Baghdad- Sadrist movement Leader Muqtada al-Sadr moved the demonstrations inside the gates of the Green Zone, the International Zone located in Baghdad.
After the period granted to the Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi – in which he was supposed to establish a technocratic administration- came to an end, escorted with attaches, al-Sadr set up a protest camp inside the Green Zone.
No security force was capable of stopping al-Sadr from entering the gates of the U.S. 2003 established zone.
Sources said that former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, arch enemy of al-Sadr, had left Baghdad to his hometown before al-Sadr even entered the Green Zone.
Al-Sadr spoke to Iraqi media saying that “the reform project is a critical and present priority. We have raised the flag of political and governmental reform, let us work together for the success of this project.”
“All those residing in the Green Zone have bet three things, and I bet them three others.”
“They have bet that there is no poverty in Iraq and that everyone is rich; while I bet that everyone is in need and poverty; they bet that Iraq is corruption-free; I bet that Iraq suffers from corruption; they bet that you lack discipline; I bet that you are disciplined,” he said.
Al- Sadr later called on all protestors supporting him to invade the Green Zone and to “stay and hold their place.”
“Today I’ll make another bet, which is that you will not leave your place,” he added.
As for the ongoing controversy between al-Sadr and current Iraqi PM al-Abadi, an Iraqi official said that despite the feud sparking a change in the political atmosphere, and altering the situation on different levels, at the end of the day when we look into the role one plays, we find that we should side with the principal cause ravaging Iraq.
This cause manifests in what is being suffered by the Sunni Arabs in Iraq today. The conflict between al-Abadi and al-Sadr manifests the main problem, which is a brawl for power within the national alliance, the official added.
The official went on saying, we do not anticipate gaining dominance ourselves as much as we wish to accomplish the approved program as a part of a comprehensive reform.
The coalition of Iraqi forces expressed its concrete support for any effort devoted to reform, and had considered the ministerial adjustment insufficient to tackle the larger issue.