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Iraq to reinstate 20,000 Saddam-era army officers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD (AP) – Iraq says 20,000 Saddam Hussein-era army officers will rejoin the military after being dismissed from their posts after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion for serving under the former dictator.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said Friday the reinstatement will begin immediately.

The move comes just over a week before national elections the U.S. hopes will help bring together Iraq’s rival religious factions.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Shiite politicians have been criticized for unfairly targeting former members of Saddam’s ruling Baath Party.

Rival Sunni lawmaker Maysoun Damlouji says the reinstatement is a blatant ploy by al-Maliki to win more votes on March 7.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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