Iraq set to restore 'Saddam-era' military conscription law, 18 years after repeal

Iraq set to restore 'Saddam-era' military conscription law, 18 years after repeal
Iraq hasn't had conscription for 18 years, but that appears set to change.
1 min read
01 September, 2021
Mustafa Al-Kadhimi hailed the return of conscription on Twitter [Christian Marquardt/Pool/Getty]

Iraq is set to bring back military conscription, 18 years after the unpopular Saddam Hussein-era policy was abolished.

Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's team issued a press release explaining his cabinet had authorised the move, Anadolu Agency's Arabic-language service reported.

The country's Shura Council - a body which examines legal matters - has looked at a draft law and it is now up to parliament to decide whether it will go ahead.

The Iraqi PM wrote on Twitter: "Today, we have accomplished what we pledged to do from the moment we assumed responsibility in front of our people and history."

He said the decision on conscription "will consolidate our national values in our children".

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There were no details on how conscription might be rolled out and who will be eligible.

Parliament will likely debate the proposal soon before it is authorised, the Turkish news agency said.

Conscription stopped in Iraq 18 years ago when US officials in Iraq's transitional government decided to end the practice.

This latest military move by Baghdad comes amid efforts to shake off Washington's presence in Iraq.

In particular, calls have been made by Iran-aligned groups to get American troops out of the country.