Protests Against Iraqi Government Draw Crackdown; Over 100 Dead

Protests against government corruption have broken out across Iraq; at least nine people were killed in the opening stages. Protests Tuesday left two dead and over 200 wounded, while protests the following day claimed another seven victims. The Iraqi government has responded with tear gas and live fire. The clashes occurred despite a massive government military operation designed to supress the protests. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Laith Kubba, a senior advisor to Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, warned that the only way to take on institutionalized corruption in the Iraqi government was through a head-on confrontation. “We have problems with those political groups who have their grip over money, banks and power, and rooted to corruption. It is a problem and there is no real answer to it.” Reported by The Guardian Read more…

A third day of protests brought a shutdown of Internet access as the death toll rose to 19. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Protests continued into Friday. Increasing numbers of protesters took to the streets and faced off with security forces. By the end of the day, the death toll had risen to 44. Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, warned both sides to stop the violence “before it’s too late.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

After five days and nearly 100 dead, the U.N, called for an end to the violence. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the U.N.’s top representative in Iraq, characterized the violence as a “senseless loss of life.” She also said those responsible must be held accountable. The protests started as calls for employment and better services but have increasingly called for the fall of the government. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

More Reported also by Fox News. Read more…

Iran is meddling. An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iraqis to seize the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, like the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. Reported by the Jerusalem Post. Read more…

At least 18 people were killed overnight Sunday in clashes between protesters and police in Baghdad. According to a Reuters report, though security is better since the defeat of ISIS, corruption is rampant, wrecked infrastructure has not been rebuilt, and jobs remain scarce. Reported by Reuters. Read more…

The Iraqi government has announced a series of reforms to quell the protests, including the construction of 100,000 new housing units. The government also said that it will create large market complexes and boost benefits for those without work. Reported by France24. Read more…