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Friday, September 16, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iraq shakes up security command after success
of Al Qaida strikes

BAGHDAD — Iraq has reshuffled its security command amid rising criticism of the failure to stop Al Qaida attacks.


Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, who is also the nation's defense minister and interior minister, ordered the transfer of senior Army commanders. Al Maliki reassigned Army generals from the northern province of Nineveh to Baghdad in an effort to halt Al Qaida suicide bombings.

"This step promises a new relationship between the province and the Army," Nineveh Gov. Athil Najafi said.

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Officials said the transfer was part of Al Maliki's campaign to make the army accountable to the civilian government in Baghdad. They said Army commanders in the north had been accused of stoking ethnic tension.

The transfers included Gen. Hassan Karim Khadir, head of military operations in Nineveh, to the Defense Ministry in Baghdad. Al Maliki also reassigned the Army's 2nd Division commander, Maj. Gen. Nasser Ahmed Ghanem to operational chief in Rusafa. Their replacements were not disclosed.

Officials said Al Maliki has sought to reshuffle the military command, particularly in distant provinces. They said high-level delegations from the prime minister's office inspected military operations in several provinces, including Mosul.

The Army commands in both Mosul and Nineveh have been accused of corruption and incompetence. Critics said the army often acted outside the law and were unable to stop Al Qaida attacks.

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