Dozens dead in Iraqi capital as rockets pummel Green Zone
Local sources in Baghdad have described the clashes between Sadrist armed groups and security forces as 'uncontrollable'
By News Desk - August 30 2022

Members of the Saraya al-Salam brigades during clashes with the Iraqi security forces near the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq 30 August, 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)

At least 30 people have died and 380 others have been injured during heavy clashes that lasted through the night and into the morning of 30 August in Baghdad, between armed supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr and Iraqi security forces.

Members of Al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam brigades fired several rockets into the heavily fortified Green Zone early on Tuesday. Local sources say that mortar shells also landed near one of the Joint Operations Command’s headquarters and in the vicinity of the US embassy.

According to Shafaq News, the situation in the Green Zone is currently “uncontrollable.”

Fierce clashes erupted in the Iraqi capital on Monday, after the leader of the Sadrist movement announced his latest “retirement” from the political field.

Al-Sadr made his announcement after having spent weeks agitating his followers into seizing government institutions to demand the dissolution of parliament.

It also came on the heels of the resignation of Shia Jurist Kazem al-Haeri, who told his followers – most of whom are Sadrist supporters – to follow the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, instead of Al-Sadr. He then accused the Sadrist leader of betraying the legacy of his own father, Mohammad al-Sadr.

In response to the ongoing violence, Iraqi officials announced a nationwide curfew and deployed hundreds of troops to the Green Zone.

On Monday night, Al-Sadr announced that he was starting a “hunger strike” until the violence ends. Sadrist officials told supporters earlier that it is “strictly forbidden to interfere in all political, government, and media matters and to raise slogans and chants in the name of the [Sadrist] movement.”

However, neither announcement did much to stop the clashes.

As the situation continues to deteriorate, Iran announced the closure of its borders with Iraq, just as millions of Iranians were preparing to visit Iraq for the annual Arba’een pilgrimage.

For its part, Kuwait called on all its citizens to leave Iraq immediately, while Dubai airliner Emirates stopped all flights to Baghdad on Tuesday.

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