Gunmen left behind ammo boxes with Ministry of Sepah on them an Iranian govt agency from the Iran-Iraq War pointing to pro-Iran Hashd being behind the shootings at Khalani Sq, Baghdad (IraqiRevolution)
After the December 5 stabbing of 20 protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square protest site, pro-Iran Hashd showed up at neighboring Khalani Square on December 6 and shot into the crowd. 19 people were killed and more than 70 wounded. A garage in the square was also set on fire, and the power was cut during the attack. Ammunition boxes left behind by the attackers had “Ministry of Sepah” on them. Aram Shabanian of the Fulda Gap blog noted on Twitter that the Ministry of Sepah was an Iranian government agency that supplied the Iranian Revolutionary Guard with arms and supplies during the Iran-Iraq War pointing to pro-Tehran groups being behind the assault.
After an Iranian consulate in Iraq was burned for the second of three times by demonstrators an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demanded that the Hashd deal with the protesters. This could have been the basis for these latest attacks. Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi has also accepted Tehran’s help to suppress the unrest. That could explain how an armed group was able to make its way through checkpoints to arrive at Khalani Square and was able to turn the electricity off.
Davison, John, “Iraq protest death toll mounts as cleric warns against meddling,” Reuters, 12/6/19
Al Hurra, “Video .. Iranian militias fire live bullets on Baghdad protesters,” 12/6/19
Knights, Michael, “Exposing and Sanctioning Human Rights Violations by Iraqi Militias,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 10/22/19
Kullab, Samya and Faraj, Murtada, “15 Killed in Iraqi Capital as Gunmen Open Fire Amid Attacks on Protesters,” Associated Press, 12/6/19
Al Sumaria, “Source: Shooting in the Al-Khalani square and below the Al-Sanak bridge, and the power goes out,” 12/6/19