What Happened: Deadly clashes between Iraqi security forces and protesters continued Oct. 5, bringing the total number of people killed since anti-government demonstrations began Oct. 1 to at least 72, according to AP and other news sources. Armed rioters also reportedly breached television stations in Baghdad, including one belonging to Al-Arabiya.
Why It Matters: The Iraqi government is struggling to come up with realistic and satisfying answers to the demands of protesters seeking an end to corruption and nepotism, and demanding better economic and social services. Iraq's parliament was unable to reach a quorum on Oct. 5 despite an effort to meet to discuss the government's response, an indication of how split the government is on how to respond.
Background: Anti-government protests began Oct. 1 and have now continued for the fifth day in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq's center and south. The United Nations has urged the Iraqi government to stop violently cracking down on the protesters.
- Iraq: Metastasizing Protests Threaten to Upend the Government (Oct. 4, 2019)
- Building Pressures Risk Tearing Iraq's Fragile Government Apart (Sept. 25, 2019)
- Why Iraq Could Be the Next Regional Powder Keg (Aug. 23, 2019)