SULAIMANI (ESTA) — President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Bafel Jalal Talabani released a statement on Tuesday expressing deepest concerns and said the protection of the protesters and institutions is a constitutional right all sides must respect it. This came after Baghdad’s protests turned into intense armed clashes and violence.
After ten-month since an early parliamentary election in October in which the Sadrist movement emerged as a powerful new leading bloc of the Shiites, its leader influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday amid the latest political move announced his retirement from politics.
Sadr’s Decision resulted in the storming of vital governmental institutions in Baghdad’s international fortified Green Zone including the republican palace by pro-Sadr protesters on Monday and turned into armed violent clashes between the protesters and security forces as well as Iran-backed militia groups.
“We are closely monitoring the latest heartbreaking developments in Baghdad with our deepest concerns which are also still ongoing in different beloved provinces of Iraq,” Talabani in the statement said.
President Talabani reiterated the call for national constructive dialogue for all political forces to endure the discussions with a national responsible spirit, according to the statement.
Talabani also said that he “insists to set aside violence and putting all efforts to prevent shedding the blood of nation’s children.”
Thousands of pro-Sadr demonstrators stormed the republican palace in Baghdad, and AFP reported that at least 23 people after were killed after the demonstrations turned into heavy armed conflict.
“The protection of the protesters and institutions is a national constitutional right all sides must abide it” Talabani stressed.