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Iraq: A doctor describes the recent protests and battle for Sinak bridge in Baghdad

Updated: Jan 21

Protesters hold tear gas canisters fired at them

Interview with Doctor Mustafa, chief of staff of the mobile clinics at the Republic brigade and Sinak bridges in Baghdad.

I am a doctor, and an employee of the health ministry. I have since 25th of October been treating protestors injured in the current demonstrations. I am the chief supervisor here in Republic Bridge and Sinak areas. I am responsible for five mobile clinics on the frontline. The frontline for us is the area between us and the forces shooting at us, who are the forces present inside and protecting the Green Zone.

Since the beginning of the demonstrations, there has been massive gunfire on the protestors. I am an expert on various types of tear gas. The gas that has been used here in recent days is not appropriate for use against civilian demonstrations. It is for military use, according to accepted international categories. The weight of a tear gas canister should be 50 – 80 grams max. But here we have Serbian and Bulgarian made tear gas canisters in use which weigh 150- 350 g. These are intended for use only in battle and war zones. The Iraqi army used them against Islamic State. Now they use it against us.

The government is using tear gas, mustard gas, pepper gas, - the latter two forbidden by international law. Regarding tear gas, the issue is the time between the firing of each canister. They are supposed to leave gap of one minute between each canister. But here they have been shooting ten canisters in one minute, and even more frequent rates of fire. Is this intended to disperse, or to kill the demonstrators?

This situation reminds people of the dictators who in the past ruled Iraq.

They are aiming deliberately for the heads of the demonstrators. When the canisters hit any part of the body, they can be deadly. Most of the situation we had since 25th until today was direct shots to the head. 90% in the cases we have treated. Also, tear gas should be fired vertically. They are firing it horizontally and directly at the target. They say they have permission for this. There has also been use of live bullets. We have proof of this, which we are prepared to show to the ministry of health.

We are doctors and nurses who have mostly graduated during the last five years. We are in frontline we do treat case based on the situation we receive every day, but if we cannot treat the case we directly send them to hospital. We provide the first aid to the wounded people and then we send to them an advance mobile clinic that continues treatment. We have a very good coordination with the ministry of health they are very good with us. Our team has faced mistreatment by unknown forces. We have no political bias.

There are no arrests or mistreatment in the hospitals - only at the front gate of green zone. Yesterday, we had more than ten arrests at the Sinak bridge. Carried out by the forces who called themselves guards or security of the green zone, with militiamen besides them. Our team of photographers were able to take some pictures of these forces. The formal forces in green zone follow military principles, but what we saw were also people with long beards and militia uniforms with masks on their faces. They are not organized militia and they are wearing masks so they can't be recognized when they do crime against protesters.

Our demand is very simple, our politicians are so stupid and they couldn't recognize what happened before them.

Our demand is we want all politicians who have s come with new Iraq since 2003 they all should go and we don't want anyone of them.

We want the following:

1- Removing all the current parties in coming new government.

2- Changing Iraqi constitution.

3- Create a new caretaker government with academic and well educated people with no blemish or any dirty background of his/her personality.

4- Change governors and officials in district and sub districts.

We are as Iraqi people - for the first time women too have spoken out and participated in the protests without sexual harassment.

My message for my people of Iraq come out let's get united and we will not stop until our demands are implemented.

And my message to United Nations and any other community that hear us we want to you directly intervene to save Iraqi life we need you and Iraqi people needs you now - act now.

"Iraqi people, Our case is not change the donkey for the goat but to get rid of corruption and bring back the resources of the country.’

Interview with young revolutionary on the frontline in Baghdad near the bridge of Republic.

Those in control - it's Iran, it's Iraq in the picture but in reality it's Iran. This country is run by militias and they are supported and ruled by Iran. The head of the snake Is Hadi al-Ameri (Amiri), all this government is under the hands of Hadi Al-Ameri. if anyone says anything else it's a lie. Hadi al-Ameri and above all of them – Qasim Soleimani. Basically Ameri takes orders from Qasim Sulaimani and he has emphasized this more than one time that he will fight beside Iran if he had to choose between Iraq and Iraq. There are videos prove what we say now. Moreover, all these militia now that are killing the demonstrators are from Khorasani (a pro-Iranian militia group). Before yesterday, they used mustard gas against us – mixed with tears gas. We found this information by UN and international community that Iraqi forces used forbidden weapon against civilians. The one who wear are Iranian.

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