“The Situation In Iraq Has Become Very Dangerous”- Iraq PM Orders Arrests As Mass Protests Continue

Sunday, May 1, 2016
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden

Following yesterday’s dramatic escalation in Iraq’s suddenly very unstable political situation, when Beghdad was put under a state of emergency after supporters of popular Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr breached the heavily fortified Green Zone and stormed both the parliament and government offices – an event which we dubbed the collapse of the US-created political system in Iraq – the situation has continued to deteriorate.

Protesters reached the cabinet headquarters inside the Green Zone, storming the general secretariat of the cabinet building, al-Sumaria reported, citing security officials. Security has been boosted around the central bank, the Interior Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said it’s “gravely concerned” by Saturday’s developments and urged political leaders to work together to restore security in the country.

“The situation in Iraq has become very dangerous,” said Wathiq al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based political analyst said cited by Bloomberg. “No one will be able to control thousands of angry protesters while the rest of residents in Baghdad are in panic and living in real fear.”

Iraq has been mired in a political crisis for months, hindering the government’s ability to combat ISIS, which still controls much of the country’s north and west, or address a financial crisis largely prompted by the plunge in global oil prices. Sadr and his supporters want to reform the political system put in place following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, in which entrenched political blocs representing the country’s Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds rely on patronage, resulting in widespread corruption and poor public services. The major blocs have until now stymied the reform attempts of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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