Iraqi protesters set fire to offices of Iran-backed militia groups

Iraq-Baghdad- Protests continue in central Baghdad for the fifth day, since October 1, 2019
Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iraq, October 5, 2019—Angry Iraqi demonstrators in the city of Najaf, southern Iraq, set fire to offices of the Iran-backed Asaeb al-Haq militia group led by Qeis al-Khazali. The office building burned to the ground on Wednesday.

The London-based Ilaf website posted this news report emphasizing, “The Asaeb al-Haq are funded ideologically, organizationally, financially and in terms of weaponry by the Iranian regime.”

Iraqi demonstrators set fire to all offices and bases of the Asaeb al-Haq militia group in the city of Amarah, the capital of Maysan Province in southern Iraq. Furthermore, two sites associated to the group of Amar al-Hakim, a known Iraqi official with ties to Tehran, were set on fire in the provinces of Najaf and Dhi Qar, also in southern Iraq.

The Dawa Party headquarters, chaired by former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Dhi Qar Province was also set on fire by young demonstrators. Maliki had described demonstrations across Iraq and the incidents in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as “unfortunate” and “not in anyone’s interests.” His remarks have resulted in an uproar and strong criticism from Iraqi demonstrators.

According to Al Arabiya TV, Iraqi demonstrators are condemning the Iranian regime’s meddling in their country, saying Tehran-backed militias are involved in the crackdown against the Iraqi people.

Other reports indicate Iraqi demonstrators have also set fire to various checkpoints set up by security forces. The demonstrators are angry over corruption, and the meddling of the Iranian regime’s and its affiliated parties. The people in the streets are demanding Iran’s meddling be contained.”

In another report, Al Arabiya TV said Haj Hamed, the deputy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani has established a war room in Baghdad to coordinate the crackdown of demonstrations across Iraq. Various scenes indicate a number of Iraqi Army personnel, while protecting the demonstrators, have been attacked by Iran-backed militia members in black military uniforms.

Haj Hamed has ordered the massive dispatching of Iran-backed militia groups across Baghdad, including the Khorassani group seen in the Jaderiya and al-Nojaba districts of the Iraqi capital.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that police snipers are shooting at demonstrators in Baghdad. As snipers from rooftops were shooting in a crowd of protesters, Reuters TV personnel saw a man injured after a bullet hit his neck. Sporadic gunfire was heard throughout Baghdad on Friday evening.

A number of Iraqi analysts, politicians and activists believe economic reform is impossible without containing the influence of Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq and bringing an end to Tehran’s meddling in Baghdad and across the country.

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