Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was buried in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf earlier on Wednesday. Thousands of Iraqis packed the streets of Basra on Tuesday to mourn the death of mIlitary leader Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed last week by a U.S. airstrike alongside his Iranian mentor Qassem Soleimani.
On Tuesday, about 30,000 people thronged the streets of Basra waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting “No, no America!” and “No, no Israel!”. Shi’ite cleric Muhsin al-Hakeem said that they will avenge the deaths of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Soleimani by forcing American troops to leave Iraq.
Muhandis fought for decades alongside Qassem Soleimani and other Iraqi prominent leaders such as Hadi al-Amiri who is the most likely candidate to succeed him. In a video that he left to be shared after his death, Muhandis called the supporters to perpetuate jihad.
In the video he said, "I pray I spend the afterlife with ... those I fought with, from Kuwait to Iran, to Iraq. The Badr youth, and later the resistance against the occupation, and now the PMF youth. I command you to take care of the Shi’ites in the region and in the world,” he told his followers."
Thousands of mourners took part in a funeral procession in Karbala on Saturday for Iran's top general and Iraqi militant leaders who were killed in a US airstrike a day earlier. Footage showed the arrival of draped coffins holding the bodies of the victims, including Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces.
Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force and mastermind of its regional security strategy, was the main target of the attack, carried out near Baghdad's international airport. Meanwhile, speaking on his death, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a recent news conference said that the Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was not in Baghdad on 'peace mission' when the US killed him in a drone attack.