Protests in Iraq have resulted in the death of at least 15 people. The violence was triggered after Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced he is quitting politics. Supporters of Al-Sadr have since stormed the government palace in Baghdad, triggering a response from the Iraqi military.

Hours after the death toll started ticking, world leaders and organisations started to call for peace in the region. Other gulf and middle eastern nations took prompt action.

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Alina Romanowski, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, released a statement saying that the violent outbreak was “disturbing.” She added, “Iraq’s security, stability and sovereignty should not be put at risk. Now is the time for dialogue to resolve differences, not through confrontation.” 

Canada Ambassador to Iraq Gregory Galligan said, “This situation is very dangerous and could quickly spiral beyond control”. He added that he was “deeply alarmed” by the violence in Iraq.

Iran sealed off its borders, citing the “unrest and curfew” in Iraq as the reason for the preemptive measure. Iranian state television urged citizens to avoid any travel to Iraq while urging Iran’s Shiite pilgrims in Iraq to avoid further travel between cities.

Wopke Hoekstra, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Netherlands, said in a social media post the country has evacuated its embassy in the Green Zone. He said that the staff is “now working at the German embassy elsewhere in the city.”

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Kuwait meanwhile has urged its citizens in neighboring Iraq to leave the country. The state-run KUNA news agency also encouraged those hoping to travel to Iraq to delay their plans.

UAE’s long-haul carrier Emirates stopped flights to Baghdad on Tuesday over the ongoing unrest in Iraq. The carrier said that it was “monitoring the situation closely.” It did not say whether flights would resume on Wednesday.