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IS Could Exploit Protests in Iraq to Carry Out Attacks: Peshmerga Official

ERBIL — The Islamic State (IS) is likely to exploit possible unrest in the wake of protests in Iraq to carry out terrorist attacks across the country, a Peshmerga official said.

Following the announcement of the official results of the parliamentary elections earlier this week, supporters of the Iran-backed militias who performed low in the elections, took to the streets to protest the results.

This forced the Iraqi security service to raise the security alert, especially in the capital city and around the fortified Green Zone, where most of the top government institutions and foreign diplomatic missions are located.

Head of Peshmerga Ministry’s Media and Awareness Department, Osman Mohammed, believes that the protests can leave Iraq’s general security vulnerable to possible terrorist attacks.

“IS is now watching the situation with regards to the protests. It is waiting for more unrest to step in and carry out attacks wherever it can,” Mohammed told Kurdistan 24.

“Under this circumstances, we need to be all aware that the threat of IS is no less than before,” he added.

Following the election, Shia militias and their supporters accused the regional and international actors of interfering in the elections and promoting certain factions while “stealing” their votes.

Several Shia militia leaders, most of whom belong to the anti-West “Resistance Front”, have encouraged their supporters to stage massive protests across the country in hopes of forcing the Electoral Commission to disqualify the election results.

During the protests in Baghdad on Tuesday, pictures of the UN envoy in Iraq and flags of Israel and the US were burned on the streets.