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Iraqi Minister Says Army Rebuilding Still In Early Stages


Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi says the country is rebuilding its military to address weaknesses, but that the effort is "still in the very early stages."

Iraq's military is struggling against Islamic State (IS) militants who seized large swathes of territory last summer.

In a televised address on the anniversary of the founding of Iraq's army on January 6, Obeidi listed the problems that contributed to the setback, including weak leadership, incompetence, lack of discipline, and poor training.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has sacked dozens of commanders and instructed Obeidi to lead a probe into corruption within the army.

Backed by U.S.-led air strikes, international advisers, Kurdish forces, Shi’ite militiamen, and Sunni tribes, Iraqi forces have pushed IS mliitants out of a number of areas but the militants still control significant territory, including cities.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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