On 15 May 1948, in the wake of the resolution of the Arab League, the Iraqi government announced that it was suspending the existing criminal and civil law and imposing martial law in its stead. To this end, Iraq was divided into four regions: Basra, Baghdad, Diwania and Mosul, the commanding officers of which would be responsible for maintaining law and order. The official justification for this move was the need to maintain peace and stability, at a time when Iraqi forces were fighting in Palestine.1