Controversy online after Iraqi Consulate in Detroit opens today for condolences after killing of Qassem Soleimani

Posted at 3:08 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 08:20:26-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Iraqi Consulate of Detroit, which is located in Southfield, will open this week for condolences in the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The decision to honor men labeled terrorists by the United States has upset many metro Detroiters from Iraq.

One community leader tells 7 Action News 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.

In a 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 very 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. There are many 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 air strike, 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 ... while US Congress members like Rep. Brenda Lawrence have denounced the attack saying President Trump acted without authorization from Congress.

Rashida Tlaib 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 tell 7 Action News they have a great relationship with the Consulate, and they don’t foresee any problems, but will be monitoring closely.