(New York, N.Y.) – On Sunday, armed drones attacked the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in a failed assassination attempt. There were no claims of responsibility, but Iraqi security officials identified Iran as the source of the drones while some pointed to Iran-backed militias Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH). KH has denied responsibility for the assassination attempt. In a Monday visit to Baghdad, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force also denied Tehran had any connection to the attack.
Iraq’s Shiite militias are disappointed by their political failures in last month’s parliamentary elections, which saw the Fatah Alliance of Shiite and Iran-backed parties win only 14 seats, down from 48 in the previous election. Fatah Alliance and Badr Organization leader Hadi al-Amiri rejected the election results on behalf of Iraq’s Shiite parties, calling the results a fabrication and threatening to defend the votes of the Iraqi people.
The assassination attempt on Kadhimi is the latest in a string of violence reflective of Iraq’s declining security. Since the parliamentary elections, ISIS militants killed 11 civilians and injured 13 others in an attack on a village in Iraq’s Diyala province, rockets struck a civilian neighborhood near Bagdad’s Green Zone, and pro-Iranian factions staged two days of deadly protests.
ISIS also continues to target U.S. and Iraqi forces. In July 2021, officials representing the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS warned that ISIS continues to regroup in Iraq’s Diyala province. Iraqi intelligence officers and local tribal leaders have also warned ISIS is regrouping in the disputed Kirkuk region in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi security forces have also broken up ISIS attempts to smuggle explosives into Iraq from Syria.
To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Iraq: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Kata’ib Hezbollah, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource Asaib Ahl al-Haq, please click here.
To read CEP’s resource ISIS, please click here.