For Iraq’s militias, drones and protests just politics as usual

The three drones that targeted the residence of the Iraqi prime minister on Sunday were sent to deliver a clear message to the heart of Baghdad’s state power: It is not through the ballot box alone that power is wielded in Iraq.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was slightly injured by the explosion and remained defiant: We know the perpetrators very well, he said in a televised address the same day, and we will pursue them.

In truth, however, the perpetrators scarcely intended to hide their identities. Although no one has claimed responsibility, multiple intelligence sources pointed to Iran-backed Shia militias. These militias not only have access to armed drones, but have used them in previous attacks.

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