Veteran Iraqi officers support ISIS

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – The West has repeatedly accused regional countries of facilitating the existence and continuity of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, an issue that has been reflected in official statements and analysis reports in the recent months. 

According to reports, the former leaders of the Baath Party have been responsible for the expansion of the Islamic State group. Those veteran Iraqi Baathists have been supervising the strategic military operations of IS since the beginning the announcement of the alleged caliphate last June, and the group’s control of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

The Washington Post reported that the group’s approach is inspired by Saddam Hussein’s (the former Iraqi president) ideas, when he launched in 1994 what was described as a “faith campaign” which was apparent through the closure of liquor shops in Baghdad. 

Saddam Hussein also inserted religious expressions in the educational curriculum of private schools, as well as putting the phrase of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) on the Iraqi flag with three stars. 

Observers told ARA News that members of the Iraqi Baath Party, and officers close to Saddam, have played a significant role in the ranks of the IS radical group, pointing out that this involvement of veteran Baathists has been demonstrated by the ousted Iraqi Vice President Izzat al-Douri and statements by Raghad Saddam Hussein (daughter of overthrown Iraqi President), indicating a clear support and endorsement of the radical group. 

M. Y., an Iraqi retired officer, speaking to ARA News in Mosul, (on the condition of anonymity), stated that it’s true that most of the Iraqi officers in Saddam Hussein’s army are now serving in the IS terrorist group, “however many officers remained silent and did not interfere in this dirty game”.

“When I saw the group’s atrocities on media outlets, I automatically discovered that these barbaric gunmen have nothing to do with Islamic religion or humanity,” he added. “The key officers are experienced in torturing and suppressing people. Most of the group’s brutal methods were apparently designed by some veteran extremists, and at the very top of them are former officers of Baath regime in Iraq.” 

Observers emphasize that the United States made a big mistake when it decided to dissolve the former Iraqi army, with about 400,000 military officers obliged to retire and lose all previous privileges.  

“This has been one of the factors causing their participation in the ranks of the IS group as a major Sunni power in Iraq at the moment,” the retired officer told ARA News


Reporting by: Jean Saman

Source: ARA News

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