Iraq changes Ramadi operation names

Iraq rebrands military campaign against ISIL over fears of sectarianism

Iraq changes Ramadi operation names

World Bulletin / News Desk 

A campaign to drive ISIL from Iraq's Ramadi was rebranded on Wednesday after criticism that the name chosen for the push was overtly sectarian.

The move was a response to fears that Iraq's reliance on Shi'ite paramilitaries to defeat ISIL, instead of the disordered and demoralised national army, could alienate Sunni Iraqis and deepen the region's sectarian divide.

The name also provoked complaints from Iraqis in Anbar.

"This is extremely sectarian," said unemployed resident Salam Ahmed, 41. "We have no more trust in them (the paramilitaries). They follow a foreign, Iranian agenda."

State TV said the paramilitaries had renamed the campaign "Labeyk Ya Iraq" (At Your Service Iraq) on Wednesday. A spokesman for the paramilitary groups, known as Hashid Shaabi, said both names had "the same meaning."

"Now we have opted for 'Iraq' and there is no problem," Karim al-Nouri said.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al Abadi was reluctant to deploy Shiite paramilitaries to retake the city fearing that it could lead to sectarian problems but he was forced to send them after the seizure of Ramadi, which saw Iraqi troops flee the city.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mayıs 2015, 12:36