Iraqi government should listen to ‘legitimate demands’ of protesters – Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed massive anti-government protests in Iraq which have been raging for a month despite the curfew, violence, and high death toll.

“The Government of #Iraq should listen to the legitimate demands made by the Iraqi people who have taken to the streets to have their voices heard,” Pompeo tweeted on Friday.

“The U.S. supports the Iraqi people who require a genuine exercise in accountability and justice.”

The large-scale protests, which began a month ago, continue to rage across Iraq despite a curfew imposed in Baghdad. The demonstrators flooded the streets, expressing anger over corruption, unemployment, and poor public services. They demand the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and a complete overhaul of the political system, set up after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

At least 250 protesters have died in clashes with Iraqi security forces, some allegedly killed by sniper fire.

Responding to the rallies, President Barham Salih said the prime minister is ready to step down as soon as his replacement is found. He also promised to hold snap elections and to change the electoral law, allowing people under the currently mandated age of 35 to run for parliament.

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