Iraq’s defense minister urges army to avoid political tension

He also advised the officials to be aware of “provocations”, the statement added.
author_image Kurdistan 24
Iraqi soldiers stand on a truck by a base in Sinjar, Iraq, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Photo: Ali Abdul Hassan/AP)
Iraqi soldiers stand on a truck by a base in Sinjar, Iraq, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Photo: Ali Abdul Hassan/AP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Thursday called on the armed forces to stay away from the current political crisis that the country is experiencing.

The direction came during a virtual meeting between Minister of Defense Juma Inad with the army’s top commanders, as the country is set to witness a new wave of demonstrations from the supporters of political rivals on Friday.

The minister asked the armed forces to be “distant from political rivalries”, stressing they need to stick to their primary duty which is protecting the public from terrorism, according to a statement.

He also advised the officials to be aware of “provocations”, the statement added.

The followers of the powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr have been called upon to take to the streets on Friday as part of their ongoing demonstrations, demanding the dissolution of the parliament and holding a snap election.

The cleric on Wednesday asked the judiciary to dissolve the parliament as the legislature had missed the constitutional deadlines to form a government and elect a president for the country.

His representative told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday if the court does not side with the people, the Sadrists will “respond accordingly to any circumstance”.

The parliament has been occupied by the cleric’s supporters for more than 10 days, suspending any legislative sessions to elect the new government. The Shiite Coordination Framework, which consists of mainly pro-Iran groups, is trying to form a government headed by their nominee, Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani.

In June, the religious leader withdrew his 73 parliamentarians to defy the months-long political deadlock. Iraq held its early elections in October 2021.