Demonstrators in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square held a symbolic funeral on Tuesday for the recently assassinated Iraqi security analyst, Husham Al Hashimi.
Al Hashimi (Member of the Iraq Advisory Council – IAC) was killed in his car in front of his home on Monday and many believe that proxies linked to the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force are responsible. He was taken to hospital with “bullet wounds in several body parts”, according to a medical source who spoke to the media, but died shortly after.
During the two-hour rally, held in areas of the capital that often feature protests against the Iranian regime’s malign influence in Iraq, demonstrators chanted “Hezbollah is the enemy of God” and called for the assassins to face retaliatory measures. They also held pictures of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with the slogan “Khamenei is a murderer and his proxies have no legitimacy”.
In a video that appears to show the attack, several motorbike-riding figures pull up outside Al Hashimi’s house and, a few minutes later, his car pulls into the drive. Then, a man runs up and opens fire on the 47-year-old at point-blank range, before he and the others flee the scene.
Al Hashimi was well respected in his field and wrote extensively about the terrorist groups ISIS and Al Qaeda, who have strong ties to the Iranian regime, in three books and many other publications, as well as advising current and past Iraqi governments on terrorism and extremist groups.
it still has given the necessary message to the security forces and the judiciary to allow them to overcome the barrier of fear made by these armed groups. https://t.co/75BzFKpfim
— Husham Alhashimi ???? ??????? (@hushamalhashimi) June 26, 2020
He strongly supported the popular protests that erupted in October, across Baghdad and Iraq’s Shiite-majority south, which criticised the Iraqi government for being inefficient, corrupt, and a puppet state for the Iranian mullahs. During those protests, at least 500 people were killed by proxy forces of the Iranian regime, but high-profile assassinations have been rare over the past year.
Martin Huth, the European Union’s ambassador to Iraq, publically mourned Al Hashimi’s death.
He said: “Together with his family and friends, we mourn the death of Dr Husham Al Hashimi. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be brought to justice.”
The United Kingdom’s ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, also condemned the murder on Twitter.
He said: “Devastated and deeply saddened by the news of the killing of Husham Al Hashimi. Iraq has lost one of its very best – a thoughtful and brave man. These attacks cannot continue. The government, supported by the international community, must hold the perpetrators to account.”
— Kamal Chomani (@KamalChomani) July 6, 2020