Thursday, October 31, 2019

Iraq Situation Report: October 25 - 28, 2019

Street protests rooted in popular discontent and a harsh government response have embroiled Iraq in a crisis since early October 2019. The protesters – largely though not exclusively from Iraq’s Shi’a communities in Baghdad and southern Iraq – are airing growing frustrations over the Iraqi government’s failure to enact reforms and deliver basic services, a lack of economic opportunities, and the Iranian regime’s deepening control over the Iraqi state.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is assessing the ongoing unrest and its effects on political-security dynamics in Iraq. The Iraq Situation Report (SITREP) series summarizes key events and likely developments to come. This SITREP update covers the period October 25 - 28, 2019. 

Key Takeaway: Mass protests resumed in Baghdad and southern Iraq on October 25 and continued to grow in scale despite government concessions. Nationalist Shi’a cleric Muqtada al Sadr warned that a civil war may occur if Iraqi Prime Minster Adel Abdel Mehdi does not resign. Sadr’s political party then submitted a request to Iraqi President Barham Saleh to hold a vote of no-confidence in the Iraqi parliament to dismiss Mehdi.

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