Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Iraq Situation Report: November 1-4, 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 November 1-4, 2019.

Key Takeaway: Protests continued to grow in Baghdad and southern Iraq after Iran intervened to block the resignation or ouster of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi in a no-confidence vote on October 30. Protests became increasingly anti-Iran in Karbala and Baghdad and spread to Diyala Province. Meanwhile, PM Mehdi refused the Iraqi parliament’s summons for questioning, likely recognizing that the measure has insufficient support in the parliament for the proceedings after Iran’s intervention.

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