The Iraqi prime minister survived a sophisticated explosive-laden drone attack in his Baghdad Green Zone residence, Iraq’s military confirmed on Sunday.
Initially, conflicting reports emerged as to whether Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi was harmed and brought to the hospital. However, soon after the failed assassination attempt, Kadhimi went on Twitter to urge national calm and stressed that he was, in fact, unharmed.
“The rockets of treachery will not discourage the believers… The steadfastness and insistence of our heroic security forces will not falter as they work to preserve the security of the people, achieve justice and enforce the law. I am fine, praise be to God, among my people, and I call for calm and restraint from everyone, for the sake of Iraq,” the Iraqi prime minister tweeted.
No organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack has stirred strong emotions across the region and internationally. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the targeted attack on the Iraqi leader in a statement.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation of the cowardly terrorist act that targeted the Iraqi Prime Minister,” the statement read.
The Saudi authorities also stressed that the Kingdom was fully behind the Iraqi government and people.
Saudi Arabia “affirms that it stands united by Iraq, its government and its people in confronting all terrorists who are trying in vain to prevent Iraq from restoring its [role], consolidating its security and stability, and enhancing its prosperity and development.”
The United States, which has played an instrumental role in the efforts to rebuild Iraqi society after years of war, also condemned the attack on the Iraqi prime minister.
“This apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn, was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state. We are in close touch with the Iraqi security forces charged with upholding Iraq’s sovereignty and independence and have offered our assistance as they investigate this attack,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
While the perpetrators behind the attack have not yet been officially identified, the sophisticated drone attack have all the hallmarks of previous Iranian-led drone attacks against Sunni Arab and Israeli targets throughout the Middle East. Iraq is a key battleground between the Sunni Arab world and Shiite Iran.
Iraq has an Arab majority, but more than 60% of Iraqis are Shiite Muslims and are therefore religiously closer to Iranians. As in neighboring Bahrain, the ayatollah-led regime in Iran has tried to undermine Iraq’s stability and rebuilding efforts by financing pro-Iranian Shiite terrorist militias in Iraq. Very few, if any, nations in the Middle East have the capabilities and motivation to launch such advanced drone attacks besides Iran. Hence it is likely that one of the pro-Iranian terrorist organizations in Iraq launched the latest drone escalation in Baghdad.
Saudi Arabia has perhaps been the main target of multiple Iranian-led drone attacks in recent years, seeking to undermine the kingdom’s stability. In October, 10 people were injured in a drone attack on Abdallah Airport in the Saudi city Jizan. Hence, the Saudis have strong emotions about regional drone attacks, which would also explain Riyadh’s strong condemnation of the latest attack on the Iraqi prime minister.
From a Saudi perspective, the ongoing Iranian-led drone wars in the Middle East are designed to undermine the stability of the new emerging Sunni Arab world that increasingly embraces closer ties with the West and with Israel.