Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an attempted assassination by drone that targeted his home early Sunday and is “unharmed and in good health,” the Iraqi government said in a statement.
There was “an explosives-laden drone that tried to target his residence in the Green Zone,” the statement released by state-run media said, adding that security forces “are taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt.”
“The rockets of treason will not shake one bit of the steadfastness and determination of the heroic security forces,” the Iraqi prime minister said in post on Twitter after the attack. “I am fine and among my people. Thank God.”
Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The U.S. State Department condemned the attack in a statement Sunday and said it has offered assistance to Iraqi security forces as they investigate the attack.
“We are relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, calling the incident an “apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn.”
“Our commitment to our Iraqi partners is unshakeable. The United States stands with the government and people of Iraq,” he added.
Supporters of the pro-Iran Shiite militias have been camped outside the fortified Green Zone over the past month, and have been clashing with Iraqi security forces, following the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections on Oct. 10 in which pro-Iranian groups faced losses.
The election was held months ahead of schedule following mass protests in late 2019 in Baghdad and across the Shiite south where tens of thousands of people called for sweeping political change and protested against widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities, and poor basic services, including regular power cuts despite Iraq’s vast oil reserves. They also protested against the heavy-handed interference of neighboring Iran in Iraq’s affairs through Iran-backed militias.
United States earlier this year expressed ongoing support for Iraq’s energy independence, given its current reliance on Iran. Iraq relies on Iranian supplies for a third of power needs, especially during peak summer months.
The United States and Iraq held talks earlier this year and affirmed the need for continued security cooperation in the region to counter the ISIS terrorist group.
Al-Kadhimi have previously faced threats from pro-Iran militias. In late March, they called for the U.S.-backed prime minister to order U.S. troops to completely leave Iraq, and threatened to cut off his ear.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times