Shafaq News/ The Consortium of the Shiite forces composing the Coordination Framework will convene later today, Monday, to discuss the repercussions of the protests near the Green Zone and the drone attack on the residence of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Troops deployed around Baghdad on Sunday following the failed assassination attempt with armed drones that targeted the residence of Iraq’s prime minister. The attack significantly ramped up tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month’s parliamentary election results.
Seven of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s security guards were wounded in the attack by at least two armed drones in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area, according to two Iraqi officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.
Al-Kadhimi was unharmed. He later appeared on Iraqi television, seated behind a desk in a white shirt, looking calm and composed. His left hand appeared to be wrapped in a bandage. An aide confirmed a light cut.
“Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future,” he said. Later on Sunday, he received Iraqi President Barham Salih and headed a government security meeting.
Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by heavy gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices. Handout photos showed the damage in al-Kadhimi’s residence, including smashed windows and doors blown off their hinges.
There was no claim for the attack, but suspicion immediately fell on Iran-backed militias who had been publicly attacking al-Kadhimi and issuing threats. It came amid a stand-off between security forces and the pro-Iran Shiite militias whose supporters have been camped outside the Green Zone for nearly a month. They gathered after rejecting the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections, in which they lost around two-thirds of their seats.
Protests turned deadly Friday when the demonstrators tried to enter the Green Zone. Security forces used tear gas and live ammunition. There was an exchange of fire in which one protester affiliated with the militias was killed. Dozens of security forces were injured. Al-Khadimi ordered an investigation to determine what sparked the clashes and who violated orders not to open fire.
Some of the leaders of the most powerful militia factions loyal to Iran openly blamed al-Kadhimi for Friday’s clashes and the protester’s death.
“The blood of martyrs is to hold you accountable,” said Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, addressing al-Kadhimi in recorded comments to supporters. “The protesters only had one demand against fraud in elections. Responding [with live fire] means you are the first responsible for this fraud.”
A funeral for the protester Saturday was attended by leaders of the mostly Shiite Iran-backed factions who together are known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic.
Al-Khazali, in a statement Sunday, suggested the militias were being framed, calling for an investigation and the punishment of the perpetrators.