This week’s protests mark the biggest challenge yet for Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi since taking power a year ago.
For days, thousands of young men rallied across Baghdad against corruption, failed public services and high unemployment. At least one hundred protesters have been killed and thousands of others injured during clashes with the military.
The Iraqi government has admitted using excessive force to end the demonstrations and is promising several social reforms. Two years after declaring the defeat of ISIS, Iraq is still struggling to rebuild destroyed cities and bring thousands of displaced people home.
To discuss all of this:
- Ahmed Rushdi is the senior policy adviser to the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and the Director of the House of Iraqi Expertise Foundation.
- Bilal Wahab is the Wagner fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Abdel Bari Atwan is the editor-in-chief of the digital Arabic news and opinion site, Rai al-Youm.
- Harlan Ullman is chairman of the Killowen Group and senior adviser with the Atlantic Council.
Street clashes, over 100 dead in less than a week: Iraq's new cycle of instability is an open crisis with no known path forward, one that could potentially be the most dangerous the nation has faced since the war against the Islamic State group. https://t.co/vq1cyt86C6
— AP Middle East (@APMiddleEast) October 9, 2019
— Hiwa Osman (@Hiwaosman) October 6, 2019