The Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi has survived an extremely sophisticated assassination attempt involving an explosive-laden, drone targeted at this official residence in Baghdad. This attack comes shortly after violent conflicts between Iraqi security forces and supporters of Iranian-backed opposition parties who were disputing the results of the October election. The Prime Minister escaped the attempt uninjured according to Iraqi officials, appearing later in video footage published later the same day on November 7th when he chaired a meeting to discuss the attack.
In an official statement, al-Kadhimi told the Press,
“The cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the home of the prime minister last night with the aim of assassinating him, is a serious targeting of the Iraqi state by criminal armed groups,”
The Failed Drone Attack
According to The Jerusalem Post, six members of al-Kadhimi’s protection detail were wounded. They explained,
“Three drones were used in the attack, including two that were intercepted and downed by security forces while a third drone hit the residence, state news agency INA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying.”
In a Tweet translated from Arabic Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi made an appeal to his supporters for calm and restraint, discouraging any potential reprisals against partisan opponents, he wrote, “I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers, and a hair will not be shaken in the steadfastness and insistence of our heroic security forces to preserve the security of the people, achieve the right and set the law in place. I am fine, praise be to God, among my people, and I call for calm and restraint from everyone, for the sake of Iraq.”
Iraq’s President Barham Salih, who under the parliamentary system effectively serves as an elected monarch providing final assent to new laws and holding a ceremonial role, condemned the attack as a heinous crime against Iraq. “We cannot accept that Iraq will be dragged into chaos and a coup against its constitutional system,” he said in a tweet.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have each condemned the attack. The US State Department under the Biden-Harris regime has even offered to assist Iraqi authorities with their investigation of the attempt.
Video from Arabic News network Al Hadath captured the sounds of explosions and gunfire coming from the official residence as the drones attacked and were fired upon.
نجاة رئيس الوزراء العراقي #مصطفى_الكاظمي من محاولة اغتيال بمسيرة مفخخة#الحدث pic.twitter.com/rccfwUe7w7
— ا لـ حـ ـد ث (@AlHadath) November 7, 2021
A High-Stakes ‘Who Dun It’, With No Easy Answers
Not a single group, amongst many who could benefit from the death of the Iraqi PM have claimed responsibility for the attack. The armed forces commander for what is still termed “the Green Zone” long after American forces departed the nation indicated that the security situation in the district which contains embassies and government offices was stable.
According to Reuters,
“Remains of a small explosive-laden drone used in the attack were retrieved by security forces to be investigated, a security official with knowledge of the attack told Reuters.
“It’s premature now to say who carried out the attack,” the security official on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to comment on security details.
“We’re checking our intelligence reports and waiting for initial investigation results to point the finger at perpetrators.”
Violent demonstrations had taken place near the residence in the Green Zone as recently as Nov. 5th with police responding to thrown stones that injured several officers with tear gas and live gunfire, killing at least one person. The activist groups leading the protests were mainly heavily-armed Iran-backed militias who were largely stripped of power in the parliamentary election and are alleging electoral fraud and counting irregularities. However, as The Jerusalem Post reported, “Heads of various political parties, most of which have armed wings and are aligned with Iran, denounced the drone attack and called on the government to conduct an investigation and hold the perpetrators to account.” In a part of the world where fear has been a respected political currency for decades, it is curious that no group has come forward to proudly proclaim their involvement in the attempt and attempt to parlay with Al-Kadhimi to have their demands met. Instead, there is only silence, which could suggest a larger, international player at work. Or perhaps an Islamist regime who came into some excellent military equipment recently and finds the idea of secular Arabic government highly offensive? #JustSaying If you look back to the Taliban assassination of Northern Alliance leaders, the M.O. fits.
How the Taliban used assignation drones to secure victory against the Afghan government and US https://t.co/TxkB98JDMB
— NPEC (@NuclearPolicy) November 8, 2021