Iraqi Prime Minister Escapes Assassination Bid as Armed Drones Strike Home

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived a drone strike as explosives targeted his residence on Sunday in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone.

The incident happened on early hours on August 7, which was described as an attempted assassination by the Iraqi military. A statement from the Iraqi military said that Kadhimi escaped unhurt. However, in the attack with two armed drones, several members of Kadhimi's personal protection team were injured. '

The military's official statement also conveyed that the security forces are taking all necessary steps in connection with this "failed attempt" with an explosives-laden drone.

Taking to Twitter, Kadhimi informed that he was safe and called for calm. "Thank God, I am fine and among my people," he tweeted on his official account.

"I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers and will shake a hair of the stability and determination of our heroic security forces to preserve people's security, achieve justice and set the law in place," he said.

Western diplomats based nearby in the Green Zone said they heard the sound of an explosion followed by gunfire, reported Reuters.

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi
Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi Twitter

Who is Behind the Drone Strike?

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Supporters of Iran-backed militia groups have been staging demonstrations near the Green Zone, protesting against the results of October 10 parliamentary election. They have denounced early results from Iraq's elections as "manipulation" and a "scam".

Chaos and violence worsened on Friday when demonstrators pelted police with stones near the Green Zone, in which several officers were wounded. In retaliation, the police made use of tear gas and live gunfire, killing at least one demonstrator.

The drone strike also comes after three Katyusha rockets landed near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on November 1, in an apparent attack targeting the U.S. facilities in the Iraqi capital. The incident took place at a Baghdad neighborhood near the heavily-fortified Green Zone where the U.S. embassy is located. It resulted in some damage to nearby buildings and civilian cars.

US Calls the Drone Strike as an 'Act of Terrorism'

The United States condemned the attack on the Iraqi prime minister.

The U.S. department of state said, "We are following the reported drone attack targeting the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Kadhimi. We are relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed. 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. Our commitment to our Iraqi partners is unshakeable. The United States stands with the government and people of Iraq," the statement by the state department added.