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Iraq’s removal of counterterrorism chief sparks controversy

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Military Times

Iraq’s removal of counterterrorism chief sparks controversy

By Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press

BEIRUT — The Iraqi prime minister’s removal of a top military commander from his post triggered heated political protests and uncertainty over the weekend, at a time of soaring tensions between the country’s chief security partners in the region, Iran and the United States.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi removed Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi from his post as the commander of the country’s elite counterterrorism forces and transferred him to the Defense Ministry on Friday, without providing an explanation.

The decision sparked speculation that some among Iraq’s Iran-backed politicians were uneasy with the commander’s growing popularity among Iraqis. The Arab state finds itself increasingly caught in the middle between the U.S. and Iran, as the two countries lead rival blocs vying for influence in a tumultuous region.

Read more: https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/09/29/iraqs-removal-of-counterterrorism-chief-sparks-controversy/