ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday claimed the Islamic State’s (IS) emergence in Iraq was due to corruption in the country, which he described as a “serious germ.”
The Iraqi Prime Minister also warned of the “transmission of the infection” to security forces throughout the country, especially those possibly related to IS members.
“Corruption is a serious germ that led to a [terror] organization’s control of two-thirds of Iraq’s territory in 2014,” Abadi said at a security conference in Baghdad.
Iraq ranks 161 out of 168 nations on Transparency International’s corruption index as mismanagement and graft are the most significant challenges facing Iraqis since the fall of the former regime led by Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Following the collapse of Hussein, corruption was not limited to civil institutions but reached the military as well, especially under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Many politicians and analysts, including Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials, blame the emergence of IS on Maliki for his pursuit of sectarian policies.
After his “final victory” announcement over the extremist group on Dec. 9, Abadi warned Iraqi’s not to underestimate IS’ capability to reemerge.
“We should not lose victory by negligence here or there, and we should not allow terrorism to achieve any breach,” he said.
“The enemy has a deviant way of thinking, and we must focus on intelligence and security efforts to challenge them,” the Iraqi Prime Minister added.
Terrorism experts predict that IS will resort to methods it used in the past, such as concentrated attacks and bombings, as the group tries to remain relevant.
Meanwhile, Abadi said he was confident Iraq could defeat the extremists through “security and intelligence during the next stage.”