ASSESSMENTS

Protests Back Iraq’s New Government Into a Corner

MIN READMay 27, 2021 | 20:01 GMT

A woman waves an Iraqi flag as riot police charge toward protesters in Baghdad on May 25, 2021.

(Taha Hussein Ali/Getty Images)

A resurgence of protests in Iraq risks destabilizing the country’s one-year-old government ahead of October elections, but is unlikely to unseat Iran’s deep-rooted influence in Baghdad. May 25 protests demanding reform and accountability from the Iraqi government for extrajudicial killings reignited popular mobilization in numbers akin to those seen in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar protests are likely to continue leading up to October parliamentary elections, which will be a flashpoint between Iraq’s activists and the Iran-backed militias that they believe are to blame for the dozens of assassinations and attempted assassinations of activists in Iraq over the last two years....

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