BAGHDAD (BNO NEWS) — Thousands of supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gathered in the center of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday to protest against foreign intervention in the country, the Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported on Saturday.
Thousands of citizens gathered in central Tahrir square and Sadr City, a suburb district of Baghdad, after Friday prayers concluded to demand an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They also demanded better social conditions and services as well as the redistribution of a percentage of oil revenues among people.
In Tahrir Square, protesters denounced the intervention of neighboring countries, including Iran and Kuwait, in Iraqi internal affairs. According to Aswat al-Iraq’s correspondent, citizens and civil activists denounced Iranian and Kuwaiti violations against Iraqi sovereignty and the Iranian shelling of Kurdistan borders and targeting civilians in the region.
The protesters also denounced the U.S. troops. Less than 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, more than eight years since the U.S.-led war began on March 20, 2003. According to a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn by the end of 2011.
Last Friday, thousands of Iraqi citizens also took part in anti-government demonstrations across the country. The demands of the demonstrators varied from one group to another, but the majority demanded better services, early elections and an end to corruption.
In the past weeks, civil activists have been using social networks to organize the protests against the government, corruption, and the lack of services. Protesters last week also denounced the assassination of radio journalist Hadi al-Mehdi.
Saturday, September 17th, 2011