As protesters call for general strike, oil disruptions loom

Protesters are confronting an unbridgeable gap between their demands and the government's action. Their rising frustration poses increasing risks to the oil sector.
A protester in Basra city poses on a road blocked by burning tires on Nov. 17, 2019. (JASSIM AL-JABIRI/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA/BAGHDAD - Protest organizers attempted to mobilize a general strike Sunday, blocking roads throughout southern Iraqi cities and disrupting access to major oil fields in Basra.

There is no indication that oil production levels have been affected, and oil workers do not appear to be joining the strikes in significant numbers for now. But the calls for a general strike suggest Iraq's protest movement is becoming more volatile as divisions harden between demonstrators and the political class they seek to remove.

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