Reuters reports: Some Iraqi soldiers are abandoning their posts and joining a wave of civilian migrants headed to Europe, raising new doubts about the cohesion of the country’s Western-backed security forces in the fight against Islamic State militants.
Interviews with migrants and an analysis of social media activity show scores of fighters from the national army, police and special forces as well as Shi’ite militias and Kurdish peshmerga have left in recent months or plan to go soon.
They join more than 50,000 civilians who have left Iraq in the past three months, according to the United Nations, part of an even larger exodus from neighbouring Syria and other conflict zones across the Middle East.
The inability of Iraq to retain its soldiers threatens to further erode morale in a military that has partially collapsed twice in the past year in the face of the Islamic State militant group. [Continue reading…]