A blood-red flag, symbolizing the call for avenging the dead, has been hoisted atop of the Jamkaran Mosque in Iranian holy city of Qom. The rare sight comes as people mourn Qassem Soleimani and other officials, killed by the US.
The hoisting ceremony was aired by Iranian state TV on Saturday. The blood-red flag, as well as a picture of the slain commander of the elite Quds force were carried to the roof of the one of the biggest and the most important mosques for the Shia Muslims.
— RT (@RT_com) January 4, 2020
The flag used during the ceremony is the so-called ‘Ya la-Tharat al-Husayn’ banner, dating back to the late 7th century. It was first raised after the Battle of Karbala in a call to avenge the death of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, that became one of the key events that led to the split of Shia and Sunni Islam. It has been reported that the red flag has never been unfurled atop the Jamkaran, a major holy site since the early Middle Ages, until now.
Red flags were also spotted during other events, held across country in honor of the slain general. Thousands gathered in Tehran on Saturday, shouting slogans and carrying pictures of Soleimani. Some were spotted setting Israeli flags on fire.
In Iraq, where Soleimani was killed in the US airstrike alongside other high-ranking Iranian and Iraqi officials, including the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia, a three-day mourning has been announced. The commemorative ceremonies there saw participants stomping on and burning American flags.
A mourning house for Soleimani has been opened in Gaza, where locals were also spotted venting their anger at the US and Israel apart from paying their respects to the dead.