On Saturday, news was leaked to Iraqi media that Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki, has decided to appoint his son as the ultimate authority in charge of the army. According to the leaks, Maliki has also forced out several top military officials.
“On the order of the prime minister, the supreme commander of the ground forces, Ali Gheda, has retired from office,” said a source with the Iraqi defense ministry. The source said that the retirement of top officials was a “direct consequence of the fall of Mosul” into the hands of radical sunni Jihadists now known as the Islamic State. The extremist group was formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
According to reports, the Prime Minister has replaced Farouq Aeraji, former chief of staff of the Iraqi army, with his son Ahmad Maliki.
A source said that Ahmad Maliki’s first order was to deploy senior Iraqi military officials into the frontlines on several fronts against the Islamic State jihadis.
Last Month, Prime Minister Maliki removed several high-ranking officials from their posts, including General Mahdi Gharawi, Abdulrahman Hantali, and Lieutenant Hassan Abdurazaq. The three men were senior commanders in the Nineveh province, where Mosul was lost to the Islamic State insurgents. Three days before Mosul fell, the entire military presence had abandoned their posts, leaving behind a plethora weapons and supplies. Maliki said at the time that he was going to react firmly against the actions of “deserters.”
While there has been pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to step down, Maliki vowed on Friday that he intended on seeking the nomination for Prime Minister for another term. the Prime Minister said that he intended to stay on until the Islamic State Sunni jihadists were defeated.
“I will never give up the nomination for the post of prime minister,” his office said in a statement Friday. “I have vowed to God that I will continue to fight by the side of our armed forces and volunteers until we defeat the enemies of Iraq and its people.”
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