Police sources confirmed that a rocket struck Baghdad's Green Zone at approximately 20:00 (local time) on Sunday, November 17. No casualties were immediately reported as a result of the strike. This comes hours after protesters seized control of Ahrar Bridge, which leads to the Green Zone. Protesters continue to occupy Sinak and Al Jumariyah bridges, which also provide access to the Green Zone.
Protests are ongoing across Iraq as of Sunday evening as part of a one-day general strike in support of those holding a sit-in at Tahrir Square. Protests were reported in several major urban areas, including in Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Babel, Wasit, Diwaniya, Dhi Qar, and Maysan, where several thousand people are participating in sit-ins in front of state departments and provincial council buildings. In Basra, protesters are blocking the main roads in and out of the city, as well as placing burning tires on several other roads. Local sources have said that protesters may block the roads leading to Basra International Airport (BSR) later on Sunday.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Disruptions to internet and telecommunications services are also expected to continue amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely around all protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. More than 300 people have been killed and 10,000 wounded since protests began. On October 31, President Barham Saleh announced that Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi agreed to resign if the Iraqi parliament's party blocs can agree on a replacement.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor the situation and refrain from nonessential travel to the border regions with Iran.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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