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Calls for Iraqi government’s resignation

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Calls for Iraqi government’s resignation

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:11 pm

Baghdad protests turn violent
killing 1 and injuring 200


Hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday to protest the lack of basic services, rampant corruption, and unequal treatment within the Iraqi Army

Riot police used water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition to disperse the crowd of mostly young men, who covered their faces with scarves and flags.

According to Iraq's health ministry, one person has been killed and at least 200 wounded, including 40 members of the security forces, AFP reports.

Speaking to Rudaw, Zaid al-Qaisy, a press spokesman for the Iraqi interior ministry, confirmed there had been at least one fatality and dozens of injuries in Tuesday's protest.

However, medics at Sheikh Zaid Hospital who spoke to Rudaw put the figure at three dead.

Abdulhussein al-Jaberi, the health chief for Dhi Qar province, told AFP another person had been killed in similar protests in the southern province.

Firebrand Shiite cleric and Sayirun alliance chief Muqtada al-Sadr tweeted on Tuesday evening calling on the president, prime minister, and speaker of the parliament to launch an inquiry into what happened.

Besides economic grievances, protesters are also outraged at the Friday dismissal of Iraqi Army commander Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, credited with the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, from the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services (ICTS).

“We don’t want this is corrupt government,” protesters chanted. “All are corrupt equally.”

Among the protesters Rudaw met a unit of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi. Unlike other factions of the PMF which operate independently of the government, theirs was under the command of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The faction complained of “marginalization” within the security apparatus, saying they do not get paid a government salary like their Iraqi Army counterparts and lack sufficient logistical support.

“For how long will the state turn its back on them [MoD PMF]?” one demanded.

Tahrir Square has long been the site of popular protest.

“We are protesters of Tahrir Square… We have been in Tahrir since 2010, demanding the rights of the deprived people. Why have they put the implementation of the constitution’s sections on hold? There are no laws. The country is in chaos,” one woman told Rudaw.

“We are done with demanding. We are here to take our rights in any possible way, but we are civilized peaceful protesters… We aren’t rioters. We demand rights.”

Women have become beggars on the street and children don’t have access to schools, she added, claiming they are leading a “revolution”.

“There is no public employment. We are tired of the state. Nothing works. There is no paving, no electricity,” another protester added.

Iraqi graduates have also been protesting since June over the lack of jobs in Iraq’s already bloated public sector. Water cannons were used to quell protests last Wednesday.

Iraq’s second city of Basra also saw protests on Tuesday, according to the city’s Tribal Council secretary general Sheikh Raid al-Firieji. Security forces responded with “excessive force” and arrested protestors, he told Rudaw.

In the summer of 2018, protests over unemployment and inadequate water and electricity supply in Basra soon spread across the country. They were met with violent state suppression, killing at least 14 protesters.

A member of Iraqi parliament’s biggest political bloc warned Monday against the politicization of the protests by opportunists.

“We warn against the politicization of protests or its deviation from its legitimate goals and demands,” Rami al-Sikeini, a Sayirun Alliance MP from Basra, told Rudaw.

Last year’s protests dashed the hopes of former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi of gaining a second term in office.

Current Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was elected as an independent candidate who does not belong to a particular parliamentary bloc, making him vulnerable to pressure from both the public and parliamentary forces.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/01102019
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Calls for Iraqi government’s resignation

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Re: Violent Baghdad protests the over lack of basic services

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:27 am

Several killed as Iraq
protests escalate


At least three protesters and one policeman have been killed in Iraq's southern city of Nasiriya, according to a monitoring group, after nationwide anti-government protests devolved into violence that saw security forces fire live rounds and tear gas for a second straight day

The deaths on Wednesday came a day after at least two protesters - one in the capital, Baghdad, and one in Nasiriya - were killed and hundreds of people were wounded in clashes between police and protesters angry at unemployment, corruption and poor public services.

The nationwide rallies are the largest display of public anger against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's year-old government.

Mustafa Saadoon, director of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera three protesters and one policeman were killed in Nasiriya during clashes on Wednesday. At least 78 people were also wounded, he said.

News agencies quoted medical and security sources as saying that the death toll over the past two days stood at nine. The figure could not be independently verified.

Later on Wednesday, authorities deployed counterterrorism troops in Nasiriya after police "lost control" when gun battles erupted between protesters and security forces, police sources told Reuters news agency. Curfews were later imposed in Nasiriya and two other southern cities, Amara and Hilla, they added.

Meanwhile, internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said online coverage had been cut off across much of the country, including Baghdad, with connectivity falling below 70 percent.

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment in Najaf [Haidar Hamdani/AFP]

In the capital, Tahrir Square was sealed off on Wednesday by heavily armed soldiers and dozens of riot policemen, with some demonstrators gathering around the edges. Hundreds of protesters, including university graduates, had rallied there on Tuesday.

Protesters on Wednesday also took to the streets in al-Shaab in north Baghdad and Zafaraniya in the south, with riot police attempting to disperse them with tear gas and live rounds fired in the air.

"I came out today in support of my brothers in Tahrir Square," Abdallah Walid told AFP news agency in Zafaraniya, where protesters were burning tyres on streets lined with riot police vehicles.

"We want jobs and better public services. We've been demanding them for years and the government has never responded," the 27-year-old said.

AFP, citing medical sources, said some 60 people were wounded across the capital, including nine from bullets.

"All through the evening, we've been hearing the sound of gun fire and sirens," said Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad. The demonstrations have spread to several cities across the country, with demonstrators in Najaf reportedly setting fire to government buildings, he said.

The Iraqi government has been taken by surprise over the size of the rallies, which were mostly organised on social media, he said, adding: "The government appears to be very concerned about these protests spreading. They are restricting live broadcasts from the protest scene, as well as social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter."

Meanwhile, protesters tried to break into the municipality building in the eastern city of Kut, while hundreds took to the streets of Hilla and Diwaniya, according to Reuters.

Thousands gathered in the oil-rich southern city of Basra in front of the provincial administration building but so far protests there were peaceful.

Peaceful protests were also reported in Samawa, while small rallies were held in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Tikrit, as well as in the eastern province of Diyala, Reuters reported.

Abdul Mahdi on Wednesday chaired an emergency meeting of the national security council, which later issued a statement regretting deaths and injuries on both sides during Tuesday's protests and affirming the right to protest and freedom of expression. It made no mention of Wednesday's protests.

"The council affirms the right to protest, freedom of expression, and the protesters' legitimate demands, but at the same time condemns the acts of vandalism that accompanied the protests," it said.

Appropriate measures to protect citizens, as well as public and private property would be taken, it added.

All military units were placed on high alert, the defence ministry said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the prime minister had promised jobs for unemployed graduates and instructed the oil ministry and other government bodies to start including a 50 percent quota for local workers in subsequent contracts with foreign companies.

According to the World Bank, youth unemployment in Iraq is more than 20 percent.

Iraqi protesters in Basra shout slogans during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 [Hussein Faleh/AFP]

Ali al-Nashmi, a professor of international relations at the Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, described the latest protests as the "most serious we have seen yet".

"The protesters are raising many slogans - they want jobs, they want to fight against corruption, they want electricity. They don’t have one slogan or one leader. They are looking for everything. And they are not followers of a specific religious or political party. Therefore it will be difficult to control or negotiate with them."

Late on Wednesday, Moqtada al-Sadr, a powerful Shia leader who has led previous demonstrations, called for "peaceful protests and a general strike" after calling for an investigation into the violence.

Yusuf Alabarda, an analyst based in Turkey's Ankara, called the situation in Iraq "very fragile".

"This is a war-torn country, very close to being a failed state. And there are rivalries among United States, Iran and Turkey. And for these reasons, the situation inside Iraq is very fragile," he told Al Jazeera.

However, "in the short term, this government will not be able to alter the economic situation," he said. "But changing governments will not help fight against economic issues, corruption, terrorism or the security threats."

    At least two protesters killed and hundreds injured in Iraq after police clashed with anti-government demonstrators rallying against unemployment and corruption. pic.twitter.com/G5Yn3GZT8m
    — Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 2, 2019
The United Nations expressed concern over the violence and urged calm, with the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, reaffirming in a statement the right to protest.

Iraq's President Barham Salih, in a post on Twitter late on Tuesday, also reminded security forces that "peaceful protest is a constitutional right". He added: "Our young Iraqi children are looking for reform and jobs, and our duty is to meet these legitimate demands."

Parliament, too, has ordered an investigation into the violence and its human rights committee criticised security forces for their "suppression" of the demonstrations.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/ ... 30933.html
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Re: Several killed in violent Baghdad protests

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 pm

Deadly protests spread

Shiite pilgrims should postpone their Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq’s holy shrine cities until mass protests sweeping the country die down, Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday

“We are certain that the government and the people of Iraq will act to calm down the tense atmosphere and will not allow some movement to continue which will be taken advantage of by foreigners,” Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

However, it called on Iranians “to postpone their trips to Iraq until the conditions settle down and heed the warnings of the political and security officials of the Arbaeen”.

A senior pilgrimage official told Iranian state television the Khosravi border crossing between Iran and Iraq has been closed, but other crossings will remain open, Reuters reports.

Millions of Shiite Muslims from across the world travel to Iraq’s holy shrine city of Karbala to mark Arbaeen every year. The ministry’s call to postpone the pilgrimage reflects how violent the protests have become since they began in the capital Baghdad on Tuesday.

Protesters rallied in Tahrir Square to demand action on corruption, unemployment, and the lack of basic services, among other burning issues facing the Iraqi public.

Security forces were heavy handed in their response, firing on protesters with live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons.

Thirty-one people have been killed and 1,188 wounded across the country since the protests began on Tuesday, Hemin Bajalan, a member of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission, told Rudaw. At least 257 people have been detained. Of these, 209 are still in custody.

Internet services are down across southern Iraqi cities, which have also been placed under curfew.

“The Iraqi government intentionally cutting off internet services for Baghdad and the rest of Iraqi provinces constitutes a violation of the freedom of expression and silences the people,” Sarmad al-Badri, media officer of the Iraqi Human Rights Commission, told Rudaw on Thursday.

Rudaw’s reporter in Baghdad could not broadcast live from the protests due to the internet blackout.

Reporting from the scene by telephone, he said security forces had imposed an indefinite curfew since 5am. All vehicles and pedestrians have been prevented from entering public spaces including Tahrir Square.

Tracer fire could be clearly seen in the night sky on Thursday night as security forces fired warning shots into the air. Rudaw’s crew had to take cover when gunshots were fired over their heads while interviewing protesters.

“What do we want? We just want these young people to have jobs, to have money. That is why we are out. We don’t need another thing. Don’t we have oil? We just want to become like an Arab Gulf country,” one protestor told Rudaw near the square.

The protests have spread beyond the capital. Rasheed al-Saray, a member of Dhi Qar provincial council, told Rudaw on Thursday protests had broken out there too.

“The protests started in Nasriyah, al-Rafai, al-Shiyukh bazar, al-Shatrah, and al-Diwaya,” al-Saray said.

“It is possible for the protests to resurge Thursday evening in a number of towns in Dhi Qar province,” he added.

A medical source at the Dhi Qar Health Directorate told Rudaw on Thursday that al-Nasiryah hospital has received three dead and 35 wounded. They expect the number of casualties to rise.

Canada issued new travel advice on Thursday for nationals visiting Iraq.

“Expect road closures, including those leading to the Baghdad International Airport, and areas to be sealed off, including the Green Zone. Curfews and other security restrictions can be imposed at short notice. Restrictions to internet and social media may occur,” the Canadian government said.

“Canadians should remain vigilant at all times, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. We recommend that Canadians get in touch with their family members and emergency contacts in Canada to confirm their whereabouts and wellbeing, even if they have not been affected by this event,” it added.

The protests pose a serious threat to the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who has been in office for less than a year.

Last summer, Iraqis also took to the streets to demand jobs, electricity, and basic services.

The violent crackdown which followed cost former prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s chances of securing a second term in office.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/031020193
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Re: Several killed in violent Baghdad protests

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:13 pm

Erbil and Baghdad:
Is divorce the only option?


This time two years ago, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on independence from Iraq. Although Kurdish independence garnered overwhelming support, subsequent events served to reinforce the notion that Baghdad, Iran, Turkey, and others would not easily accept the secession of Kurdistan from Iraq

The invitation by TRAITORS of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for Iraqi, Iranian, and Shiite forces to enter Kirkuk in October 2017 likewise reinforced the feeling that Kurdistan remains insufficiently inited to become an independent country.

With Kirkuk and other disputed territories with large Kurdish populations STOLEN by Baghdad in October 2017, the prospect of Kurdistan seceding from Iraq quickly receded. The leadership in Erbil as well as Sulaimani would not seek an independent state without Kurdish majority-areas such as Kirkuk (and its oil).

Since the difficult events of October 2017, the people and the leadership of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) have attempted to reconcile themselves with remaining a part of the country. They sought new ways to advance cooperation with Baghdad and to compromise on the various issues dividing policymakers in Baghdad and Erbil.

With the election of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in late 2018, they seemed to have found a more accommodating partner. Movement on Erbil-Baghdad negotiations regarding the national budget, oil sharing, responsibilities for security forces, and even the disputed territories seems possible again.

In this vein, the University of Kurdistan – Hawler (UKH) held a conference this week with a theme of “The KRG’s Emerging Strategy for Stability in Iraq and the Region”. Newly appointed KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani opened the conference with a hopeful message about the new spirit of cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil.

“The government in Baghdad has been receptive to our concerns. They have listened. And they have been open to making changes. And in these discussions we know that neither side will get everything they want; that is the nature of negotiation of course,” he said.

One of the alternatives to Kurdistan’s divorce from Iraq, therefore, obviously revolves around building a truly federal, democratic, and functioning Iraqi state. In such a state, the Kurdistan Region could retain a secure and productive place in much the same way as Quebec remains a part of Canada, Scotland a part of Britain, or the Basques areas a part of Spain. Reforms to make the Iraqi federation work would be akin to marriage counselling in this scenario, removing the impulse for or need to divorce.

One of the speakers at the UKH conference, however, spoke a good deal about the continuing lack of an Iraqi national identity. Professor Mehmet Gurses provided examples of how Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, and others in Iraq still tend to prioritize other aspects of their identities ahead of their “Iraqiness”. This led a member of the audience to ask: “What does this mean for Erbil-Baghdad relations?”

His answer proved interesting. “There are more ways than one to end a relationship,” he replied. “Divorce might not always be an option. If the other party to the relationship dies, however, then you are left alone. While I am not advocating for the death of the other party, it does look like a definite possibility. All the Kurdistan Region has to do in such a scenario is build up its own governing capacities and power.”

In this scenario, for reasons having little to do with Kurds, Iraq as a state simply fails. As I write this column, protests again rock Baghdad. Several protestors have been killed and many more wounded.

Mass protests against corruption, unemployment, and the lack of basic services have spread from Baghdad to other provinces, with security forces firing live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse the crowd, according to Rudaw’ reporters.

With most Iraqis assigning themselves other identities and the political leadership in Baghdad failing to provide even basic services to its people, the viability of the Iraqi state remains an open question.

Although the political leadership in Erbil suffers many shortcomings of its own, a lack of basic services, high levels of unemployment, corruption as bad as that of Baghdad, and insecurity are not among them.

If leaders in Erbil can up their game just a bit, therefore, they might prove ready when independence comes to them.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/03102019
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Re: Many dead hundreds injured in Iraq protests

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:42 pm

Sadr demands Iraqi
government’s resignation


Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and his government to resign and make way for new elections in order to meet the demands of protesters after four days of demonstrations across central and southern Iraq that have left at least 43 people dead. An analyst, however, says that returning to the ballot box just a year into Abdul-Mahdi’s term will not deliver the structural reforms that protesters in the streets are demanding

"I call on the government to hand over their resignation immediately,” Sadr declared in a statement Friday evening. “I also call for an early and fair election, monitored by the international community. We cannot remain silent with all these martyrs and bloodshed."

Spontaneous protests broke out on Tuesday in Baghdad and quickly spread throughout multiple provinces. Demonstrators are demanding action tackling high youth unemployment, poverty, poor services, and corruption.

Security forces have met the protests with force, using live ammunition, tear gas, and water cannons. According to the latest figures from the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), 43 people have died and 2,029 have been wounded, including both protesters and security personnel. Some 481 protesters have been detained, with 314 of them released.

Among the dead are four – two civilians and two security personnel – shot by “unidentified snipers” in Baghdad, according to the Security Media Cell.

Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi condemned the violence in a press conference on Friday evening, calling for a “swift investigation to hold responsible those who attacked the protesters.”

Numerous factions with the parliament have announced they are suspending their participation in the legislature as a pressure tactic to force the government to develop a plan to address the protesters’ demands.

"In support of the popular movement that rejects corruption and the violation of people's rights, the National Axis Alliance announces the suspension of its lawmakers in the Iraqi parliament until reaching a serious position with the rest of political blocs,” the group of Sunni parties said in a statement issued not long after Sadr’s Sayirun bloc made a similar announcement.

"We call on the prime minister to have an applicable agenda for his government, which includes economic reforms and prioritizes the needs of people,” Hassan al-Aquli, head of the Sayirun bloc, said in press conference in Baghdad. If the prime minister submits an agenda to parliament that meets the demands of protesters, then they will return to the legislature, he added.

MP Sarkawt Shams called for the government to draw up a 12-month strategy for “radical change,” tweeting, “There is no purpose to Parliament’s sessions if it is not to meet the demand of the demonstrators.”

Speaker Halbousi described the protests as a "lesson" for all political parties that the demands of the protesters have not been met in the past and will not be met in the future, "unless there is a real procedural revolution."

"We need a real revolution to fight corruption the same way our security, civilian, religious, and political powers stood against [the Islamic State, ISIS],” he said. "The danger of corruption is no less than the danger of terrorism."

The international community has called on the Iraqi government to open a dialogue in order to get at the root problems that drive people into the streets to protest.

“This is an opportunity for dialogue,” Stephan Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, told Rudaw. “The grievances that the people are demonstrating about need to be addressed. And again this should be used as an opportunity for dialogue to find a political solution to the problems.”

Amnesty International tweeted: “Instead of facing the protesters with excessive force, the Iraqi government must address the grievances of the protesters and the root cause of the unrest in a sustainable way.”

Those root causes are a “systemic failure,” Bilal Wahab, Iraqi analyst and Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Rudaw English. “It’s a failure of the political and economic system in providing services and jobs, which are the two main demands of the protesters.”

Since the first elections post-Saddam Hussein in 2005, the same political parties have stayed in power using “corruption and patronage,” including hiring people, controlling the media, and arming militias, he explained. Holding a vote won’t change that.

“Elections change faces without really changing the system. The system can provide jobs and perks to a few, but cannot create services and economic prosperity,” said Wahab. “The government is literally running out of jobs that they can offer people. Population growth is high and the government cannot catch up. So this system has basically reached its end and it cannot function anymore.”

“Salvaging this situation requires some bold short term acts, prosecute those who shot the protestors, act on the corruption court cases, and start reconstruction projects to put people to work,” he explained. And in the long term, “the government needs to present a credible roadmap for reforming the election system and the economy, and tough acts against corruption – all with time frames and milestones.”

“The Iraqi government knows what needs to be done — they have best of local and international advisors. But reform goes against the entrenched political interests of those in power.”

The powerful are fortified in this system that is failing to meet the expectations of the public, especially the youth, Wahab noted. “Iraq’s youth, who don’t know Saddam Hussein, are post-sectarian, they see that their country is wealthy but they are poor – they’re upset, they’re angry, they’re disappointed, and they’re willing to go to the streets to shout, die or resort to violence if pushed harder.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/041020195
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Re: Calls for Iraqi government’s resignation

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:03 am

Iraq military used
excessive force


Iraq’s military admitted for the first time Monday it had used “excessive force” in nearly a week of deadly protests, as paramilitary units said they were ready to back the government

More than 100 people have been killed and several thousand wounded in demonstrations increasingly spiralling into violence, with witnesses reporting security forces using water cannons, tear gas and live rounds.

On Sunday evening a mass protest in Sadr City in east Baghdad led to clashes that medics and security forces said left 13 people dead.

In videos distributed on social media, protesters could be seen ducking into streets littered with burning tyres as a volley of gunfire and suspected heavy weapons were heard.

“Excessive force outside the rules of engagement was used and we have begun to hold accountable those commanding officers who carried out these wrong acts,” the military said.

It said Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi had ordered those forces to be replaced with federal police units and the intelligence services to open an investigation into the incident.

It was the first time since protests broke out that security forces acknowledged using disproportionate measures, after the premier insisted they had been acting “within international standards” in dealing with demonstrations.

Across Baghdad on Monday morning as in several southern cities, streets were reopening and no protests could be seen, although demonstrators typically gather in the late evening.

Reform pledges

Sadr City, a densely populated, impoverished part of the capital, is a bastion of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who has thrown his weight behind the protests by calling on Abdul-Mahdi’s government to resign.

But the embattled premier instead announced a series of reforms to create jobs, boost social welfare and oust corrupt officials.

He has accused “saboteurs” of infiltrating the protests, a claim echoed by Hashed al-Shaabi, a powerful network of mostly-Shiite, pro-Iran paramilitary units.

“We know who stands behind these protests. The plan to bring down the regime has failed,” its chief Faleh al-Fayyadh told journalists in Baghdad.

He said his forces would support actions against corrupt institutions but not “the fall of the regime,” a chant which has featured more prominently in the protests in recent days.

“Those who wanted to defame Iraq will be punished,” Fayyadh said, adding that his forces were “ready for any government order.”

His words echoed a statement earlier Monday by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who accused “enemies” of trying to drive a wedge between Tehran and Baghdad.

“Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed & their conspiracy won’t be effective,” Khamenei was quoted as saying on his office’s Twitter account.

Iran has urged its citizens planning to take part in a major Shiite pilgrimage in Iraq to delay their travel into the country over the violence.

Baghdad has close but complicated ties with Tehran, which enjoys significant influence among its Shiite political groups, but is also an ally of Washington.

On Monday, Abdul-Mahdi said he discussed the recent events and reform plans in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, without providing further details.

And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov landed in Baghdad to meet top officials.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/07102019
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