Maher Abd al-Rashid

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Maher Abd al-Rashid
ماهر عبد الرشيد
Iraqi Commanders Iran-Iraq War.jpg
Rashid (far right) during the Iran-Iraq War.
Born 1942
Tikrit, Iraq
Died 29 June 2014 (aged 72)
Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan
Allegiance Iraq Ba'athist Iraq
Service/branch Iraqi Army
Years of service 1963-2003
Rank Colonel General Iraqi general
Commands held 3rd Army
Battles/wars

Iran-Iraq War

1991 uprisings in Iraq

2003 Invasion of Iraq
Relations Ali Maher Abdul Rashid (son)
Abdullah Maher Abdul Rashid (son)
Sahar al-Rashid (daughter)
Marwan Taher Abdul Rashid (nephew)
Qusay Hussein (son-in-law)

Maher Abd al-Rashid (Arabic: ماهر عبد الرشيد) was a General of the Iraqi army and a member of the Al-Bu Nasir tribe.[1] Rashid rose to prominence during the Iran-Iraq war, and was regarded as one of Saddam's best generals,[2] serving as Chief-of-Staff of the Iraqi after being brought out of a retirement that he had been forced into in 1983.[3] Rashid also played a prominent role in helping Iraq to regain her initiative during the war. Not all assessments of Rashid were so kind, and Ra'ad al-Hamdani refers to him as "one of the dumbest generals in the army".[4]

Iran–Iraq War[edit]

High Iraqi losses during the conflict[5] nearly led to a mutiny led by Rashid, father-in-law of Hussein's second son.[6] Rashid began by public criticizing Saddam Hussein, and claimed that many of Iraq's casualties were caused by Saddam's meddling into military affairs.[7] Saddam ordered him back to Baghdad due to both his public criticism and his failure to remove the Iranians from the al-Faw peninsula. Aware that an order to return to Baghdad was probably a death sentence for Rashid, his officers warned Saddam that if anything were to happen to Rashid they would mutiny.[8] This confrontation with the military led to the greater independence of military planning from Ba'athist-leadership interference. Shortly afterwards, the Iraqi Air Force once again established air superiority.[9] These changes in organisation led to Hussein focusing most of his energy on Iraqi Kurdistan, which had revolted.

Despite this, Rashid was placed under house arrest following the end of the Iran-Iraq war in an effort to reduce the power of Generals who had become influential during the war years in order to prevent any possible coup attempts from forming.[1][10]

1991 Uprisings[edit]

Following the Gulf War Iraq experienced a wave of uprisings and Saddam called on Rashid to help put down the uprising against the Ba'athist government.[11]

Iraq War & Aftermath[edit]

Rashid was given command by Saddam over the Iraqi Armed Forces's Southern Command in the run up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Saddam also appointed him a the General Supervisor for the Iraqi Army's 3rd, 4th, and 7th Corps. After the fall of the Iraqi government Rashid disappeared, before being arrested in July 2003 in Tikrit. He spent the next five years in prison.[12]

During his time in prison several of his relatives were either killed or kidnapped. His son Ali Maher Abdul Rashid was killed on 23 July 2003 in a firefight with US Forces.[13] Another son, Abdullah Maher Abdul Rashid, and Rashids newphew, Marwan Taher Abdul Rashid, were arrested in Tikrit on 8 March 2005 following a tip off from residents. Rashid was believed to have received large sums of money from his former son-in-law Qusay Hussein which were being used to fund the insurgency.[14]

Following Rashid's release in 2008 Rashid returned to Tikrit, and lived in some desert land owned by the city of Tikrit.[12]

Death[edit]

Rashid died on 29 June 2014 in hospital in the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan, two months after having suffered a stroke. Rashid had also been suffering from a long standing illness. He was survived by his family, including his two grandsons, Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti and Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti; who were also the surviving children of Qusay Hussein.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Rashid was a Sunni Muslim from Tikrit, and was both a close friend of Saddam Hussein and also a member of the same tribe; the Al-Bu Nasir tribe.[1][15] In 1985 his daughter, Sahar, married Saddam Hussein's son Qusay. Rashid had promised to liberate the al-Fao peninsula in the Iran-Iraq war and had offered his daughter to Saddam's son Qusay to show his certainty.[4] They had three children but later divorced.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Iraqi Tribes and the Post-Saddam System". Brookings. 8 July 2003. 
  2. ^ Karsh, Efraim The Iran-Iraq War 1980–1988, London: Osprey, 2002 page 48
  3. ^ "Gulf War - Iran Iraq War: Iraqi Reaction". Yahoo. 2 March 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Woods, Kevin M. (2011) [2010]. Saddam's Generals: Perspectives of the Iran-Iraq War. 4850 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia: Institute for Defense Analyses. p. 73. 
  5. ^ Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. pp. 209/218–219. ISBN 978-0-06-050543-1. 
  6. ^ Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-06-050543-1. 
  7. ^ Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-06-050543-1. 
  8. ^ Karsh, Efraim The Iran-Iraq War 1980–1988, London: Osprey, 2002 page 53
  9. ^ Tripp, Charles (2010). A History of Iraq. Cambridge University Press. p. 233. ISBN 0-521-52900-X. 
  10. ^ Tripp, Charles (2002) [2000]. A History of Iraq (2nd ed.). The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-521-52900-X. 
  11. ^ Woods, Kevin M. (2009). Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective of the Iran-Iraq War. Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defence University. p. 80. ISSN 1071-7552. 
  12. ^ a b c "Maher Abdul Rashid". al-Mustaqbal (in Arabic). 2 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Russell, Steve (30 October 2012). We Got Him!: A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein. Simon and Schuster. p. 487. 
  14. ^ "2 Relatives of Hussein and Ex-Aide Are Arrested". NY Times. 15 March 2005. 
  15. ^ Woods, Kevin M. (2009). Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective of the Iran-Iraq War. Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defence University. p. 67. ISSN 1071-7552. 
  16. ^ "Qusay Hussein". The Telegraph. 15 March 2005.