Iraq: Shiite Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Religious Centers Attacked After Election Win

In this May 14, 2018, file photo, followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, seen in the poster, celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq. Fourteen years after Muqtada al-Sadr’s militias fought and killed American troops who had invaded Iraq, the United States is preparing to work hand in hand with the …
AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Unknown gunmen reportedly attacked two military and religious bases belonging to Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement on Wednesday in Maysan province in southeastern Iraq, on the Iran-Iraq border, following the Shiite cleric’s preliminary parliamentary victory.

According to Kurdish outlet Rudaw, “The perpetrators blew up Saraya al-Salam’s 28th Brigade headquarters and the movement’s Malik al-Ashtar cultural center, which is used for religious affairs.”

Al-Sadr reportedly released a statement confirming the attack on Wednesday and called the attackers a “group of cowards,” but was cautious not to blame any party in particular. He also reportedly blasted Iran’s efforts to influence his post-election dealmaking with a visit from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Forces Commander Qassem Soleimani, saying on social media that he “rejected any foreign intervention in the efforts to form a new government.”

In another post, he reportedly said he would work with other political parties, “as long as they are not occupiers of our country, both for occupation and for domination.”

In the Kurdish region of Sinjar, Iranian-backed militias of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces, PMF) have reportedly threatened a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official. The Iraqi Kurdish outlet BasNews reported that the KDP, which is led by President Masoud Barzani, won the majority among Kurdish political factions.

The head of KDP branch in Snune, Izdin Shamo Arab, told BasNews, “A group of militias of Hashd al-Shaabi have raided the house of a KDP official in Snune town, threatening to kill him if he continues to work for his party in the area.” Arab added, “The official is still in Snune and his life is in danger as the armed group had also fired into the sky over his house as a threat.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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