BAGHDAD, June 17 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has fired four army commanders for failing "their national duty" in protecting Iraq from Sunni Islamist advances, the government announced Tuesday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria launched a lightning offensive, which took control of the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit last week and Tal Afar on Monday. In some cities, including Kirkuk, Iraqi troops abandoned their posts.
The senior commander for Ninewah governorate, where ISIS gained a foothold, was among the fired senior officers. Another officer will be court-martialed in absentia, the government said, for abandoning his post and fleeing a battle.