Lt.-Gen. Abdu-Wahab al-Saadi is one of Iraq’s favorite commanders, a hero of the wars on ISIS and a key member in the counter-terrorism service. Sidelined last year by second-rate politicians in Baghdad who may have been jealous of his standing, he has now been returned to his post by the new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in one of his first actions.
Saadi was a key face during the war on ISIS, praised for his modesty and spending time at the front with his men. He was seen as one of the few positive and reliable faces to come out of Iraq’s security forces after it had met with catastrophe in 2014 when ISIS took over most of the Sunni Arab areas of the country. Saadi was removed in September and his removal helped fuel anger at Baghdad that resulted in mass protests in October.