Pro-Iran factions in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have prepared a list of names of activists throughout the country’s central and southern cities to arrest them on charges of “belonging to the dissolved Baath party,” revealed a security source.
The source said the majority of the arrest orders were based on “fabricated evidence” about meetings of Baath members.
The PMF is resorting to such claims to crack down on activists, accusing them of “stirring strife” and “sabotaging the Arabeen rituals”.
It also alleges that Baathists inside Iraq and abroad are plotting to target religious figures.
An Iraqi activist told Asharq Al-Awsat that the factions have “set up a trap to lure their targets.”
He explained that they send out people offering funds to support the protests before later claiming that they are part of cells working with the Baath to topple the ruling regime.
Separately, caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is set to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
President Barham Salih, meanwhile, received an invitation to attend the Arab League summit that is scheduled for Algeria in November.
Elsewhere, images emerged of commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Esmail Qaani in Iraq’s Samarra.
The official was in Iraq as part of a delegation of Iranian figures who were taking part in the Arabeen rituals in Karbala.
The fact that he was in Samarra and chose not to visit Baghdad or al-Najaf, where political power lies, has raised questions.