Collapse of Abadi Electoral Coalition Shuffles Cards in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. (Reuters)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. (Reuters)
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Collapse of Abadi Electoral Coalition Shuffles Cards in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. (Reuters)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. (Reuters)

Electoral alliances in Iraq were shuffled on Monday after the Victory list alliance collapsed overnight. The coalition was reached on Sunday between Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and leading factions of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

The prime minister did not announce his position regarding the decision of PMF’s al-Fath (Conquest) coalition to withdraw from his list.

However, a source close to Abadi said that the prime minister earlier decided that the Victory alliance should be non-sectarian and not restricted to quotas, adding that those who withdrew from the coalition had refused those two conditions.

A source close to negotiations held between Abadi and PMF leaders told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Parties who signed an electoral pact with the PM were later surprised by his alliance with Ammar al-Hakim, saying that this move further complicated matters.”

On Sunday, the premier announced the signing of an electoral pact with a leading faction from the PMF and leader of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri, for May’s national elections.

Later, the Hikma Movement headed by Ammar al-Hakim said it was joining the Abadi-Ameri alliance under the Victory list.

The sources predicted that the PMF would return to their former ally, head of the "State of Law" bloc, Nouri al-Maliki.

Meanwhile, observers assumed that parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, currently allied with vice president of the Iraqi National list Ayad Allawi, might join the Abadi alliance.

Several political forces had previously expressed their disappointment with the electoral alliance signed between Abadi and the PMF.

MP Ahmed al-Jabouri told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Political forces that supported Abadi in his battle against ISIS did not expect him to return to the arms of sectarianism.”



Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
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Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)

Israeli strikes late on Saturday targeted a depot storing ammunition belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, three security sources told Reuters.

The strikes on the town of Adloun, about 40 km north of Lebanon's border with Israel, set off a string of loud explosions heard by witnesses across the south of Lebanon.

At least four civilians in Adloun were wounded in the strikes, a medical source and a security source told Reuters.

Hezbollah said that its fighters fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, targeting a kibbutz for the first time in nine months in retaliation for an Israeli drone strike earlier in the day that wounded several people including children.
Also Saturday, Hamas said it fired rockets from Lebanon toward an Israeli army post in the northern Israeli village of Shomera in retaliation for the “Zionists massacres” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out such attacks form Lebanon over the past several months, but they have been rare.
Hezbollah’s attack with dozens of Katyusha rockets on the northern Israeli kibbutz of Dafna came few hours after an Israeli drone strike hit a car in the southern Lebanese village of Burj al-Muluk, and shrapnel from the missile wounded several people who were standing nearby. The state-run National News Agency said that the wounded civilians are Syrian citizens and they included children.

The Israeli military said that about 45 projectiles were detected crossing from Lebanon into northern Israel in three separate barrages. It said that some were intercepted, while others fell in open areas, causing no injuries, but triggering several fires in the Golan Heights.