The seizure of Mosul by ISIS militants last year in the face of no serious resistance may pave the way for a trial of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose rule was marked by sectarian policies and a pro-Iranian stance. An Iraqi parliamentary investigation found Maliki responsible for the fall of Mosul, Iraqi lawmakers said on Sunday. A report that contains the investigation of why Mosul and Nineveh provinces fell, documented that not only Maliki, but also several other Iraqi officials, including Minister of Defense Saadun al-Dulaimi, Army Chief of Staff Babaker Zebari and his deputy Aboud Qanbar, Ground Forces Commander Ali Ghaidan, Nineveh operations Command Chief Mahdi al-Gharawi and Nineveh Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi were also responsible.
During the clashes with ISIS, Maliki was accused of ignoring the demands of the Sunni communities and the disputes between Sunni tribes and Iranian-backed Shiite militias. "Maliki also appointed commanders based on personal loyalty rather than competence, and was commander-in-chief of the armed forces during the two years in which the Iraqi military did not carry out the necessary training, leading to a decline in skills," Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Maliki denied the claims and rejected his responsibility. "There is no value in the result that emerged from the parliamentary investigation committee on the fall of Mosul, which was dominated by political differences and was not objective," Maliki said on his Facebook page. Accusing Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), he said: "What happened in Mosul was a conspiracy planned in Ankara, then the conspiracy moved to Irbil."
Maliki, who served as prime minister from 2006 until the middle of last year, was widely accused of monopolizing power, turning a blind eye to corruption, facilitating corruption for his supporters and relatives and staffing the military's officer corps with incompetent loyalists, leading to its rapid collapse in the face of ISIS's onslaught. He was also seen as a sectarian leader who did much to alienate the country's Sunni population and was known for having a pro-Iranian stance that led to the deterioration of relations with other regional actors including Turkey and Saudi Arabia.