Iraq’s Prime Minister Targeted in Assassination Attempt
On Sunday, a drone equipped with explosives attacked the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Baghdad early on Sunday. Iraqi security officials believe that the incident was an assassination attempt, marking an escalation of tensions between Iran-backed militia groups and the Iraqi government. Mr. Khadhimi addressed the nation on television shortly after the attack and confirmed that he was not injured during the incident. The attack came after threats against Mr. Kadhimi from an Iran-backed militia leader. However, no armed groups have claimed responsibility for the attack.
The assassination attempt will likely add to political turmoil in the aftermath of a controversial parliamentary election in Iraq last month in which Iran-backed militia groups claimed, without evidence, that the vote was rigged and therefore the election was not fair. Iran-backed paramilitary groups have been deploying drones in a series of attacks on US forces located in Iraq and Syria over the past several months, leading to the US military’s decision to increase protective measures on bases in those regions. According to reports from the Iraqi interior ministry, the attack consisted of two drones. One carried rockets, including the one that exploded on impact. Seven security officers were injured as a result of the attack.