ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Shia militias marked "Quds Day" (the day of Jerusalem) in different cities across Iraq, including its capital Baghdad on Friday.
During the ceremony, fighters from Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary units stepped on and burned Israeli flags and held up Iranian flags. Participants also held up posters of Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and walked over street murals of the Isreali flag.
The occasion, first initiated by Iran in 1979 to fall on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, has been described as a way to show support for Palestinians, though the voicing of anti-Isreal and anti-US sentiment often appears to be the primary focus.
The commemoration of Quds Day in areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, and even in the Kurdish city of Sulaimani, followed Iraq’s assault on Kirkuk and other disputed territories last October.
Editing by John J. Catherine