New Iraq minister quits over videos linking her brother to IS
Iraq’s newly appointed education minister has said she tendered her resignation over online accusations her brother was a member of the jihadist Islamic State group.
Shaima al-Hayali announced her decision in a tweet on Saturday, two weeks after parliament approved her nomination, saying she had handed her resignation to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.
“I announce that I have submitted my resignation to the prime minister… and it is up to him to decide whether he will accept it once he has ascertained any link between me and terrorists,” she said in the tweet.
Her decision comes days after MPs and local officials from Mosul made accusations online that her brother, Layth al-Hayali, was an IS member.
The accusations were accompanied by two videos dating back to 2016 showing Layth in IS propaganda videos, at a time when he worked for a local administration in IS-held Nineveh province, where Mosul is located.
In these videos, the man, whose whereabouts are currently unknown ,can be heard denouncing US-led air strikes against the jihadist group.
“He was forced, under the threat of arms, to work in an administration controlled by IS,” Shaima al-Hayali said.
But she added that her brother “never touched a weapon and never helped kill a fellow Iraqi citizen”.
According to media reports and two activists, one of Layth al-Hayali’s sons was killed while carrying out a suicide attack and another while fighting against Iraqi forces.
There was no immediate reaction from the prime minister’s office concerning Hayali’s resignation.