In another move that will surely generate controversy and conversation within Iraq’s sectarian political environment, over the weekend, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki blamed the Kurdish leadership for “masterminding” the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terror group’s takeover of the city of Mosul, the Kurdish news network Rudaw reported.
Maliki, who now serves as Iraq’s vice president, told Lebanon’s Manar TV on Saturday, “Kurds were propagating against me and telling the Iraqi army (in Mosul) that the ISIS was not there to fight them, but to fight me and the Shiites only.”
Often criticized for his divisive remarks, Maliki continued, insisting that he had “evidence” to prove the link between ISIS and the Kurds. “I will provide evidence in the coming days which will show who facilitated the fall of Mosul and who told the Iraqi army to withdraw,” he said.
In June, Iraq’s army came under heavy criticism for seemingly laying down their weapons as the Islamic State marched into Mosul. The event ignited a heated discussion about America’s foreign policy initiatives and expenditures, as much of the Iraqi army’s training has been facilitated through the United States military.
Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani has said in the past that Maliki did not take seriously the threat the Islamic State posed, and that his forces brought up the matter to the Prime Minister himself–to no avail. “Mr. Maliki did not heed to our warnings seriously,” said Barzani in June, days after ISIS overran Mosul. “Instead of accepting our help to protect the city, he told me to worry about Kurdistan,” added the Kurdish President.