Snow falls in Baghdad for first time in more than a decade

This rare phenomenon comes after the country has been rocked by months of protests 

Rory Sullivan
Tuesday 11 February 2020 17:42
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Snow falls in Baghdad for first time in decade

Iraqis in the capital Baghdad woke up to snow for the first time in more than a decade, with the rare event giving residents a welcome respite from the country's political unrest.

Photographs and videos show people enjoying the unusual weather conditions on Tuesday, throwing snowballs and skating down the streets.

The country has been rocked ​by months of anti-government protests and soaring tensions with the US, following the assassination of a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early January.

More than 500 people have been killed since protests erupted in October, according to t​he Iraqi Human Rights Commission​.

In the city’s Tahrir Square, the centre of the protest movement, the protester’s sit-in tents were covered in snow on Tuesday morning.

Snowfall last recorded in the Iraqi capital back in 2008.​

Elsewhere in the country, snow carpeted Mosul, the city liberated from ISIS in 2017. Snow is much more common in the north of the country than in the capital.

But Katharina Ritz, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Iraq, tweeted her concern on Tuesday for displaced families living in tents and other non-permanent structures.

She wrote: “Being Swiss, I felt home when I smelled snow this morning. But it quickly reminded me of the many displaced #Iraq families in tents and unfinished shelters who are exposed to the cold temperatures and who have no means to stay warm.”

Most of the snow in Baghdad melted by midday on Tuesday.

Additional reporting from AP

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