‘Cowardly terrorist attack’ on Iraqi PM Al Kadhimi condemned around the world

Mustafa Al Kadhimi survived the drone attack on his home early on Sunday

The international community has condemned the assassination attempt on Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, with the UAE describing it as “cowardly” and the US condemning it as a “terrorist” act.

Although Mr Al Kadhimi escaped with only an injured wrist, images showed the destruction at his home caused by the explosive-laden drone after a week of escalating tension.

Mr Al Kadhimi said after chairing a security meeting on Sunday that those behind an attempt on his life were well known and would be exposed.

"We will pursue those who committed yesterday's crime, we know them well and we will expose them," he said according to a statement from the prime minister office.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned” what they called a “cowardly terrorist attack” on Mr Al Kadhimi’s residence.

His home is inside the Green Zone, a secure compound that houses government buildings and international missions including the US embassy.

US President Joe Biden condemned the attack and said those responsible for it “must be held accountable”.

“I am relieved the prime minister was not injured and commend the leadership he has shown in calling for calm, restraint and dialogue to protect the institutions of the state and strengthen the democracy Iraqis so richly deserve,” he said.

“I condemn in the strongest terms those using violence to undermine Iraq’s democratic process.”

Mr Biden said he had instructed his national security team to help Iraq’s security forces to investigate the attack and identify those behind it.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed his dismay at the attack, saying it was “directed at the heart of the Iraqi state”.

US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi to condemn the terrorist attack and convey his relief that the Prime minister was unharmed.

Secretary Blinken underscored this attack was also an attack on the sovereignty and stability of the Iraqi state.

Mr Blinken reiterated that the US partnership with Mr Al Kadhimi and with Iraq is steadfast, and pledged to support the Iraqi security forces as they investigate this attack.

Iran’s senior security official, Ali Shamkhani, referred to the attack as “a new sedition” while Tehran’s Foreign Ministry urged “vigilance to foil plots aimed at the security and development”.

“The attempt … is a new sedition that must be traced back to foreign think tanks,” he said on Twitter.

Iran backs numerous armed militias in Iraq that have been accused of carrying out repeated attacks against US and international forces in Iraq.

A security official with the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia – one of the armed groups most vocally opposed to Mr Al Kadhimi and connected to past attacks – dismissed involvement in the attack.

“According to our confirmed information, no-one in Iraq has the desire to waste a drone on the house of a former prime minister,” Abu Ali Al Askari said on Telegram.

Iran blamed the US for the attack on Mr Al Kadhimi.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said it was relieved Mr Al Kadhimi was not seriously hurt.

“Terrorism, violence and unlawful acts must not be allowed to undermine Iraq’s stability and derail its democratic process,” it said.

“Unami strongly encourages all sides to take responsibility for de-escalation and to engage in dialogue to ease political tensions, upholding the national interest of Iraq.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson "strongly condemned" the attack targeting his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa al-Kadhemi, his office said Sunday.

Johnson also "offered his sympathies to those injured" after an explosives-packed drone struck Kadhemi's Baghdad residence early Sunday, Downing Street said.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, also condemned the attack and backed Mr Al Kadhimi’s call for calm.

“We condemn the attack on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi,” she said on Twitter.

“We stand with the Iraqi government, security forces and people in their rejection of political violence and strongly support the Prime Minister’s call for calm and restraint.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the attack.

Qatar’s state-run news agency carried a statement from authorities that said the country supported the “unity, stability and sovereignty” of Iraq.

Jordan’s state news agency, Petra, quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying it rejected “attempts that aim to tamper with the security and stability of Iraq”.

“The ministry also reiterated Jordan’s supportive stance towards Iraq in the face of whatever threatens the security of its people and in combatting terrorism,” the agency reported.

Bahrain’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid called Mr Al Kadhimi and condemned the attack, and expressed Kuwait’s “solidarity with the Iraqi government and its people”.

Masoud Barzani, the former president of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq, also called Mr Al Kadhimi to give his support.

Updated: November 8th 2021, 5:51 AM
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