Iraq’s bloodshed, where is the world?

picture from Twitter

I have been following the Iraqi uprising very closely in the last couple of days on Twitter. It has been brutal and heart-breaking and, at times, unbearable to watch. Snipers dressed in black wearing black masks shooting from rooftops at unarmed civilians. Some of them were shot dead in the head with tear gas cannisters. The brutality of the shooters is of a calibre that I have seen before in Iran where the protesters in the 2009 uprising were run into by security forces cars and were shot by the government’s snipers. It is no secret that the Iranian regime has a lot of influence in Iraq. Pro-Iranian militia groups such as Hasht Al Shaabi, Al nujaba and Asai’b Ahl Al-Haq are very active. Al-Hag’s commander, Wissam Al-Alyawi, was killed during the recent protests.

Iraqi soccer legend Younis Mohmood took to Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday October 29th asking the global community and the U.N to intervene immediately to stop the bloodshed in Iraq. “The government is murdering innocent protesters,” he wrote. This was done at a time when reports of escalating clashes between demonstrators and armed forces were coming in, and demonstrators were being shot at directly.

Video footage of an Iraqi young man showed him running helplessly, screaming that others are being shot behind him. Live ammunition, beatings and detentions of protestors were also reported.

Just two days ago the Iranian consulate was captured by the demonstrators in Karbala. The Iranian regime’s flag was taken down and the Iraqi flag was raised.
Qai’s Khazali, head of the Asai’b Ahl Al-Haq militia group, confirmed on October 28th that nine operatives have been killed so far during the Iraq protests and all the headquarters of their factions were targeted.

Deputy PFM chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Qassim Suleimani’s right hand (head of the Iranian revolutionary guard), declared earlier that his group are ready to confront the Iraq protests, which he defined as sedition. This despite the fact that senior Ayatollahs in Iraq and wide Iraqi sectors are supporting the Iraqis’ protests. He said they were committed to “save” Iraq.

It is outrageous to see how the Iranian regime’s forces operate freely in Iraq, suppressing the Iraqi people in the same brutal way they have oppressed Iranian people. It is also clear that the Iraqi forces themselves are also engaged in the brutal suppression. On October 28th, it was declared curfew in Baghdad by Iraq’s authorities.

It is too difficult to have a confirmatory report of who is responsible for all the shootings and the killings, but no matter who, the world can not be silent on the killing of unarmed, innocent civilians protesting peacefully to corruption, unemployment, and demand better living conditions for themselves in a country that is one of the biggest producers of oil in the world.

About the Author
Iranian-Nowegian author writing about Middle East-Iran. I write for the Norwegian newspaper Nettavisen.
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