yang was the first of the Democratic presidential candidates to react to the strike, tweeting: 'War with Iran is the last thing we need and is not the will of the American people. We should be acting to deescalate tensions and protect our people in the region.'

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

The State Department said 'due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. US citizens should not approach the Embassy' (pictured: US Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines reinforcing the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq)

Joe Biden said in a statement that 'President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.'

'The Administration's statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect,' Biden said.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, tweeted: 'Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. Mais cette décision imprudente aggrave la situation avec l'Iran et augmente la probabilité de nouveaux décès et d'un nouveau conflit au Moyen-Orient. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.'

Trump's allies defend airstrike as his 'greatest foreign policy accomplishment'

Trump's allies rushed to his defense, however, including Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican.

'Soleimani was one of the most ruthless and vicious members of the Ayatollah's regime. He had American blood on his hands,' said Graham in a tweet.

'If Iranian aggression continues and I worked at an Iranian oil refinery, I would think about a new career,' he continued ominously.

Trump' campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in an interview with Fox News that the killing of Soleimani is the 'greatest foreign policy accomplishment, I would say, of the decade, if not our lifetime'.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Still images from bystander video show the burning wreckage after the airstike

Iranian retaliation is inevitable, experts say

Experts say that the killing of Soleimani will be viewed by Iran as a massive military provocation. "La pression pour riposter sera immense", a tweeté Vali Nasr, spécialiste du Moyen-Orient et professeur de John Hopkins.

"Soleimani avait le statut de héros culte au sein du Corps des gardiens de la révolution islamique (IRGC) et parmi les milices chiites de la région, et était personnellement la figure du régime la plus populaire en Iran", a déclaré Nasr.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A PMF official said the dead also included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda (above)

The U.S. missiles landed near the air cargo terminal, burning two vehicles, killing at least seven and injuring several people.

Les responsables de la PMF ont déclaré que cinq de leurs membres et deux "invités" avaient été tués lors de la frappe aérienne sur leurs véhicules à l'intérieur de l'aéroport international de Bagdad.

Les véhicules auraient reçu des passagers d'un avion qui venait d'atterrir à Bagdad après un vol en provenance de Syrie.

Le responsable de la PMF a déclaré que les morts comprenaient également son officier du protocole de l'aéroport, l'identifiant comme Mohammed Reda.

Un responsable de la sécurité a confirmé que sept personnes ont été tuées dans l'attaque de l'aéroport, le décrivant comme une frappe aérienne.

An official with the PMF quickly blamed the U.S. military for the strike. 'The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,' said Ahmed al-Assadi, a PMF spokesman.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Les conséquences de l'attaque à la roquette sont vues ci-dessus à l'aéroport international de Bagdad

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

L'aéroport est vu sur une photo d'archive. L'attaque à la roquette a visé deux voitures transportant des passagers d'un avion qui venait d'arriver de Syrie

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Secretary Pomepeo called al-Muhandis, who was killed in the strike, a terrorist who was responsible for the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad

Earlier, Iraq's Security Media Cell, which releases information regarding Iraqi security, incorrectly said Katyusha rockets landed near the airport's cargo hall, killing several people and setting two cars on fire. Katyusha multiple-rocket launchers are ground-based Soviet-era weapons used by multiple local factions.

Le responsable de la sécurité a déclaré que les corps des personnes tuées lors de l'attaque de l'aéroport vendredi avaient été brûlés et difficiles à identifier.

Le responsable a ajouté que Reda était peut-être à l'aéroport pour récupérer un groupe de visiteurs «de haut niveau» arrivés d'un pays voisin. Il a refusé de fournir plus d'informations.

L'attaque est survenue au milieu de tensions avec les États-Unis après une attaque du Nouvel An par des milices soutenues par l'Iran contre l'ambassade des États-Unis à Bagdad.

The two-day embassy attack which ended Wednesday prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers immediately deployed to the Middle East, with thousands more put on alert for imminent deployment.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

A security guard's hut window has been badly damaged by the rioters as smoke spews from fires set around the compound on Tuesday, with protesters waving flags of the militias part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). Many are supported by Iran.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

US Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines reinforce the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq on Thursday after violent attacks by pro-Iran forces

La brèche à l'ambassade a fait suite à des frappes aériennes américaines dimanche qui ont tué 25 combattants de la milice soutenue par l'Iran en Irak, le Kataeb Hezbollah.

The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

Les responsables américains ont laissé entendre qu'ils étaient prêts à s'engager dans de nouvelles attaques de représailles en Irak.

'The game has changed,' Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq – including the rocket attack on December 27 that killed one American – will be met with U.S. military force.

Il a déclaré que le gouvernement irakien n'avait pas respecté son obligation de défendre son partenaire américain dans l'attaque contre l'ambassade des États-Unis.

Les développements représentent également un ralentissement majeur en Irak-États-Unis. des relations qui pourraient saper encore plus l'influence américaine dans la région et les troupes américaines en Irak et affaiblir la main de Washington dans sa campagne de pression contre l'Iran.

THE BRINK OF WAR: HOW US TENSIONS WITH IRAN HAVE ESCALATED

An American drone strike on Baghdad airport has killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Quds Force and one of the country's most powerful men, bringing Washington and Tehran to the brink of all-out war.

While the strike marks a sudden and violent escalation of tensions between the two countries, trouble has been brewing for more than a year – ever since the Trump administration tore up the nuclear deal signed under Obama.

Here is the series of events that left the Middle East teetering on a knife-edge:

2018

May 9: Donald Trump announces that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it 'defective at its core', and says strict new sanctions will be imposed on Tehran

May 21: The US issues a list of 12 demands that it says Iran must comply with – including the complete abandonment of its nuclear energy program – or else face sanctions. The list is rejected by Tehran

August 7: America imposes the first round of sanctions, including cancelling a multi-billion dollar deal for Boeing aircraft and banning the sale of gold to Tehran

November 5: Second round of sanctions announced, this time against Iranian oil exports – Tehran's primary source of income – and cutting off access to banking markets

2019

April 8: Donald Trump designates the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's domestic military force, a 'terrorist group', imposing travel bans and economic sanctions against its leaders

May 5: National Security Adviser John Bolton announces a Carrier Strike Group and Air Force bombers are being deployed to the region to combat 'a number of troubling and escalatory indications'

May 8: On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Trump tearing up the deal, Iran says it will stop complying by increasing it stockpiles of Uranium and enriching to near weapons-grade levels

May 12: Four oil tankers belonging to Saudi Arabia, Norway and the UAE are hit by explosions near Fujairah in an attack that America blamed on Tehran

June 13: Two more tankers, this time belonging to Norway and Japan, are rocked by explosions which Washington again attributes to the Iranian regime

June 19: A US Navy drone is shot down by Iranian anti-aircraft missiles over the Strait of Hormuz, prompting Trump to order and then rapidly cancel airstrikes against Iranian targets

July 4: British Marines seize the Grace 1, an Iranian oil tanker which they said was bound for Syria, off the coast of Gibraltar as it sailed into the Mediterranean

July 10: British Heritage tanker is harassed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, but are driven back by a Royal Navy warship

July 20: British-flagged tanker Stena Impero is seized by the IRGC and towed to Bandar Abbas, where it is kept under armed guard by gunboats

August 15: Britain agrees to release the Iranian tanker after seeking assurances that it will not head to Syria

September 14: Drones and cruise missiles are used to attack a Saudi oil field at Khurais and the country's largest refinery at Abquaiq, knocking out a third of the world's oil supply. The US and Saudis blame Iran, which denies responsibility

September 27: Iran releases the Stena Impero and its crew

October 11: Iranian oil tanker sailing off the coast of Jeddah is rocked by two explosions which Iran says were caused by guided missiles fired by Saudi Arabia

Terrorist general with the blood of THOUSANDS on his hands: Qassem Soleimani masterminded the killing of hundreds of US troops in IED attacks, helped Assad slaughter his people in Syria, was an ally of Hezbollah and 'more powerful than Iran's president'

Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed Friday in a US strike, was one of Iran's most prominent figures and a deadly adversary to America and its allies.

As the head of the Quds – or Jersualem – Force of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani was officially charged with protecting the Islamic revolution, and in practice was used to enforce the regime's will across the Middle East.

Commonly known as the second most powerful man in Iran, wielding more influence than the president, he was seen by many as a future leader.

His CV included helping Shia militias to kill hundreds of American troops during the US invasion of Iraq,  backing Assad as he slaughtered civilians by the thousands during the Syrian civil war, and most recently overseeing the slaughter of hundreds of anti-Iran protesters in Iraq.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Qassem Soleimani (pictured centre in Iraq in 2015), leader of Iran's Quds force and the country's second-most powerful individual, has been killed in a US airstrike

Born into a poor agricultural family in Kerman province, central Iran, in 1957 he worked in construction and then a city water department before the 1978 Islamic Revolution began.

As protests against the Shah grew, Soleimani was involved in organising demonstrations against the monarch.

After the Shah was deposed, Soleimani joined the Revolutionary Guards at its formation in 1979, then served as leader of a company that helped repel Saddam Hussein's invasion in 1980.

He was promoted to commander of a division while not yet 30 and by the mid-Eighties was organising missions inside Iraq to undermine the Hussein regime, often bullying, bribing and otherwise exploiting Iraqi Kurds.

In 1999, during student protests in Iran, he threatened to topple the government in order to crush the demonstrations, and in 2002 – just a few months before the US invaded Iraq – he was promoted to head of the Quds Force.

US officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against US troops after the invasion of Iraq, resulting in the deaths of some 600 US troops.

Soleimani himself was popular figure among pro-regime Iranians, who saw him as a selfless hero fighting Iran's enemies abroad.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani was beloved by the Iranian regime (pictured being kissed by the Ayatollah) for enforcing its will across the Middle East, including killing hundreds of US troops with IEDs

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Thousands of Iranians take to the streets to mourn the death of commander Qassem Soleimani during an anti-US demonstration after Friday prayers in Tehran

He had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of Assad.

Rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria's Aleppo.

Soleimani has been in and out of Baghdad in recent years.

Last month, he tried to broker agreements as Iraqi parties struggled to form a new government.

Where once he kept to the shadows, Soleimani has in recent years become an unlikely celebrity in Iran – replete with a huge following on Instagram.

His profile rose suddenly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran's intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos, documentaries – and even being featured in a music video and animated film.

In a rare interview aired on Iranian state television in October, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.

To his fans and enemies alike, Soleimani was the key architect of Iran's regional influence, leading the fight against jihadist forces and extending Iran's diplomatic heft in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

'To Middle Eastern Shiites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one,' wrote former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack in a profile for Time's 100 most influential people in 2017.

'To the West, he is… responsible for exporting Iran's Islamic revolution, supporting terrorists, subverting pro-Western governments and waging Iran's foreign wars,' Pollack added.

With Iran roiled by protests and economic problems at home, and the US once again mounting pressure from the outside, some Iranians had even called for Soleimani to enter domestic politics.

While he has dismissed rumors he might one day run for president, the general has played a decisive role in the politics of Iran's neighbor, Iraq.

As well as talks on forming a government, he was pivotal in pressuring Iraq's Kurds to abandon their plans for independence after an ill-judged referendum last September.

His influence has deep roots, since Soleimani was already leading the Quds Force when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

During the US invasion of Iraq, Soleimani was credited with teaching Shia militias how to make powerful roadside IEDs, blamed for more than 600 troop deaths

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

An Iraqi youth celebrates before a burning US army vehicle following an ambush on a US army convoy in the town of Khaldiyah, 80 kms west of Baghdad, 18 September 2003

'My Iranian interlocutors on Afghanistan made clear that while they kept the foreign ministry informed, ultimately it was General Soleimani that would make the decisions,' former US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told the BBC in 2013.

Relatively unknown in Iran until the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Soleimani's popularity and mystique grew out American officials calling for his killing.

By the time it came a decade and a half later, Soleimani had become Iran's most recognizable battlefield commander, ignoring calls to enter politics but becoming as powerful, if not more, than its civilian leadership.

'The warfront is mankind's lost paradise,' Soleimani recounted in a 2009 interview.

'One type of paradise that is portrayed for mankind is streams, beautiful nymphs and greeneries.

'But there is another kind of paradise. … The warfront was the lost paradise of the human beings, indeed.'

His firm but quiet presence play perfectly to the Iranian penchant for dignified humility.

'He sits over there on the other side of room, by himself, in a very quiet way. Doesn't speak, doesn't comment, just sits and listens. And so of course everyone is thinking only about him,' a senior Iraqi official told the New Yorker for a long profile of Soleimani.

A survey published in 2018 by IranPoll and the University of Maryland – one of the few considered reliable by analysts – found Soleimani had a popularity rating of 83 percent, beating President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Western leaders saw him as central to Iran's ties with militia groups including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Soleimani is also thought to have been the point man for Iran's foreign policy in places like Afghanistan and the Caucasus region.

Part of his appeal was the suggestion he might bridge Iran's bitter social divides on issues such as its strict 'hijab' clothing rules.

'If we constantly use terms such as 'bad hijab' and 'good hijab', reformist or conservative… then who is left?' Soleimani said in a speech to mark World Mosque Day in 2017.

'They are all people. Are all your children religious? Is everybody the same? No, but the father attracts all of them.'

While Soleimani rose in the ranks to be one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, he was not known to be a religious man.

He never received a religious education. Instead, he rose through the ranks of the military after the Islamic Revolution.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

During Syria's civil war, Soleimani was instrumental in helping to reinforce the regime of Bashar al-Assad (his troops, pictured), even as he slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians

A father of five, the 61-year-old Soleimani rarely gave media interviews.

But there are a few details about his life that are public knowledge.

Born March 11, 1957, Soleimani was said in his homeland to have grown up near the mountainous and the historic Iranian town of Rabor, famous for its forests, its apricot, walnut and peach harvests and its brave soldiers.

The State Department has said he was born in the Iranian religious capital of Qom.

Little is known about his childhood, though Iranian accounts suggest Soleimani's father was a peasant who received a piece of land under the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, but later became encumbered by debts.

By the time he was 13, Soleimani began working in construction, later as an employee of the Kerman Water Organization.

Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution swept the shah from power and Soleimani joined the Revolutionary Guard in its wake.

He deployed to Iran's northwest with forces that put down Kurdish unrest following the revolution.

Soon after, Iraq invaded Iran and began the two countries long, bloody eight-year war.

The fighting killed more than 1 million people and saw Iran send waves of lightly armed troops into minefields and the fire of Iraqi forces, including teenage soldiers.

Solemani's unit and others came under attack by Iraqi chemical weapons as well.

Amid the carnage, Soleimani became known for his opposition to 'meaningless deaths' on the battlefield, while still weeping at times with fervor when exhorting his men into combat, embracing each individually.

It is not known if he participated in the mass demonstrations that eventually led to the ouster of the shah in 1979.

After the Islamic Republic came to be, Soleimani joined the Iranian Revolutionary Guards – a military force separate from the army.

Soleimani's charisma propelled him to the senior officer ranks. In 1998, he was named commander of the Quds Force.

'Quds' is the Persian word for Jerusalem, which the Iranians have vowed to liberate.

It was first established during the Iran-Iraq conflict with the goal of helping the Kurds in their struggle against Saddam Hussein.

Another key function of the Quds Force was to spread the Islamic regime's message to the Iranian military – a necessity at the time given that there were fears the army would turn against the government.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani was also instrumental in organising Shia militias who ransacked the US embassy in Iraq over Christmas (pictured)

The Quds Force eventually started to train military outfits outside of Iran, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, US officials openly discussed Iraqi efforts to reach out to Soleimani to stop rocket attacks on the highly secured Green Zone in Baghdad in 2009.

Another cable in 2007 outlines then-Iraqi President Jalal Talabani offering a US official a message from Soleimani acknowledging having 'hundreds' of agents in the country while pledging, 'I swear on the grave of (the late Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini I haven´t authorized a bullet against the US.'

US officials at the time dismissed Soleimani's claim as they saw Iran as both an arsonist and a fireman in Iraq, controlling some Shiite militias while simultaneously stirring dissent and launching attacks.

US forces would blame the Quds Force for an attack in Karbala that killed five American troops, as well as for training and supplying the bomb makers whose improvised explosive devices made IED – improvised explosive device – a dreaded acronym among soldiers.

In a 2010 speech, US General David Petreaus recounted a message from Soleimani he said explained the scope of Iranian's powers.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Anti-Iran protesters in Iraq were killed in their hundreds by security forces last year, with Soleimani overseeing the carnage

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Lieutenant General and Commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani praying during a religious ceremony in Tehran in March 2015

'He said, 'General Petreaus, you should know that I, Qassem Soleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan',' Petraeus said.

The US and the United Nations put Soleimani on sanctions lists in 2007, though his travels continued.

In 2011, US officials also named him as a defendant in an outlandish Quds Force plot to allegedly hire a purported Mexican drug cartel assassin to kill a Saudi diplomat.

But his greatest notoriety would arise from the Syrian civil war and the rapid expansion of the Islamic State group.

Iran, a major backer of Assad, sent Soleimani into Syria several times to lead attacks against IS and others opposing Assad's rule.

While a US-led coalition focused on airstrikes, several ground victories for Iraqi forces came with photographs emerging of Soleimani leading, never wearing a flak jacket.

'Soleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,' one Iraqi militia commander said.

Qassem Soleimani headed Iran's external military arm whose reach extended throughout Middle East

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Qassem Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the external arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that conducted operations outside of Iran

Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed Friday in a US strike, was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.

En tant que chef du Quds, ou Jersualem, la Force des gardes révolutionnaires paramilitaires iraniens, Soleimani dirigeait toutes ses forces expéditionnaires.

Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 US invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria on behalf of the embattled Bashar Assad.

US officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against US troops after the invasion of Iraq.

L'Iran a nié cela.

Soleimani lui-même reste populaire parmi de nombreux Iraniens, qui le considèrent comme un héros désintéressé combattant les ennemis de l'Iran à l'étranger.

Soleimani avait fait l'objet de rumeurs à plusieurs reprises, notamment lors d'un accident d'avion en 2006 qui avait tué d'autres responsables militaires dans le nord-ouest de l'Iran et à la suite d'un attentat à la bombe en 2012 à Damas qui avait tué les principaux collaborateurs d'Assad.

Des rumeurs ont circulé en novembre 2015 selon lesquelles Soleimani avait été tué ou grièvement blessé par les forces dirigeantes fidèles à Assad alors qu'elles se battaient autour d'Alep en Syrie.

Soleimani has been in and out of Baghdad in recent years.

Last month, he tried to broker agreements as Iraqi parties struggled to form a new government.

Where once he kept to the shadows, Soleimani has in recent years become an unlikely celebrity in Iran – replete with a huge following on Instagram.

His profile rose suddenly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran's intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos, documentaries – and even being featured in a music video and animated film.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani was considered the man mostly responsible for exerting Iranian influence on the Middle East, including countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen

In a rare interview aired on Iranian state television in October, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.

To his fans and enemies alike, Soleimani was the key architect of Iran's regional influence, leading the fight against jihadist forces and extending Iran's diplomatic heft in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

'To Middle Eastern Shiites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one,' wrote former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack in a profile for Time's 100 most influential people in 2017.

'To the West, he is… responsible for exporting Iran's Islamic revolution, supporting terrorists, subverting pro-Western governments and waging Iran's foreign wars,' Pollack added.

With Iran roiled by protests and economic problems at home, and the US once again mounting pressure from the outside, some Iranians had even called for Soleimani to enter domestic politics.

While he has dismissed rumors he might one day run for president, the general has played a decisive role in the politics of Iran's neighbor, Iraq.

As well as talks on forming a government, he was pivotal in pressuring Iraq's Kurds to abandon their plans for independence after an ill-judged referendum last September.

His influence has deep roots, since Soleimani was already leading the Quds Force when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

'My Iranian interlocutors on Afghanistan made clear that while they kept the foreign ministry informed, ultimately it was General Soleimani that would make the decisions,' former US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told the BBC in 2013.

Relatively unknown in Iran until the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Soleimani's popularity and mystique grew out American officials calling for his killing.

By the time it came a decade and a half later, Soleimani had become Iran's most recognizable battlefield commander, ignoring calls to enter politics but becoming as powerful, if not more, than its civilian leadership.

'The warfront is mankind's lost paradise,' Soleimani recounted in a 2009 interview.

'One type of paradise that is portrayed for mankind is streams, beautiful nymphs and greeneries.

'But there is another kind of paradise. … The warfront was the lost paradise of the human beings, indeed.'

His firm but quiet presence play perfectly to the Iranian penchant for dignified humility.

'He sits over there on the other side of room, by himself, in a very quiet way. Doesn't speak, doesn't comment, just sits and listens. And so of course everyone is thinking only about him,' a senior Iraqi official told the New Yorker for a long profile of Soleimani.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

This image posted on the website of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (seen far left), shows Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (center) and Soleimani at a ceremony commemorating the death of the Shiite prophet Hussein in September

A survey published in 2018 by IranPoll and the University of Maryland – one of the few considered reliable by analysts – found Soleimani had a popularity rating of 83 percent, beating President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Western leaders saw him as central to Iran's ties with militia groups including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Soleimani is also thought to have been the point man for Iran’s foreign policy in places like Afghanistan and the Caucasus region.

Part of his appeal was the suggestion he might bridge Iran's bitter social divides on issues such as its strict 'hijab' clothing rules.

'If we constantly use terms such as "bad hijab" and "good hijab", reformist or conservative… then who is left?' Soleimani said in a speech to mark World Mosque Day in 2017.

'They are all people. Are all your children religious? Is everybody the same? No, but the father attracts all of them.'

While Soleimani rose in the ranks to be one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, he was not known to be a religious man.

He never received a religious education. Instead, he rose through the ranks of the military after the Islamic Revolution.

A father of five, the 61-year-old Soleimani rarely gave media interviews.

But there are a few details about his life that are public knowledge.

Born March 11, 1957, Soleimani was said in his homeland to have grown up near the mountainous and the historic Iranian town of Rabor, famous for its forests, its apricot, walnut and peach harvests and its brave soldiers.

The State Department has said he was born in the Iranian religious capital of Qom.

Little is known about his childhood, though Iranian accounts suggest Soleimani's father was a peasant who received a piece of land under the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, but later became encumbered by debts.

By the time he was 13, Soleimani began working in construction, later as an employee of the Kerman Water Organization.

Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution swept the shah from power and Soleimani joined the Revolutionary Guard in its wake.

He deployed to Iran's northwest with forces that put down Kurdish unrest following the revolution.

Soon after, Iraq invaded Iran and began the two countries long, bloody eight-year war.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani is seen above in February 2016 during an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran

The fighting killed more than 1 million people and saw Iran send waves of lightly armed troops into minefields and the fire of Iraqi forces, including teenage soldiers.

Solemani's unit and others came under attack by Iraqi chemical weapons as well.

Amid the carnage, Soleimani became known for his opposition to 'meaningless deaths' on the battlefield, while still weeping at times with fervor when exhorting his men into combat, embracing each individually.

It is not known if he participated in the mass demonstrations that eventually led to the ouster of the shah in 1979.

After the Islamic Republic came to be, Soleimani joined the Iranian Revolutionary Guards – a military force separate from the army.

Soleimani's charisma propelled him to the senior officer ranks. In 1998, he was named commander of the Quds Force.

'Quds' is the Persian word for Jerusalem, which the Iranians have vowed to liberate.

It was first established during the Iran-Iraq conflict with the goal of helping the Kurds in their struggle against Saddam Hussein.

Another key function of the Quds Force was to spread the Islamic regime's message to the Iranian military – a necessity at the time given that there were fears the army would turn against the government.

The Quds Force eventually started to train military outfits outside of Iran, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, US officials openly discussed Iraqi efforts to reach out to Soleimani to stop rocket attacks on the highly secured Green Zone in Baghdad in 2009.

Des milliers de personnes scandent «Mort en Amérique! aux funérailles du grand général iranien Qassem Soleimani

Soleimani fought in the bloody, eight-year Iran-Iraq war. The image above from 1980 shows an Iranian Revolutionary Guard weeping by the body of his brother in Kermanshah Province

Another cable in 2007 outlines then-Iraqi President Jalal Talabani offering a US official a message from Soleimani acknowledging having 'hundreds' of agents in the country while pledging, 'I swear on the grave of (the late Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini I haven´t authorized a bullet against the US.'

US officials at the time dismissed Soleimani's claim as they saw Iran as both an arsonist and a fireman in Iraq, controlling some Shiite militias while simultaneously stirring dissent and launching attacks.

US forces would blame the Quds Force for an attack in Karbala that killed five American troops, as well as for training and supplying the bomb makers whose improvised explosive devices made IED – improvised explosive device – a dreaded acronym among soldiers.

In a 2010 speech, US General David Petreaus recounted a message from Soleimani he said explained the scope of Iranian's powers.

'He said, "General Petreaus, you should know that I, Qassem Soleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan",' Petraeus said.

The US and the United Nations put Soleimani on sanctions lists in 2007, though his travels continued.

In 2011, US officials also named him as a defendant in an outlandish Quds Force plot to allegedly hire a purported Mexican drug cartel assassin to kill a Saudi diplomat.

But his greatest notoriety would arise from the Syrian civil war and the rapid expansion of the Islamic State group.

Iran, a major backer of Assad, sent Soleimani into Syria several times to lead attacks against IS and others opposing Assad's rule.

While a US-led coalition focused on airstrikes, several ground victories for Iraqi forces came with photographs emerging of Soleimani leading, never wearing a flak jacket.

'Soleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,' one Iraqi militia commander said.

Sources: Associated Press, AFP, Haaretz

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