The Leader made the remarks in a Monday meeting with the families of Holy Shrine Defenders – the Iranian advisers and military personnel who are helping Iraq and Syria to fight against terrorists in the war-torn states.
“In fact, it is similar to the movement of those who were able to protect the holy shrine of the third Shiite Imam by sacrificing their lives,” added Ayatollah Khamenei.
He further mentioned that this is a great thing carried out by young people. “This was for the sake of God; as we have not encouraged anyone to do it.”
“This time it was not like the Iran-Iraq war period at which we were encouraging the youths to go to war. This time, the young people were enthusiastic themselves,” he added.
Arba’een marks the fortieth day after Ashura, the day Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred in the Battle of Karbala some 14 centuries ago. Millions of pilgrims annually convene in the holy city of Karbala to commemorate the anniversary. Many pilgrims travel miles on foot to reach the Iraqi city.