Four rockets landed around Iraqi government buildings a day after the Iraqi parliament was attacked.

Rockets have struck Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to government buildings and foreign missions, for the second day in a row, breaking weeks of silence.

No one has claimed responsibility for the four missiles fired from the east of the capital on Thursday morning and local police officials said there were no casualties.

On Wednesday, supporters of Iraq’s influential Shiite religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr attempted to infiltrate the Green Zone as the Iraqi parliament held a session over the speaker’s resignation. They tried to pass the security forces guarding the parliament but were confronted by riot police.

Iraqi state media reported three Katyusha rockets landed in the Green Zone on Wednesday afternoon.

Although the number of such attacks has decreased in recent months, rocket attacks on the Green Zone have continued for the past few years. The missiles are usually directed at Western targets by Iran-backed militia groups.

Iraq’s current political crisis stems from a dispute between al-Sadr, who commands the support of millions of Iraqis, and his rival, the Coordination Framework, whose group came out on top in October’s parliamentary elections.

While al-Sadr and the Coordination Framework are Shiites, the latter is supported by Iran, while al-Sadr presents himself as an ‘Iraqi nationalist’, despite his own ties to Tehran, seeking to end Iranian influence in the country.

Fighting broke out between militias supporting both sides in August, killing more than 30 people in the worst violence Baghdad has seen in years.

A political crisis has left Iraq without a government, and al-Sadr has kicked his group out of parliament after failing to produce a coordination framework.

Now Iran-backed factions are trying to take advantage of the absence of al-Sadr’s supporters in parliament to finally form a government, the main reason for Wednesday’s clashes.

Al Jazeera’s Ali Hashem, reporting from the area during the violence, said protesters threw stones at security forces.

“Speaker of Parliament abandoning alliance with Muqtada al-Sadr to join rival alliance. People here are trying to stop the parliament from convening,” Hashem said.

“Muqdah al-Sadr’s supporters feel betrayed right now because rivals … are trying to form new coalitions,” he added. “There will be a new prime minister [eventually] Name it and this is what they don’t want.”

The Coordination Framework attempted to have parliament approve the new prime minister in July, but was prevented from doing so after al-Sadr’s supporters stormed parliament.

Al-Sadr is now calling for the dissolution of parliament and early elections.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *