A video grab showing rioters setting Kurdish party headquarters on fire. March 27, 2022

A video grab showing rioters setting Kurdish party headquarters on fire. March 27, 2022

Kurdish Party’s Baghdad Offices Set Ablaze Over ‘Offensive’ Tweet


Alleged supporters of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia Sunday stormed the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Iraqi capital and set it on fire.

The rioters behind the Sunday night attack in Bagdad were angry over a tweet deemed as insulting to Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most influential Shia cleric in Iraq.

According to Iran’s official IRNA news agency, the protesters called the KDP offices a "center of sedition" and demanded their closure. Some of them were holding photos of Sistani.

The KDP, the ruling party in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, condemned the tweet posted on the official account of Nayif Kurdistani, a man allegedly affiliated to it, and said that the party respects all religious groups and "honorable clerics."

Following the uproar caused by the tweet, Kurdistani apologized and deleted the post, saying later his Twitter account had been hacked and that he is not responsible for its controversial content.

A source in the Kurdistan Region’s Interior Ministry told local media that Kurdistani was arrested over the tweet the authorities considered as "offensive" to the Iraqi Supreme Religious Authority.

This is not the first time that KDP offices are set on fire in Baghdad.

In October 2020, supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – or Hashd al-Shaabi – set ablaze the party’s headquarters in Karrada district after a Kurdish former minister called for the expulsion of the Iran-backed paramilitary force from Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Tehran has been accused of directly interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs, including elections, for at least 20 years. 

IITV News (24) - DC
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