The New York Times reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an apparent assassination attempt at his home on Sunday.
The stunning news of a pre-dawn drone strike on the Iraqi leader’s home prompted a swift rebuke from the Biden White House.
PM escapes uninjured
According to Reuters, the attack is said to have been perpetrated “by at least one Iran-backed militia.” Groups supporting Iran have disputed the results of recent elections in Iraq, which resulted in crushing losses for them, Reuters added — and the drone strike is only stoking concerns about future violence in response.
In a statement posted to Twitter, al-Kadhimi said he’s doing “fine.” According to The New York Times, he appeared to have his wrist bandaged up in a video he shared.
“I am fine, praise be to God, among my people, and I call for calm and restraint from everyone, for the sake of Iraq,” the prime minister wrote in his tweet.
Reuters reports that several of al-Kadhimi’s bodyguards were injured in the strike.
WH releases statement
In a statement, President Joe Biden condemned the attack and those responsible.
“I am relieved the prime minister was not injured and commend the leadership he has shown in calling for calm, restraint, and dialogue to protect the institutions of the state and strengthen the democracy Iraqis so richly deserve,” Biden said, according to The Washington Times.
“The perpetrators of this terrorist attack on the Iraqi state must be held accountable. I condemn in the strongest terms those using violence to undermine Iraq’s democratic process,” he added.
Biden went on: “The United States stands firmly with the government and people of Iraq as they strive to uphold Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.”
Reuters spoke with an Iraqi security official who said that “the drones used were of the ‘quadcopter’ type and that each was carrying one projectile containing high explosives capable of damaging buildings and armored vehicles.”
Reuters reported Monday:
The official added that these were the same type of Iranian-made drones and explosives used in attacks this year on U.S. forces in Iraq, which Washington blames on Iran-aligned militias including Kataib Hezbollah.