Mustafa AY – TDO – 16.07.2018 Massive protests, which initially started in Iraq’s southern city Basra, spread across the nation’s important cities such as Nasiriyah, Karbala, Najaf, Babil and the capital city Baghdad. Iraqi citizens commenced the nationwide violent demonstrations because of inreasing insufficiencies in public service, rising corruption and unemployment.
Once NATO leaders’ summit in Brussel finished, Iraqi PM Haydar el-Ibadi returned to homeland. Ibadi called National Security Council for emergency meeting. After that, National Security Council enforced curfew in 3 Iraqi cities – Karbala, Najaf and Basra- with the aim of alleviating the severity of protests.
Many Iraqi demonstrators in Najaf occupied municipality buildings, governor’s office and Nacaf Airport. On account of Iraqi security forces’ incappability of supressing the tensions by dispersing outrageous crowds in Najaf Airport, security concerns in terms of foreign airlines companies arose as expected. Iran and Jordan’s state-run airlines announced suspension of flights to Najaf only.