Iraqi Troops Open Fire, Killing Public Protesters in Baghdad, Karbala

Iraq PM says special forces 'dealt with' protesters

Major protests continue nationwide in Iraq, with thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets in all major cities, and even some smaller cities. With Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi ordering security forces to put a stop to the demonstrations, it is getting troublingly violent.

On Monday, Iraqi special forces and police opened fire on the demonstrators in several cities, killing a number of them and wounding dozens more. The largest such incidents took place near the Green Zone, where the PM ordered special forces to “reinforce” the area, and bragged on them having “dealt with” approaching protesters.

In addition to Baghdad, police opened fire with live ammunition near the Iranian consulate in Karbala. A protester was also reported killed in the southern town of Shatra. Over 250 have been killed since protests began last month.

So far, Iraqi forces resorting to violence are not fixing any problems, and, if anything, demonstrations are getting bigger and bigger, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is calling on the police to show restraint, and the only one seemingly comfortable with violence is a premier who is unlikely to survive in office for more than a month.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.