Former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has rejected allegations that he was responsible for the fall of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, to Daesh Takfiri militants last year.
Speaking in a press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran on Monday, Maliki called into question the integrity of a recent report by an Iraqi parliamentary investigative committee, which held him and a number of other senior Iraqi officials accountable for the setback.
Instead, Maliki blamed Turkey and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the fall of Mosul, saying Daesh's takeover took place after the KRG ordered Kurdish fighters to retreat from the conflict zone.
Maliki, who is currently serving as Iraq’s vice president, further stated that the Iraqi army and police also withdrew from the capital of Nineveh province, leaving Shia fighters alone in their battle against Takfiris.
Lawmakers affiliated with Maliki’s party in the Iraqi parliament threatened to resign if the committee refuses to remove the name of the country’s former premier from its report.
Mosul file to be referred to judiciary
Maliki's remarks came hours after Iraqi lawmakers voted to refer the parliamentary report to the judiciary.
"None of the names mentioned in this report were deleted, and all of them will be sent to the judiciary. An investigation and follow up and accounting of all those who caused the fall of Mosul will be carried out," Iraqi speaker of parliament Salim al-Juburi said.
The report is the first official document citing top political figures and military commanders, allegedly responsible for the fall of Mosul.
Other former senior figures include acting Defense Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi, former Army Chief of Staff Babaker Zebari and his deputy Aboud Qanbar, Ground Forces Commander Ali Ghaidan, Nineveh operations command chief Mahdi al-Gharawi and the province's governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi.
Last summer, Daesh militants attacked Iraq from eastern Syria, spreading their realm of terror over large swathes of territory and towns in the west and north of the country, Mosul included.
Iraqi military divisions were overpowered by the Takfiri militants during the initial assault, and in some instances fled the battle scene, abandoning their weapons and other equipment which fell into the hands of the Takfiri militants.
Meantime, the militants have been committing gruesome crimes against the people of ethnic and religious groups in Iraq, including both Shia and Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians and Kurds.