Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an attempted assassination by a drone that targeted his home on Nov. 7 and is “unharmed and in good health,” the Iraqi government said in a statement.
There was “an explosives-laden drone that tried to target his residence in the Green Zone,” according to the statement, which also noted that security forces “are taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt.”
“The rockets of treason will not shake one bit of the steadfastness and determination of the heroic security forces,” the Iraqi prime minister wrote on Twitter after the attack. “I am fine and among my people. Thank God.”
He also made an appearance on Iraqi TV shortly after the attack.
“To my people everywhere in Iraq, to everyone who was concerned tonight, my residence was targeted by a cowardly attack, but thank God I’m in good health,” he said. “Your security and military forces are working for Iraq’s stability and protection. Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future. We work toward building our country through respecting the state and its institutions and building a better future for all Iraqis. We call again for calm and constructive dialogue for Iraq and the future of Iraq.
“Long live Iraq.”
Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The U.S. State Department condemned the attack in a Nov. 7 statement and said it has offered assistance to Iraqi security forces as they investigate the attack.
“We are relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, calling the incident an “apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn.”
“Our commitment to our Iraqi partners is unshakeable. The United States stands with the government and people of Iraq,” Price said.
Supporters of the pro-Iran Shiite militias have been camped outside the fortified Green Zone over the past month and have been clashing with Iraqi security forces following the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections on Oct. 10, in which pro-Iranian groups faced losses.
The election was held months ahead of schedule following mass protests in late 2019 in Baghdad and across the Shiite south, where tens of thousands of people called for sweeping political change and protested against widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities, and poor basic services, including regular power cuts despite Iraq’s vast oil reserves. They also protested against the heavy-handed interference of neighboring Iran in Iraq’s affairs through Iran-backed militias.
The United States expressed ongoing support for Iraq’s energy independence earlier in 2021, given its current reliance on Iran. Iraq relies on Iranian supplies for a third of its power needs, especially during peak summer months.
The United States and Iraq held talks earlier in 2021 and affirmed the need for continued security cooperation in the region to counter the ISIS terrorist group.
Al-Kadhimi has previously faced threats from pro-Iran militias. In late March, they called for the U.S.-backed prime minister to order U.S. troops to completely leave Iraq and threatened to cut off his ear.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.