PHOTOS: Pro-militia crowd sets Baghdad office of Kurdish party ablaze
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Saturday morning, crowds carrying banners of Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias stormed the main Baghdad office of the leading Kurdish party and set both the building and Kurdistan flags on fire.
Angry flocks of marchers entered the office, located in the capital's central Karrada neighborhood, following critical remarks from a senior KDP senior regarding the militia forces with regards to the security of foreign diplomatic missions in Iraq.
According to witnesses and shown in video shared on social media, the angry mob easily managed to break through the building's front entrance gate and crowd onto the property while large numbers of security forces that included riot police looked on.
The angry mob did not only set fire to the headquarters but also the official flag of the Kurdistan Region, sparking massive outrage among the Kurdish population both domestically and abroad.
Soon after the attack, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani urged his Iraqi counterpart, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, to start “an immediate investigation” and stressed that the perpetrators must “be held accountable.”
“Disrespecting and burning Kurdistan’s most sacred symbol, and targeting the offices of a party which has paid the ultimate price in its fight against authoritarianism and to secure the Kurdistani nation’s fundamental rights, is a flagrant attack on democratic values and the peace and stability of Iraq,” the premier added.
Following the incident, the federal government’s National Security Council held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, also Iraq’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The body denounced the attack in a statement and said that 15 suspects had been arrested.
Kadhimi then wrote in a tweet that security forces had detained “some of the perpetrators” and were pursuing “others” and the council vowed that the government would take “firm” measures against those responsible.
Editing by John J. Catherine