Iraqi military says nine rockets hit Green Zone amid crisis

Iraq’s military said at least nine rockets hit Iraq’s parliament inside a heavily fortified green zone on Thursday ahead of a much-awaited session to resolve the political crisis.

The rocket attack delayed the parliament session to elect the president, a necessary step toward resolving Iraq’s stalled government formation a year after federal elections were held. The session is still scheduled for later on Thursday.

At least five people were injured in the attack – three civilians and two military personnel – officials said without further details. The culprits were not immediately found.

The attack, which appears to be an attempt to derail the scheduled session, was struck after the Coordination Framework, a coalition made up of primarily Iran-backed Shia parties, submitted a formal letter claiming to be the largest bloc in parliament.

The coalition named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as its candidate for the premiership, an essential legal step before the formation of the next government.

Many feared protests before the session by followers of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a political opponent of the framework. His supporters stormed parliament on 30 June and stalled the government formation process when the framework first nominated al-Sudani.

Al-Sadr’s party won the most seats in the October 2021 federal election, but he ordered his lawmakers to resign after failing to secure a quorum to vote in a government that shunned his Iran-backed allies. I will put it out.

Under Iraqi law, lawmakers must elect a president before voting on the prime ministerial nominee.

The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to brief the media.

This was not the first time rocket attacks targeted the Parliament building as MPs prepared to attend a session. On 28 September, three rockets hit the Green Zone as a session was called to renew confidence in parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi.

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