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Iraqi Consulate in Detroit opens for condolences following death of Iranian Soleimani

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 07, 2020

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The Iraqi Consulate of Detroit will open this week for condolences in the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The decision to honor the man, labeled a terrorist by the United States, has upset many Iraqi natives living in Detroit.

One community leader said the country of Iraq directed the Consulate to open a register of condolences, but whatever the reason, many locals are upset that it's happening.

According to a translated Facebook post translated, the Consulate will open Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for people to "register of condolences to the lives of the martyrs who have fallen as a result of the recent American raids in Iraq."

The comments and posts about the controversial event have been critical, with many expressing shock and anger.

Iran and Iraq have been very close allies in recent years, supporting each other against ISIS. But the relationship between the two countries hasn't always been friendly. Many have strong feelings about the Iranian leaders the U.S. called terrorist threats. One member of the Arab American & Chaldean Council in Detroit says for the Iraqi Consulate to hold what amounts to a memorial for the Iranian leaders killed in the airstrike is disrespectful and insensitive.

Nabby Yono with the Arab American & Chaldean Council says he's stunned to see this action.

"We are Iraqis not Iranians. We're against it," Yono said.

The office of the President of Iraq released a statement saying the Iranian commanders killed in the US air strike played significant and crucial roles in fighting against ISIS. Lawmarkers like Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan) have denounced the attack, saying President Donald Trump acted without authorization from Congress.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) tweeted, in part:

"We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe."

Southfield Police said they have a great relationship with the Consulate, and they don't foresee any problems, but will be monitoring closely.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.