IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAQ

Mar 24 08:48

Such A Deal: US Embassy in Iraq Hosting Washington-Tel Aviv Operations Room against Region

A prominent Iraqi security expert revealed intensifying US pressures on Baghdad to avoid approving a bill that envisages expulsion of foreign forces, saying that the American embassy in Iraq is acting as the US-Israeli operations room against the region.
Abbas al-Ardawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'alomeh news website as saying on Monday that the US administration is exerting pressures on Baghdad and killing time to prolong its deployment in Iraq.

He added that relocation of terrorists from the town of Baqouz in Eastern Syria to the US bases in Iraq is aimed at security tensions in the country and finding a pretext for continued deployment of American forces, noting that the Iraqi parliamentarians certainly want expulsion of all US forces from the country as soon as possible given the fact that the Iraqi army is fully prepared to fight against the terrorist groups.

Al-Ardawi said that the US embassy in Baghdad is carrying out suspicious measures>>>

Mar 23 09:30

Iran just struck a hoard of deals with Iraq, and Washington isn’t happy

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has returned from his first-ever trip to Iraq with a raft of agreements for expanded trade, cross-border infrastructure, and pledges of greater cooperation with Baghdad.

Leaders of both countries embraced strengthening ties — something Washington has been watching closely.

Iran is upping its game in Iraq as U.S. influence recedes, deepening ties with its war-weary neighbor and betting on bilateral economic activity to help offset tough sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Mar 23 08:56

Iraq: How We Were Lied Into War

Sixteen years ago, the US and Britain committed a crime of historic proportion, the invasion and destruction of Iraq. It was as egregious an aggression as Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland.

Large numbers of Iraqi civilians died from 2003-2007. Iraq’s water and sewage systems were bombed, causing widespread cholera. The UN estimated 500,000 Iraqi children alone died as a result. Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, said it was ‘a price worth paying.’

But not so much for the 4,424 US soldiers killed in Iraq, or the 31,952 wounded, many with devastating brain and neurological injuries. Nor for US taxpayers who forked out over $1 trillion for this botched war and are still paying the bill – which was hidden in the national debt.

Mar 22 13:22

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive action against International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter thread claiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

Mar 22 09:22

A million deaths later, Bush spokesman defends boss on Iraq

Ari Fleischer, a press secretary for President George W. Bush, marked the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a full-bore effort on Twitter to exonerate his former boss of the charge that his administration invented the rationale for a war that has cost countless lives.

“The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow,” wrote Fleischer. “There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs [weapons of mass destruction] were found, the left claimed ‘Bush lied. People died.’ This accusation itself is a lie. It's time to put it to rest.”

Mar 21 13:57

Operation Cyclone never ended: The history of the West’s support for Islamist extremists

Iain Davis argues that contrary to official narratives, the Western military-industrial-intelligence complex has been working with, arming, equipping, training and deploying Islamist extremist terrorist organisations for at least half a century.>>

Mar 21 11:07

Iraqi Parliament Prepares to Evict US Troops

US military's presence in Iraq falling out of favor across several political blocs.

In the wake of the ISIS War in Iraq, Pentagon officials will tell you what they’ve been saying all along, that America’s intention is to stay in Iraq, and that there is no consideration being given to leaving. It’s not clear the US has spoken to the Iraqi government about this, however.

While many Iraqis accepted the offer of help in the more desperate moments of the ISIS War, the US military has quickly worn out its welcome. Across a number of major political blocs in Iraq, there is growing consensus that the US, and indeed all foreign military forces, need to go.

This has been brewing for months. The Iraqis saw Trump’s visit to Iraq, during which he didn’t meet the Iraqi PM, as a sign of disrespect. That the Pentagon keeps insisting they’re staying in Iraq, without asking the Iraqis, only adds to the sense that the US isn’t really an invited guest in any real sense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, folks, it appears that the US President and Military are both suffering from an acute, collective case of SMD (selective memory disorder), about the one guy who got the US military out of Iraq the first time, and now is one of the most powerful people in Iraq who holds no governmental office; Muktada Al Sadr.

Let's take a gentle WRH ride in our way-back machine to last year, and the following article, describing the win of his coalition in the Iraqi parliament last year:

Muqtada al Sadr's win in Iraq, is dredging up tough memories for US soldiers

Please remember; he was the official head of the Mahdi Army, which fought the US military tooth and nail, and then, in 2017 this was disbanded: Iraq disbands what used to be known as the "Mahdi Army

Mr. President, I am strongly cautioning you (not that you appear to be listening, but ... God loves His optimists) on this issue, to show the Iraqi government, and its military, just a small bit of respect, and I ask this for the following reasons.

Although the Mahdi Army has been officially disbanded, please don't bet on this Imam's NOT being capable of"pulling the band back together", if he believes, for one second, that the US government wants to occupy Iraq forever, which, it appears, is really the goal, to control who gets Iraq's oil, and in what currency it will be sold.

Were I a betting woman, I would not bet against him doing this, sir; and he and his people know every inch of the country. And if he does this, how are you going to respond?!? With a second invasion of Iraq, let's say, Iraq 2.0- the "golden cut"?!?

Mar 21 08:56

Ferry With Dozens of People Overturns in Iraq, at Least 71 Killed

A rescue operation is currently underway, an emergency source told Sputnik. The source has named overloading as a reason behind the accident.

The death toll as a result of the ferry overturned in Iraq has climbed to 71, the country's Interior Ministry stated.

Earlier in the day, a source in the local emergency services told Sputnik that a ferry has overturned in Iraq. He specified that the accident was reasoned by overloading and the rise of the water table in the Tigris river due to unleashed floodgates.

Mar 21 07:51

US grants Iraq 90-day sanctions waiver to buy Iranian energy – report

The US granted Iraq a 90-day waiver exempting it from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, a State Department official said on Wednesday. The latest extension allows Baghdad to keep importing Iranian gas that is critical for Iraqi power production. “Iraq was granted a 90-day waiver to purchase energy imports from Iran,” Reuters quoted the official as saying. The last sanctions waiver for Iraq was granted by Washington on December 21. The Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy exports in November, citing its nuclear program and meddling in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Because meddling in the Middle East is OUR job!" -- Official White Horse Souce

Mar 21 07:39

Turkey announces joint raids with Iran against Kurdish rebels

Turkey and Iran have launched a joint military operation against Kurdish rebels along Turkey's eastern border, according to an official.

Suleyman Soylu, Turkey's interior minister, said the offensive on Monday targeted the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"As of 8:00 this morning, we started an operation with Iran aimed at the PKK on our eastern border," he told a crowd in the Mediterranean city of Antalya. "We will announce the outcome [later]."

Mar 20 10:02

Security Expert: US Embassy in Iraq Hosting Washington-Tel Aviv Operations Room against Region

A prominent Iraqi security expert revealed intensifying US pressures on Baghdad to avoid approving a bill that envisages expulsion of foreign forces, saying that the American embassy in Iraq is acting as the US-Israeli operations room against the region.
Abbas al-Ardawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'alomeh news website as saying on Monday that the US administration is exerting pressures on Baghdad and killing time to prolong its deployment in Iraq.

He added that relocation of terrorists from the town of Baqouz in Eastern Syria to the US bases in Iraq is aimed at security tensions in the country and finding a pretext for continued deployment of American forces, noting that the Iraqi parliamentarians certainly want expulsion of all US forces from the country as soon as possible given the fact that the Iraqi army is fully prepared to fight against the terrorist groups.

Mar 20 08:19

Chinese company signs initial agreement to build monorail in Iraq's Najaf

The investment commission of Najaf governorate signed on Tuesday an initial agreement with a Chinese company to build a monorail for the city.

An official statement said that the head of the commission Dhergam Keko signed the agreement with a Hong Kong-based company to build a monorail.

Last week, the company inked a memorandum of understanding with the investment commission of Najaf city after explaining the project details and the Chinese company's potentials and capabilities.

"The project will provide an accessible and fast transportation way to the people of the city as well as all tourists," Keko said.

Mar 20 07:48

THE NSA LIED US INTO IRAQ

On this day is the day in 2003 the US invaded Iraq.

How did this “little” point get lost in the NSA story?

The NSA’s JOB is to spy on the communications of our enemies, not to listen to and record your phone calls.

Here’s a case where they not only got it massively wrong, it also looks like they remained silent while their “evidence” was used to drive the US into a ruinous war.

Did they present false information to the Bush criminals or did they merely sit back and do nothing when that evidence was grossly misrepresented.

Mar 19 15:43

Top US General Denies Plans to Leave 1,000 Troops in Syria

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford issued a statement Monday denying weekend media reports that the US plans to leave around 1,000 troops in Syria, saying the reports are “factually incorrect.”

Dunford presented the current planned “residual force” as 200, saying that this hadn’t changed since February. The US announced 200 would stay on February 21, but on February 22 officially increased that number to 400.

It’s not clear from Dunford’s statement where the “incorrect” aspect of the new report, which came out of a Wall Street Journal, exists. That report suggested that the 1,000 figure was not yet finalized, but was being discussed. Dunford’s comments didn’t include any details on what is actually being discussed, but just that nothing was finalized.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think the multiple troop numbers being given, are simply a way of creating confusion about how many US troops the US does have in Syria.

Mar 19 10:17

Babylonian stone looted during the Iraq War is returned home: Tablet dating back 3,000 years to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar I is said to place a curse on 'anyone who would destroy it'

An ancient Babylonian stone with inscriptions is being returned to Iraq after it was seized at Heathrow airport.

The cuneiform kudurru, an official document drawn up under a Babylonian king, was taken from the Middle east illegally but intercepted by border control in 2012.

It is thought it was being trafficked for the antiquities market after being taken from Iraq during looting of archaeological sites between 1994 and 2004.

Mar 15 11:16

Rouhani’s Visit to Iraq: Huge Economic Cooperation at Eastern Gate of Arab World

The agreements sealed during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq mark the start of the largest economic cooperation project between the two neighboring states in the region.

In the 1990s, when the US decided after Operation Desert Storm and annihilation of 70 percent of Iraq’s Army to re-instate Saddam Hussain rather than conquering Baghdad, there was only one thing revolving in the mind of Washington’s politicians: to prevent the Shiite revolutionary movement, which was gaining momentum after the Intifada (uprisings) in Southern Iraq and becoming an independent powerhouse, from getting strengthened.

Despite the fact that in 1991 the Iraqi army had lost control of all Shiite regions, the scale was tipped in favor of Saddam’s regime when the US-led coalition allowed the dictator to fly his Mil Mi-24 helicopters which led to the largest massacre of the Shiite population in Iraq.

Mar 15 08:17

Rouhani’s visit to Iraq is a slap in the face to Trump

While the US has had a strategy to contain and isolate Iran, Iran continues to seek and build friendships with its regional neighbors. There are many indications that the US will not tolerate this for much longer.

As an aspiring journalist, it is hard to keep up with which country is at the top of Donald Trump’s “to-bomb” list, given the target appears to change every week or so. Since the infamous days of his campaign trail up until the present day, the US president has held a deep animosity towards Tehran. However, the government’s focus appears to shift away from the Islamic Republic periodically – one minute it’s North Korea, every April since his election he also decides he briefly wants to bomb Assad in Syria, and most recently, his entire administration has raved incessantly about Venezuela.

Mar 13 09:08

FLASHBACK 2015 - Guess Who's Reaping Hundreds of Billions From Iraq's Oil?

I listened to John Kerry’s optimistic speech at the COP21 Paris climate talks about how the United States is allegedly stepping up to the financial challenge to help poor countries that are or will be facing life-threatening consequences from catastrophic climate change disasters with a sense cynicism.

Some might argue that it is possible that President Obama and John Kerry are trying, but their powers are limited for the reason that they owe their allegiance to the petroleum and weapon industries.

But why then would the US government spend trillions of dollars on missiles, drones, fighter jets, and an infinite supply of bombs to gain oil control in the Middle East if the White House and Congress cared about transitioning from fossil fuels?

Mar 13 09:07

Dollar Hegemony, Again

The United States Entity lost the war in Iraq. That fact determines the Entity’s position in the Middle East today. After having destroyed Saddam’s army and dispossessing the Sunnis in favor of the Shi’ites, after Abu Ghraib and it’s indelible pictures, after the total destruction of Fallujah, in short after a victory achieved with the utmost brutality, contempt and humiliation of Iraq and Iraqis, the Entity was in charge. Then the “insurgents” appeared. They put improvised explosive devices along the roads so, with a phone call, they could destroy patrols of the Entity. They made car bombs so that every vehicle approaching a check-point might spell doom. They donned suicide vests to blow themselves and any nearby Entity soldiers up. Entity soldiers couldn’t go into the streets. Every move they made could be their last. The enemy was everywhere and nowhere. These people would rather die then be ruled by these idiotic mechanized barbarians.

Mar 12 22:30

Military Hero Terrance Popp

This is about Liberties & Rights and how men are treated by the Courts!
Gross mistreatment of Men and Veterans!

Hero returns from war wounded and court makes him a slave.

This is unedited video filmed for Lawless America...The Movie. The comments are those of the subject.

Lawless America is a documentary film that is exposing government corruption, judicial corruption, and law enforcement corruption.
Terrence Popp's website.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwd_sSDZ8EQt6SEeOO2tBRA

Mar 11 10:59

Security Expert: US Plans to Resettle ISIL Terrorists, Family Members in Western Iraq

A prominent security expert warned of the US attempts to establish concentration camps for the ISIL terrorists and their family members who have fled from Eastern Syria in the Western deserts of al-Anbar.

Hazem al-Bawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying on Friday that the US aims to gather the ISIL terrorists in the Western deserts of Iraq after withdrawal from Baqouz region in Syria.

He said intel shows the Iraqi government is under pressure now to accommodate thousands of terrorists and their family members who have fled Baqouz region in camps in Iraq's Western deserts.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, a senior member of the Iraqi parliament's security committee revealed that the US forces were training terrorist groups at their bases in three provinces of Iraq.

Mar 11 10:53

Iran will be opening new chapter with Iraq: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says an upcoming visit by President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq — the president’s first — will be the beginning of a new chapter in Tehran-Baghdad relations.

“Mr. Rouhani is traveling to Iraq for the first time in his presidency, and we consider the trip a new start in our relations with Iraq,” Zarif told the Iraqi al-Forat satellite TV network in an interview aired on Saturday.

Zarif referred to the measures of cooperation that are scheduled to be bilaterally approved during the Iranian president’s visit to Iraq and called them “historic.” New cooperation, he said, will be in the areas of transit, oil, joint industrial work, and the dredging of Arvand River.

The Iranian president will be starting his three-day visit to Iraq on Monday.

Mar 11 10:41

Rouhani sets off on historic visit to Iraq in major blow to Trump

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Baghdad on a trip aimed at solidifying strategic ties despite US efforts to keep the two neighbors apart and curb Iran's influence in the region.

He met with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih shortly after arrival on Monday for important talks which the Iranian president described as “very good.”

“Strengthening ties between Tehran and Baghdad works to the benefit of both countries and we won’t let this positive path towards progress slow down to a halt,” Rouhani said at a joint news conference.

Salih described the trip as “very important” and said the two sides had agreed on new frameworks for cooperation which would be unveiled later in the day.

“We need to get past trivial details in mutual relations and think about the bigger and broader space for cooperation and ties because this would best serve the interests of both countries,” he added.

Mar 09 11:39

US Commanders Once Again Warn Syria, Iraq at Risk of Daesh Resurgence

As Daesh loses its final sliver of territory in Syria, US and Iraqi leaders are warning the militant group isn’t gone for good, and some think tanks are warning that the group could reemerge powerfully in Iraq. Those dangers, however, seem nearly as overblown as those the Pentagon is employing to keep US troops in Syria.

Outside the town of al-Baghuz Fawqani, the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces, composed primarily of Syrian Kurdish militias, have captured hundreds of Daesh militants fleeing from the onslaught. Baghuz is only a couple of miles from the Syrian border with Iraq, across which the roughly 2,000 US forces in Syria will soon withdraw as the war draws to a close.

Mar 08 06:10

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Effect

***

Thus, what was supposed to be a morale-boosting quickie regime-change operation to cheer up the rank and file on the road to Tehran – the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s sanctions-starved socialist state in Venezuela, the oil-rich fly in the ointment of “our own backyard” – has become just another entry on a long list of ignominious failures. Even the truest of true believers can no longer pretend that the US is in the business of spreading democracy – not when all the evidence and information available points the other way. The only remedy left for the “sole superpower” is to cut off the flow of information entirely and build an informational Iron Dome, an epistemological missile shield capable of withstanding all truth.

Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Lazy propaganda is largely to blame for the lapse in narrative superiority. The same tawdry psy-ops are recycled again and again, as we see now in Venezuela, where Iran-Contra felon and smirking genocide enthusiast Elliott Abrams has been wheeled out of cold storage to work his death-squad magic>>>

Mar 07 16:31

UK MoD Claims to Have Killed Just One Civilian in Iraq, Syria; Experts Scoff

Despite having killed more than 4,000 fighters linked to the Daesh terror group in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has only killed one civilian, the UK's Ministry of Defense claims.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And if you believe that one, I have some of Saddam's nuclear weapons to sell you!

Mar 07 12:22

Turkey says to conduct joint raid with Iran against PKK

Turkey says it is planning to carry out a joint attack with Iran against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-and-a-half decade armed campaign against Ankara for independence.

"God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with Iran,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Anadolu news agency Wednesday.

He did not specify which PKK positions were going to be targeted in the planned operation or when the attack would take place. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has in the past indicated that he would order the military to attack militant hideouts in Iraq.

Mar 07 12:12

The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, More than Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting….

March 2019 marks the 16th anniversary of the onslaught of the war on Iraq. The US-NATO led invasion of Iraq started on 20 March 2003 on the pretext that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

This month we are also commemorating the Vietnam War launched on March 8, 1965 following the adoption by the US Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized President Lyndon Johnson to dispatch ground forces to Vietnam.

Later this month we will be commemorating NATO’s War on Yugoslavia which was launched on March 24, 1999 under Operation “Noble Anvil”.

All these wars, according to the media, are peace-making undertakings. They are tagged as “humanitarian wars” under the banner of “Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

This article by Iraq veteran war correspondent Felicity Arbuthnot was first published by Global Research in August 2010.

Mar 07 08:09

US shifts weapons from Iraq to Syria

The Pentagon rerouted millions of dollars’ worth of weapons and vehicles from Iraq to Syria in the second half of 2018, Al-Monitor has learned, as US-backed forces cornered the last remnants of the Islamic State (IS).

In a series of notifications to Congress reviewed by Al-Monitor, the Defense Department said it had determined that a bevy of supplies purchased by the Pentagon for the Iraqi military would instead go to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Pentagon sent lawmakers its last reprogramming notification for 2018 on Dec. 31, 12 days after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

The stock of equipment includes nearly 50 Humvees, 20 mine-resistant vehicles, 40 enhanced armament carriers and nearly 700 light anti-tank weapons. The Pentagon also approved the transfer of more than 2,400 mortar rounds, 25 mine rollers and dozens of charges used to destroy mines and other explosives, the letters indicate.

Mar 07 07:38

Blackwater founder caught off guard when asked about his ‘chanting barbarians’ in Iraq comment

Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military firm Blackwater, struggled to explain his apparent anti-Muslim sentiment when confronted by Al Jazeera host Mehdi Hasan.

During his Head to Head talk show, Hasan asked Prince why he called people in Iraq “chanting barbarians American troops had been sent to liberate” in his memoir. Prince explained that people who set off car bombs in packed squares to hurt American troops deserve the name, especially given that civilians are also hurt.

Hasan immediately called him out: “You were not sent to liberate terrorists. Sounds like you are talking about Iraqis.” Prince was left speechless for a moment as the audience burst into applause. Attempting to smooth things over, the Blackwater founder replied that he did not have any role in making the decision to “liberate” Iraq.

Mar 05 09:59

US EXPANDS OCCUPATION OF IRAQ – BUILDS TWO NEW BASES

U.S forces are setting up new military bases in Iraq, particularly in the province of al-Anbar, to closely monitor the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut resistance axis and to seize the large amount of gas present in this region. This will present a problem for resistance axis forces, and these moves go without the approval of the Iraqi government.

The Lebanese daily AlAkhbar reported that US forces were installing two new bases on the international road linking Baghdad to Damascus and Amman, defying Iraqi calls for their withdrawal from their country.

Mar 05 09:09

Huge Iraq Army attack results in scores of ISIS terrorists killed

A huge Iraqi Army attack on the desert region of the Al-Anbar Governorate, yesterday, resulted in the death of several Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) terrorists.

Led by their 29th Brigade, the Iraqi Armed Forces carried out a massive assault on the Islamic State cells in Al-Anbar as part of their border security initiative.

This massive attack by the Iraqi Armed Forces would result in the death of tens of Islamic State fighters and the destruction of several caches of weapons in western Al-Anar.

Mar 04 12:51

Security Expert: US Army Training 1000 ISIL Terrorists in Western Iraq

Iraq's security experts accuse the US Army of training hundreds of ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province after relocating them from Syria to Iraq to prepare them for a new round of insecurity in the country.
"Between 700 to 1,000 ISIL militants are being trained by the US troops in al-Anbar province," the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted Manager of Badr Organization in Al-Anbar Province Qasi al-Anbari as saying on Sunday.

He pointed to the special conditions considered for the ISIL militants, and said that the US troops have specified redlines for third parties to avoid approaching the region.

This is while the Arabic-language Arabi Post has recently disclosed that the US troops have been intensively training the ISIL terrorists in two military bases of Ain al-Assad and al-Habanieh in al-Anbar province under name of desert ghosts.

The sources said the US Army troops have equipped the ISIL terrorists with 200 military and non-military vehicles.

Mar 03 09:01

US Sets Up 2 New Bases in Western Iraq

The American forces have established two military bases in al-Anbar province on Iraq's international road close to the borders with Syria and Jordan as political groups and politicians are trying to expel the US military troops from their country.
The Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Saturday that the US forces have built up the first base on Baghdad-Damascus international road, formerly known as H3, while a second military center have been established to the South of the first base and South of the Baghdad-Amman international road, in addition to 13 other US bases spread across the country.

It noted that the first base has practically started operation, but the second one is being equipped, adding that the Americans have also set up two other new bases in al-Ratbah region which might be intended to serve as new air bases.

Mar 03 08:59

Lebanese Paper: Washington Threatening Kurds Not to Vote for Bill against US Military Buildup in Iraq

The Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper quoted informed sources as saying on Saturday that the US consulate in Erbil has warned the Kurds not to vote for the bill or wait for Washington's evacuation of its bases in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

A large number of Iraqi political groups have called for the approval of a bill which necessitates withdrawal of foreign military forces from Iraq but the Kurds are still in doubt about their final decision over the case.

In a relevant development earlier this month, Iraq’s two leading Shiite parliamentary coalitions of Sairoon (Marching Towards Reform) and al-Fatah (Conquest) renewed their calls for the withdrawal of American forces from the Arab country.

A delegation from Sairoon bloc, led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, held talks with members of Fatah alliance, headed by secretary general of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri.

Mar 02 08:39

The Debt Accrued Through Dollar Hegemony Is Unpayable (Except In Hyperinflated Dollars)

After having destroyed Saddam’s army and dispossessing the Sunnis in favor of the Shi’ites, after Abu Ghraib and it’s indelible pictures, after the total destruction of Fallujah, in short after a victory achieved with the utmost brutality, contempt and humiliation of Iraq and Iraqis, the Entity was in charge. Then the “insurgents” appeared. They put improvised explosive devices along the roads so, with a phone call, they could destroy patrols of the Entity. They made car bombs so that every vehicle approaching a check-point might spell doom. They donned suicide vests to blow themselves and any nearby Entity soldiers up. Entity soldiers couldn’t go into the streets. Every move they made could be their last. The enemy was everywhere and nowhere. These people would rather die then be ruled by these idiotic mechanized barbarians. Everything seemed peaceful, but at any moment, out of nowhere, they could be blown to pieces.

Feb 25 10:38

'Whole World Has Seen Outcome of US Occupation' - Saddam Hussein's Granddaughter

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s granddaughter Hareer Hussein Kamel lives in Jordan, where she has obtained a Canadian university degree, started her own family, and even authored a book of family memoirs and archives. However, her life hasn’t always been tranquil and peaceful, she said in an interview with Sputnik.

The 32-year old has shared with Sputnik the details of a “cold and scary” night in 2003, when she and her family fled war-torn Iraq.

“We were in Mosul. My mother Raghad and Aunt Rana, Saddam’s second daughter, took their kids and went to Syria without delay. While we were crossing the border on foot, Syrian border guards opened fire. It was really frightening, but no one, fortunately, was hurt”, Hareer recalled, adding that having spent several days in Syria they set out to Jordan, after the Hashemite Kingdom issued an invitation for them to travel there.

Feb 23 09:19

IRAN FIGHTS TO GET AROUND US SANCTIONS IN IRAQ, TURKEY, RUSSIA AND SYRIA

“Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that Moscow will continue all-out cooperation with Iran, including in the area of nuclear energy," Iranian media reported.

Feb 22 10:19

Operation to end last IS Syria pocket hits evacuation snag

The operation to destroy Islamic State’s final vestige of rule in Iraq and Syria hit a temporary snag on Thursday, as an expected evacuation of the remaining civilians from its last enclave in eastern Syria did not go ahead.

Feb 20 11:43

US Embassy in Iraq Covers 80 Football Fields- A Behemoth From Which to Rule the Middle East

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?

"It's as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher

Zaidan’s article went on to say:

The world's largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

Feb 19 12:28

This Is How AIPAC Really Works

One thing that should be said about Representative Ilhan Omar’s tweet about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (more commonly known as AIPAC, or the “Israel lobby”) is that the hysterical reaction to it proved her main point: The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way. Has anyone ever seen so many members of Congress, of both parties, running to the microphones and sending out press releases to denounce one first-termer for criticizing the power of… a lobby?

Somehow, I don’t think the reaction would have been the same if she had tweeted that Congress still supports the ethanol subsidy because the American Farm Bureau and other components of the corn/ethanol lobby spend millions to keep this agribusiness bonanza going (which they do). Or that if she had opposed the ethanol subsidy, she would have been accused of hating farmers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I have the most difficult time with, as an American who cares about her country, is seeing its Middle East foreign policy completely dictated by a foreign government, Israel.

Israel wanted to see Iraq broken, and incapable of actually competing with it economically; so what happens?!? The US goes in with an invasion and occupation, killing, wounding, and maiming countless numbers in the process.

Israel wanted to see Syria broken up and destroyed, with full-tilt regime change in Damascus, so what happens?!?!? The US government throws money, training, and weapons to jihadists, who were supposed to do the regime change here, but Russia intervenes and saves the day for the Al-Assad government.

Oh, and there is a little "beachhead" of sand where there are some American troops, and a very strange, flimsy, hollow statement coming from President Trump that they will be out by April, but that security necessitates a slow withdrawal.

Now Israel wants to see Iran pounded and broken up; so Mike Pence goes to Warsaw, and he and Netanyahu absolutely underwhelm their captive audience with massive lies about Iran's moves to cause destabilization and turmoil throughout the Middle East.

You see the pattern here?!?

So Mr. President, a word, please; I know that Netanyahu would love for the US military to go into Iran and bomb the beJesus out of it, just to make a point that whatever Israel and AIPAC want, they will ultimately get from the US.

But sir, I would strongly suggest caution here, because Iran hasn't given the either the US - or Israel - a reasonable excuse to attack it, short of a false flag somewhere, to blame on it.

The Russian relationship with Iran goes back centuries, and if Iran is attacked, Russia (and perhaps China)may well come in on Iran 's side.

And Mr. President, the sad truth of it is, at this point in the 21st century, the US military doesn't have the troop strength; the money; the weaponry, or the manufacturing to insure a positive outcome in a war over Iran, between the US, Russia, and China.

Oh yes, this government spends a great deal of money for its weapons; but the Russians and Chinese are pulling ahead with technology very quickly.

And the next time Bibi tries to "nudge" you with a phone call, that Israel needs MUCH more from its great friend, the US, which has already committed $38 billion dollars in aid to Israel over 10 years, starting in January of this year, please stand your ground, and say, "THIS time, Bubbie, I will not break up Iran for you, on top of everything else we have given you".

"You are a nuclear-armed country which refuses to sign the NNPT, and have your weapons sites inspected (which makes ANY US funding or weapons illegal, under the Symington Amendment, and the Mann Act), which Iran actually DID."

"So, please; I'm busy trying to get through the messes you've cheered for, which have been paid for at astronomical costs in American blood, and American money, under control. Iraq is a mess; Syria is a mess: Libya is a mess; save Iran for the Next President, OK?!? Gotta Go now; Shalom!!"

Yes, I know, this is only my fantasy of President Trump getting some spine about not allowing Netanyahu to dictate Middle Eastern foreign policy.

But the moment I hear that the draft is going to be resurrected in this country, is the moment when I will know, relative to a strike against Iran, that Israel has won, yet one more time.

Feb 15 09:00

Israel May Look to Expand Covert War Against Iran Beyond Syria

If there is one consistent fact about Israeli military policy, it is that they are always at least sort of at war with Iran. The Syrian War, and Iran’s advisory role there has made this fairly simple, as Israel just bombs Damascus a few times a month, insisting they’re hitting Iran.

But ISIS is defeated, and like everyone else, Iran is scaling back its involvement in Syria. That’s giving Israel fewer targets, and it’s a really inopportune time for that. With the Israeli election looming, officials are all keyed up to win votes with quasi-legal airstrikes.

That’s got some analysts predicting Israel will look for other Iranian targets outside of Syria. The simplest place would be Iraq, where US media outlets have spent years calling the Iraqi government’s paramilitary forces “Iran-backed militias.”

Feb 15 08:49

Israel threatens to attack Iran bases in Iraq

Israel’s military intelligence has said that “Iran may use Iraq as a launching pad to target Israel, which would call for a response from Tel Aviv”.

“Israeli airstrikes against Iranian forces in Syria may prompt Iranians to build military and missile facilities,” it said in its annual assessment, adding: “This situation will require Israel to intensify its intelligence efforts in Iraq, with the possibility of taking operational steps there if Iranian proliferation becomes a military threat”.

Feb 13 09:56

Iraq PM Rejects Any Permanent Foreign Bases in Iraq

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has made a visit to Iraq to try to placate an Iraqi government which is increasingly disquieted by US talk of staying in Iraq. President Trump recently said the US “might as well” stay and use it to watch Iran.

Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi was quick to warn Shanahan during the visit that Iraq has no intention of allowing any permanent foreign bases in Iraq. US plans to stay, it seems, aren’t a real option.

Shanahan insists that the US has a “limited role” the intend to stick to in Iraq, and that the US will remain in the country by invitation. How long will that invitation last?

That’s not clear at all, as several Iraqi political blocks are pushing Abdul-Mahdi for a formal timeline for the end of the US presence. With ISIS effectively defeated, Iraqi MPs see little reason for a large US military presence to remain.

Feb 09 11:57

Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache: Examining the Freak Show

American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns. It was not always thus. Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren’t crazy. Today’s administration would seem unwholesome in a New York bus station at three in the morning. They are not normal American politicians.

In particular they seem to be pushing for war with Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela. And–this is important–their behavior is not a matter of liberals catfighting with conservatives. All former presidents carefully avoided war with the Soviet Union, which carefully avoided war with America.

Feb 08 10:11

Pentagon IG: Oil Smuggling, Drug Running by Iran-Backed Militias Threaten Iraq’s Stability

A Baghdad-sanctioned umbrella organization of an estimated 50 mainly Shiite militias, including some backed by Iran, engaged in illicit activities in recent months that undermine security and stability in Iraq, the office of the inspector general (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) stressed this week.

In its latest quarterly (October 1 thru December 31, 2018) assessment of the mission against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, the inspector general (IG) noted:

Feb 08 09:37

Fascinating animation shows every single bomb the US-led coalition has dropped on ISIS

A fascinating new video has documented every bomb dropped on Islamic State by the US-led coalition forces.

The animation shows the location of every single air strike in Iraq and Syria between August 2014 and December 2018.

All 32,000 bombs dropped have been plotted and marked on a graphic, showing where the strikes targeted during the fiercest periods of aerial bombardment.

The graphic shows that the first 185 air strikes, up until September 22, 2014, were dropped in Iraq, but by October 2, 84 strikes were made on Syrian land.

After a year of aerial bombardment a total of 3,930 bombs were dropped in Iraq and 2,425 on Syria.

Feb 08 06:55

US Plans to Approach Iranian Borders in Cooperation with ISIL

Hashd Al-Shaabi Commander: US Plans to Approach Iranian Borders in Cooperation with ISIL
A senior commander of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) warned that the US in collaboration with the ISIL terrorists has hatched plots to approach the strategic bordering regions with Iran.

***
Al-Ma'amouri said that the ISIL has increased efforts to infiltrate into regions near Khaneqein at the Iraqi-Iranian borders after Trump declared withdrawal of forces from Syria, adding that the US forces want to find a foothold in certain parts of Hawz Hamrin by creating tensions in the region.

He stated that all Iraqi groups have voiced opposition to this measure, noting that Hashd al-Shaabi will not allow the US to deploy in Diyali and Cobra base.

In relevant remarks last month, a senior commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in al-Anbar province warned that the US forces are attempting to provoke the Iraqi popular forces into starting war against them.

"The Americans are stirring tensions by spreading rumors of detention of Hashd al-Shaabi forces, bombing their positions or dissolving the group">>>

Feb 07 12:11

Trump To Move US Troops from Syria to Iraq to “Watch” Iran, “Protect Israel”

In a pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday, President Donald Trump discussed his plan for a troop withdrawal from Syria, which, as it turns out, doesn’t involve many troops vacating the Middle East. Instead, Trump said the troops would mostly be “going to our base in Iraq.”

CBS’s Margaret Brennan held a wide-ranging interview with Trump, in the course of which she asked him about the intelligence community’s “concern” that a “vacuum” left by the U.S. pullout could cause a “resurgence of ISIS.”

“We can come back very quickly, and I’m not leaving. We have a base in Iraq,” Trump said, referring to the Al Asad Air Base in the Anbar province. The 2,000 troops in Syria will “be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home. But we’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying,” Trump added.

Feb 05 13:01

Trump’s Comments on ‘Watching Iran’ Confuse Pentagon, Anger Iraq

Already backing away from withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan, President Trump really raised a lot of questions with his quotes over the weekend on Iraq. Trump insisted that US troops “might as well” stay in Iraq and that they’d use it to “watch Iran.”

This puzzled a lot of administration officials. The Pentagon said no one told them the mission for the troops in Iraq was ever changed to watching Iran. The State Department says that the troops aren’t watching Iran at all, and that troops are in Iraq out of respect for “mutual sovereignty.”

The Iraqi government is already having some trouble with US views of their sovereignty, and these comments aren’t helping. President Barham Salih warned that Iraq had never given US troops in their country permission to watch anybody.

Other Iraqi officials concurred, saying that they would not allow Iraq to be used as a staging area for moves against a neighbor, and that the US should not “overburden Iraq with your own issues.”

Feb 04 10:09

IRANIAN-BACKED MILITIAS THREATEN US FORCES IN IRAQ

Members of Hashd al-Shaabi, the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq, can be seen warning US troops near Mosul against “provocations,” in a video posted over the weekend. US troops on patrol in eastern Mosul were confronted by gunmen who monitored their movements and blocked their movement by placing an armored jeep across a road.

Iran’s Press TV boasted on Saturday that “Hashd al-Shaabi stop US military patrol in Iraq’s Mosul.” The Hashd – also called the Popular Mobilization Units – are a group of militias that have grown in the last several years in response to the ISIS attack on Iraq in 2014. Some of the militias, such as Badr, have deep roots in Iraq, with leaders who fought alongside the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war.

Feb 04 08:42

US forces return to Baghdad

Iraqis in the capital Baghdad said US army forces have been walking around the city accompanied by the Iraqi army, Al-Khaleej Online reported.

US forces withdrew from the country in 2011 following an agreement with the Iraqi government, but maintained specific forces in special military positions.

The developments come after US President Donald Trump visited a US military base in western Iraq in December last year.

Hussein Al-Fadhli, who lives east of Baghdad, said a US army force accompanied by units of the Iraqi army toured the region, stressing that the American force “was looking for militia leaders”.

US forces invaded Iraq in 2003, and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Feb 04 08:37

Trump Backtracks on Syria, Afghan Withdrawals, Facing Growing Senate Pressure

Having drifted back and forth a few times on the US withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, President Trump seemed solid on leaving last week, but facing growing opposition from the Senate now shows signs of backtracking once again.

Previously talking up how the wars in Afghanistan and Syria can’t last forever, Trump is now saying he wants a “smaller number” of troops to stay in Afghanistan, despite the Taliban already making it clear that was a non-starter for the peace deal.

In Syria, Trump is now focused on the idea that the pullout can only happen after assuring that “Israel is protected,” which is as close to a recipe for permanent warfare as one can get. Israeli officials have made clear they want the war to be about Iran, not ISIS.

And that seems to be he case in Iraq, as well, where President Trump is now saying US troops will remain, seemingly forever, to “watch Iran,” and make sure they don’t “do nuclear weapons or other things.”

Feb 04 08:37

Trump: US Troops Must Stay in Iraq to ‘Watch Iran’

During a Sunday interview with CBS, President Trump insisted that the US has an “incredible base” in Iraq after years of wars, and “might as well keep it.” He suggested there troops would be staying more or less forever.

His justification for this, beyond “might as well,” was that it’s right next to Iran. Trump claimed Iran is the cause of “every single” major difficulty in the Middle East, and keeping US troops in Iraq would allow them to “watch” Iran.

“We’re going to keep watching and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we’re going to know it before they do,” Trump insisted. It’s not clear how that would work, particularly with respect to knowing “before they do.”

Trump went on to say he has no intention to use US troops in Iraq to strike Iran, and that “all I want to do is be able to watch.” The US has, of course, threatened to attack Iran several times, but Iraq has ruled out letting the US use their territory to do so.

Feb 04 08:04

Trump did not ask permission to ‘watch Iran’ from bases in Iraq – President Salih

Iraq’s president resoundingly dismissed Trump’s idea of a US vigil on his country’s border, stating he had not asked for permission to “watch Iran.” Barham Salih instead suggested the US stick to its mission fighting terrorism.

Feb 04 06:28

US needs military base in Iraq to 'watch Iran', Trump says

US president accuses Iran of stirring regional conflicts and being 'the number one terrorist nation in the world'.

US forces must remain in Iraq so the United States can keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran, according to President Donald Trump.

In an interview with CBS' Face the Nation programme, Trump highlighted the importance of a key military base in Iraq that he said was crucial to the surveillance of the Islamic Republic's activities.

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base, we might as well keep it">>>

Trump did not ask Iraq's permission to 'watch Iran'

Feb 01 13:20

The US Army says Iran is the only victor of the Iraq War

The US Army has concluded that Iran was the only victor of the eight-year US campaign to remove Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and replace him with a democratic regime.

That’s one of the findings of a massive historical study released Jan. 17, the first major military review of the Iraq war’s lessons. Commissioned in 2013 by General Ray Odierno, then the Army’s top commander, it was conducted by half a dozen field grade officers at the US Army War College.

The report consists of two volumes, one on the initial 2003 invasion and another covering the 2007 pivot to counter-insurgency until the majority of US troops were withdrawn in 2011. The final assessment is sobering reading:

Jan 28 09:53

Seven SEALs granted immunity in Iraq war crimes prosecutions

New details in the case against a Navy SEAL charged with multiple war crimes emerged Friday during a marathon motion hearing at Naval Base San Diego.

The hearing revealed that seven Navy SEALs have been granted immunity to testify for the prosecution during the upcoming trial of Edward R. Gallagher, a chief special warfare operator alleged to have murdered a wounded teenage ISIS combatant by stabbing him in the neck.

The trial phase is scheduled for Feb. 19. Prosecutors expect to call the seven SEALs and up to 13 additional witnesses of the May 2017 incident in Mosul, Iraq.

Defense attorneys asked the judge, Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, to suppress some aspects of those witnesses’ expected testimony, particularly the numbers of people Gallagher allegedly bragged about killing.

Jan 26 11:57

CIVILIANS STORM & BURN TURKISH MILITARY BASE IN NORTHERN IRAQ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

A mob of angry civilians has attacked a Turkish military camp near the Iraqi city of Dohuk, burning equipment and vehicles. The incident comes in response to the deaths of civilians during Turkish airstrikes, local media reports.
The incident occurred in northern Iraq on Saturday, when a large mob of civilians attacked a Turkish military encampment located in the predominantly-Kurdish region of Dohuk.

Footage from the scene which surfaced online shows civilians at the military encampment with Turkish military vehicles and tents burning in the background. At least one person died and 10 were reportedly wounded during the incident. It remains unclear if the Turkish Army sustained any casualties - servicemen are nowhere to be seen in the footage.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Turkish President Erdogan thought, for one second, that the Iraqis were going to "throw roses at the feet" of their new overlords, I hope he understands that he was thoroughly mistaken.

Unfortunately, this is most probably going to cause more Turkish attacks of greater intensity against these Iraqi villages.

And BTW, where the heck is Muqtada Al Sadr while all of this is happening?!? Sir, your Iraqi citizens need to know that you have their back, and right the heck now. And I say this, because Al Sadr is now characterized as one of the most powerful elements in the current Iraqi government, yet holds no office of his own.

I hope that something can be done, to get the Turkish bombing to stop.

But notice; the US government requested, and got, an emergency meeting today at the UN regarding Venezuela.

So, why the heck was an emergency meeting not called regarding the Turkish shelling of Iraq?!?

To paraphrase a line from George Orwell's "Animal Farm";
Apparently, for the US government, "Some crises... are more precious than others."

Jan 24 11:45

MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS LITERALLY MAKING PEOPLE SICK

I do not for one second doubt that Americans are feeling more stressed and suffering more health-degrading symptoms as a result than they were prior to Trump’s election. But Pacific Standard and its “growing body of research” ignore the most obvious and significant culprit behind this phenomenon which is tearing people’s health to shreds: the mass media which has been deliberately fanning the flames of Trump panic.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia’s natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is infinitely more grating, from where I sit, is not the "Trump Panic Syndrome", but the "Trump Reality Syndrome", which includes things he had promised on the campaign trail which he has not done... and things President Trump has done, in these first two years of his Presidency.

1. The massive disparity between the monied and the desperate keeps growing exponentially. There are little victories, of smaller companies moving back to the US (probably with some rich state/town perks and benefits for having done so.) But the consistent off-shoring, out-sourcing of American jobs continues apace. There is an epidemic of homelessness in this country which is unprecedented.

Remember the stunning scenario which inspired Victor Hugo to create his "Les Miserables"?!? In 1845, on the streets of Paris, he observed the same incident that triggers the novel's action. On a sunny but cold day, he saw an impoverished man being arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. As the man stood on the street, an ornate carriage pulled up beside him. Inside there was a dazzlingly beautiful woman dressed in velvet, playing with a child hidden under ribbons, embroidery and furs. The impoverished man stared at the woman in the carriage, but she was totally unaware of him. Hugo wrote that he saw this man as, "The spectre of misery, the ghostly forewarning in full light of day, in the sunshine, of the revolution still plunged in the shadows of darkness, but emerging from them. The moment he became aware of her existence, while she remained unaware of his, a catastrophe was inevitable."

Folks, we're there, right now; history may not necessarily repeat, but occasionally it rhymes. And let me say, for the record; as a Christian pacifist activist, I abhor violence,and would never advocate its use.

And those great pronouncements about the employment in this country, are running so low; this is a marvelous subterfuge, and a neat "hat trick", courtesy of the Department of Labor Statistics.

You see, people who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, are deliberately purged from the figures as not interested in working, almost as though they had never existed at all.

If the US unemployment rate included everyone who says they want a job, it would be nearly double

2. President Trump withdrew the US from the P5+1 deal, even though the IAEA continues to state that the Iranians are currently keeping their end of the deal. I cannot begin to articulate just how completely insane, and counter productive this was. There are many things about which I rightly criticized the Obama Administration, but this was not of them. And the consequences?!?

Remember: demonization, plus Sanctions, create the American Preludes to War.

We are on the doorstep of such a war against Iran, because Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, keeps advocating it, calling Iran "the existential enemy" of Israel. We are plunged into our "2 minutes of hate against Iran", ad nauseum, by the corporate presstitutes. So, let's see, what could possibly go wrong here?!?

Emboldened by one of his BFFs in the Middle East, President Trump, Israel has been making bombing runs into Syria to destroy alleged Iranian placements of personnel, and equipment in that country. Netanyahu: we will not stop fighting Iran as long as I lead Needless to say, Iran is not amused with these actions, and Russia, who has been assisting the Syrian government in getting rid of US backed, equipped, and funded jihadis in Syria, has told Israel in no uncertain terms, to back off. As of yesterday, Russia blasted Netanyahu with the following demand: Israel's airstrikes against Syria must stop. We also see the following headline: World War III: Iran, Syria, Russia and Israel

I do hope our President understands the following: Tel Aviv thoroughly expects the costs of such a war to be borne in American blood and money; not Israeli. Should such a war begin, expect Russia (and perhaps China) to come into the fray on Iran's side.

3. And speaking of war, let's remember the Saudi war against Yemen, where the American government and military are complicit in Saudi war crimes. Why Are U.S. Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen?

The reason is simple: The Saudis love to buy American bombs to continue to create a genocide in Yemen.Saudi Arabia is the top buyer of US weapons" President Trump has, by default, and his sign-off on all these deals, has given him yet another title: The American Merchant of Death in Chief.

Please think about that for a minute. Did you ever think, when you were a kid, about how you would feel, understanding you would be a citizen of a US government which would be complicit in war crimes?!?

3. The illegal immigration solutions President Trump promised the American people, have gone down in flames.

4. Us sanctions around the globe in places like Russia, China, and Venezuela, are pushing other countries further away from the US, both in relationships, and finding creative ways to ditch the dollar, and come to other understandings about how finance can be conducted.

5. I notice the corporate presstitutes are continually spewing out their vile codswallop against countries which have done nothing to the US, to further the governments'agendas which, at this time, seem to be all-out war-centric. The two countries which come to mind, are Iran, and Russia.

The US government accuses Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never, in reality, did happen; After the 2014 Putsch in Ukraine, Crimea did two things; in a fair and peaceful referendum, the Crimean government asked the people of Crimea, if they wanted to stay in Ukraine, or petition the Russian Federation for membership. The Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to petition the Russian Federation for a membership, and the Russian Federation accepted this. And please remember: in an interview with CNN, President Obama confessed to have brokered a deal for "regime change" in Ukraine. In a CNN interview, President Obama Confesses that the US brokered a deal for" Regime change" in Ukraine, January, 2015

6. The US has left a ton of military footprints around the world. the list is breathlessly long, and may contain country names you haven't thought about since High School Geography, or may have been recently created

These are the true issues of "The Trump Reality Syndrome".

Please understand that I am just as angry about these issues as many of you are, but realize that I need to channel my anger into logic, research, and coming up with alternate ways in which this country could get what it wants, geopolitically, without resorting to war.

Because right now, war - and the monied who become enriched through war and military conflicts around the world - are winning, and I am singularly depressed about this.

Jan 23 14:07

Syria Ceasefire On Brink Of Collapse As Russia Blames Turkey For Terrorist Growth

The collapse of the prior 'deescalation' agreement comes at a time when the White House has vowed to stick to the planned US pullout, however, this could be yet a another major development to complicate or delay any possible withdrawal timeline. FT described current Turkish-Russian talks in Moscow as follows:

Russia has accused Turkey of failing to live up to a promise to clear Syria’s Idlib of extremist militant groups and admitted that a landmark ceasefire agreement made last September had failed. Ahead of crunch talks between the leaders of the two countries in Moscow on Wednesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said the Islamist extremist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) had “full control” of Syria’s last remaining major opposition stronghold. The damning assessment came four months after Moscow agreed to postpone a planned military assault on the city in exchange for a promise from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clear it of militants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people of Syria have suffered extensively, during this Western-lead funding, and training, and arming their their adversaries.

They want their country - and their cities - back.

Jan 23 10:47

In Iraq, Lawmakers Push for Timeline for US Pullout

December’s announcement of a US pullout of troops from Syria set a lot of discussions in motion, but in neighboring Iraq, it brought focus to ongoing discussions on the presence of US troops inside Iraq.

This was already a major political issue within Iraq, with several parties seeking a firm government timetable on a US withdrawal, since the Abdel Mahdi government has been clear on the war against ISIS being over. Since Syria shows the US can actually leave a country, this has brought the question into laser focus.

A lot of the Shi’ite parties have problems with the open-ended US military presence in Iraq, and while some analysts are trying to pass this off as Iran’s agenda, the reality is that US hostility to Shi’ite militia groups, who have substantial political clout, is also driving this interest.

Jan 23 09:38

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel

TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel
TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3 fears were sparked this week after Israel hit the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there. In response, Iran issued a chilling message to arch-enemy Israel – warning it is “impatient” and ready to confront and destroy the nation in a statement issued just hours after Israel launched the air raids in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such a war would be horrific and costly for all concerned; I hope that the leaders of all these countries can find a way for it not to happen; unfortunately, too many of the actors in this environment have much to gain; the weapons manufacturers will profit; possibly the US will go back to the draft; and martial law will most probably be imposed here in the US.

I frequently talk about the possibility of a Department of Peace, tasked with achieving those geopolitical goals the US government wants to achieve, but without firing a single shot; unfortunately, however, I have seen this coming conflagration for far too long, to believe that the US government is going to give up on the complete occupation of Iran; Syria; Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan; or Yemen.

Jan 22 13:57

IDF chief turned PM candidate touts body count & bombing Gaza into ‘stone age’ in campaign ad

Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages,” one clip boasts over footage of the bombed-out shells of Palestinian buildings. As chief of general staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Gantz led the offensive that bombarded Gaza for 51 days, killing – as the ad boasts – “1,364 terrorists” and bringing “3.5 years of quiet.”

The second ad in the series shows a running tally of deaths over scenes of Palestinian funerals, and a third shows the targeted assassination of a Hamas leader whose car explodes in a ball of flame.

Haaretz notes that even the official Israeli military figures counts less than half of the Palestinian casualties as militants – meaning Gantz included close to 500 civilian casualties in his “terrorist” tally.

These people were the real Nazis, Hitler and the Germans were just caught in their crossfire.

Download copies for education purposes & report the videos.

Jan 22 11:11

Erdogan: Turkey not to allow Syria safe zone to turn into ‘swamp’

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country will never allow the implementation of a militant-free safe zone in Syria to be turned into "a swamp" like the one in northern Iraq, where US-backed Kurdish militants launch attacks on Turkish soil.

Erdogan made the remarks at an official event in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.

Jan 22 04:36

Report: US Plotting to Arm Kurds to Block Negotiations with Damascus

(*to "hurry up" our exit strategy !
whitehorse souce )

Jan 19 17:36

'Jewish state' will soon cease to exist: Israeli historian

Influential Zionist historian Benny Morris, professor of the Middle East studies department of the Israeli Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has foreseen a bleak future for the Zionist establishment.

"Already today there are more Arabs than Jews between the [Mediterranean] sea and the Jordan. The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority," said Morris in an interview published by the Israeli Haaretz newspaper on Thursday.

"Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights, can not persist in the 21st century, in the modern world. And as soon as they do have rights, the state will no longer be Jewish," added Morris.

"I do not see how we get out of it."

Jan 18 11:39

TRUMP’S NIGHTTIME TRIP TO IRAQ CONFIRMS THE DEBACLE

What better proof of the Iraq debacle than President Trump’s middle-of-the-night trip to that country at Christmastime to visit U.S. troops who are still occupying the country some 15 years after the Pentagon and the CIA invaded?

The U.S. national-security establishment has had a decade-and-half to bring its federally planned paradise into existence. From the very first day of the U.S. conquest of Iraq, a country that had never attacked the United States, the Pentagon and the CIA wielded total control over the country, being able to install whatever type of regime they wanted, with no pesky constitutional restraints to inhibit whatever they wanted to do.

Jan 17 05:46

Washington Plotting to Dismantle Hashd Al-Shaabi for Opposition to US Occupation of Iraq

Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, underlined that Washington's hostile stance towards Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi Popular Forces) and its quest for dismantling popular groups in the Arab state derives from their opposition to the US forces' occupation of Iraq.

"The US administration in an unprecedented demand called on the Iraqi government on Tuesday to dissolve 67 groups operating in the framework of the Iraqi popular forces, while all these groups were welcomed by Washington when they were fighting against the ISIL alongside the US forces. Then what has changed now," Atwan wrote on Wednesday.

Noting that Iraq's security and national identity is gradually reviving, he said that Hashd al-Shaabi forces or their leaders have demanded withdrawal of all the 5,500 US military troops from Iraq and are opposed to the US use of military bases in Iraq for possible attacks against Syria and Iran.

(*the timing of the hit piece on the late Saddam Hussein , serving to remind that he can only be 'taken out' once , airing last night was impeccable )

Jan 17 04:57

Iran Ready to Sign "Zero Tariffs" Deal with Iraq

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the country's willingness to ink a deal with Iraq to drop customs tariffs between the two countries.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to zero tariff rates between the two countries," Zarif said, addressing an economic forum in Iraq's Southern city of Karbala on Wednesday.

He added that despite the US sanctions, Iran is exporting $2bln worth of gas and electricity to Iraq annually, stressing that the two countries' cooperation in the energy sector can grow if Tehran and Baghdad decide not to allow Washington to impose restrictions and limitations on their trade.

Zarif said 80 Iranian technical and engineering companies are active in Iraq with contracts worth 8bln, and stated, "The Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys very high capacities to reconstruct the post-ISIL Iraq."

>>>

Jan 16 15:15

PBS (*propagandic bull _ _ _ _! } The Dictator's Playbook

Learn how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist for almost 30 years. To maintain power, he used fear, intimidation and violence like few other dictators in history, but he made the fatal mistake of believing his regime could take on the world.

(*The local PBS affiliate is going to be airing this bag of XXXX tonight . teaser video at source)

Jan 16 11:33

US-Led Coalition Reports on New Strikes in Syria, Iraq

In recent weeks, the US military has reduced the amount of information released in periodic strike reports from Syria and Iraq - a period in which about 2,000 US ground forces began preparations to withdraw from Syria.

Unlike past US-led coalition strike reports, Tuesday’s release contained, however, no details of the Syrian strikes. The report covered the period between 30 December and 6 January, the release said.

The US-led coalition concentrated airstrikes and coordinated fires on Syria’s middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq’s Anbar Province during the first week of the new year, while American backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed the town of al-Kashmah from the Daesh terror group, Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Jan 16 10:08

Bolton’s Radical Reshaping Plan for Mideast Included “Mind Boggling” Strikes on Iran, Syria, and Iraq

In 2017, less than a year before he became national security advisor, John Bolton promised a gathering of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) that:

The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. … The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself. … And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

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Here's your rifle...

Jan 16 09:56

From Baghdad to Finland and All Across the World: What’s the US Up To?

Situated across the street from the main entrance of Malmi Airport, the warehouse with its 3 meter high security fence appears an unlikely location for official embassy business. Neighbouring companies include a car yard and a tyre warehouse.

Helsinki Times visited the perimeters this weekend. Security personnel, young Finns in uniforms with American flags on their arms, appeared nervous and suspicious when asked to comment on the warehouse and refused to even confirm the order of the new fence structure which now surrounds the compound. At one point a security guard appeared in a second floor window to carefully monitor this reporter’s movements along Takoraudantie.

Jan 16 04:35

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh, not Americans: Iran’s Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the victory over the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria was the result of endeavors by the two nations themselves and that the United States played no role in defeating the outfit.

Foreign Minister Zarif made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with Iranian and Iraqi businesspeople as well as local officials in the Iraqi city of Karbala.

Zarif pointed to the fact that America has not succeed in combating terrorism in other parts of the world and said success in Iraq and Syria came about because the people of the two countries stood up, fought, and sacrificed lives. “That is why this victory has nothing to do with America...">>>

Jan 15 13:52

Visualizing America’s Wars

The program is about two works of the prominent filmmaker John Gianvito. The discussion is how media coverage could determine the fate of wars that the US waged. The absence of media coverage of recent American wars was the cause that those wars broke out and dragged on...

Jan 15 07:17

Erdogan, Trump consider setting up 'security zone' in Syria

Two leaders discuss situation in Syria over the phone amid growing tensions over the fate of US-allied Kurdish fighters.

The conversation on Monday came a day after Trump threatened on Twitter that he would "devastate" Turkey's economy if its forces attacked the US-backed Kurdish fighters, who helped Washington in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The war of words between the two NATO allies is the latest consequence of Trump's surprising decision last month to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, potentially leaving the Kurdish militia under threat as Ankara weighs a new offensive there.

>>>

Jan 13 12:50

US Army Planning to Set Up Military Headquarters in Western Iraq

The US military convoys are patrolling in the streets of Fallujah city, the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted a security source in al-Anbar province as saying.

The source noted that the US convoys have arrived as American troops are preparing to reopen a former military headquarters in the Eastern entrance gate of Fallujah city.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Iraqi media sources reported that the US Army was planning to establish several new military bases in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.

"The US intends to set up four permanent bases equipped with advanced military equipment in different cities across al-Anbar province," the Arabic-language Al-Maloumeh news website quoted a security source in al-Anbar province as saying.

Jan 13 12:49

Analyst: Over 20,000 US Forces Deployed in Iraq

"Washington is attempting to clearly declare its military presence in Iraq by patrolling missions near Samarra, Fallujah and al-Anbar," Hashim al-Kandi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Saturday.

He said the fact that US Deputy Commander in Iraq Austin Rim Furth conductts patrol in Baghdad along with the US forces, and that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Iraq on a military plane indicates Washington's attempts to occupy the country again, saying that Pompeo and Trump's trip to Iraq showed that the US has no intention of playing an advisory or training role.

The analyst said that the recent talks between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi were focused on the US forces' withdrawal from Syria and finding a new base for them, adding that relocation of these forces to Iraq will endanger its security as Washington plans to threaten the neighboring states from Iraq.

Jan 13 12:49

Official: Iran Receiving Revenues of Gas Exports to Iraq in Euro

"The revenues of these (gas) exports are based on euro as stated in the contract (with Iraq)," Montazer Torbati said on Saturday.

He added that the Central Banks of Iran and Iraq have made the decision about the currency to be used for gas exports after the US sanctions against Iran.

Iran is currently exporting 36.24 million cubic meters of gas on a daily basis, which marks a 45% rise in comparison with the figures of the last calendar year (March 21, 2017- March 20, 2018).

Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization announced in a report earlier this month that the country had increased its daily export of gas from 25 million cubic meters to 36.24 million cubic meters in the current Iranian year (started on March 21, 2018).

Jan 13 12:48

Kurdish Politician: Washington Trying Hard to Make Damascus-Kurd Talks Fail

"Washington is trying hard to prevent the talks between the Damascus government and Kurdish forces from bearing fruits," the Arabic-language Russia Today (RT) quoted Rizan Hodu as saying on Saturday.

Yet, he said Syrian-Kurdish talks are underway under a positive atmosphere.

Hodu, also former media advisor of the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin region of Aleppo province, said that US Special Envoy to Syria James Franklin Jeffrey in several messages to the Kurdish forces in Northern Syria has advised them show no haste for holding talks with the Damascus government.

The Kurdish politician, meantime, pointed to the imminent developments as reported by Jeffrey in favor of the Kurdish troops in Syria in the near future, specially after an upcoming NATO Summit in February, and said, "Jeffrey in his messages has pointed to the imposition of a no-fly zone in Northern Syria."

Jan 13 10:26

SearchSearchUS Embassy in Iraq Covers 80 Football Fields- A Behemoth From Which to Rule the Middle East

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?

"It's as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher

Jan 13 07:11

Iran Receiving Revenues of Gas Exports to Iraq in Euro

CEO of the Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) Hassan Montazer Torbati announced that the country is due to collect payment for its gas supplies to Iraq in euro.

"The revenues of these (gas) exports are based on euro as stated in the contract (with Iraq)," Montazer Torbati said on Saturday.

He added that the Central Banks of Iran and Iraq have made the decision about the currency to be used for gas exports after the US sanctions against Iran.

Iran is currently exporting 36.24 million cubic meters of gas on a daily basis, which marks a 45% rise in comparison with the figures of the last calendar year (March 21, 2017- March 20, 2018).

Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization announced in a report earlier this month that the country had increased its daily export of gas from 25 million cubic meters to 36.24 million cubic meters in the current Iranian year>>>

Jan 12 11:54

Large US troop deployment in Kirkuk causes Iraqi outcry

The United States military has made a large troop deployment to military bases near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, causing outcry among the local population.

The troops have been stationed predominantly at the K1 airbase situated 15 kilometers away from the city, Press TV's correspondent in Kirkuk said on Thursday.

The deployment is said to have happened on the pretext of countering remaining Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Hashd al-Sha'abi spokesperson Ali al-Hussaini denounced the presence of the US forces, saying that the city faced no terrorist threat and Americans had no reason to be there.

"Deploying US forces in Kirkuk or any other city is unacceptable. This is violating the treaty between the US and Iraq," said Hussaini.

Jan 12 11:53

Tehran, Baghdad discuss expansion of ties in defiance of US' pressures

Top officials from Iran and Iraq held talks on Thursday on ways to boost cooperation between the two neighboring countries, just one day after a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Arab country, which was supposed to convince Baghdad to restrict its ties with Tehran.

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on Thursday met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, whose office said he "confirmed the deep relations between the two countries, the two neighboring peoples and the importance of strengthening them in areas that serve the interests of the two peoples, foremost of which is cooperation in the fields of oil and gas."

The Iraqi premier's office also said the Iranian oil minister "expressed his country's pride in the level of relations with Iraq and the aspiration to develop them, and hoped to achieve more cooperation and to meet the needs of Iraq's gas."

Jan 10 10:27

THE SECRET LOGISTICS OF AMERICA’S GLOBAL DEEP STATE

The world’s largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

[Editor’s’ Note: The ten-acre US Embassy in Beijing is the second largest overseas construction project in the history of the Department of State — and the 104-acre US Embassy in Iraq is the largest.]

So, America’s largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment. … The United States announced several months ago that between diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the pullout of US forces.

Jan 07 11:43

Iraq Rejects Iran Sanctions and US Troop Presence

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim laid out the latest step on the path to independence for Baghdad from the US concerning sanctions on Iran by Washington. Although Iraq currently has a 90-day waiver to trade with Iran issued on December 20th, Hakim let reporters know Iraq would be pursuing their own policy on Iran should the waiver not be renewed.

Hakim explained to reporters that

“These sanctions, the siege, or what is called the embargo,” imposed by the US is “unilateral, not international,” and Iraq is “not obliged [to follow] them.”

This is a big step for Baghdad to take in the face of pressure from Washington for Iraq to become “energy independent” with the help of US corporations exploiting their oil and gas resources. Instead, as explained by Hakim, Iraq would rather choose their own options for energy, even if that includes continuing the annual $12 billion in trade between Iraq and Iran flowing over US objections.

Jan 07 10:41

US Enhancing Military Buildup in Western Iraq

Iraqi sources reported that Washington has deployed large groups of soldiers in Western Iraq a number of its military forces who were earlier stationed in Syria.

The sources were quoted by Russia's RT news channel as saying that dozens of US troops stationed in Syria have relocated to Ein al-Assad base in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.

"Reports that the US forces who have left Syria are now stationed in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan region are not all true. A major part of these forces have gone to Ein al-Assad base in al-Anbar province and a number of others have been deployed in the military bases in other Iraqi provinces," they added.

According to the sources, the US forces are still stationed at the Iraqi-Syrian borders and have not left Syria completely.

Jan 07 10:38

The U.S. is sending 2,500 troops to Kuwait, ready to step up the fight in Syria and Iraq

The U.S. military is sending up to an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait from which they could be called upon to back up coalition forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The deployment will include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. About 1,700 soldiers from the same unit are overseas now, spread between Iraq and Kuwait. They're focused on the U.S.-led effort to train and assist the Iraqi troops doing much of the fighting against ISIS there.

Jan 07 09:32

Why Trump's Advisors Keep Quashing His Realist Whims

The multitude of policy zigs and zags seems to constitute a case of a president suffering from foreign policy bipolar disorder. Yet a pattern may exist amidst all of the turmoil. Trump’s foreign policy instincts often appear to be a sound and refreshing contrast to the stale conventional wisdom that has led the United States to careen from one interventionist debacle to another over the past quarter-century. (His early hostile stance toward North Korea and his policy toward Iran at all times are the major exceptions to sound instincts.) But time and again Trump has allowed his advisers to talk him out of his initial (usually correct) positions. That’s not surprising. The president is not an avid reader about foreign policy (or apparently anything else), and his knowledge base is alarmingly shallow. That deficiency gives policy advisers an exceptional degree of influence.

Jan 02 10:45

Iraqi Jets Strike Terrorists In Syria At Assad's Request As US "Slowing" Troop Pullout

As the United States is reportedly "slowing things down" on Trump's announced full troop withdrawal, Syria's President Assad is apparently speeding things up in terms of reasserting sovereign control over all parts of the country, as he's long promised to "liberate every inch" of natural Syria.

On Sunday Assad took the controversial step of authorizing Iraqi forces to attack terror targets inside Syria at will, according to state-run SANA "without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus" while the two allies coordinate action against remaining ISIS pockets in the country's east.

Jan 02 07:15

Former Blackwater guard convicted for 2007 massacre of civilians in Baghdad

A former security guard for the US firm Blackwater has been found guilty of murder for his role in a notorious massacre of unarmed civilians in downtown Baghdad in 2007.

Nicholas Slatten, 35, was convicted of first-degree murder by a federal jury in Washington on Wednesday after five days of deliberations.

Slatten was convicted of killing Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, 19, an aspiring doctor who was one of more than a dozen civilians killed by Blackwater guards in Baghdad’s Nisour square on 16 September 2007.

While escorting a diplomatic convoy, Blackwater guards opened fire in the bustling square with sniper rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers – allegedly without provocation – leaving at least 14 civilians dead and at least 18 wounded. The Iraqi government says the toll was higher.

Jan 01 11:10

IDF intel chief: Iran could use Iraq as springboard for attacks on Israel

Israel’s Military Intelligence chief warned Monday that Tehran’s increasing presence in Iraq means the country could be used as a base from which Iran could launch attacks on Israel.

“Iraq is under growing influence of the [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’] Quds Force and Iran,” Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman told a conference in Tel Aviv.

Jan 01 05:07

Paper Warns of US-Arab Plot to Establish Tribal Emirate in Deir Ezzur

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's permission to the Iraqi air force to strike the ISIL inside Syria without a prior approval from Damascus is meant to defuse a plot hatched by the US and some Arab states to create a tribal emirate in Deir Ezzur, a leading Arab newspaper said on Monday.

An Iraqi government source said last week that Iraqi fighter jets could now enter Syria’s airspace and strike the ISIL terrorists without waiting for permission from the Syrian government.

Iraqi warplanes and artillery had in the past pounded the ISIL positions inside Syria only after getting the green light from the Syrian authorities, but following the yesterday decision they do not need a permission for such strikes anymore.

Arab newspaper Rai al-Youm said the US and some of its Arab allies are attempting to establish a tribal Arab emirate in Eastern Deir Ezzur which hosts most of Syria's oil and gas resources.

>>>

Dec 31 09:42

Iraq Is Next: Here's Why All US Troops Could Be Out By End Of Trump's 1st Term

The US presidential plane landed in the darkness of the Iraqi military base of Ayn al-Assad in west Anbar with Donald Trump onboard. But by the time his plane took off three hours later, Trump left behind a protocol-political-parliamentary storm in Mesopotamia as Iraqi members of parliament requested the departure of the 5200 US forces from the country.

None of the three Iraqi leaders (Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, Speaker Mohammad al-Halbusi, President Barham Salih) came to receive Trump as all three rejected US conditions for such a meeting. Trump seems determined to leave Syria without interfering with who will control the territory behind him: on Friday morning the Syrian Army entered the outskirt of the city of Manbij following a deal between Kurdish leaders and the government of Damascus. Will he also end up leaving Iraq before the end of his term in January 2021?

Dec 31 09:00

Corrupt Spineless Iraqi Legislators Are Right

You’ve got 5,000 armed foreign troops stationed in your country. You don’t say a word until the idiot foreign emperor stages a surprise visit. Then you’re outraged principally because he didn’t notify you or meet with you or put up any pretense that your country belonged to you in any way. At that point you demand that the U.S. occupation of Iraq finally be brought to a bitter better-late-than-never end. And you’re damn right.

Dec 30 17:56

US-led coalition admits 1,100+ civilians killed in Iraq & Syria in latest death toll

The US-led coalition has published the latest casualty figures for its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2014. At least 1,139 civilians have been “unintentionally” killed by coalition strikes, the statement said. The death toll, presented monthly by the US, has been repeatedly challenged by Amnesty International. The group says that the coalition was “deeply in denial” about the “large number of civilians killed and injured by [its] strikes.”

Dec 30 10:08

Assad Receives Iraqi National Security Adviser in Damascus

Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad conducted a visit to Syria, where he met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Syrian president's press service said on Saturday.

According to the press service, the adviser delivered a letter from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to the Syrian president. The letter calls for the cooperation between the two countries, as well as notes the importance of coordination of mutual efforts against terrorism, especially in the border region between the two countries.

The press service noted that the participants of the meeting had exchanged their opinions on the situation in the region and in the world. Assad acknowledged the positive changes in the Middle East, such as stabilization of the situation in the Iraqi and Syrian cities and return of the safety to the region. The Syrian president explained this by the willingness of the Middle Eastern nations to protect their sovereignty, despite foreign interference.

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