Baghdad-The Iraqi government decided on Sunday to hire Peshmerga forces in order to protect the Green Zone after the Iraqi forces failed in securing the zone with a political crisis in Iraq heading towards a dangerous detour.
An Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government was planning to change the security forces, who have been responsible for years for protecting the Green Zone and are affiliated with Baghdad’s Operation Command and Joint Operations Command, after the latter failed in protecting and securing the zone from Sadrist protesters who broke through and occupied the parliament’s headquarter.
The source added that the meeting among the three leaderships and leaders of Iraqi political blocs, headed by President Fuad Masum, bore Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responsible for what had happened being the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Therefore, according to the leaders, the power that protects the Green Zone is either weak, proven from the first challenge it faced, or is complicit with the protesters and in both cases the PM is the first to take responsibility.
The source also noted that the statement issued following the meeting did not include much of the candid talks among them, especially that many leaders have several indications that the attack was organized between al-Sadr and al-Abadi so that the latter would appear like “the tough man who is supported by Sadrist movement to face strong rivals like Nouri al-Maliki.”
The meeting was held at President Masum’s house on Sunday to assess political situation after the demonstrators broke into the Parliament building and sat-in to meet their requests.
The statement issued following the meeting condemned the break into the Parliament and attacking a number of its members, considering it a dangerous encroachment of the government’s prestige.
It also urged security forces to carry out their tasks in the maintenance of public security and the protection of state institutions from any abuse, and adopt constitutional contexts in imposing the law.
The source also said that when al-Sadr decided to withdraw his bloc’s MPs from the parliament members’ protests, he left the parliament confused between the legitimacy of its ousted President Salim al-Jabouri and the legitimacy of the protesters, who chose Adnan al-Janabi to be their temporary President being the oldest among them.
He further added that al-Sadr wanted to overturn the balances by allowing the rampaging masses to break into the Green Zone as long as the only person to benefit from this action is Haider al-Abadi, taking advantage of the US silence. Thus, al-Abadi seems to be the benefiting party at the end, not the targeted one.
In a common matter, the former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki criticized attempts to force reform “under threat of weapons and by preventing the representatives of the people to enter the parliament.”