https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-...eign-companies

Widespread protests have gripped multiple Iraqi cities for a week in response to government corruption, rising unemployment, and an electricity shortage which has left residents suffocating in soaring summer temperatures.

What began as anger over a continued failing infrastructure, however, has increasingly turned into political protests and clashes with police after May 12th parliamentary elections tainted by broad allegations of fraud failed to produce a new government.

And now Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has weighed in publicly on the side of the protesters, stating they are facing an "extreme lack of public services".



Sistani's words were issued via live television broadcast during a significant escalation in the Shia hotbed of Najaf on Friday, where hundreds of protesters stormed the city's international airport, bringing air traffic to a halt.

Video showed demonstrators rushing through security barriers while chanting demands, and multiple fires were lit just outside the terminal. Iraqi police appear to have held back, as the protesters numbers were significant possibly into the thousands according to social media footage and were able to block key access points to the airport. State TV reported that security was restored and operations resumed as normal by late Friday.


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