US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed US concern over the situation in Iraq during a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Monday, and discussed updates of Iraqi protests.
A statement by Abdul-Mahdi’s media office said, “The prime minister reviewed the latest security developments in the country and confirmed that normal life has returned after lifting the curfew, and confirmed that security forces had resumed its control over the country and stability had been restored.”
According to the statement, Pompeo has also asserted that Washington is supporting Iraq’s efforts to maintain security.
Protests in Iraq continued for the seventh day, leading to more casualties. The death toll of Iraqi protests rose to 104 people during the sixth day. Eight security force members were among the deaths. At least 6,000 others were injured in less than a week, the Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesperson, Saad Maan, said in a press conference on Sunday.
During the Sunday’s conference, Maan said that the security forces did not repel the protesters, adding that “malicious hands” were behind the targeting of protesters.
He noted that the investigation is ongoing to identify whoever targeted the demonstrators, adding that the protesters had burned 51 public facilities and eight political party headquarters during the mass protests.
However, eyewitnesses and the journalists on the scene reported that they witnessed security forces firing on demonstrators, and also said that snipers were taking part in repelling the protesters.
Moreover, UN envoy in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, demanded a stop to the violence, describing it as a “senseless loss of life.”
On Sunday, the UN’s top official condemned in a tweet the ongoing violence and repeated her calls to stop it. Also, on Saturday, she called on “all parties to pause and reflect,” and asserted that “those responsible for violence should be held to account.”