Troops Keep Protesters Off the Streets in Sunni Neighborhood
Iraqi troops were out in force today in the streets of Baghdad’s Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyah, keeping protesters at the Abu Haniya mosque from leaving the mosque’s compound and demonstrating in the streets.
The protest came just days after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that his “patience” with public criticism of his style of rule was wearing thin, and that the government had “options” to punish those who continued to rally.
Despite the warnings, the protests continued in large numbers, with thousands at Abu Haniya alone, and demonstrations continuing across the Sunni-dominated western portion of Iraq.
Demonstrators have condemned Maliki, accusing him of moving against Sunni rivals in government while engaging in a campaign of systematic arrests of opponents by using the anti-terror laws as a political tool. The protests began in late December after the arrest of guards and employees of Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi, a top Sunni cabinet member. The Maliki government claims that all of the captives have since confessed to being “terrorists.”
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Kerry Accuses Syria of Violating Chemical Arms Treaty - September 18th, 2014
- Hagel: Military, Not Obama, Will Make Decisions on Syria Strikes - September 18th, 2014
- Clapper Claims Snowden Leaks Adding to 'Threats' Faced by US - September 18th, 2014
- Obama Rejects Ukraine Call for 'Lethal Aid' - September 18th, 2014
- Senate Okays Obama Bill Arming Syria Rebels, Delays Vote on War - September 18th, 2014