NEWS
03/01/2020 14:05 GMT | Updated 03/01/2020 14:22 GMT

Qassem Soleimani Killing: Thousands Protest In Tehran After US Air Strike

Demonstrators chanted "death to America" while some burnt US and Israeli flags after assassination of top military commander.

ATTA KENARE via Getty Images
Protesters tear up a US flag during a demonstration in Tehran 

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Tehran to condemn the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US air strike. 

Protesters held up pictures of the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force – one of the country’s most powerful men – who was killed in an attack at Baghdad Airport authorised by Donald Trump on Friday. 

Footage from the Reuters news agency showed protesters chanting “Death to America”, while others set fire to a US flag. 

ATTA KENARE via Getty Images
Iranians hold anti-US banners during a demonstration in the capital Tehran 

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

“Heroes never die. It cannot be true. Qassem Soleimani will always be alive,” a school teacher told reporters.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed harsh revenge over Soleimani’s death, calling those who killed him “criminals”.  

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Protesters gathered in Tehran

Meanwhile, Americans have been warned to leave Iraq “immediately” following the attack, with the US embassy telling citizens to leave the country as quickly as possible. 

According to Iraqi officials, the attack also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi military commander. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A photo released by the Iraqi prime minister's press office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following a US airstrike

In a statement, the embassy said: “US citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.” Meanwhile, it warned Americans in Iraq against approaching the embassy. 

The US embassy in Iran has yet to update its advice, which already warned Americans against travelling to the country “due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens”.