Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi escaped unharmed from an assassination attempt by three armed drones in Baghdad on Sunday, officials said. The assassination attempt came weeks after a general election was disputed by Iran-backed militia groups.

The attempt dramatically raises tension in the country that has already seen threats of violence.

Al-Kadhimi took to social media moments after the attack and called for “calm and restraint from everyone.”

“Thank God, I am fine and among my people,” he posted on Twitter.

“I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers and will shake a hair of the stability and determination of our heroic security forces to preserve people’s security, achieve justice, and set the law in place,” he added.

Firebrand Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose party was the biggest winner in last month’s election, called the attack a terrorist act against Iraq’s stability but stopped short of blaming Iran. Instead, al-Sadr said the forces responsible aimed to “return Iraq to a state of chaos to be controlled by non-state forces.”

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack and offered assistance with the investigation.

iranian drones
Iranian drones displayed after an exercise. (AFP)

Al-Kadhimi called the attempt a cowardly act, saying that they work against the efforts to build a better future for the country. He called for calm and constructive dialogue “for the sake of Iraq and the future of Iraq.”