Friday, December 3

Baghdad dawns calm after an attack on the Iraqi prime minister

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi emerged unscathed from a drone bomb attack on his residence in central Baghdad on Sunday. There was “a failed assassination attempt against the Prime Minister, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, with a drone with explosives, launched against his residence in the Green Zone in Baghdad,” the Security Information Cell reported through from a statement reproduced by the official Iraqi news agency, INA.

The prime minister himself confirmed through his Twitter account that he is fine and asked the population to calm down in the face of this assassination attempt. “I’m fine, praise God, among my people, and I ask for calm and moderation from everyone, for the good of Iraq,” said the president. “The treacherous missiles will not discourage believers and will not move them a hair before the firmness and insistence of our heroic security forces to preserve the security of the people, defend rights and restore the law,” he said in his tweet.

The Green Zone, in which the residence of the prime minister attacked early this Sunday is located, is a fortified area in the center of Baghdad, which also contains a good number of government buildings and foreign embassies. This area has been the target of multiple attacks, most of them with rockets, in the last two years directed mainly against the US embassy and attributed to pro-Iranian militias even though they are not usually claimed.

The city center already woke up calm this Sunday, although with a wide deployment of security in the area. “The security situation is stable in the Green Zone,” said the spokesman for the Armed Forces, Yehia Rasul, in statements to INA. The officials have gone to work normally in the Green Zone, which contains a good number of government buildings and foreign embassies and in whose surroundings there is complete calm amid an intense presence of the security forces.

The Interior Ministry spokesman, Saad Maan, detailed in statements to INA that three drones were sent against the Green Zone and that the security forces managed to intercept two of them, while the third hit Al-Kadhimi’s residence. For his part, Rasul also explained to the agency that the security forces and intelligence services have launched an investigation to try to find out the place since the attack on the prime minister was launched.

This attack also occurs at a time of tension in Iraq after the violent clashes between protesters and police during a demonstration last Friday in Baghdad, in front of the Green Zone itself, against the results of the legislative elections on October 10. The confrontations left two people dead and more than a hundred wounded, many of them policemen.

Several Iraqi parties consider the official scrutiny of these elections to be fraudulent, especially those representing the militias integrated in the Popular Crowd, mostly Shiites and pro-Iranians, since they suffered a large loss of vote compared to the 2018 elections. Their supporters maintain for almost two weeks a protest camp in front of the Green Zone.

The influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, Muqtada al Sadr, whose political background was the winner of the legislative elections last month, has condemned the assassination attempt on the prime minister and has assured that its authors sought to return Iraq to chaos and terrorism. “The terrorist act against the supreme entity of the country is a clear and express attack against Iraq and its people,” he said in a message on his Twitter account.

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