Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Is Iraq heading for a massive popular uprising?...experts say yes

 

Protests continue in several Iraqi provinces due to poor living conditions, while the authorities raised the state of security alert and vowed to take tough measures against what they described as infiltrators.

 

Root causes:

 

On July 8, protests erupted in Basra against shortage of jobs, electricity, water and basic services.

 

The causes of the protests were not a spur of the moment thing as Iraq suffer from plague of corruption since the US-led invasion in 2003, especially during former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki era.

According to documents and international reports, Iraq witnessed one of its worst corruption cases in its history during Maliki's era, which lasted eight years from May 2006 till 2014.

A report issued by the Centre of Development Studies (CDS) in London revealed the disappearance of 120 billion dollars of Iraq's financial budgets during the era of al-Maliki as the country's prime minister.

 

The report pointed out that Iraq has achieved huge financial surpluses that could have contributed to the reconstruction and transformation of Iraq to be a modern country, confirming that $700 billion of the country's budget went mostly to the pockets of corrupt officials in Maliki's government.

It added that the oil prices reached its highest record exceeding $115 per barrel during Maliki's period in office, stressing that Iraq made huge gains from oil revenues that Maliki's government stole for itself.

The "CDS" also pointed in its report to the decline in reserves of the Central Bank of Iraq at a time when it should have increased, noting that Iraq's budget rose from $100.5 billion in 2012 to $145.5 billion in 2014 but the central bank's reserves fell from $88 billion to $67 billion.

 

 

Ongoing protests

 

Hundreds of Basra's demonstrators have blocked the main road to the northern Rumaila oil field, the largest Iraqi oil field in the province, preventing workers to reach their workplaces.

Sources said that the demonstrators blocked the road in order to protest against oil companies' rejection to offer job opportunities for Basra residents.

Observers who spoke to The Baghdad Post said that Iran stands behind the protests witnessed in southern Iraq.

They said that Iran is not only responsible for cutting electricity and water in the south, but it also inciting Basra's residents against oil companies operating there because they are not recruiting them.

The observers pointed out that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threats that process of preventing oil companies in the Gulf from working and exporting their oil would start from southern Iraq prove that Iran is standing behind the crisis.

They called on the government of Haider al-Abadi to respond quickly to the demands of the people of Basra in order to not give Iran the chance to use the situation to destroy Iraq.

 

Observers told The Baghdad Post that hundreds of elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorists had entered Basra through Shalamcheh border crossing with military vehicles, aiming to seize control of Basra after protesters attacked on Iranian parties' headquarters.

 

Basra protests encouraged other provinces in southern Iraq to hold protests to demand improving live standard.

In Najaf, Thousands of protesters have stormed its International Airport to protest against the high unemployment rates and lack of services.

Iran, UAE and Jordan have suspended flights to Najaf due to the security situation at its airport.

Iraqi riot police have opened fire at protesters, killing a number of them.

Najaf protesters attempted to break into Iranian-affiliated Badr militia's headquarters, after a number of protesters shot dead in the city.

In Karbala, similar protests erupted. An Iraqi protester died from wounds inflicted by security forces during protests staged in Karbala demanding enhanced basic services and job opportunities.

In Maysan, dozens of demonstrators in the province of Maysan protested the poor services and shortage in electricity and clean water.

 

Two people were killed and 28 others injured, including police personnel, during the sweeping protests in Maysan against deterioration in economy.

 

Informed sources said that demonstrators were killed after clashes between protesters and security forces in Maysan.

In press statements, Maysan Police Chief Dhafer al-Muhammadawi said the security forces have been deployed to secure the anti-government protests, oil fields, borders of the province and government buildings.

Muhammadawi underlined that civil defense units have put a fire out, which protesters have set in car wheels at public streets.

Well-informed sources said that security forces have launched a large-scale arrest campaign against Maysan protesters.

Dhi Qar province witnessed the most aggressive protests, as Iraqi police have brutally dispersed protesters in the province's Nasiriyah city.

Iraqi riot police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators who stage protests near Dhi Qar's provincial building, as well as firing live rounds at protesters.

At least 36 policemen were wounded in clashes with protesters in Dhi Qar province, Dhi Qar police command said.

In a press release, the command explained that the number of wounded policemen has risen to 36, while six civilians were injured in the protests.

Iraqi authorities have released the protesters who were detained while attempting to storm the house of Dhi Qar governor, a well-informed source said.

The source explained that the protesters were held on charges of riots that broke out near the governor's house.

The number of those who were injured in protests in Dhi Qar Province has jumped to 75, well-informed sources told The Baghdad Post.

 

Escalating crisis 

 

Iraqi activists called to launch unified demonstrations on Friday in Baghdad, Basra, Wasit, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Babil, Diwaniyah, Karbala and Najaf.

The activists have launched also a petition campaign, in which they demand the interference of the Iraqi army in order to oust the government of Haider al-Abadi.

 

Spokesperson of the Arab tribes in the disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad, Muzahim al-Hewitt called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resign after he failed to deal with the ongoing protests.

Hewitt said that Abadi is responsible for the violent acts witnessed in several Iraqi provinces as he did not respond to the demands of their people, adding that the people of these provinces have the right to protests as they suffer from the lack of basic services.

He noted that Abadi's government is implementing the same approach of former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi who worked according to a religious and sectarian approach through the intervention of religious clerics in the countries' policies.

Activists also called the Iraqi army to take serious actions against the Iranian militias in Iraq.

Observers stressed that Iran is playing a "dirty game" as the mullah's regime has promised to spread chaos in the region to disrupt oil sales in the Gulf.

They pointed out that Iraq is heading into a massive popular uprising as the Iraqi people have lost their faith in Abadi's government.

Last Modified: Wednesday، 18 July 2018 06:38 PM
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