Iraq Situation Report July 22-28, 2020
By: Brian Carter, Nicole Miller, and Calvin Pugh with Katherine Lawlor and Brandon Wallace
Key Takeaway: Iran’s Iraqi proxy militias are accelerating their campaign to constrain Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s attempts to reign in militias and reclaim Iraqi sovereignty. Militias diversified their attacks against Iraqi, US and opposition actors with not only rocket attacks but also the kidnapping of a well-known German national, the IED targeting of an Iraqi logistics convoy supporting the US-led Coalition, and the killing of protesters by Iranian-infiltrated Iraqi Security Forces. Meanwhile, the United States or Israel likely targeted two weapons depots belonging to Iran-aligned militias in Iraq as regional US- and Israeli-Iranian tensions increased. The combination of these kinetic activities and the resumption of mass protests calling for improved electricity services in the brutally hot Iraqi summer threaten to overwhelm Kadhimi’s precariously constructed government.