The current wave of protests are in fact a continuation of simmering unrest that has been evident in Iraq since July 2018, driven by resentment over deteriorating economic prospects and governmental corruption. The influence of outside actors on the country’s domestic affairs have driven an increasingly youthful population to seek sovereign control over the country’s resources and governance. Despite repeated claims by the current administration that they are seeking to introduce widespread democratic reforms, protestors claim that such reform has not been forthcoming. Such claims are only reinforced by widespread media blackouts, the imposition of curfews across many areas and the use of lethal force that has led to hundreds of deaths. The driving forces behind the protest movement have existed within the country for decades, and so long as they endure, a campaign for change driven by a generation who came of age after the major conflicts that ravaged the country in recent decades is likely to persist.

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