25 January 2020
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“The deliberate killing of unarmed protesters by armed elements is nothing less than an atrocity against the people of Iraq,” said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Secretary-General's Special Representative in the crisis-gripped country.  She also urged Iraqi Armed Forces to spare no effort to protect the peaceful protesters from violence by armed elements operating outside State control, and at the same time called on peaceful protesters to cooperate constructively to ensure the peaceful protests can be duly protected.  New reports from the region put Friday's…
Iraqi officials said Saturday the casualty toll had risen to 25 dead and 130 wounded after a bloody night of attacks by unknown gunmen that targeted anti-government demonstrators in the capital. Three among the dead were policeman and the rest were protesters, officials said.  Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of parliament's Sairoon bloc, said a drone had targeted his home in the holy city of Najaf on Saturday, according to statements from the political party. The health and security officials spoke…
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric said a new prime minister must be chosen without foreign interference in an apparent nod to Iranian influence, as armed men killed at least 19 people, including three police, near a Baghdad protest site on Friday. More than 70 others were wounded by gunfire and stabbings near Tahrir Square, the main protest camp in the Iraqi capital, police and medics said. It was the most violent flare-up in the capital for weeks…
Demonstrators grow ever more determined to force real political change in Iraq despite a bloody crackdown which left over 20 dead The gunshots emptied protesters from Baghdad’s Khilani square in minutes, but as nearby streets filled with the crush of people running for their lives, two men stayed on, waving a vast Shia banner in defiance of the bloodshed around them. The pair must have known they were in the gunmen’s crosshairs, and soon one of them crumpled, hit by…
Washington (CNN) The US announced sanctions Friday on the Iraqi leaders of three Iran-backed militias for killing dozens of innocent civilians who were protesting economic conditions and foreign interference in their country. The State Department's senior official on Middle East affairs condemned Iran's interference in Iraqi affairs as he announced the sanctions. Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker also decried what he described as Tehran's increasing aggression in response to the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign. "Iraqis have played a step and bloody…
BAGHDAD, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric said on Friday that a new prime minister must be chosen without foreign interference in an apparent nod to Iranian dominance in the country a week after incumbent Adel Abdul Mahdi said he would resign. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments followed reports that a senior Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani had been in Baghdad this week to rally support for a new government that would continue to serve Shi'ite Iran's interests.…
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on Friday on four Iraqis over human rights abuses or corruption, according to the Treasury Department’s website, after Washington criticized the killing of people demonstrating against the Baghdad government. The sanctions target Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq Iran-backed militia, and his brother Laith al-Khazali, another leader of the group. They also target Hussein Falih al-Lami, security chief for the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraq’s state umbrella group…
WASHINGTON — Iran has used the continuing chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq, part of a widening effort to try to intimidate the Middle East and assert its power, according to American intelligence and military officials. The buildup comes as the United States has rebuilt its military presence in the Middle East to counter emerging threats to American interests, including attacks on oil tankers and facilities that intelligence officials have blamed on Iran. Since…
Iraq’s Independent High Commission for Human Rights said the death toll of anti-establishment protests over the past two months has increased to 460 dead and more than 17,000 wounded. Iraqi media quoted Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Commission, as saying “at least 460 demonstrators were killed during the months of October and November across central and southern provinces, including the capital Baghdad”. Al-Bayati said more than 17,400 protesters had been injured; 3,000 of them will suffer from permanent disabilities…
Anti-government protesters in the holy city of Najaf burned tires and hurled them toward the main gate of the Iranian consulate The incident came after hours of tense standoff with security forces earlier Tuesday when protesters surrounded a key shrine in Najaf BAGHDAD: Anti-government protesters burned an Iranian consulate in southern Iraq for a third time on Tuesday, as the country’s political leaders continued talks over selecting a new prime minister following weeks of widespread unrest. Five rockets landed inside…

New Protester Deaths Despite Order Not to Fire Wednesday, 04 December 2019 22:19

(Beirut) – Security forces across Iraq are using lethal force against protesters despite orders to stop, Human Rights Watch said today. The orders to stop using live ammunition were issued by Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, who resigned as prime minister on November 29, 2019, but remains in office in a caretaker status. The authorities should take urgent measures to stop security forces from using excessive force against protesters. On December 1, Iraq’s parliament accepted Abd Al-Mahdi’s resignation, due to the ongoing demonstrations. The contrast between his statements…

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