Iraq to investigate 'humiliating' video of exhausted soldiers travelling without vehicle

Iraq to investigate 'humiliating' video of exhausted soldiers travelling without vehicle
A video showing exhausted members of the Iraqi military trying to find a vehicle to transport them to their workplace has caused uproar.
2 min read
31 January, 2023
Iraq still faces challenges, such as attacks by Islamic State group sleeper cells [Getty/archive]

A leaked video showing Iraqi soldiers walking several kilometres to their service headquarters without a vehicle has prompted an investigation by the Iraqi defence ministry.

The video shows 13 soldiers on periodic leave walking up to six kilometres from their camp to a main road in search of a vehicle to transport them to their places of service, reported The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The exhausted soldiers are heard complaining and criticising the government and accusing their leaders of negligence.

"We’ve walked for three kilometres, I swear to God. Our legs hurt from walking in the cold. We haven’t slept," one soldier is heard saying,

Iraqis on social media found it to be "humiliating."

"This is how brave Iraqi soldiers are treated!" one Twitter user said.

Another social media user asked about the dangers the soldiers were exposed to.

Iraq is still unstable, as the Islamic State group continues to wage a low-level insurgency in the country. Several soldiers, policemen and civilians have been killed in recent months in attacks in vast desert regions and outside major cities.

Defence Minister Thabet Mohammad Al-Abbasi requested the formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the incident and hold accountable those in charge.

"I will not allow anyone to offend the soldiers while I am present," he said in a statement, adding that he "ordered the formation of an investigative committee to punish those who failed to appeal to the soldiers and leave them in the desert without means of transportation, including battle-wounded soldiers."