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‘Mandatory military service’ may be reinstated in Iraq; Report

The first reading of a bill to revive military conscription in Iraq, which was set to occur on Sunday, has been postponed. Iraq had a mandatory military draught from 1935 until Saddam Hussein was overthrown in a US-led campaign in 2003. The first reading of the resolution, which was initially scheduled for Sunday, has been delayed to Tuesday, according to the press office for the parliament. The press office gave no explanation for the delay.

According to MP Yasser Iskander Watout, depending on their level of education, the legislation would permit the conscription of young males between the ages of 18 and 35 for periods ranging from three to eighteen months. Watout, a member of the assembly’s defence committee, stated that their pay will be around 600,000 to 700,000 Iraqi dinars (more than $400).

Watout predicted that the total reinstatement of conscription would take place two years after the law’s adoption and that only-sons and breadwinners would be exempt. Iraq has seen sectarian conflict since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, which culminated in the Islamic State organisation seizing large areas of territory until being defeated by Iraqi forces with the aid of a US-led military coalition in late 2017.

That anti-IS coalition battled in Iraq up until last December, but there are still roughly 2,500 American soldiers there to train, counsel, and support the local forces. The defence ministry initially put out the measure in August 2021 while it was still under the leadership of then-prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

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