Long-range missiles targeting Kurdish opposition groups in Koya (Koy Sanjaq) left at least 16 dead and another 47 wounded. The headquarters of both the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (K.D.P.I.) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (P.D.K.I.) were bombed, as was a neighboring refugee camp. Iran was blamed for the attack, and there is a report that drones may have been used. The K.D.P.I. were holding a meeting at the time of the attack.
Basra was calm on Saturday. Security forces arrived, possibly in response to threats from Shi’ite militias. A curfew was lifted after a pause in demonstrations that was planned by organizers. The Umm Qasr port reopened at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning after demonstrators left the area.
However, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered troops on Saturday to “act decisively” against vandals is Basra. Joint Operations Command also promised a severe response to destructive demonstrators. The reaction follows the Friday attack on the Iranian Consulate in Basra. The protesters believe that Iran exerts a corrupting influence on Iraqi politics, and this reaction may only intensify that belief.
After an emergency meeting, the two largest coalitions in parliament called on the prime minister to resign. Abadi, unfortunately, characterized the protest as “political sabotage” instead of producing solutions to a list of grievances that include contaminated water supplies, corruption, and lack of jobs.
Overnight, three Katyusha rockets landed at the airport adjacent to where the U.S. consulate is located, but they did not cause any casualties or inconveniences. Yesterday, demonstrators were prevented from accessing the consulate building. Before curfew, hundreds of protesters roamed the streets and lit tires on fire. Health officials say 15 were killed and 249 were wounded this week.
At least 28 people were killed, and 63 were wounded in recent violence:
The Iranian attack on Koya left 16 dead and 47 wounded.
In Basra, at least nine protesters were killed and 14 more were wounded on Friday than was previously reported. Two security personnel were injured.
An explosion of unknown origin killed three militants in Diyala province.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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- Anti-ISIS Operations Near Syrian Border; 16 Killed in Iraq – September 20th, 2018