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Iraq: Concerns over Escalating Conflict between Sadrist Movement, Coordination Framework

Iraq: Concerns over Escalating Conflict between Sadrist Movement, Coordination Framework

Friday, 19 August, 2022 - 10:00
Iraq’s political blocs hold a dialogue session at the government palace in Baghdad (Prime Minister's Office - EPA)

Concerns have mounted in Iraq over the conflict between the Sadrist movement and the Coordination Framework, which was further compounded by the street pressure exerted on Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

Photos published by the Iraqi government showed Al-Kadhimi exhausted as he spoke with the leaders of the political blocs during the dialogue session that the Sadrist movement boycotted.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the session did not achieve a “political breakthrough” to end the crisis.

Other sources revealed that Al-Kadhimi received a promise from Al-Sadr's circles to participate in the dialogue session through his representatives, as the meeting was expected to discuss the roadmap for forming the interim government and holding the elections; but the sources added that Al-Sadr “changed his opinion at the last minute.”

Al-Kadhimi has made repeated calls to shift the course of the crisis from the street to dialogue, “to avoid dangerous scenarios.” However, the powerful forces in the Coordination Framework do not seem to trust any political role assumed by the Iraqi premier.

Security and political sources said that political parties and armed groups were planning to take to the street “to protect the regime and legitimacy.”

Earlier this week, Kataeb Hezbollah - which withdrew from Parliament and did not participate in the sit-in organized by the Coordination Framework against the Sadrist movement - announced that it was “ready to adopt the necessary measures to protect the regime in accordance with the legitimate mandate.”

In this regard, fears mounted in Iraq over the way Al-Kadhimi would deal with the ongoing clash between the two political blocs, and whether the street conflict would lead to the division and disintegration of the official military institution.

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