Muqtada Sadr again demonstrated that he was in control of his many followers

Muqtada Sadr again demonstrated that he was in control of his many followers
Muqtada Sadr again demonstrated that he was in control of his many followers

The years-long standoff between rival Shiite camps in Iraq erupted into bloody street clashes this week. It could be said that this is the culmination of months of growing tension and a political vacuum in the oil-rich country, journalist Samia Kulab writes for the Associated Press, citing BTA.

The crisis began after parliamentary elections in October last year, in which the movement of the influential religious leader Muqtada Sadr was defeated. After the election, Sadr failed to form a governing coalition and Iraq was plunged into political chaos. This week’s riots are the culmination of post-election passions.

Within 24 hours, Sadr’s followers had turned Baghdad’s Green Zone, where Iraq’s central government is based, into a frontline, engaging in firefights with security forces and other militias. The fighting ended just as quickly after the Shiite leader gave a speech on Tuesday calling on his supporters to withdraw.

Sadr’s followers followed their leader’s instructions to the letter, threw down their weapons and withdrew.

The incident sent a serious message to Sadr’s rivals, who have the support of Iran, and to the country’s political elite. With the demonstrations of his supporters this week, Sadr has demonstrated that he exercises control over hundreds of thousands of people. With them, he also showed what damage he is capable of inflicting on Iraq, which already has many problems.

After Sadr instructed his followers to withdraw, other Iraqi leaders, including the country’s prime minister, expressed their gratitude to the Shiite cleric.

Sadr’s influence has long rested on his ability to both rouse his many sympathizers into chaos and quickly shut them down.

With his announcement on Monday that he will retire from politics, the religious leader aims to show Iraqis what can happen if his “voice of restraint” disappears: Chaos, destruction and death will follow.

Many people died and were injured in the protests and clashes in Iraq, which have died down for now.

However, the Iraqi political crisis is far from over.

The article is in bulgaria

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