Iraqis Decry Govt Over Insecurity at Funerals of Seven Civilians Slain in Rocket Fire

Errant rocket hit village near Baghdad airport

Hundreds of mourners in the village of al-Bouchaabane, just outside Baghdad airport, are expressing disappointment at the Iraqi government’s inability to provide security, after an errant rocket strike hit and killed a number of civilians.

The rocket hit in front of some houses in the village, killing seven civilians, including two women and five children. The mourners noted that the government isn’t capable of protecting them from rocket attacks.

It isn’t clear who fired the rocket, but the US was the target, with officials saying they believe it was meant to hit US forces stationed at the airport. There are growing concerns that the US is liable to end up in a war with these factions, and Iraq’s government is mostly trying to quiet those concerns.

There is a backlash against the US from some Shi’ite militias, and the government is making residents in the crossfire feel “permanently unsafe.” They believe they are a low priority for the government.

They aren’t wrong, either. The Kadhimi government is trying to avoid war by managing US demands and militia interests. The needs of the civilians are somewhere below that as a priority, and that will inevitably lead to a backlash.

That’s been an ongoing problem for Iraqi governments for months, as protest groups have long felt the government is unresponsive to them, and have in the past downed governments with public protests.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.