Iraq renames Ramadi operation amid sectarian fears

Iraqi army rebrands Ramadi operation to quell sectarian fears

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iraqi officials renamed on Wednesday the operation to retake the city of Ramadi in Anbar province from ISIS militants amid criticism that the original title might flame sectarianism.

Shiite paramilitaries had named the operation for the fight against ISIS in Anbar “Labbaik Ya Hussein,” which translates to “At your service, Hussein,” honouring one of the most revered figures in Shia Islam.

The paramilitaries have renamed the campaign “Labbaik Ya Iraq” (At Your Service Iraq), Iraqi state TV reported.

"The General Command of the Armed Forces has chosen this name for the battles for Anbar's liberation," spokesman for the prime minister’s office, Saad al Hadithi, told Iraqi Al Sumaria channel, without giving further details.

Ramadi is a predominantly Sunni city, which fell to ISIS on May 17.

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.

TRTWorld and agencies