In “Message To Tehran” Iraqi Protesters Torch Another Iranian Consulate
The month of protest mayhem has continued in Iraq, on Wednesday once again escalating into attacks on Iranian and pro-Iranian bases and sites, especially in the restive southern provinces, where Tehran’s proxies in Iraq are considered strongest.
Reuters reports, “Iraqi protesters stormed and set fire to the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Najaf on Wednesday, police and civil defense sources said.”
Consular staff had reportedly evacuated as mobs of angry demonstrators gathered prior to the incident, which involved Iraqis storming the compound and breaching the gates. A mass blaze then erupted from within during the evening hours as social media videos quickly put online show.
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) November 27, 2019
It marks the second such mob attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in under a month, after the Iranian consulate in the southern Shia holy city of Karbala came under attack and was torched on Nov. 3.
Iraq remains a sectarian powder keg waiting to erupt further, given anti-corruption protests have quickly turned to target neighboring Iran’s influence.
Humanitarian monitors have counted hundreds dead among the protests which have raged for over a month, with most international media citing over 300 killed and many thousands wounded.
— Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) November 27, 2019
Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militias have reportedly been increasingly involved in assisting security forces in putting down the popular unrest which has swept the country – by some accounts even deploying snipers.
This has increased fears that the even larger, but on the whole much more peaceful ongoing protests in nearby Lebanon could also soon become armed and sectarian just in Iraq.
Kurdistan-24 journalist Barzan Sadiq described the consular attacks this month as a “Bright message to Tehran and its proxies in Iraq.”