Iraq's Abadi orders trial over Ramadi withdrawal

Iraq's Abadi orders trial over Ramadi withdrawal
Iraq's PM orders a trial of commanders over abandoning positions in battle against militants in Ramadi, a day after a string of attacks left 24 dead in the capital.
3 min read
16 August, 2015
Abadi launched a sweeping reform campaign last week. [Getty]

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday approved the decision of an investigative council to refer military commanders to a court martial for abandoning their positions in the battle against Islamic State militants in Ramadi. 

Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province, fell to the Islamist militants in May in the most significant setback for Iraqi security forces in nearly a year. 

The statement was published on the official website of Abadi, who launched a sweeping reform campaign last week aimed at combating corruption and mis-management in the biggest shake-up in the governing system since the US military occupation. 

Bombs target Shia Muslims

On Saturday, a car bomb at a popular auto dealership Saturday killed 15 people and injured 52 in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City district, where a market bombing two days earlier killed dozens, police said. 

The Habibiya car dealership, widely-known for buying and selling used vehicles, has been targeted multiple times in the past. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing in a communique distributed via affiliated Twitter accounts, saying the vehicle targeted a large gathering of the Iraqi army, federal police and government-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces.  

A massive explosion in a Sadr City market on Thursday killed at least 67 people and wounded more than 100. The bombing, claimed by the Islamic State group, was one of the worst single-day attacks in Baghdad in a decade.  

Elsewhere in and around the capital, a series of bombings killed at least nine people and wounded 33.  

The largest took place in the town of Madain, just south of Baghdad, when a bomb tore through a popular market killing three people and wounding 10, police said. 

     IS frequently targets Shias, whom it considers heretics, fuelling sectarian tensions in the country.

In the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, a bomb hit a row of auto repair shops, killing two people and injuring eight. 

In Baghdad's al-Askan district, an improvised explosive device detonated on a busy commercial street, killing at least two people and wounding eight. And in Baghdad's southeastern suburb of Jisr Diyala, police said two were killed and seven wounded when a bomb exploded on a commercial street. 

Hospital officials corroborated the casualties. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to reporters.   

IS frequently targets Shias, whom it considers heretics, fuelling sectarian tensions in the country, and often strikes areas such as markets and cafes where crowds gather.

IS overran large parts of Iraq in June 2014 and also holds significant territory in neighbouring Syria. 

Iraqi forces have since regained ground from the extremists, but much of western Iraq as well as the northen city of Mosul, remain outside government control.  

Even before the IS offensive, bombings targeting civilians in Iraq were a major threat, killing hundreds of people a month. 

With extremists occupied with fighting elsewhere, the frequency of blasts in Baghdad has declined since the IS offensive, but there have still been a number of major bombings in the city in recent months. 

Iraq Death Infograph