A demonstrator holds an Iraqi flag at a protest following four days of nationwide anti-government protests, in Baghdad, Iraq October 5, 2019. [Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters]

This October has been one of the bloodiest months in Iraq in recent memory. More than 150 Iraqi civilians were murdered in cold blood and 5,000 were wounded. The culprit is neither the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) or its affiliates, nor the car bombs that claimed scores of innocent lives for so many years. The perpetrator this time is the Iraqi regime, which used unprecedented and unnecessary lethal force against citizens who were exercising their legitimate right to protest against a dysfunctional political system and a corrupt political class.

The outbreak

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