US Is Responsible for Discord in Iraq – Iraqi Ex-Defense Minister

US Is Responsible for Discord in Iraq – Iraqi Ex-Defense MinisterCC0Middle East13:47 12.05.2018(updated 13:48 12.05.2018) Get short URL101

The elections were initially set for September but were postponed due to the fight against the Daesh* terrorist group. The vote will be the first since the liberation of the country from the jihadists.

“Americans are mainly responsible for what happened to Iraq because they were the first to form a government on a base of confessional quotas… It was decided under Paul Bremer’s [US Presidential envoy and head of the transitional government during US military presence in Iraq] leadership that Sunnis would get 5 ministerial offices, Shiites — 11, and Kurds — 7. This decision laid the foundation of the discord between confessional and ethnic groups and led us to the situation in modern Iraq with its sectarianism and inter-ethnic hostilities,” the former Iraqi Minister of Defense Khaled Yassin al-Obaidi told Sputnik.

READ MORE: Iraqi Security Forces Disclose Identities of Daesh Leaders Detained in Syria

Obaidi is also among the leaders of the Victory Alliance, a coalition established by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The vote was initially set for September, but was postponed due to the fight against Daesh. Thereby it will be the first time the country holds an election since Daesh was declared defeated.

Major coalitions were put forward by the leading Shiite politicians of the country — Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Vice-President Nuri al-Maliki. There are 6,686 candidates, 2,014 of them women, for 328 seats in the parliament.

READ MORE: Iraqi Parliamentary Vote Guided by Issues, Not Sectarianism

The US launched its Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 20, 2003, claiming that the then-president of the country, Saddam Hussein, was developing weapons of mass destruction and colluding with al-Qaeda. The operation led to the overthrow of Hussein and was followed by an eight-year-long US military presence in Iraq.