Iraqi Prime Minister (PM) Mustafa Al-Kadhimi escaped an assassination attempt on Sunday after an explosive-laden drone targeted his residence in Baghdad. It was reported that Al-Kadhimi was returning from overseeing security forces engaged in a stand-off with protesters at the southern gate of the Green Zone, a diplomatic residence in Baghdad that also houses the PM's residence and other government buildings.
According to military sources, the PM was just entering his residence when a booby-trapped drone targeted that location, wounding a few guards and causing minor damage.
Al-Kadhimi went on to Twitter moments after the attack and called for "calm and restraint from everyone. Thank God, I am fine and among my people," he tweeted on his official account.
He called the missile and drone attacks cowardly, saying that they work against a better future for the country. Al-Kadhimi called for calm and constructive dialogue "for the sake of Iraq and the future of Iraq."
"I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers and will shake a hair of the stability and determination of our heroic security forces to preserve people's security, achieve justice and set the law in place," he said.
Three drones were involved in the assassination attempt, according to Ministry of Interior Spokesman General Saad Maan, speaking to the state-run Al-Iraqiya news network. Security forces were able to down two of the drones, Maan said.
The Iraqi military said that Al-Kadhimi was unharmed and in good health and that security forces were "taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt."
Influential Shia Muslim cleric and head of the powerful Sadrist Movement Moqtada al-Sadr condemned the incident and called it a "terrorist act" that "returns [Iraq] to a state of chaos to be controlled by non-governmental forces, so that Iraq lives under the pain of riots, violence and terrorism so that dangers and interventions from outside swept it from here and there."
As a result of the attempt, he said, "our valiant army and the heroic security forces must take matters into their own hands until Iraq recovers and returns strong."
Al-Sadr and his coalition won more than 70 seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections held two weeks ago, gaining significant numbers since the last elections in 2018, when they won 54 seats.
No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, but it comes amid heightened tensions in the capital.