The Iranian commander killed in Baghdad by a US airstrike over the weekend received a hero’s welcome after his body, or what was left of it, was flown back to Tehran.
According to an unconfirmed viral Twitter video that many on social media were all-too-happy to believe, Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani appeared to fly coach in a cardboard box.
An online post showed cardboard coffins and claimed Soleimani was among others laying across rows of economy seats on a flight from Mashhad, Iran, to Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran.
A reporter tweeted: “A video of the journey posted on social media on Sunday showed five cardboard boxes resting on seats in the cabin of a passenger jet rather than being loaded into the cargo or baggage compartments!”
#BREAKING: An Airbus A300-603R of #MahanAir transported corpses of Qasem #Soleimani & Abu-Mahdi Al-Muhandis from #Mashhad to #Mehrabad Intl Airport, #Tehran. Their coffins were put on the passenger seats instead of being loaded in cargo/baggage compartments! pic.twitter.com/NnmKBvL8KB
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) January 5, 2020
The New York Post report has not yet been confirmed, but the mockery was swift and brutal:
Well, I guess the few pieces they found of him was small enough to qualify for carryon.
— Will (@NoLeftTurns) January 6, 2020
Surprising, since they usually say 1st class costs an arm an a leg
— Alex B (@PDXterp) January 6, 2020
They should’ve sent him by boat. There’s no smoking allowed on planes.
— Greg (@Money_Moose) January 6, 2020
That cabin must have smelled like smoked bbq pic.twitter.com/vCosuC12kL
— Papa Chichio (@dagodzent) January 6, 2020
TSA equivalent in Iraq had a hard time realizing it was him. Customs had contents listed as “well done brisket”
— Ponzo (@PonzosUniverse) January 6, 2020
I’m sorry, sir. I’m going to have to ask you to stow that in an overhead bin before we can take off.
— Aldous Huxley’s Ghost™ (@AF632) January 6, 2020
Hope they had that annoying kid who kicks the seat – the one you see in movies but not real life – sitting behind him the whole time.
— Definitely Mike Coughlin (@FreeBearly) January 6, 2020
That ain’t bbq you smell on the flight. pic.twitter.com/tVwVaVd37J
— Jade Wynn (@jadedjade863) January 6, 2020
Why couldn’t they just prop him up in one seat? That could have saved the fare on the extra two seats.
— marylsprague (@rubyruby720) January 6, 2020
I don’t think customs allows cooked meat tho
— Χανιά (@presidenthania) January 6, 2020
I don’t think this is what the USPS means by if it fits it ships!
— Dr. Nancy Collins??⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@NancCollins2912) January 6, 2020
Millions turned out to greet Gen. Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.
And the New York Times was all over it.
“Throngs of people filled the streets of Tehran on Monday for the funeral of General Suleimani. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was seen weeping as he offered prayers,” read a tweet linking to a Times article.
Throngs of people filled the streets of Tehran on Monday for the funeral of General Suleimani. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was seen weeping as he offered prayers. https://t.co/shxWNeiIQh
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 6, 2020
But then, the Times has been fixated on the mourning over Soleimani, the leader of a force was a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization — the Iranian commander was considered a terrorist more dangerous than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Osama bin Laden.
“A crowd of people stretching over 30 kilometers, or almost 20 miles, poured out onto the streets of Ahvaz, Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of General Suleimani,” read a tweet from the paper on Sunday that included video footage.
A crowd of people stretching over 30 kilometers, or almost 20 miles, poured out onto the streets of Ahvaz, Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of General Suleimanihttps://t.co/tZUy6zGp1h pic.twitter.com/4Wpl1NfUxc
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 5, 2020
The massive funeral march also included protesters chanting “Death to America.”
The bodies, which include four other members of the Revolutionary Guard leadership, were taken to Tehran University, where Khamenei prayed over them, according to the Daily Mail.
Soleimani body was then taken to the holy city of Qom for a ceremony at Masumeh shrine, ahead of a funeral on Tuesday in his hometown of Kerman, the British tabloid reported.
As for the chanting, the American Center for Law & Justice summed things up well in commenting on the airstrike and the subsequent reaction.
“The events of the last several days are a reminder that there are evil people and terrorist forces who seek to do us harm,” the watchdog group said. “When they chant ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ they truly mean it. Our nation’s leaders and our men and women in the military have a solemn obligation and a Constitutional mandate to protect America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We pray for our nation’s leaders and our men and women in uniform.”
The ACLJ said Soleimani’s handiwork, which included assassinations, terrorism and unconventional warfare, was seen in places like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
A number of tweets were shared on Twitter of the turnout for Soleimani, a man who has the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands. A man some want to paint as a hero.
What appears to be millions attending Soleimani’s funeral procession in Ahvaz, an Iranian city usually described by mainstream media as “restive”, and hence hardly a Soleimani stronghold. Trump doesn’t know what is awaiting him across the Middle East pic.twitter.com/axTonhi13n
— Amal Saad (@amalsaad_lb) January 5, 2020
Then again, there’s the likelihood that because of the Islamic theocracy in place, many of those who turned out were “forced to attend,” as Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted.
1-Watch this video of #Soleimani's funeral procession in Ahvaz.
How many people were really here? Some claims millions! Is it really true?
Considering the fact that students, public servants, and shopkeepers were forced to attend.
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 6, 2020
It’s not like the option of being indifferent will go over well in the totalitarian state at a time when public sentiment has been sufficiently whipped up.
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