Heading a sizable military delegation from Baghdad, Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army Abdel Emir Yarallah on Tuesday visited the southern provinces of Dhi Qar and Basra.
The visit comes a day after demonstrators lit a government building on fire in Dhi Qar’s central business district of Nasiriyah.
In Basra, local clans clashed with armed factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
The violent confrontations, which erupted in the vicinity of the presidential palace complex in Basra, witnessed the use of mortars and medium weapons.
“The governorate was reinforced with security forces to consolidate security, pursue saboteurs and prevent any attempts to destabilize security and stability in Nasiriyah,” said Dhi Qar governor Muhammad Hadi upon the arrival of the military delegation.
Hadi revealed that at least 30 rioters were arrested and referred to the judiciary for punishment. The governor added that another 20 arrest warrants have been issued against those involved in vandalism in Nasiriyah.
While some are blaming Nasiriyah’s events on anti-corruption protesters, others argue that the Coordination Framework is behind what happened. The Coordination Framework has a desire for taking over the position of governor in Dhi Qar.
“The Coordination Framework believes that it is more deserving of the position of governor in Dhi Qar given it has secured a parliamentary majority after the withdrawal of the Sadrist bloc,” a local administration source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
According to the source, Coordination Framework lawmakers and representatives from the Emtidad Movement had convened on Monday to find a way to topple Hadi, who is a Sadrist, from his position.
“A group of masked protesters had attacked security forces with Molotov cocktails,” field sources based in Dhi Qar told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Security forces responded to the attack with live ammunition to disband the amassing crowds,” sources added.