Mourners flood the streets as Qasem Soleimani’s body returns to Iran

Thousands of mourners swept into the Iranian city of Ahvaz early on Sunday morning to receive the remains of Qasem Soleimani, the general killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, the BBC reports.

The mourners beat their chests and chanted “death to America”.

Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s sphere of influence across the Middle East and was considered to be the country’s second most powerful man.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who had a close personal relationship with Soleimani, warned of “severe revenge” for the attack.

US President Donald Trump, who authorized the attack on Soleimani on Friday said on Saturday the US was ready to strike 52 sites “important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter, saying that the killing of Soleimani was a breach of international law and that any targeting of cultural sites would be constitute a war crime.

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