11/08/2021, 15.23
IRAQ
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Card Sako: The attack against al-Kadhimi was meant to destabilise Iraq

Iraq’s president, al-Sadr, the US and the UN unanimously condemn the drone attack against the prime minister's home in which six bodyguards were wounded. So far, no one has claimed responsibility. Many Christians feel sad about the incident and offer their prayers, said the Chaldean Primate. Many view the prime minister’s desire for reform as genuine.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – A drone laden with explosives hit the home of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi overnight on Saturday. Six bodyguards were hurt, but not the prime minister.

Speaking to AsiaNews about the incident, Card Louis Raphael Sako, said that the drone strike was an attempt to prevent the creation of strong Iraq, of a state “based on the law, citizenship, order and justice”.

"It is not yet known who is behind this but it is clear that the goal was to destabilise [the country], sow confusion and interrupt the work started by the prime minister, who wants to build an Iraq that is not isolated” at the international level.

The Chaldean primate does not think that the Islamic State group is involved. Instead, he notes its similarity with rocket and drone attacks against the airport of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the US embassy in Baghdad.

For Card Sako, “The plan was to strike at Kadhimi as the representative of the state. I heard the explosions because the patriarchate is not very far from the Green Zone.”

A few hours after his close brush with death, the prime minister appeared in a video released by his office, showing him meeting with top security officials.

In a note, Kadhimi's office slammed the “cowardly terrorist attack [. . .] by criminal armed groups.”

Two of the three drones used in the attack were downed by security forces while a third hit the residence, in central Baghdad.

At present, the situation is calm. No one has yet claimed responsibility for attack, which elicited condemnation from, among others, Iraqi President Barham Salih, radical Iraqi Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, the United Nations, the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Experts link the attack to last month’s parliamentary elections (10 October), whose outcome has been challenged by some, especially pro-Iran Shia parties.

Final results have not yet been released. But last Friday, pro-Iranian militias took to the streets in large number claiming that voting was rigged.

Since the election, tensions have been rising, raising concerns in the Chaldean Church, which is calling for a strong government to end the violence and the chaos that could plunge the country into the abyss.

During Sunday Mass yesterday, the Chaldean patriarch prayed for the safety of the prime minister and the country.

"Among the faithful, there is great sadness over the attack,” he said, “but also happiness that he was safe. Many believe that his push for reform is genuine and good for the country.

“So far he has never resorted to the use of force to solve problems;” instead, “he is calling for dialogue and coming together even with his enemies and political adversaries.”

It is clear for Card Sako that the attack is linked to the post-election process, which will include the opening of a new parliament and the election of the next president, parliamentary speaker, and prime minister. Kadhimi could succeed himself.

“I call on all Christians in Iraq to pray for the good of the country,” the prelate urged. Christians should “wait calmly and confidently, not be carried away by tensions, and remain a source of stability.”

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