- Title: Iraqi president lays wreath at Monument of Unknown Soldier on Army Day
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: MASSOUM SHAKING HANDS WITH MILITARY COMMANDERS MASSOUM LEAVING MONUMENT
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 08:09
- Keywords: Foad Massoum Iraqi army Mosul Islamic State
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA0075XXYW5J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi President Fouad Massoum laid a wreath on Friday (January 6) at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. The ceremony marked the 96th anniversary of the creation of the Iraqi Army on January 6, 1921.
The commemoration came as the army, along with the federal police and Iraq's elite troops of the counter-Terrorism service, fights Islamic State militants in Mosul in northern Iraq. Mosul is Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq.
The Mosul assault involves a 100,000-strong ground force of Iraqi government troops, members of the autonomous Kurdish security forces and mainly Shi'ite militiamen. It is the most complex battle in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Iraq's security forces were rebuilt after U.S. administrator Paul Bremer disbanded Saddam Hussein's military following the invasion. The government says the army and police number around 900,000. In a country increasingly split along sectarian and ethnic lines, the army is trying its best to stay above the fray.
A military parade was also held at the Military College in Baghdad attended by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and high-ranking officials and military commanders.
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