Joint forces to arrest former Nineveh governor if found in Mosul

Former Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi.

Nineveh ( Former Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi will be arrested if found in the eastern section of Mosul, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said on Saturday.

“Orders have been made to arrest Atheel al-Nujaifi if he is found in the eastern side (of Mosul),” JOC spokesman Yahia Rasoul said in a statement.

He said the security of areas recaptured in eastern Mosul from Islamic State will be assigned to police and army forces, while the Nineveh Guards, a Sunni paramilitary group led by Nujaifi, would be deployed at “more secure areas” outside of Mosul and away from the frontline.

The announcement comes one day after Nujaifi was quoted as saying that his Sunni, Turkish-trained forces had been assigned security duties at 30 neighborhoods out of more than 80 in eastern Mosul.

Despite a judicial arrest warrant issued against Nujaifi, the Nineveh Guards were incorporated within the broader, mostly-Shia Popular Mobilization Units at the end of December.

Judicial authorities issued in October an arrest warrant for Nujaifi, accusing him of “collaboration with a foreign country” (Turkey) and of facilitating the deployment of Turkish troops inside Iraqi territories, a source of a diplomatic crisis between Baghdad and Ankara. His opponents on the political and popular levels accuse him of causing the fall of Nineveh in Islamic State’s grip.

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