State of Emergency in Baghdad
On Saturday, April 30, Iraqi protesters whom are loyal to Shiite cleric and militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, breached the walls of the International Zone (IZ), formerly called the green zone. The protesters pulled down the t-walls (concrete barriers) and entered the diplomatic zone near the parliament building. There have been reports on Twitter that an unidentified parliament member has been captured inside. The protesters stormed the parliament building after the Iraqi Prime Minister failed to replace his cabinet. The Iraqi security forces that were guarding the government buildings did not intervene with the protesters march due to being overwhelmed and unable to stop them. The security forces had no choice other than to let the protesters inside the secured area. Not one individual was searched for weapons, creating a dangerous situation. Fortunately, there were no shots fired by the security forces as they appeared to be supportive of the protesters. The ongoing protests could be exploited by terrorist organizations inside the International Zone and in the city of Baghdad.
Baghdad Operations Command
The Baghdad Operations Command have declared a State of Emergency for the city of Baghdad. Iraqi security forces have cordoned off the city of Baghdad. No one is allowed entry, however, anyone is free to leave as they wish.
The United Nations offices have been evacuated and there are reports that the road to the Baghdad International airport has been blocked. The protesters are attempting to thwart any parliamentary politicians attempt from leaving the country.
Muqtada al-Sadr has now warned the Iraqi government that he could very easily “destroy” the Iraq government. Al-Sadr has mobilized over a million protesters and has succeeded in breaching the Iraq government in most secured areas. It is interesting that the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi military have stood down and have not intervened or prevented the demonstrators from entering the green zone.
Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi was expected to announce five new ministers to parliament on Saturday. However, the meeting was postponed. After making the announcement in failing to appoint the new ministers the Iraqi protesters stormed the parliamentary building. All the Iraqi politicians went into hiding and fled the area.
The protesters have breached the Council of Ministers building.
AP News – Baghdad in State of Emergency after supporters of al Sadr storm green zone