Sunday, December 8, 2019

Kataib Hezbollah With Help From Security Forces Blamed For Friday’s Massacre Of Baghdad Protesters

Protester holds blood stained shirt as a flag after massacre in Khalani Sq Dec 6 (AP)


An Interior Ministry source told Al Hurra that Kataib Hezbollah was behind the massacre of protesters in Baghdad’s Khalani Square on December 6. A group of fighters gathered at a mosque and then drove towards Khalani Square. Their Hashd ID’s helped them get through government checkpoints. They were also facilitated by the Iraqi Security Forces withdrawing from areas surrounding the square. In total 25 people were killed and around 130 were wounded in the assault.


This comes as Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander General Qasim Suleimani is back in Iraq. He is not only there to consult with the ruling parties about picking a new prime minister, but is taking part in the crisis committee that Tehran help create to suppress the demonstrations. That group includes leading Hashd figures, two of which, Qais Khazali and Hussein Falih al-Lami, were just sanctioned by the United States for their role in killing demonstrators. His presence could account for the shootings on December 6 and the stabbings of protestors the day before, which was also blamed upon Iran backed Hashd elements. These were the type of tactics that the crisis cell unleashed upon demonstrators at the start of October when they initially started.

SOURCES

Amnesty International, “Iraq: Testimonies emerge of coordinated attacks which killed at least 20,” 12/7/19

Al Hurra, “Al-Khalani Massacre .. An Iraqi officer tells details and a leaked document reveals the perpetrators,” 12/7/19

Knights, Michael, “Exposing and Sanctioning Human Rights Violations by Iraqi Militias,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 10/22/19

Kullab, Samya, “Iraqi officials raise toll to 25 killed in Baghdad bloodshed,” Associated Press, 12/7/19

Al Mada, “Friday massacre: 100 militants carried out the attack after the security forces withdrew,” 12/7/19

Mamouri, Ali, “Chaos spreads in Iraq as PM office remains vacant,” Al Monitor, 12/6/19

Rasheed, Ahmed, Jalabi, Raya, “Rocket hits Iraqi cleric’s home following deadly Baghdad attack,” Reuters, 12/7/19

U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Iran-Backed Militia Leaders Who Killed Innocent Demonstrators in Iraq,” 12/6/19

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