12 December 2019
English Arabic
BAGHDAD: Iraqis turned out Monday to mourn a prominent activist gunned down the previous evening, the latest violent episode in anti-government demonstrations in which more than 450 people have died. That came as Iraq's foreign ministry summoned four Western envoys over their condemnation of a deadly attack against protesters at the weekend.Iraq's capital and its Shiite-majority south have been gripped by more than two months of rallies against corruption, poor public services and a lack of jobs. Prominent civil society activist…
KARBALA, IRAQ – A prominent civil society activist was shot dead late Sunday in Iraq’s shrine city of Karbala while returning home from anti-government protests, a neighbor told AFP. Fahem al-Tai, 53, had been taking part in weeks of rallies denouncing Iraq’s entrenched political elite as corrupt, inept and beholden to neighboring Iran. On Sunday night, he was dropped off by two friends on a motorcycle near his home, according to a neighbor. “The area is close to the shrines, the…
An officer in charge of security in the Iraqi capital Baghdad was replaced yesterday, two days after an attack on anti-government protesters that witnesses said killed at least 16 people. General Abdul Hussein al-Tamimi has replaced General Qais al-Mohammedwai as chief of the government’s security service Baghdad Operations, the official news agency INA reported, citing an unnamed official. The replacement was due to al-Mohamedwai’s health, the agency added without elaborating. On Friday, unknown gunmen fired from cars at anti-government protesters…
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration issued economic sanctions on Friday against three Iraqi militia leaders whose fighters American officials said were under Iran’s orders when they attacked protesters in Iraq. The penalties, which restrict travel to the United States and freeze American-held assets, will likely have little direct impact on the militiamen. But the move could force Iraq to choose between either shunning its Iranian benefactors or defying American demands to protect demonstrators as the Shiite-led government faces a deepening political crisis. The…
“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…
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