Iraqi PM retires army chief of staff

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BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has retired the army’s Chief of Staff General Babaker Baderkhan Shawkat Zebari.

On Monday, Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for the Iraqi premier, said General Zebari had been retired on Abadi’s orders.

However, Zebari has dismissed the claim that he has removed from his post in an exclusive interview with Kurdish-language Rudaw satellite television network, stressing that he had tendered his resignation back in October 2014.

The former Iraqi army’s chief of staff said he planned to retire from the post on four different occasions, but each request was turned down by Masoud Barzani, the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Zebari had been appointed to the post in 2003, following the US-led invasion of the country.

In mid-April, Abadi retired more than 300 military officers as part of efforts to restructure the army amid advances by the ISIS group in Iraqi territory.

Since taking office last August, Abadi has retired, reorganized, and repositioned hundreds of military officers and commanders in the Iraqi military.

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