Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament discussed a report on the security situation prepared by the parliamentary defense and security committee following its meeting with the Baghdad Operations Command on Thursday.
A parliamentary source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: “What the security commanders want is higher salaries and more personnel, but the problem lies in the sloppiness of the military institution.”
The source added: “There is a clear politicization of the security dossier by adopting sectarian arguments where the areas around Baghdad with a Sunni majority are accused of becoming a haven for terrorists, which suggests the need for more attacks on these areas and more arbitrary arrests.”
Meanwhile, Hussein Mansouri, a member of the Iraqi Parliament for the Sadrist Al-Ahrar bloc, demanded the dismissal of Hassan Al-Sunaid, the chairman of the parliamentary defense and security committee and a member of the State of Law Coalition.
Mansouri also called for the dismissal of the undersecretary of the interior ministry, Adnan Al-Assadi. The Al-Ahrar MP said both should be dismissed “because they are biased and because of Sunaid’s interference in the appointment of security commanders.”
Meanwhile, Hassan Jihad, a member of the parliamentary defense and security committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the committee’s report was largely descriptive, and did not contain anything new.”
He added that “all content was based on the meeting with the Baghdad Operations Command last Thursday, while the security of the country is not limited to the Baghdad Operations Command, but is more comprehensive and more important.”
Jihad said: “The recommendations to the government did not represent the opinions of all members of the defense and security committee, but only the opinion of those who wrote it.”
In the meantime, Shawan Mohamed Taha, a member of the defense and security committee for the Kurdistan Alliance, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the report is embarrassing because it does not contain anything that is real, and because it only refers to the Baghdad Operations, which is a field command. What we need is someone who draws up security plans, not someone who implements them.”
Taha added that “under the current policies, if we allocated the entire 2014 budget to the security dossier, it would still not be enough.” He called for “following a policy of winning the public, not militarizing society.”
State of Law Coalition MP Adnan Al-Shahmani, called for the formation of local groups to protect Shi’ites living in Sunni areas of the country. In a news conference he held in Baghdad on Saturday, he said: “If adequate measures are not taken by the government to protect Shi’ites, we will not stand idly by,” adding that “we will form popular committees from the Iraqi people to fight terrorism.”
However, Iraqi List MP Mazhar Al-Janabi criticized Shahmani’s comments. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Shahmani, who is a member of the defense and security committee, must read Article 9 of the constitution, which stipulates that no militias shall be formed outside the state’s control.”
Janabi added that “I want to say to Shahmani that 89 percent of the armed forces and security forces are from one sect, which is the Shi’ite sect. So why does he need more forces or new militias?”