Gen Soleimani buried hours after Iran attack on Iraqi bases housing US forces

By Reuters
THE IRANIAN commander killed by a U.S. drone strike in an act that has thrown open the possibility of an all-out war between the nations was buried in his hometown of Kerman in the early hours of Wednesday (January 8).
Qassem Soleimani was killed alongside Iraqi Shi’ite militia leader Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, better known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad International Airport on Friday the 3RD of January.
Soleimani’s burial went ahead after several hours of delay following a stampede that killed at least 56 people and injured more than 210, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
His body had been taken to holy Shi’ite Muslim cities in Iraq and Iran, as well as the Iranian capital, Tehran, before arriving to be buried in the city cemetery’s “martyrs section”.
Soleimani, a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran’s long-standing campaign to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq, was also responsible for building up Tehran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East.
He was a national hero to many Iranians but viewed as a dangerous villain by Western governments opposed to Iran’s arc of influence running across the Levant and into the Gulf region.
A few hours before his burial, Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi facilities hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel.
The attack comes days after the US killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an elite wing of the Iranian military that is also known as the IRGC, said the attacks were “hard revenge” for the death of Soleimani.
The IRGC said in the statement that any country housing US troops could be subject to “hostile and aggressive acts” and called on American citizens to demand the government remove US troops from the region.
“To the Great Satan, we warn that if you repeat your wickedness or take any additional movements or make additional aggression, we will respond with more painful and crushing responses,” the statement to the US read.
Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesperson, said Tuesday evening that Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at the al-Asad airbase, which houses US troops, and American and coalition forces in the town of Erbil. Hoffman said the Pentagon is assessing the damage done by the attacks.
“In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners,”
Hoffman said in a statement. “These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”