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Moqtada Sadr’s supporters begin to withdraw from Baghdad’s Green Zone – rts.ch

Moqtada Sadr’s supporters begin to withdraw from Baghdad’s Green Zone – rts.ch

Supporters of Moqtada Sadr began withdrawing from the Green Zone in Baghdad on Tuesday following a call to order from their leader. Iraq’s Shia leader blasted their use of arms against security forces, in battles that left 30 dead in 24 hours.

The army immediately announced the lifting of the curfew decreed the day before in the whole of the oil-rich country but overwhelmed by a serious socio-economic crisis coupled with a political deadlock since the legislative elections of October 2021.

Immediately after Moqtada Sadr’s announcement on Monday of his “retirement” from political life, thousands of his supporters invaded the seat of government in the Green Zone. Fighting then broke out between Sadrists and supporters of the Coordination Framework, a rival alliance of Moqtada Sadr which brings together pro-Iran groups including that of Hachd al-Chaabi.

>> Read also: Fifteen dead and curfew in Iraq after Sadrist demonstrations in Baghdad

“Excuses”

“If all the members of the Sadrist Current do not withdraw within 60 minutes from everywhere (in Baghdad), even from the sit-in (in front of the Parliament), I will disavow them”, threatened Moqtada Sadr during a press conference in his stronghold of Najaf (center).

“I apologize to the Iraqi people, the only ones affected by the events,” added Moqtada Sadr, whose influence is matched only by unpredictability. “Shame on this revolution. No matter who is the initiator, this revolution, as long as it is tainted with violence, is not one”, he denounced, “thanking the security forces and members of Hashd al-Shaabi”.

After his appeal, his supporters began to leave the Green Zone, where government institutions and Western embassies are located, AFP noted. And the guns fell silent.

>> The details in the 12:45 p.m.:

Violence in Baghdad has killed at least 23 since Monday [RTS]

Violence in Baghdad has killed at least 23 people since Monday / 12:45 p.m. / 1 ​​min. / yesterday at 12:45

Calls for dialogue and restraint

The fighting between, on the one hand, the Peace Brigades, an armed faction under the orders of Moqtada Sadr, and, on the other, the security forces and Hachd al-Chaabi, former paramilitaries integrated into the regular forces of the other, had resumed in the morning after a relatively quiet night. Heavy weapons and RPG rockets were used.

According to a latest report provided by a medical source on Tuesday, at least 30 supporters of Moqtada Sadr have been shot dead since Monday and 570 people injured in the Green Zone. A funeral was held in Najaf.

The Coordination Framework condemned the “attack on state institutions” while calling for “dialogue”. The United States, the UN and France have called for restraint.

“Permanent” withdrawal

On Tuesday he again confirmed his withdrawal from political life during his press conference. This decision is “final”, he said. Arriving first in the legislative elections with 73 seats (out of 329) but unable to form a majority, he had his deputies resign in June, claiming to want to “reform” the system and put an end to “corruption”.

ats/ebz

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