Maher Abd al-Rashid
|Maher Abd al-Rashid
ماهر عبد الرشيد
Rashid (far right) during the Iran-Iraq War.
|Died||29 June 2014 (aged 72)
Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan
|Years of service||1963-2003|
|Commands held||3rd Army|
|Battles/wars||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. Rashid rose to prominence during the Iran-Iraq war, and was regarded as one of Saddam's best generals, serving as Chief-of-Staff of the Iraqi after being brought out of a retirement that he had been forced into in 1983. 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".
High Iraqi losses during the conflict nearly led to a mutiny led by Rashid, father-in-law of Hussein's second son. Rashid began by public criticizing Saddam Hussein, and claimed that many of Iraq's casualties were caused by Saddam's meddling into military affairs. 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. 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. 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.
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.
Iraq War & Aftermath
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 as 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.
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. Another son, Abdullah Maher Abdul Rashid, and Rashid's nephew, 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.
Following Rashid's release in 2008 Rashid returned to Tikrit, and lived in some desert land owned by the city of Tikrit.
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.
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. 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. They had three children but later divorced.
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