In the past six days,it has been a bloody days of unrest as not less than 104 people have been killed and 6,000 wounded in Iraq.
On Monday, there was a use of excessive force against unarmed protesters which was responsible for some of the civilian deaths by the Iraqi military.
In a statement made by the military, “Excessive force outside the rules of engagement was used and we have begun to hold accountable those commanding officers who carried out these wrong acts.”
However, the Iraqi Interior spokesman contradicts the Military statement when he said that local security forces are not responsible for the slayings of protestors, and that an investigation is underway to uncover the “malicious hands” at fault.
Protesters and journalists who witnessed the scene said security forces open firing on unarmed demonstrators to stop the uprising, while snipers were targeted at civilians on Friday, the bloodiest day of unrest in Baghdad since the protests began on Tuesday.
According to Maan in his address,he said that most of the civilians who were killed were shot in the head or heart. Local hospitals are overflowing with injured Iraqis and many families are faced with the task of identifying their dead loved ones’ bodies.
The young Iraqis who were protesting against widespread government corruption and a failing economy started the mostly spontaneous demonstration.
The bloody demonstrations are the first serious challenge in Iraq since troops declared victory against ISIS two years ago. It was a sensitive time for Iraq when the protest started because the oil-rich country is allied with both the US and Iran — two countries who are playing a tense game of geopolitical chess in the Persian Gulf. Iraq hosts thousands of US troops, as well as powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
Many Iraqis are protesting Iran’s influence in their country and videos are surfacing online of demonstrators tearing apart public images of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Khamenei said Twitter that “Iran and Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together… Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed & their conspiracy won’t be effective,”
Iranian-backed militias have pledged their support for the Iraqi government against the protestors.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi urged demonstrators to stay at home but that hasn’t stopped frustrated civilians from flooding the streets of Baghdad and surrounding areas to demand a better life.
The images of Jesus and other biblical figures were displayed as some Iraqi Christians joined the protest.
It was shown in a video a protestor taking refuge in a church as security forces open fire on him.
Juliana Taimoorazy, Advocacy Fellow of the Philos Project and Founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council told CBN News that Iraqi Christians are exercising their rights by being concerned about their country’s future as their fellow citizens.
“This is their country after all. This is their ancestral homeland as well so they are concerned about their own well-being and of course, the well-being of the whole country. They too suffer like the rest of the Iraqis from corruption in the government, lack of real leadership and basic living standards,” Juliana Taimoorazy, Advocacy Fellow of the Philos Project and Founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council told CBN News.
Taimoorazy,Advocacy Fellow of the Philos Project and Founder of the Iraq Christian Relief Council made it known that the Iraqi Christians have come under severe attack starting in 2003 for their faith and their ethnicity and they suffer alongside their Arab brethren and other minorities inside Iraq.
Many proposals were released on Sunday by Abdul-Mahdi to quell the outrage, including plans to increase unemployment benefits and offer new business loans. The proposals released did nothing to reduce tension or break the violent deadlock between the Iraqi government and its people.
Abbas Najm, a 43-year-old unemployed engineer who demonstrated Saturday in Tahrir Square said it has been 16 years of corruption and injustice. “We are not afraid of bullets or the death of martyrs. We will keep going and we won’t back down.” He said.
President Donald Trump intervention has been sought for by Iraqi Americans to stop the violence against civilians. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition urging the US to intervene.