(RightWing.org) – Explosions broke out amid a recent graveside memorial service honoring a fallen Iranian general. At least 95 people died in the blasts, and an estimated 211 others sustained injuries. The chaos was just one of many events that have shaken the Middle East as the result of crumbling relations between Israel, neighboring Islamic nations, and the US.
Attacks by the Grave
The strikes occurred on January 3, 2024, which marked the four-year anniversary of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani’s death. Al Jazeera reports that the explosions originated from two separate briefcases that had been planted near the cemetery entrance. The first occurred about 2,300 feet from the burial site, with the second going off a little over a mile away. Both were detonated by remote means and spared the actual grave.
The news organization posted on X, the social media outlet formerly known as Twitter, that the explosions targeted a procession close to Soleimani’s burial site. Local officials are calling it a terrorist attack.
A strike the previous day, which officials are saying came from Israeli forces, took out Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, Lebanon. Israel also reportedly killed a senior advisor for the IRGC, Sayyed Razi Mousavi, during a December 2023 airstrike on Damascus, Syria. No one has taken responsibility for the gravesite explosions.
Britannica states that Soleimani first joined the IRGC after the Iranian Revolution, which ended in 1979 and went on to fight in the Iran-Iraq war, which occurred between 1980 and 1988. He helped fight against Taliban forces that emerged in Afghanistan in the 1990s and rose to the ranks of commander of Quds Force by March 1998.
The IRGC leader grew in influence, but he supported numerous Palestinian resistance groups. His military unit was vital to the establishment of Hezbollah in Lebanon, where it had an active presence, and it also gained influence in Syria and Iraq.
Soleimani grew to become a terrorist in his own right, according to BBC News, with his actions believed to have caused the deaths of hundreds of American citizens. The 62-year-old general was considered one of Iran’s strongest military leaders at the time of his assassination. He died on January 3, 2020, after President Donald Trump ordered a tactical airstrike.
Soleimani died on his way from a Baghdad airport when a US drone struck his car along with one other. He had come from either Lebanon or Syria, and at least seven people reportedly died in that attack. Among them was Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The associate commanded the Kataib Hezbollah group, Iranian-backed militants who were allegedly responsible for attacks on civilian US contractors in Iraq.
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