Israel, U.S. behind Iraqi PM assassination attempt

November 10, 2021 - 18:13

TEHRAN - The Secretary General of Iraq’s Asaib ahl al-Haq has dismissed accusations his movement played any role in the assassination attempt against the country’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Qais al-Khazali, noted there have been no direct or indirect accusations against the group from any political side in Iraq. He said “as for media accusations, we are used to these accusations as we hear them waged against us in almost every incident that occurs in Iraq”. 

The Iraqi Premier’s office says three drones armed with explosives had been used in the operation that led to the injury of at least six members of Kadhimi’s security personnel. According to the PM’s office, two of the drones had been intercepted while the third one caused significant damage to the Prime Minister’s residence. Kadhimi has described the incident as a “cowardly terrorist attack”. 

The attack comes amid protests against the country’s election results that turned deadly two days earlier, with unknown gunmen opening fire on demonstrators. Following the incident on Kadhimi’s home the Prime Minister held a meeting with the leaders of some of the major political parties in Iraq. 

Khazali pointed out the movement has many doubts, many observations about the incident, saying an explosion certainly happened at the Premier’s home but the nature of the explosion has left many questions to be answered. He questioned the failure of the American  C-RAM system stationed at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone to detect any incoming projectile at the time of the attack. 

The Prime Minister’s residence is one kilometer away from the U.S. embassy and according to Khazali, the C-RAM system’s radar can detect “drones and missiles or even a pigeon from 15 kilometers away” with the ability to shoot down the target. He says that raises suspicions as to how the perpetrators of the assassination attempt managed to fly three drones in the vicinity. 

Khazali says he discussed all the scenarios of the attack, including the technicalities, during his meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. 

The resistance movement leader pointed the finger of blame at Israel saying Baghdad cannot rule out the role of the Americans and the Israelis working together to carry out the assassination attempt. He says this scenario is real and cannot be put aside explaining that because the Prime Minister’s term will likely end now (after the October 10 election), the attack would have put the eyes of an international tribunal on Iraq to destabilize it further. 

For this reason, Khazali says he along with other political parties are the ones who are demanding a thorough, transparent technical investigation into the incident; that searches for the answers. He added that he has told the Prime Minister should a thorough probe take place, the movement will accept the results saying “even if and i doubt this completely a resistance faction or associated individual was involved”. He added we will not “give sanctuary to anyone and the targeting of the Prime Minister’s residence is the same as targeting the Iraqi state, sovereignty, it’s political system, a matter that is rejected entirely and something we will never accept”. 

Khazali went on to say he told the Iraqi PM that two days prior to the attack “a massacre took place [against protesters] and there was a plot for us to respond with arms, so it can go on to be reported these are not protesters but armed groups, but we endured the pain and blood so we can emerge victorious while oppressed. Therefore we would have to be stupid to carry out an attack [having just sacrificed lives], in addition we have denounced all attacks on the green zone, including those targeting the American embassy despite it’s sinister acts”. 

The Secretary General of Asaib ahl al-Haq said Israel benefits the most from a chaotic scene in Iraq that moves the country towards a civil war.  “These are well known Israeli tactics.. since the [2003] U.S. occupation, Israel has worked to destabilizing the country. We have warned on many occasions; not just against the Israeli intelligence presence in [Kurdish] northern Iraq, but also in Baghdad and certain provinces as well”. 

Touching on the Iraqi elections, where  Asaib ahl al-Haq’s political wing is part of the second largest alliance in the country’s parliament (Conquest alliance), Khazali says he informed nearly all political parties and the country’s political leaders that they are demanding an investigation to end claims of irregularities. However, he says “this probe must be trusted, those conducting the probe must be trusted and must include a specialized technical team [to lead [the probe]. 

Asked if he had called for the inclusion of resistance factions in the election probe? Khazali said it was  the Iraqi Prime Minister who suggested that two members of the resistance factions be involved with the team investigating the election results. He added that if this does happen, “the outcome of the investigation will be accepted no matter what the conclusion of the probe will be”.