Iraqis try to make it to Green Zone amid shelling
Iraqi protestors are trying to make it into the Green Zone in Baghdad as the diplomatic area gets shelled by unknown parties.
Several explosions were heard in the Green Zone, Baghdad, earlier in the day, Al Mayadeen's correspondent in Iraq reported, attributing the explosions to rockets striking the area.
"The Green Zone in Baghdad was hit by three rockets that landed in the area, the first of which landed in front of the Parliament building," the Iraqi media cell reported.
"The shelling wounded one officer and three non-commissioned officers and damaged a vehicle, as well as a government building," the media cell added.
"Gunshots are being heard near the Al-Jumhuriya bridge as others tried to knock over the concrete blocks blocking the Sanak bridge in the face of demonstrators trying to make it into the Green Zone," Al Mayadeen's correspondent reported.
It was later reported that the Iraqi security forces re-took control of the roadblock on the Al-Jumhuriya bridge and were able to disperse the protestors.
The demonstrators brought a bulldozer to try and knock over the concrete blocks on the Al-Jumhuriya bridge as the Iraqi security forces and riot police were trying to them from making it into the Green Zone, where Parliament was in session.
Sadrist movement 'rejects violence'
Saleh Al-Iraqi, a Sadrist movement-associated politician, said he rejected the use of violence and arms that "unknown parties used through shelling the Green Zone to try and stir up strife."
The head of the Sadrist Movement's Peace Brigades, Abu Mustafa Al-Homaydawi, issued a brief statement denouncing the attack that targeted the Green Zone and stressing the constitutionally-guaranteed right of Iraqi civilians to assembly.
"The fall of the regime means the fall of the state, and this means that we will head toward chaos. No one wants chaos other than those who have arms, and therefore, there will be no people left to protect the state," said the head of the victory coalition in Iraq, Haidar Al-Abadi.
"There is an understanding between the major regional and international forces that have an influence on Iraq's security and stability," he added. "Instability in Iraq reflects negatively on the region and the world as a whole."
Iraqis took to the streets in Baghdad earlier in the day in protest of the parliament session, though they were dispersed by the Iraqi Security Forces.
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammad Al-Halbousi had called earlier this month for a date for early parliamentary elections to be included on the agenda of the national dialogue session and the election of the provincial councils no later than the end of next year.
Mohamed Al-Halbousi revealed that he was considering the resignation, but he did not discuss it with anyone, stressing the need for relations between political forces to be normal.
The Iraqi parliament voted on Wednesday to grant its confidence to House Speaker Al-Halbousi after the majority of MPs refused to agree to his resignation.
The vote "renewed the confidence in Parliament Speaker Mohammad Al-Halbousi, with 222 members of parliament rejecting his resignation," the Iraqi parliament said in a statement.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said his country is going through a "political crisis that may be the most difficult after 2003," according to the Iraqi News Agency.
Al-Kadhimi also thanked Iraq's security forces who are "still deployed throughout Iraq to pursue terrorists while providing at the same time protection for pilgrims."