Former Iraq PM blamed for fall of Mosul to Islamic State

Nuri al-Maliki and other top officials to stand trial over loss of northern Iraq city

Iraq’s ex-prime minister Nuri al-Maliki: faces accusations over decisions taken ahead of the seizing of Mosul by Islamic State. Photograph: Ali Abbas

Iraq’s ex-prime minister Nuri al-Maliki: faces accusations over decisions taken ahead of the seizing of Mosul by Islamic State. Photograph: Ali Abbas

 

An Iraqi parliamentary panel yesterday called for former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki and dozens of other top officials to stand trial over the fall of the northern city of Mosul to Islamic State last year.

In a separate initiative, military commanders accused of abandoning their posts in Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province which was overrun by Islamic State militants in May, could face court martial.

The moves come a week after prime minister Haider al-Abadi launched a sweeping campaign to reform the country’s governing system, and are the most drastic steps yet taken by Baghdad to provide accountability for the loss of nearly a third of the country’s territory to Islamic State.

A year in office, Mr Abadi is seeking to transform a system he complained has encouraged ethno-sectarian party patronage, spawning corruption and incompetence that deprived Iraqis of basic services while undermining government forces in the battle against Islamic State fighters.

Low morale

Islamic State’s seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, in June 2014 exposed once and for all the brokenness of the system left in place by the 2003-2011 US occupation.

The panel’s findings allege that Mr Maliki had an inaccurate picture of the threat to Mosul because he chose commanders who engaged in corruption and failed to hold them accountable. – (Reuters)