The rumblings started last weekend with the demotion of a beloved general who fought to defeat ISIS, and reputedly had little tolerance for corruption or Iran-backed militias. Then on Tuesday, protests erupted in Baghdad and southern, mostly Shia Muslim cities like Basra. The government’s response has been mostly silence on protesters’ grievances, including corruption, unemployment and power outages — and brutality, as the death toll had risen above 90 by Saturday.
Will protests continue? It’s likely, but the year-old government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has promised reforms, while world leaders have urged restraint.
Read this OZY feature on Iraq’s underground club scene.