Protests Break Out Over Shiite Cleric Resignation Announcement

Protests Break Out Over Shiite Cleric Resignation Announcement

He’s RESIGNING – Deadly Protests Break Out!

( – Iraqi Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rose to prominence shortly after the United State’s 2003 Iraq invasion. He strongly opposed the continuing US occupation of Iraq, and called for the closure of the US embassy and expulsion of American troops shortly after the January 2020 assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Al-Sadr’s political party gained a majority of parliamentary seats after Iraq’s October elections, but he recently announced his resignation from politics, sparking deadly protests.

On Monday, August 29, hundreds of al-Sadr’s supporters tore down concrete barriers and clashed with government security forces in Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to the country’s government offices, presidential palace, and foreign embassies.

Initial reports indicated the conflict resulted in the death of at least two protesters.¬†However, by Tuesday morning, The Washington Post and other media outlets reported dozens had perished so far in Baghdad in the aftermath of a “day of fierce fighting.”

The Anadolu Agency reported the Iraqi Joint Operations Command imposed a curfew on Baghdad.

Then, on Tuesday morning, al-Sadr called on his supporters to stand down in a televised address, giving them an hour to withdraw from the capital city’s government quarter.

The situation remains uncertain, although protesting had died down as by August 31. According to a report from Al Jazeera, supporters of al-Sadr are still calling for “radical change” in the country.

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