Iraq's Al Kadhimi: We know the perpetrators behind assassination attempt

Prime Minister said he would ‘expose’ those responsible for the attack

Hours after a failed attempt on his life, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi held an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers and said he knew who had tried to kill him.

“We will pursue the perpetrators of Sunday’s crime. We know them very well and we will expose them,” he said.

Three explosive-laden drones attacked Mr Al Kadhimi’s home in the highly secure Green Zone, which houses government buildings and international diplomatic missions, including the US embassy.

Troops and army tanks were stationed across the capital Baghdad after the assassination attempt. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

The council released a statement calling the attack “a serious targeting of the Iraqi state”.

On Sunday afternoon, the Commander of the Iran’s Quds Force, Brig Gen Esmael Qaani, flew to Baghdad and met Mr Al Kadhimi and President Barham Salih, two government officials told The National on Monday.

“It was a quick visit and lasted for only a few hours,” one official close to the prime minister said. “He denied any role of Iran in the attack and called for calm.”

He also met Hadi Al Amiri, who leads Badr Organisation and the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance bloc of politicians and militia commanders, the second official said.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to release information.

The attack was carried out by at least one Tehran-backed militia group, Iraqi security officials and sources close to the militias told Reuters. They said the drones and explosives used were Iranian-made.

A representative for one Iran-aligned paramilitary group declined to comment immediately on the attack or on who carried it out. Other Iran-backed groups could not be reached immediately for comment, and there was no immediate comment from the government in Tehran.

Joint Operations Command spokesman Maj Gen Tahsin Al Khafaji said Iraq’s security forces would “hunt down” those who undermine the country’s national security.

“The security forces are doing their duty and everything is going as planned,” he said, according to a report by Iraq’s state news agency, INA.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the perpetrators must be held to account and called on the Iraqi public to denounce all acts of violence.

“The UN will continue to support with the people and government of Iraq in their quest for a better future,” he said.

US President Joe Biden said his administration would “offer all appropriate assistance to Iraq’s security forces as they investigate the attack and identify those responsible”.

On Sunday, Iraq’s National Security Council formed a committee to investigate the assassination attempt.

Watch: Footage of the aftermath of the attempt

Updated: November 8th 2021, 1:47 PM
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