Situation in Syria and Iraq

Prime Minister al-Kadhimi is safe after an assassination attempt

by Sputnik News

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has confirmed that he’s safe after an exploding drone hit his residence in Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday in what has been described as an assassination attempt.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has called the botched assassination attempt on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi a “terrorist attack”.
According to the ministry, two of the three drones involved were shot down. One of the drones hit the prime minister’s home in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices. Fortunately, he was unharmed, but several security guards were injured.
Baghdad residents reportedly heard an explosion followed by gunfire in the area.
Shortly thereafter, al-Kadhimi tweeted a statement to let everyone know that he hadn’t been hurt in the attack.

“I am fine and among my people. Thank God… and I call for calm and restraint from everyone, for the sake of Iraq,” the prime minister tweeted.

The prime minister later appeared on Iraqi television, looking calm, as he said, “Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future.”
No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have condemned the attack, with Tehran calling it an instigation to rebellion associated with “foreign think tanks”, and Riyadh blasting it as a “cowardly terrorist act”.
The United States has deplored the drone strike targeting al-Kadhimi’s residence, too.
“We are following the reported drone attack targeting the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Kadhimi. We are relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed. This apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn, was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
Price added that the US is in close contact with the Iraqi security forces and has offered assistance in investigating the attack.
The assassination attempt came amid an ongoing stand-off between security forces and pro-Iran Shiite militias whose supporters have been protesting outside the Green Zone for almost a month after they rejected the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections, in which they lost around two-thirds of their seats.
The protests turned violent on Friday when people tried to break into the Green Zone, prompting security forces to use tear gas and live ammunition. Dozens of security forces were wounded, and one protester was killed. The Iraqi prime minister ordered an investigation into the violence, however, some leaders of the Shiite militia blamed al-Kadhimi for the clashes and the demonstrator’s death.
Qais Al-Khazali, the leader of the Iraqi Shiite political party and militant group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, reportedly  warned that al-Kadhiimi would “pay the price” for the violence.
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