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How is Iran Fueling Insurgency Amidst Ongoing Iraq Protests

Last Sunday, Iraq protests erupted once again, filling the streets with fury and fire. Insurgency in the capital city of Baghdad that rose after a five-day gap, demanded an end to corruption whilst availability of necessities, and Iran along with its proxies be removed from the government.

Iraq is in dire need of a real civilian rule and the people in the nation have been challenged over and over again, especially in the past few years. “Protesters are being burned with hot water, tear gas, and by live fire. We are poor people, and the Iranian-backed militias are doing this to us. They are even coming to the hospitals to kill the (wounded) protestors,” Abbas Naji, 24, who previously worked in hospitality in the southern city of Nasiriya, but has been unemployed for four years, told Fox News.

The demonstrators have accused the militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMFs) – which were formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic state – as the group personalizing attacks on Tehran’s behalf and meddling in money-making and protecting spoiled politicians. However, the group still maintains good support, with a widespread recognition as the war heroes who defeated the militias.

The protestors, which encompass all religiously frustrated groups of Iraq, started peacefully. However, the Iraq protests converted into a violent wave after anti-ISIS leader, General Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi was removed from his position heading the counterterrorism command.

The Iraqi government, led by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi who took office a year ago, also cunningly moved to deploy security forces, blackout the Internet and even impose a curfew. The situations, thus, instigated anger in people, who came out in larger numbers to repel the moves and grow a movement against the government.

On Sunday, at least seven anti-government demonstrators lost lives during the riots, with the numbers now reaching to at least 104 confirmed deaths.

“Iran controls every sector of Iraq. There are no job opportunities, no services, and yet the irony is, Iraq is a very wealthy country. Iraqis are united in wanting to see the changes that Iraq deserves. Many have been killed or injured for this cause,” said Mohammed Saad, 30, a sales manager and prominent protestor in Baghdad. “I’ve seen snipers shooting unarmed girls straight in the head, young men asking for their rights only to be shot,” he added.

Iraq has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, which amount good enough to send the nation’s economy to the highest of highs. Yet, the present conditions even fail to satisfy the basic needs like food, water and electricity.

“There is no electricity, no clean water. The money from the oil goes to Iran; it is stolen from us,” Abdul Zaha al-Kinani, an unemployed man in his mid-20s from Sadr City, said. “We want clean water, food. But, the militias from Iran are killing us, and the world is silent.”

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