06 December 2019
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October has been a month of protests around the world, from Hong Kong to Chile. Nowhere have they been as bloody as in Iraq. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have tried to swarm the Green Zone, the area in central Baghdad where Iraq’s governing class lives, enclosed by massive concrete walls built by U.S. troops. They have been met by Iraqi security forces and Iran-backed militias firing tear gas and live ammunition. At least 240 people have been killed, and the protests…
In early October, deadly protests calling for an end to pervasive corruption, improvement of basic services, and further job opportunities swept through the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and several other Iraqi cities. While this is not the first instance of Iraqi citizens coming into the streets to demand constitutionally guaranteed rights, these protests are much more expansive than those previously held in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, or those that took place in Iraq’s southern cities last year. A majority of the…

Iraqi protesters lose their fear Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:27

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Mass protests in Iraq are continuing despite a vicious crackdown that has left 231 people dead, many of them shot by snipers and gunmen from the Hashd-al-Shaabi militia. Hashd-al-Shaabi is financed and run by the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the so-called popular mobilization units inside Iraq. The protests, involving school and university students and unemployed workers, have largely involved the Shi'ite Arab communities in Iraq's main cities of Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Karbala and…
The situations in Lebanon and Iraq are similar in many ways. The regimes in both countries are based on sectarian and partisan quotas and they both suffer from Iran’s hegemony. However, if Lebanon is hostage to Hezbollah and lies in the shadow of one turban, that of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Iraq is dying under the weight of dozens of militias that make up the Popular Mobilisation Forces, most of which are loyal to the mullahs’ regime in Iran, with…
Anti-government demonstrations taking place in Iraq pose a new, precarious challenge for both the United States and Iran as the two countries continue to vie for influence in the region. Tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high after Iran was blamed for the large-scale attack on key oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. The protests began on October 1 and have been led by the country’s Shia community, which has grown increasingly disenfranchised by corruption and a lack of public services…
Lebanon and Iraq are rising up against constitutions that have empowered religious factions—and enabled their corruption. he recent mass protests in Lebanon and Iraq seem at first glance to differ greatly from each other. In Iraq, the protesters mostly consisted of angry young working-class men, and they were quickly confronted with violence. In Lebanon, meanwhile, the protests have been marked by that country’s unmistakable sense of style and festive spirit, and the initiators have mostly been from the upper social…
Tehran may be good at winning influence, but it is bad at ruling after that. In less than a month, demonstrations against corruption and a lack of economic reform erupted in both Iraq and Lebanon. In both countries, the unprecedented protests, which rocked Shiite towns and cities, have revealed that Iran’s system for exerting influence in the region failed. For the Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon, Tehran and its proxies have failed to translate military and political victories into…
It has been more than two weeks since mass protests erupted in Iraq, with the Iraqi people expressing outrage that their annual demonstrations calling for more accountability, transparency and democracy have been ignored. Iraqis have taken things up a notch after accepting that there is no hope for the defunct political system that was forcibly shoved down their throats at the point of an American gun barrel in 2003 and are calling for the system to be reformed and overhauled.…
The Iraqi authorities must immediately end a relentless campaign of intimidation and assault against activists in Baghdad and reveal the whereabouts of others, among them a doctor and a lawyer forcibly disappeared more than 10 days ago, Amnesty International said today. The organization has spoken to 11 activists, relatives of detained activists, as well as journalists and lawyers from Baghdad, Diwaniya, Basra and Amarah. Their testimony shows that Iraqi security forces are systematically targeting anyone speaking out against the conduct…

Why are Iraqis angry at Iran? Thursday, 17 October 2019 20:37

The Iraqi government has promised reforms after a violent crackdown on demonstrations, but protesters still distrust the government and believe the blame lies with Iran. During the two weeks after protests first swept through the country, Iraqis saw two contrasting sides of the government: a brutal crackdown launched by its militias and security forces that killed more than 180 Iraqi protesters; and the promise of reforms, with two new ministers being inducted into the government.  Instead of instilling hope in…
ith the mass protests in Iraq continuing, the international community has remained silent on the situation. Since the beginning of this month, thousands of Iraqi people have taken to the streets to protest the government over the high rates of unemployment, corruption allegations and Iran's growing influence in the country. Hundreds of people were killed by security forces and, according to claims in Iraqi media, by pro-Iranian militias. However, regional and international powers have kept silent over the ongoing conflict.The…

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