Small Wars Journal

Anti-U.S. Protests in Baghdad: An Interim Summary

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:19am

Anti-U.S. Protests in Baghdad: An Interim Summary by Katherine Lawlor and Brandon Wallace - Institute for the Study of War

Key Takeaway: Iran’s proxy militia network and Iraqi nationalist Shi’a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr coordinated a “million-strong” anti-U.S. march in Baghdad on January 24. The march remained peaceful despite fears of clashes between supporters of the march and pre-existing protests.[1] Sadr and Iran’s proxies deliberately chose a location for their march away from the separate, popular anti-government protests which have persisted since October 2019. American policymakers should not perceive the January 24 march as representative of all Iraqis or as a political mandate that warrants abandoning U.S. security commitments to Iraq. The relative success of the anti-U.S. march is unlikely to significantly alter the character or core objectives of Iraq’s pre-existing protest movement, which include a unified and sovereign Iraq free from sectarian divides, corrupt elites, and foreign interference from all actors, including Iran and the United States…

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