03 June 2020
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On December 22, 2019, the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq announced the assassination of 26 activists who participated in anti-government demonstrations that began on October 1. Half of the assassinations took place in the capital, Baghdad, and the rest in the country’s southern provinces. On December 10, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced that three journalists have been killed and two more kidnapped during the protests. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, who was forced to resign on November 29 in the face of…

Khamenei’s Strategic Deadlock in Iraq Tuesday, 07 January 2020 04:27

After the protests on the streets of Beirut and Baghdad reached Tehran, the strategic depth of the Iranian regime is seeing its end. Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, to rescue its strategic plans, tried to reassemble his forces in Iraq and to end the uprising with a conspiracy, but this time the situation was different. The popular protests in Iraq began on 1 October 2019. Their purpose was to protest 16 years of corruption, unemployment and inadequate public services and…
Washington (CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden dishonestly suggested on Saturday that he had opposed the war in Iraq "from the very moment" it began in 2003 -- even though Biden's campaign said in September that he "misspoke" when he made a similar claim. Biden was responding Saturday to a voter in Des Moines, Iowa, who told him, "I'm with you 90% of the way" but questioned his judgment in part because "you were for the second Gulf War, which was…
Qassem Soleimani’s death has undoubtedly created fear among Iran’s proxies and terror groups. As a result, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Quds Force less than 12 hours after Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump. This was an attempt to send a signal to Iran’s proxies, particularly Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iraqi militia groups, that the status quo — Tehran’s mission and support for them…
In mid-October, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani met with his Iraqi Shia militia allies at a villa on the banks of the Tigris River, looking across at the US embassy complex in Baghdad. The Revolutionary Guards commander instructed his top ally in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, and other powerful militia leaders to step up attacks on US targets in the country using sophisticated new weapons provided by Iran, two militia commanders and two security sources briefed on the gathering told Reuters.…
The participation of leading figures from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the protest in front of the American embassy, and the fact that the burning of its walls was allowed, “shocked” protesters and regional observes, considering the flagrant violation of international norms and customs of this act.The storming of the heavily fortified Green Zone by the PMF protesters also “shocked” the protesters, since attempts to reach the green zone cost them thousands of dead and wounded since last October.…
Since October, Iraqis and Lebanese have been protesting against their “corrupt” leaders calling for a complete overhaul of the political system. Protesters in both countries have called for a series of urgent reforms. But the authorities are resisting the implementation of genuine reforms, opting to maintain the status quo by making some cosmetic changes. On Tuesday, the Iraqi parliament finally passed a new election law. The protesters had made this a prerequisite to any new election, saying that the old law…
(Beirut) – Unidentified armed forces, apparently in cooperation with Iraqi national and local security forces, carried out a brutal spate of killings in Baghdad’s main protest area on December 6, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Estimates range between 29 and 80 dead, and 137 injured. Electricity to the area was cut during the attack, making it harder for protesters to identify the killers and flee to safety. Police and military forces withdrew as the unidentified militia, some in uniforms, began shooting.…
Protesters have gone beyond staging demonstrations against Iran's influence and backed it up with a practical step: boycotting imported Iranian goods. LONDON - Iraqi protesters are reviving a campaign to support locally-made products as part of a larger effort to encourage Iraqi sovereignty. Anti-government protesters have gone beyond staging demonstrations against Iran's influence and backed it up with a practical step: boycotting imported Iranian goods. The campaign to consume only Iraqi products predates the current protest movement, which began October 1, but the demonstrations helped it…
Outside the charred walls of a shrine complex here is ample evidence of the ferocity of a dayslong battle mounted by Iraqi protesters, convinced they were targeting a symbol of Iranian power in Iraq. Molotov cocktails that failed to explode – their blackened fuses stuffed into bottles of gasoline or spirits – lie scattered amid a carpet of stones, bricks, and broken glass. They were thrown by men who first stormed and torched the nearby Iranian consulate Nov. 27, chanting “Iran…
These are trying times for Iran’s ayatollahs. They continue to confront the worst nationwide protests since they took power four decades ago. The Trump administration’s sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy, and are a major reason why the protests have yet to be fully contained. And ongoing unrest in Lebanon and Iraq, especially in the latter, is undermining Tehran’s efforts to establish its hegemony throughout the Middle East.  Iran’s involvement in Iraq differs in kind from its activities elsewhere in the region,…

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