The Iraqi Parliament has accepted Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi's resignation on Sunday, December 1. Abdul Mahdi's government is expected to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new government is chosen.
President Barhim Salih will temporarily step in as Prime Minister until a new prime minister is selected. Protesters have again set the Iranian consulate in Najaf on fire on Sunday, for a second time. Clashes ensued, including people dressed in civilian clothes firing at protesters. Authorities implemented a curfew in Najaf as of 21:00 (local time) that evening.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah, and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely near 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. An estimated 400 people have been killed and 15,000 wounded since protests began.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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