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
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.