WORLD NEWS

Anti-U.S. Protests Break Out After Qassem Soleimani Assassination

After Trump ordered the death of the senior Iranian general, thousands demonstrated in Tehran and across the region.

Thousands of people took to the streets in Tehran, the capital of Iran, on Friday to protest against the United States, after President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a senior Iranian commander who headed up the country’s elite military forces abroad.

Trump’s decision to assassinate Soleimani significantly escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have grown precipitously during his presidency. The president ended American participation in a global agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program and began a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the country. Iran and its allies have responded with attacks against the U.S. and its partners, including a rocket strike that killed an American contractor at the end of December.

After Soleimani’s assassination, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a warning that “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. and that Soleimani was the “international face of resistance.” 

The State Department has implored American citizens to leave Iraq immediately and to not approach the embassy in Baghdad. Embassies in Bahrain, Kuwait and Pakistan issued security alerts after the airstrike, noting that Americans in those countries should “avoid crowds” and “keep a low profile.”

Soleimani was a popular, almost heroic figure among conservative Iranians and other critics of the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia. But many in the region suffered because of Iranian interventions abroad that Soleimani directed, including Iran’s support for Syrian president Bashar Assad’s brutal regime.

As Khamenei declared three days of public mourning in Iran for Soleimani’s death, demonstrators marched in the streets in Tehran:

Iranians hold anti-U.S. banners during a demonstration in the capital Tehran on Jan. 3, following the killing of Iranian Revo
Iranians hold anti-U.S. banners during a demonstration in the capital Tehran on Jan. 3, following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Major General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. strike on his convoy at Baghdad International Airport.
Iranians holds posters of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Soleimani during a demonstration in Tehran.
Iranians holds posters of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Soleimani during a demonstration in Tehran.
Iranians tear up an American flag during the protests.
Iranians tear up an American flag during the protests.
Iranians burn an American flag.
Iranians burn an American flag.
People gather to protest against Soleimani's assassination after Friday prayers in Tehran.
People gather to protest against Soleimani's assassination after Friday prayers in Tehran.

Many in Western Asia also protested against the assassination. Below are scenes from Islamabad; Lahore, Pakistan; and Kashmir:

Protesters in Lahore, Pakistan, hold a burned American flag and shout slogans near the U.S. consulate after the assassination
Protesters in Lahore, Pakistan, hold a burned American flag and shout slogans near the U.S. consulate after the assassination of Soleimani in Iraq.
More from the protest in Lahore. 
More from the protest in Lahore. 
Protesters in Lahore burn American and Israeli flags. 
Protesters in Lahore burn American and Israeli flags. 
Shiite muslims shout anti-U.S. slogans as they protest in central Kashmir.
Shiite muslims shout anti-U.S. slogans as they protest in central Kashmir.
More from the protest in central Kashmir.
More from the protest in central Kashmir.
Protesters in Islamabad.
Protesters in Islamabad.
Demonstrators burn U.S. flags in Islamabad.
Demonstrators burn U.S. flags in Islamabad.