The Iraqi parliament resumed its first session - today, Wednesday - to vote on the resignation of its speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi, in the wake of Katyusha attacks in the vicinity of the parliament in the Green Zone in the capital, Baghdad, and confrontations between security forces and demonstrators that left dozens injured, and this also coincides with the decision of the Federal Supreme Court. Refutation of the appeal submitted that the resignation of the Sadrist bloc deputies from Parliament was invalid.
With parliament sessions to vote on the speaker's resignation and the election of a vice president, several attacks took place inside the Green Zone with 3 Katyusha shells.
The Iraqi Security Media Cell said that one of the shells fell in front of the parliament building, and another shell landed near the guest house of the Council of Ministers, while the third shell fell near one of the checkpoints. The shelling also damaged a number of vehicles and a nearby building.
Meanwhile, the Federal Supreme Court rejected the appeal submitted that the resignation of the Sadrist bloc deputies was invalid, and sources told Al Jazeera that the court had justified the response to the appeal by the lack of public interest of the plaintiffs.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in the capital Baghdad - quoting the Iraqi Security Media Cell - stated that 7 security personnel, including an officer, were injured when 4 shells fell on the Green Zone, in central Baghdad.
He added that the missiles landed in the parliament's parking garage, causing damage to a number of cars.
In Baghdad's Tahrir Square, skirmishes took place between Iraqi protesters and the security forces - who tried to prevent the demonstrators from bypassing their barriers - after they closed 6 bridges leading to the Green Zone and imposed a curfew on buses, motorbikes and trucks.
The security forces set up concrete barriers at the Jumhuriya Bridge, adjacent to the square and leading to the Green Zone, to prevent protesters from crossing.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the entrance to the bridge, and some tried to advance towards the barriers, while the security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters to disperse them.
Despite the strict restrictions, dozens of Muqtada al-Sadr's supporters gathered in Tahrir Square outside the Green Zone, to protest against the parliament session.
A photographer told Reuters that about 10 people were seen throwing stones at security forces.
An Iraqi military statement said that 133 security forces and demonstrators were injured as a result of friction between security forces and demonstrators in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad.
Iraq has witnessed a comprehensive political impasse since the legislative elections in October 2021, with the inability of the major political currents to agree on the name of the next prime minister and the method of his appointment.
Security forces set up concrete barriers to prevent protesters from reaching the Green Zone and fired tear gas canisters to disperse them (Reuters)
denounce and denounce
After the Katyusha attack, no party claimed responsibility, while Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi requested - in a statement - "to follow up and arrest the perpetrators of the crime of missile bombing of the Green Zone."
Al-Kazemi considered that "the current security situation is a reflection of the political situation," reiterating "the call for dialogue between all the forces dealing with the political issue to get out of the current crisis."
The Sadrist movement - through its leader, Saleh Muhammad al-Iraqi, who is close to Muqtada al-Sadr - condemned the bombing;
He wrote, "We categorically reject the use of violence and weapons carried out by unknown parties, by bombing the Green Zone, through which they want to cause sedition."
In its first reaction to the Katyusha attack, the United Nations mission in Baghdad said that Iraq refuses to treat it as the backyard of the region, where neighboring countries routinely violate its sovereignty.
And 222 deputies out of the 235 who were present (the total number of deputies is 329) voted against the resignation of Muhammad al-Halbousi, a prominent Sunni politician, from the presidency of the House of Representatives, according to the official Iraqi News Agency.
According to political observers, this vote is no more than a formality, and a re-establishment of confidence for al-Halbousi against the background of political bargains behind the scenes.