The Iraqi Consulate General in Detroit held a memorial event for Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the leader of a designated terrorist organization who was killed last week in a U.S. airstrike.
The Iraqi Consulate announced on its Facebook page earlier this week that it would open its offices Tuesday and Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. for a “register of condolences to the lives of the martyrs who have fallen as a result of the recent American raids in Iraq.”
تعلن القنصلية العامة لجمهورية العراق في ديترويت عن فتح سجل تعازي على ارواح الشهداء الأبرار الذين سقطوا جراء الغارات…
A notice for the “opening of a record of condolences” was also posted to the consulate’s official website.
According to National Review, the “register of condolences” was intended to honor both Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandis, the leader of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, which was responsible for killing an American contractor in Iraq on December 29.
Nabby Yono, who works with the Arab American and Chaldean Council, told WXYZ that he disagreed with the Iraqi Consulate’s decision.
“We are Iraqis not Iranians … we’re against it,” he said.
FBI Special Agent Mara Schneider said the local field office was “aware of the events scheduled—both locally and nationally—in response to recent overseas incidents.”
“While there is no specific and credible threat to this area at this time, we urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement,” she told the Detroit Free Press.
The Iraqi Consulate’s office is located in Southfield, Michigan, which is represented by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), who said after Soleimani’s death that she was “not convinced” the president had “thought through the consequences of our military actions.”
Tori Sachs, executive director of Michigan Rising Action, a local affiliate of the America Rising PAC, called on Lawrence and her Democratic colleagues to condemn the actions of the Iraqi Consulate.
“Soleimani is a known terrorist with the blood of many Americans on his hands. We call on Rep. Tlaib, Sen. Peters, Rep. Slotkin, Rep. Dingell, Rep. Lawrence, and Rep. Stevens to immediately denounce this action being taken by the Iraqi Consulate in Detroit,” she said in a statement released to the media.
Sachs later appeared on The Steve Gruber Show to discuss the matter.
“I’m shocked. I think like most people when I saw the headline I thought it was a joke. I saw the Detroit Free Press headline yesterday and I thought this couldn’t be real,” she told the host.
“At no point should it be acceptable for the Iraqi Consulate in Michigan to open for condolences in the death of an Iranian terrorist, Soleimani,” she added.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Qasem Soleimani” by sayyed shahab-o- din vajedi. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Iraqi Consulate Detroit Logo” by Iraqi Consulate Detroit.