Baghdad was under heavy security on Friday to prevent demonstrations from reaching the Green Zone again. Some of the fortifications resembled security features used during the Iraq War. As a precaution, an additional 25 Marines were deployed to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr asked his followers to instead gather around mosques after Friday prayers and to prepare for a mass rally on Tuesday. Sadr and the demonstrators want to put pressure on Parliament to reform the government. First on the agenda was a vote to restructure the Cabinet, but Parliament has avoided the task.
While speaking to the U.N Security Council, Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Iraq, noted that the political blocs believe switching out the Cabinet will de-legitimize the government and give Sadr too much power. But, Kubis also warned Iraqi politicians that the ongoing crisis serves the interests of the Islamic State militants.
In other news, Kurdish Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani was in Washington D.C. to ask the U.S. government for funding to continue their war on Daesh.
Violence left 52 dead and 20 wounded:
Two bombs in Abu Ghraib left three dead and 13 wounded.
Twenty militants were killed in strikes on Makhmour.
Security forces killed three militants in Garma.