Attack on Iraq parliament speaker's home 'came from Kataib Hezbollah area'

Attack on Iraq parliament speaker's home 'came from Kataib Hezbollah area'
Iraqi officials confirmed on Wednesday that rockets which fell close to the house of the parliament speaker came from an area under the control of the pro-Iran Kataib Hezbollah militia.
2 min read
26 January, 2022
Parliament speaker Halbousi was not at home at the time of the attack [AFP/Getty]

A missile attack that targeted the house of Iraq’s parliament speaker on Tuesday night came from an area controlled by the pro-Iran Kataib Hezbollah militia, Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.

Three rockets were fired towards Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi’s home in Al-Karmah in Anbar province - one of which fell just behind the house.

Investigations confirmed Katyusha rockets were used in the attack and came from outside the city, a military officer from Anbar told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The rockets were fired from Thera Dejla (Tigris), a depopulated area a few kilometres east of Al-Karmah that is under Kataib Hezbollah's control, the officer said.

The attack came hours after a top court confirmed Halbousi's re-election as parliament speaker.

Halbousi was at his office in Baghdad at the time of the attack. The speaker’s father and siblings who reside in the house were moved to a different location after the strike.

However, two children were hurt and taken to hospital.

The parliament speaker shared a picture of himself with one of the injured children in a Twitter post.

Halbousi's re-election as speaker paves the way towards the formation of a new government, which has faced hurdles amid political wrangling. 

The court's confirmation of Halbousi's re-election will allow the resumption of parliament sessions, and along with them deliberations over the selection of a new president, who will in turn choose the next prime minister, to be approved by the legislature.

Negotiations between parties and coalitions seeking to form a parliamentary majority have been marked by tensions, particularly by key Shia currents seeking to exert their influence.

Several grenade attacks have in recent days targeted the offices of parties that could team up with Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to form a parliamentary coalition, including offices belonging to Halbousi’s Taqadom party.

Sadr won most seats in the October polls, and has repeatedly called on Iran-backed militias to disarm and respect the law.

These Shia factions claim the vote was rigged after they suffered heavy losses in the elections.

The officials denied reports that Tuesday night's attack was carried out by the Islamic State extremist group, which, despite being declared defeated in 2017, still conducts a low-level insurgency in the country.