Protesters were set to gather in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday in response to a call for Iraqis to head to the capital on Victory Day.
Images had been circulated on social media calling on Iraqis from across the country to gather in Baghdad on December 10, which is a public holiday commemorating the Iraqi government’s victory over ISIS.
“Since the beginning of the week we have seen reports of buses arriving with ten to a few dozen protesters at a time from southern governorates,” said Elexer Palko-Schraa at Aldebaran Threat Consultants.
However, it is not clear to what extent visitors from outside Baghdad would turn up, Palko-Schraa added, explaining that Iraqi police would likely attempt to prevent protesters from reaching the capital.
According to an unverified local source, police in the Babil governorate are intending to block the southern road into Baghdad.
The call for the demonstration has used the hashtags #White_Shirt_Revolution and #Martyr’s Blood. Iraq has been in a state of unrest since October, with anti-government protests challenging the status quo and calling for new elections.
Hundreds of protesters have been killed so far, with security forces and unidentified armed men continuing to use violence against protesters despite the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi being approved by parliament on December 1.