The Pentagon has no plans to heighten security or move U.S. troops in Baghdad after protesters loyal to Shiite Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr breached the Green Zone over the weekend to demand political reform, Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday.
Hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday stormed the city’s Green Zone, a large protected swath of land that includes the U.S. and other embassies and the Iraq government’s ministries and parliament, to protest Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s inability to overhaul his cabinet and how Iraq’s parliament is selected, which al-Sadr’s forces and al-Abadi blame for contributing to the country’s political corruption.
By Sunday, protesters had pulled down portions of the tall concrete wall that separates the Green Zone from the rest of Baghdad. But, on al-Sadr’s orders, protesters had peacefully left the zone as of late Sunday, Reuters reported.
Despite the incursion, Davis said no changes are planned for U.S. troops deployed in Baghdad and the U.S. embassy was not at risk.
“They did not seem to be interested in us, and there was no indication that they were going anywhere near the embassy or where the international missions are there,” he said Monday at the Pentagon. “This is really focused on the parliament building.”
Read more at Military.com
Image c0urtesy of nbcnews.com