US-led Coalition monitoring Iraq protests — statement

WASHINGTON, The US-led Coalition said Thursday it is “monitoring reports of protests” in Iraq, calling on all sides “to reduce tensions and reject violence.” Coalition Spokesperson Myles Caggins stressed in a statement that “the loss of life and injuries, among civilians and Iraqi Security Forces, is deeply concerning.” “We believe that peaceful, public rallies are a fundamental element of all democracies; there is no place for violence in those demonstrations,” Caggins added.

Caggins affirmed “we rely on protection from Iraqi Security Forces (ISF),” and that the explosions in the International Zone “are under investigation” by ISF, saying “we appreciate the ISF’s rapid response.” The Spokesman confirmed that “no Coalition facility was struck,” stressing “Coalition troops always reserve the right to defend ourselves, attacks on our personnel will not be tolerated.” “The Coalition is here at the invitation of the Government of Iraq, and we continue to support them in the mission to defeat Daesh (IS) remnants and achieve long-term regional security,” he noted.

This comes amid three days of protests in Iraq during which 19 people were killed, including one police officer. Iraq’s prime minister has announced an indefinite curfew in Baghdad.

Source: Kuwait News Agency