59 generals brought to court over abandoning Mosul

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Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement on Wednesday that 59 top military officers will be brought before court for fleeing their posts last week as Takfiri militants of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized Mosul, northern Iraq’s biggest city.

Maliki’s military spokesman, Lieutenant General Qassim Atta, read the names of the officers on state television.

The announcement came a day after Maliki dismissed four top generals and said they were being charged in military court for abandoning Mosul last Tuesday as the city fell.

The commanders were dismissed because they failed to perform their national duty, said the Iraqi premier on Tuesday.

Top officers, including Lieutenant General Mehdi Sabah Ghawari, the top commander for Nineveh province where ISIL militants have gained ground, were fired because they “failed to fulfill their professional and military duties”, according to a government statement read out on state television.

One of the commanders, Hidayat Abdulraheem, had fled a battle and would be referred to the military court to be tried in absentia, it said.

Mosul, Iraq’s second city, was captured by the ISIL after soldiers and police forces fled en masse on June 10, which was followed by the capture of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Rights groups say more than half a million people have been uprooted due to the ISIL raids.

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