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Iraq: Pro-Iran coalition condemns targeting diplomatic missions

Members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on October 26, 2019.
Members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on 26 October 2019. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images]

The Iraqi Fatah Alliance condemned on Thursday the missile attacks launched by unknown parties on the headquarters of “diplomatic missions and official institutions”, expressing that these attacks weaken the state and will lead to “dangerous results”.

The Fatah Alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri includes the political branches of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), comprising those who receive support and funding from Iran. The alliance holds 48 seats in parliament out of 329.

The Fatah Alliance announced in a statement: “We declare our rejection and condemnation of any attack targeting diplomatic missions and official institutions.”

The statement stressed that: “These actions weaken the state and undermine its prestige, which is unacceptable and leads to dangerous results.”

READ: Violence mounts against Iraqi doctors as COVID cases spike

In the past few weeks, Iraq witnessed the escalation of attacks taking place almost daily, targeting Washington’s embassy in Baghdad, the US troops and the forces and interests of other countries participating in the Global Coalition against Daesh.

Washington accused Iran-backed factions of targeting its embassy and military bases where its soldiers are deployed.

The statement called on the judiciary and the security forces to: “Stand firmly and work to end the series of kidnappings, assassinations and violence which terrorised the population,” confirming that “unrighteous parties are attempting to stir up chaos and create a state of confusion in the country.”

Since October 2019, Iraq has witnessed popular protests against the ruling political class, which the protesters accuse of corruption and subordination to foreign parties.

Activists who participated in the protests are being frequently assassinated and kidnapped by unknown gunmen. The most recent incident was the abduction of activist Sajjad Al-Iraqi in Dhi Qar Governorate on Saturday, who still remains missing.

The Fatah Alliance also called on the PMF to avoid tarnishing “the image of this holy entity”.

The statement asserted that: “Everyone must be careful not to make hasty accusations, because terrorism, the remnants of the former regime (of late President Saddam Hussein), deviant groups and the enemies of Iraq are always trying to stir up chaos in the country.”

READ: Iraq journalists covering protests threatened with death 

Leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr alleged on Wednesday in statement that the PMF factions were behind the repeated missile attacks, kidnappings and assassinations, calling on the PMF leaders to stop these acts of violence.

The Iraqi Shia armed factions, including the pro-Iran Hezbollah Brigades, threatened to target US military bases, in case the US soldiers do not adhere to the Iraqi parliament’s resolution and vacate the country.

On 5 January, Iraqi parliament voted by a majority in favour of ending the foreign military presence in the country, three days after the Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani and the Deputy Head of the PMF Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis were killed in a US raid near Baghdad International Airport.

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