Sacking of Iraqi army commanders a positive sign: US

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, on November 13, 2014 in Washington, DCThe sacking of dozens of Iraqi army commanders represents a positive sign that the Baghdad government is reforming its army and reaching out to alienated Sunnis, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. With the US-led air war against Islamic State jihadists relying heavily on Iraqi security forces, Hagel praised moves by the new defense minister, Khaled al-Obaidi, to shake up the top tier of the army. “This new minister of defense and this new government is reconstituting the leadership of the Iraqi security forces,” Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee. He cited Baghdad’s announcement Wednesday that 36 army officers had been sacked, saying the move represented needed changes “across the top” of the army.

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