'Proof' of 'moral decay'

PM Al-Sudani remembers Camp Speicher Massacre on 10th anniversary

NEWSROOM — Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Speicher Massacre on Wednesday, describing the atrocity as proof of the ‘moral decay’ of its perpetrators.

On June 12, 2014, Islamic State militants killed approximately 1,700 unarmed Iraqi Air Force cadets at Camp Speicher near Tikrit. This massacre, targeting Shia cadets, remains one of the deadliest terrorist acts in Iraq’s history.

“This atrocity stands as undeniable proof of the perpetrators’ complete lack of conscience and moral decay, as they sold their souls to evil, deserving only shame and disgrace,” Al-Sudani tweeted.

In 2014, the Islamic State seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, declaring a “caliphate” and instigating widespread terror. They were ousted from Iraq in 2017 by Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, supported by a U.S.-led coalition, and lost their final territory in Syria in 2019 to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

Al-Sudani claimed that these terrorist groups are now diminished and no longer pose a significant threat to Iraq’s security, “Our heroic security forces have repeatedly defeated them, reducing their gangs to scattered remnants that no longer threaten our nation’s security”.

However, remnants continue to execute deadly attacks from remote areas and desert hideouts.

In recent weeks, Iraq has faced a surge in militant attacks. On May 14, an army officer and four soldiers were killed in an attack in Salah Al-Din governorate. A week later, a bomb targeted a vehicle carrying five Iraqi army officers near Suleiman Beg, resulting in one death and four injuries. The following day, five family members were killed by an improvised explosive device on the Baiji-Haditha Road in Anbar governorate. Officials confirmed the device was recently planted.

A United Nations report published in January estimated that ISIS still has “between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters” operating across Iraq and Syria.