Iraq’s capital Baghdad has woken up to snow for the first time in more than a decade.
Iraq has grappled with months of unrest, beginning with an anti-government protest movement which engulfed the country in October, and the US killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early January, which brought the region close to war amid soaring US-Iran tensions.
Over 500 people have died in the protests as security forces used live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowds in Baghdad and southern Iraq.
The movement is entering a critical phase, after influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who initially threw his weight behind demonstrators, withdrew it. Tensions have since seethed between protesters and Mr al-Sadr’s followers.
In the city’s central Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protest movement, protesters took a moment to observe the snowfall and dusted the flakes off their sit-in tents.
Annual snowfall is common in the mountainous northern region of Iraq, but very rare in Baghdad. The last time the capital saw snow was in 2008.
By midday, the snow had melted in most parts of the city.