Friday, November 1, 2019

Iraq Situation Report: October 29 - 31, 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 29 - 31, 2019. 

Key Takeaway: Iran intervened to prevent Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi from resigning or being voted out. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander, Qassem Soleimani, instructed Iranian proxy leaders to support Mehdi during a meeting in Baghdad on October 30. Soleimani’s meeting followed a new effort by nationalist Iraqi Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Iranian proxy leader Hadi al-Ameri to dismiss Mehdi via a no-confidence vote in the Iraqi Parliament. Sadr is unlikely to reach the necessary threshold for dismissing Mehdi (165 votes) without Ameri.

Click on the image to enlarge the map.