They tried to assassinate the prime minister of Iraq with a drone with explosives

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kazemi, survived an assassination attempt with explosives-laden drones that were launched at his residence, amid tensions between the government and some Shiite parties and pro-Iran Iraqi militias that reject the results of the elections on October 10. Al Kazemi said on Sunday that he “knows well” those responsible for the attack and said they will be “persecuted” and “exposed.” The United States and the UN “strongly” condemned the assassination attempt.

“My house was the target of a cowardly attack and, thank God, those who work with me and I are fine”, said al Kazemi in a short speech posted on his Twitter account. The prime minister added that “missiles and drones never build homelands or future” and he assured that he will work to “build” the nation “through respect for the State and its institutions.”

“We will persecute those who committed the crime, we know them well and we will expose them”He later stated al Kazemi at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers. The Iraqi leader indicated that the perpetrators would have been the same perpetrators who last June shot dead Nibras Farman, a prominent officer of the National Intelligence Service who was shot by unknown men in eastern Baghdad.

Security forces shot down two drones on Sunday but a third hit the premier’s residence in the Green Zone, the fortified area of ​​Baghdad that also houses the embassies, said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Saad Maan. Photos distributed by al Kazemi’s office showed damage to the residence after the attack, including broken windows, a wooden door ripped off its hinges and engravings thrown on the floor.

The attack on al-Kazemi comes at a time of tension in Iraq following violent clashes between protesters supporting Iraqi militias and police during a demonstration in Baghdad on Friday against the results of the October 10 legislative elections. The clashes left two dead and more than a hundred wounded, many of them policemen, which provoked an angry condemnation from the leaders of Iraq’s pro-Iranian militias, that in the last elections they lost almost two thirds of their seats and reject the results.

Shiite militias fight

Almost a month after the legislative elections, in which the lowest turnout in Iraq’s democratic history (43 percent) caught our attention, the final results of the elections have not yet been announced due to the increase in complaints and the demand for a manual recount of the votes by Shiite groups.

Preliminary results, announced the day after the elections, pointed to the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr as the winner, with 73 seats. The electoral success of al Sadr, at odds with the militias and figures close to Iran, contrasted with the debacle of the political arm of these armed groups, the Fatah Bloc, which lost almost two-thirds of the seats and went from being the second largest formation. voted in 2018 to be part of the colistas.

Faced with this situation, hundreds of sympathizers of the militias are camped out in the Green Zone to denounce the electoral results, something that has been accompanied by threats to al-Kazemi himself. The reaction of the militias to this Sunday’s attack was to cast doubt on the veracity of the assassination attempt on the prime minister, which they even mocked.

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“According to information that we have confirmed, no person in Iraq has even the desire to spoil a drone in the house of a prime minister.”, the spokesman of the Kataeb Hezbollah movement ironized in a message on his Telegram account, Abu Ali al Askary. The visible face of this militia, considered a terrorist by the United States for allegedly attacking US facilities, pointed out that “the role of the victim is already an obsolete method” and added that “there are many less expensive and more secure ways” to “harm” to al Kazemi.

Mixed reactions

Al Sadr condemned the “terrorist” attack on al Kazemi and said its perpetrators sought to return Iraq to chaos and terrorism. According to the cleric, profoundly contrary to the influence that Iran exerts through the militias in Iraqi politics, the act aimed at “the security and stability of the country and its regression to chaos so that it is dominated by the forces of the non-state.” He stated on his official Twitter account.

For his part, the Iraqi president, Barham Saleh, asked “to unify positions in the face of the evildoers who are lurking for the security of this nation and its people,” something that various Arab countries and organizations also urged.

At the international level, the American president, Joe biden, condemned the assassination attempt on al Kazemi and said his government will help Iraqi security forces identify those responsible. “I am relieved to learn that the Prime Minister was not injured and I commend the leadership he has shown in calling for calm, moderation and dialogue to protect state institutions and strengthen the democracy that Iraqis so deserve, “Biden said in a statement.

The Democratic president expressed that “The perpetrators of this terrorist attack on the Iraqi state must be held accountable” and condemned “in the strongest terms those who use violence to undermine the democratic process in Iraq.” The US leader announced that he instructed his national security team to “offer all appropriate assistance to the Iraqi security forces as they investigate this attack and identify those responsible.”

While the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed khatibzadeh, repulsed the attack on al Kazemi and indirectly accused the United States. Khatibzadeh said he was aware of “conspiracies targeting the security and progress of Iraq.” He added that incidents like today’s “are in the interest of those who have invaded the stability, security, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq in the last 18 yearss “.

For his part, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, condemned “strongly” the attack that targeted the prime minister and called on the Iraqis “to exercise the utmost restraint and reject all violence and any attempt to destabilize the country”.

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