Iran Says Its Allies Not Behind Drone Attack on Iraqi PM

Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi was not harmed in the attack on his home

A top Iranian general visited Baghdad in the wake of the drone attack on the home of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi and said Tehran and its Iraqi allies had nothing to do with the apparent assassination attempt, The Associated Press reported Monday.

“Iran has nothing to do with this attack,” Iranian Gen. Esmail Ghaani said, according to two Iraqi Shia politicians.

Kadhimi’s home was attacked by three drones early Sunday. Two were shot down, and one struck the Iraqi leader’s house, causing material damage and slightly wounding seven of his guards. Some reports said Kadhimi was also slightly wounded, but Iraqi sources told Middle East Eye that he wasn’t hurt.

Despite Iran’s denial that its allies were involved, some Iraqi sources told Reuters that an “Iran-backed militia” was behind the attack. Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, also blamed “Iran-backed” forces for the assassination attempt in an interview with Alhurra TV.

The label of “Iranian-backed” is an umbrella term used to describe Iraq’s Shia militias, but the level at which Iran influences the different groups varies. For their part, the Shia militias have denied responsibility. The leader of the influential Kataib Hezbollah, a group that has been at odds with Kadhimi and the US, said he wouldn’t waste a drone on the Iraqi prime minister.

The Shia militias were suspected of the assassination attempt over their protests of the recent election results. On Friday, protests in Baghdad turned deadly, and a commander of the Shia militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq was shot dead in a stand-off with Iraqi security forces. Over the weekend, the group said it would “punish” Kadhimi for the incident.

The big winner of the election was the influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the most parliament seats.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.