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Iraq Anti-Govt. Protesters Shocked by Storming of American Embassy

Wednesday, 01 January 2020 16:33
Deputy Chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq lead the PMF protesters in front of the American embassy. (Reuters) Deputy Chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq lead the PMF protesters in front of the American embassy. (Reuters)

The participation of leading figures from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the protest in front of the American embassy, and the fact that the burning of its walls was allowed, “shocked” protesters and regional observes, considering the flagrant violation of international norms and customs of this act.

The storming of the heavily fortified Green Zone by the PMF protesters also “shocked” the protesters, since attempts to reach the green zone cost them thousands of dead and wounded since last October. The PMF protesters, in contrast, strolled around with ease.

As they usually do in response to such events, Iraqis took refuge in satire. Many activists shared news reports. Journalist and activist Ahmed Al-Suhail wrote sarcastically: "Reports of the kidnapping of activists Hadi and Qais after they returned from the embassy demonstration! Freedom for the kidnapped and shame on the snipers, the snatchers, the kidnappers and all the killers.

Writer and journalist Ali Abdel Ameer Ajem wrote: "The Iraqi security forces killed dozens of young men when they tried to cross into (the Green Zone). How did these people manage to reach the heart of the area, gather in front of the American embassy and burn its entrances? The militia state is advancing!”

In addition to satire, some expressed their fears that the Houthi model in Yemen would be replicated in Iraq.

On this subject, Iraqi researcher residing in the United States Hareth Hassan, said: “Iraq is on the way to becoming a (Houthi) state. A political-military face decided to impose its will on everyone else, and to confiscate the country's decision making, amid the silence of the fearful and the presence of false witnesses.”

He then added: “Starting this new year, there will likely a path leaning towards isolating the country and handing it over to the forces of repression.”

The protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square distanced themselves from the events of the Green Zone.

They released a statement called on protesters not to leave the square and to maintain the peaceful nature of their movement. “The protesters of Tahrir Square and the areas close to it have nothing to do with the Green (Zone) and actions that took place there,” they declared, adding: “Protesters are not allowed to leave the square.

The fact that the demonstrations at the Green Zone were free of Iraqi flags drew the attention of many Iraqi activists.

Activist Jihad Jalil said: “Among of the telling sign of the nature of the storming of the Green (Zone) and the American embassy, is the absence of tear gas to suppress the demonstrators by the third party, the vanishing of snipers and there isn’t a sing Iraqi flag…”

Source: Asharq Al Awsat