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Iraqi defense minister sacked as Mosul battle looms

25 August 2016 18:31
Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi speaks to the media at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi speaks to the media at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Iraq’s parliament impeached Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi on Thursday over corruption allegations, removing him from office as the army gears up for an assault on Islamic State’s de facto capital, Mosul.

Parliament voted 142-102 to withdraw confidence from Obeidi, two lawmakers said, after questioning him this month about weapons contracts. He denies the corruption allegations.

Lawmakers have accused the Defence Ministry of wasting billions of dollars and weakening the armed forces to the point where they collapsed in 2014 in the face of the Islamic State onslaught under the previous government led by Nuri al-Maliki, who was also acting defense minister.

 

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