Leader of the Popular Mobilization in Iraq, Qais Khazali, said that the call made by several parties to demonstrate tomorrow, Tuesday, aims to cause the largest possible number of deaths, and cause chaos in Baghdad.
Al-Khazali - who leads the League of the Righteous - added that what is happening is a plan designed to burn the country's institutions and destabilize the security situation.
Khazali’s comments came in response to invitations to go to Baghdad in support of the demonstrations taking place in the Iraqi capital for nearly two months.
The PMF factions - especially those close to Iran - face accusations of suppressing anti-government protests, by masked gunmen and snipers firing at protesters across the country.
Many of the demonstrators pointed a finger of accusation at the Hashd militants, behind the attack that targeted the demonstrators on Friday, during which 25 demonstrators were killed, in the incident known as the "Al-Khilani massacre" (central Baghdad), charges that the crowd denies.
An internal Iraqi affair
For its part, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that it summoned the ambassadors of France, Britain and Canada and the German Chargé d'Affairs to Baghdad, and informed them of their refusal to interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
This comes after the condemnation of the ambassadors of the four countries - in a joint statement - the killing of demonstrators in al-Khilani Square, calling for investigations to punish the perpetrators and not to allow armed factions outside the state's control to attack the demonstrators.
The Foreign Ministry considered the statement of the four countries an interference in the internal affairs of Iraq, and a clear violation of the Vienna agreement to regulate relations between countries.
The ministry added that the ambassadors were informed that the popular demonstrations are a secretion of the democratic situation that Iraqis are living in, and that the government has started conducting transparent investigations.
In a related context, the US embassy in Baghdad issued a warning to its citizens not to engage in demonstrations, and also called on American citizens not to travel to Iraq in light of the conditions in the country.
The people and their will
For his part, Iraqi President Barham Salih stressed the importance of adhering to the constitutional timing to resolve the prime minister’s nomination for an interim government, stressing the need to choose a national figure with competence and acceptance from the Iraqi people.
Saleh said - in a statement to his office while receiving a number of heads of parliamentary blocs in the House of Representatives - "The candidate must be able to carry out the required reforms, and prepare for fair elections according to an electoral law that guarantees a fair representation of the people and their free will."
Saleh stressed the rejection of violence and confronting outlaws who target peaceful protests and public security, stressing that the constitution guarantees the right to peaceful protest and expression of opinion.
He emphasized the follow-up of the security services to protect activists from kidnappings and intimidation by what he described as "criminal gangs."
Since early October, there have been demonstrations in Iraq demanding political reform, holding corrupt people accountable and providing jobs.
According to Iraqi human rights sources, more than 460 people were killed during the suppression of the demonstrations, and about twenty thousand others were injured.