On 2 February, Ukrainian TV channel aired a leaked recording of the information exchange between the Iranian pilot of an Aseman Airlines flight and an Iranian air-traffic controller. The pilot allegedly stated in Persian that he saw a flash similar to missile fire in the sky, and then an explosion. Following the leak, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the new evidence proved Iran was well-aware from the very first moments that the Ukraine passenger airplane was brought down by a missile. The following day Iran ceased co-operation with Ukraine in its investigation into the disaster due to this leaked recording. Iran resumed co-operation on 15 February.
Al-Manar reported that "in an extraordinary session on Sunday, 170 Iraqi lawmakers signed a draft law requiring the government to request the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Only 150 votes are needed that the draft resolution be approved." There are 329 lawmakers in total. Rudaw Media Network (Kurdish) described the 170 Iraqi lawmakers that signed the law as Shiite and that "Iraqi parliament's resolution to expel foreign troops has no legal consequences." Al Jazeera reported the resolution read "The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory" and "The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason." The resolution was approved in the Iraqi parliament. In response to the vote, Trump threatened Iraq with sanctions that would "make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame" and demanded reimbursement for American investments on military facilities in Iraq.More Info
On 9 January, media reports showed bulldozers being used to clear the crash site. Some aircraft investigation experts expressed concerns about disturbing and damaging the crash site before a thorough investigation can be conducted. Iran denied bulldozing the evidence. On 10 January, the Iranian government granted Ukrainian investigators permission to investigate the flight recorders and Ukrainian investigators visited the crash site, with plans to download the recorders in Tehran. On 14 January, the head of the TSB, Kathy Fox, said there were signs that Iran would allow the TSB to participate in the downloading and analysis of data from the airplane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. On 23 January, the TSB announced that they had been invited by Iran to help with the flight recorders.More Info
Some members of Congress, which generally was not consulted or briefed before the Soleimani strike, sought to restrict the president's ability to conduct future military operations against Iran without congressional consent. On 6 January 2020, House Speaker Pelosi announced plans to hold a vote within the week on limiting President Trump's war powers concerning Iran. On 8 January 2020, Pelosi announced that a vote will be held by the entire House on 9 January to limit President Trump's war powers concerning any future escalation of conflict with Iran. The House Rules Committee cleared the way for a full House vote by approving parameters which set up a two-hour debate on 9 January. The House vote is considered significant, as the U.S. Constitution provides that while the president may use the military to defend the country, any declaration of war must be approved by Congress (note that Congress has never declared war on anyone since World War II). Trump criticized the effort, arguing that congressional approval should not be needed to militarily engage Iran "because you have to be able to make split-second decisions sometimes".More Info
On 4 January, the funeral procession for Soleimani, al-Muhandis, and the Iraqi and Iranian militants was held in Baghdad and attended by thousands of mourners who chanted "death to America, death to Israel". Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was also present. The cortege began around Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, a Shiite holy site in Baghdad, before heading to the Green Zone government and diplomatic compound where a state funeral was held. From Baghdad, the procession moved to the Shia holy city of Karbala and on to Najaf, where al-Muhandis and the other Iraqis were buried, while the coffins of Soleimani and the Iranian nationals were sent to Iran. Following the mourning procession in Baghdad, unknown people fired short-range rockets towards the U.S. embassy and at the U.S. Balad Air Base. The U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East, said no Americans were harmed by the sporadic rocket attacks on 4 January.More Info
The sustained massive street protests in Iraq that led to Abdul-Mahdi's resignation as prime minister (and temporary caretaker role) restarted in the days after the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis, with a shift in the focus of protests from mostly anti-Iran to criticism of both the U.S. and Iran. The "Made in Iraq" street and online protests strengthened in Baghdad following the assassination. Major protests took place on 5 January 2020 in many cities, "Made in Iraq" protests on 7 January, and two thousand protested in Basra and Nassiriyah on 10 January, with one of the slogans being "Neither America nor Iran, our revolution is a young revolution."More Info
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