Iraq Army Chiefs to Stand Trial over Ramadi Defeat

Iraq Army Chiefs to Stand Trial over Ramadi DefeatIraq Army Chiefs to Stand Trial over Ramadi Defeat

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi approved the decision of an investigative council on Sunday to refer military commanders to a court martial for abandoning their positions in the battle against Islamic State militants in Ramadi.

The announcement came as Abadi pushes ahead with a sweeping reform campaign aimed at combating corruption and mismanagement in the biggest shakeup in the governing system since the US military occupation, Al Jazeera reported.

IS seized Anbar Province’s capital Ramadi in May, extending its control over the west of Baghdad and dealing a major setback to Abadi and the US-backed army he entrusted with its defense.

The fall of Ramadi was widely considered as the Iraqi Army’s worst defeat since IS swept through north Iraq last June.

The US estimated in July that there were between 1,000 and 2,000 IS insurgents in Ramadi.

Iraqi forces have launched a number of offensives to retake ground in Anbar since IS took over Ramadi, but have so far been largely unsuccessful in recapturing the area.

 Iraq Rocked by Deadly Blasts

IS militants launched an attack against government troops Sunday outside the militant-held city of Fallujah, killing at least 17 troops, officials said.

Four suicide attackers drove explosives-laden military vehicles into government forces’ barricades outside Fallujah, west of Baghdad, officials said. Clashes broke out afterward. The officials said 15 other troops were wounded.

A spate of bombings across Baghdad also killed at least 24 people on Saturday, two days after the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since Abadi took office one year ago.

The deadliest attack took place in the Shia district of Habibiya, where 15 people were killed when a car bomb exploded near an open area where cars are displayed for sale.

Habibiya is near Sadr City, where more than 70 people were killed in a massive truck bomb blast claimed by IS on Thursday.

Two more people were killed and seven wounded in a bomb blast targeting vehicle repair shops in Taji to the north of the capital.