Protests in Iraq escalates
Protesters in southern Iraq took to the streets July 16, continuing demonstrations over poor public services and corruption for the ninth day in a row. The protesters are demanding consistent electricity service, clean water and better public services.
The protests, which started with a small group of demonstrators in the southern city of Basra 10 days ago, have expanded very quickly in that city and other areas in Iraq’s south, including Karbala, Najaf, Nasiriyah and Amarah, among others. The use of violence against protesters in Basra, which resulted in the death of one protester on July 8, in addition to the government’s delay in addressing the demonstrators’ demands have poured oil on the fire and caused the wave of protests to spread throughout the southern areas.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appointed a special committee of five ministers to address the protesters' demands prior to his departure to Brussels July 11 to attend a meeting of the coalition against the Islamic State (IS).