Iraqi Commander Blames US for Basra Chaos, Demands PM’s Resignation

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Commander of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, an offshoot of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), denounced the recent violent unrest in the southern city of Basra as an American plot for disintegration of Iraq, demanding Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s resignation.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday night, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali said the violent protests in Basra laid bare a US plot that aims to rip Iraq apart and foment sectarian violence in the country.

Pointing to the recent mob attacks on various offices and buildings of political parties in Basra, Khazali said it is surprising that the protestors cite water shortage problems while the offices of the minister in charge of water supply –from the Sadrist Movement- and the chief of the administration, Haider al-Abadi, have remained intact in the rallies.

“The situation in Basra has reached an impasse, thus we demand Haider al-Abadi’s resignation,” the commander of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq added.

He also said that Washington seeks to pick its favorite choice for the post of Iraq’s prime minister.

Warning against the US plot to rip Iraq apart and incite sectarian strife in the country, Khazali said the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq forces will step in if the security situation worsens and the country’s stability is threatened.

On Friday evening, a mob of angry protestors stormed into the Iranian Consulate in Basra, destroyed the diplomatic mission’s properties, took down the flag of Iran and torched the building.

The Iranian consulate’s building was not the first to be set on fire. The angry demonstrators had earlier set government buildings ablaze as well. The buildings included the headquarters of the local government, the ruling Dawa Party, the Supreme Islamic Council and the Badr Organization.

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