Al Jazeera reports Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi has "retired" the army's chief of staff, the most senior officer removed since rebel fighters overran large parts of the country last year, his spokesman has said. General Babaker Zebari "has been retired" on Abbadi's orders, Saad al-Hadithi told the AFP news agency on Monday, without providing further details. Military sources say a Kurdish general with the Iraqi Air Force, Anwar Hamad Amin, is expected to replace Zebari. Al Jazeera correspondent Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said that Zebari has been in the job for almost a decade now. "He had asked himself to retire, that request has been refused several times. He was someone who was due to leave the job," she said. "His replacement is said to be also a Kurdish general. This is essentially a policy position that has traditionally been given to Kurds."