Iraq

Iraq’s protests raise question: Where does the oil money go?

BAGHDAD (AP) — Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with demonstrators chanting for the downfall of a political establishment that they say doesn’t prioritize them.

Fueling the unrest is anger over an economy flush with oil money that has failed to bring jobs or improvements to the lives of young people, who are the majority of those taking to the streets. They say they have had enough of blatant government corruption and subpar basic services.

Top Shiite leader backs UN plan to resolve Iraqi crisis

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s most powerful Shiite religious leader said Monday he backs a U.N. roadmap aimed at meeting the demands of anti-government protesters who have been rallying in recent weeks despite a bloody crackdown by security forces, but he expressed concern that political parties would not carry them out.

Iraq: 319 people killed since protests began

11 Nov 2019; MEMO: The number of civilians and security forces killed in protests in Iraq since last month has risen to 319, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission said on Friday.

In a statement released yesterday, the commission said it was able to document the death of these people through official sources, noting that it could not ascertain the number of those wounded during the protests. However, independent human rights organisations confirmed earlier that 8,000 people had been wounded.

U.S. calls on Iraq to hold early elections

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States has called on Iraq’s government to stop using violence against protesters, reform its electoral system and hold early elections, after weeks of unrest in which security forces have killed nearly 300 protesters.

The protests that began on Oct. 1 were initially focused on a lack of jobs and services but quickly morphed into denunciation of the sectarian power-sharing system of government introduced in 2003 and the political elites they say benefit from it.

UN mission in Iraq proposes roadmap for ending upheaval

BAGHDAD (AP) — The United Nations’ mission for Iraq on Sunday proposed a roadmap out of the country’s social upheaval, while Amnesty International said Iraq’s crackdown on anti-government protests has descended into a “bloodbath.”

At least 319 protesters have been killed by security forces since the economically driven protests and unrest began last month, according to the latest figures from the Iraqi Human Rights Commission released Sunday.

Rockets hit near Iraq base hosting US forces

10 Nov 2019; MEMO: A barrage of 17 rockets landed near a military base housing US forces in northern Iraq, reported by Anadolu Agency.

General Noman al-Zawbae, commander of Nineveh Operations Command, described Friday’s incident near Qayyara military base as “accidental”.

No casualties or damages were reported.

It remains unclear who was behind the fire.

Iraqi forces kill 6 protesters, retake key Baghdad bridges

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces killed six anti-government protesters and wounded more than 100 others on Saturday, pushing them back from three flashpoint bridges in central Baghdad, medical and security officials said.

Five of the protesters were killed by live ammunition, while the sixth died after being shot in the head with a tear gas canister. The Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Iraqi PM calls for protests to allow a return to 'normal life'

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi said on Saturday that although protests were important in bringing about reform, life in the country must be allowed to return to normal.

“The protests have helped and will help pressure political groups, the government ... to reform and accept change. However continuing protests must allow for a return to normal life, which will lead to legitimate demands being met”, he said.

The Iraqi prime minister also said in a statement that new electoral reforms would be announced in the “coming few days”.

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