IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAQ

Dec 15 07:58

Washington might use defeated Daesh terrorists in fight against Assad: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States is turning a blind eye to information provided by Moscow about Syrian terrorists traveling to neighboring Iraq in the hope that these militants could be later used to fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin made the remarks at the traditional end-of-year press conference in the Russian capital of Moscow on Thursday, saying that the Kremlin has received no “reaction” from Washington regarding the given intelligence.

Dec 09 13:22

Jerusalem’s fate – Grant F Smith

Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem signals Washington now deems this to be Israel’s capital.

How this is in America’s interest is difficult to fathom.

The law of unintended consequences is surely in play.

Dec 09 09:31

Daesh completely 'evicted' from Iraq: Abadi

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Daesh (ISIS) from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US just lost their justification to stay in Iraq!

Dec 09 09:07

Iraqi Militias Vow to 'Defend Jerusalem' After Trump Announcement

An Iran-backed Iraqi militia leader has been filmed on the Israeli border, declaring his “total readiness to stand with the [...] Palestinian cause against the brutal Israeli occupation.”

Dec 08 08:56

Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Sistani condemns U.S. decision on al-Quds

''This decision is condemned and decried, it hurt the feelings of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims,'' said a statement from Sistani's office.

''But it won't change the reality that al-Quds is an occupied land which should return to the sovereignty of its Palestinian owners no matter how long it takes,'' it said, calling on the ''Umma'', or Islamic nation, ''to combine its efforts that purpose.''

Dec 06 06:14

Syria war, Sochi peace – Pepe Escobar

In a well choreographed Sochi summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin defines a peaceful future for Syria after the liberation of the country from militants

The main take away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society.”

Dec 06 05:17

Rare Conversation with Jared Kushner, Saban Forum – 2017

A lot of countries in the Middle East want the same thing – economic progress, peace for their people.

Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East peace, said Sunday that Israel needs to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians before it can form an alliance with the greater Arab world.

Dec 02 10:02

Lebanon will only survive if Hezbollah disarms: Saudi minister

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Friday that Lebanon had been “hijacked” by Hezbollah and could only flourish if the Iranian-backed group disarmed.

The Shi‘ite Muslim militia was set up by the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in the 1980s and has grown steadily in influence, sharing power in the Beirut government and giving crucial support to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Its growing strength has alarmed Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim monarchy that is Shi‘ite Iran’s arch-rival for regional influence.

“Lebanon will only survive or prosper if you disarm Hezbollah,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a conference in Italy. “As long as you have an armed militia, you will not have peace in Lebanon.”

Jubeir said the situation in Lebanon was “tragic” and accused Iran of fomenting unrest across the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Saudi Prime Minister Jubeir, a word please; how is your country's genocide against Yemen NOT "fomenting unrest across the Middle East"?!?

You have what we Americans colloquially describe " the Horse Sense" to understand that should Hezbullah disarm, it makes Lebanon suseptible to a hostile takeover by either your country, or Israel.

The Lebanese people understand this, and see Hezbollah as a force for good; I doubt that they will disarm any time soon.

Dec 01 10:04

Quds commander declines letter sent from CIA director, Iranian official

The commander of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, declined to receive and read a letter sent by CIA Director Mike Pompeo when he was in al-Boukamal, a border area between Syria and Iraq which was liberated by the Syrian regime this month, chief of staff of Iran’s Supreme Leader claimed on Thursday.

Mohamadi Gulpaigani said that the American official sent the letter to Soleimani, from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), through an intermediary.

He did not mention the time of the alleged incident, but said it happened “recently,” Fars News Agency, close to the IRGC reported.

“The head of the CIA through one of its intermediaries in the region sent a letter to General Soleimani, but he [Sleimani] responded: I will not accept your letter, nor will I read it. I have nothing to do with these people,'” Gulpaigani quoted the Iranian commander as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Most likely, Pompeo's letter was an informal "cease and desist" order, with regard to Iranian assistance to the Syrian government against the jihadis; but not knowing the "or else" time constraints the Iranian military may have been given in this letter, may well work to their disadvantage in Syria.

Dec 01 07:22

US-led coalition acknowledges killing 800+ civilians in Iraq & Syria airstrikes

At least 800 civilians have been killed by US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, a coalition report says. It adds that the group holds itself accountable for “unintentional injury or death to civilians.”

“To date, based on information available, [the coalition] assesses at least 801 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve [in 2014],” Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) said in statement on Thursday.

Nov 30 08:29

Popular forces won't allow US troops to stay in Iraq: Senior PMF commander

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Hadi al-Ameri, who heads Iraq’s Badr Organization, said the popular forces would call on the parliament to draw up legislation to demand the US pull out all its troops from the Arab country.

“We will adopt a parliamentary decision to pull out all American troops”, who were allegedly fighting Isis terrorists in the conflict-stricken Arab country, he said.

Ameri said the popular forces won’t allow even “one US soldier” to remain in Iraq now that the Takfiri terrorists have lost their major bastions in the Arab state in the face of successful Iraqi army operations.

Nov 28 10:18

After Cheerleading for Invasion of Iraq, Tom Friedman Glorifies Saudi Arabia’s War Criminal

Thomas [Tom] Friedman, the supposedly liberal columnist of the New York Times and the "imperial messenger" of the US establishment, needs no introduction.

This is the same man who was the leading cheerleader for the illegal and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 that set the Middle East on the path of bloodshed and destruction. This is the same man who called the invasion of Iraq "the most radical-liberal revolutionary war the US has ever launched." The is the same pundit who, about a month after George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" – and the mission, destruction of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, has indeed been accomplished – stated in an interview with Charlie Rose about that war,

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Friedman is a presstitute and warmonger of the most despicabler order, which is why he should be ignored, and become irrelevant to any future discussion of American foreign policy.

It therefore is completely logical that he should defend Saudi Prince Salman, the Butcher of Yemen, in his genocide against that country; that is what he is paid to do, defend the indefensible, in order to line the pockets of the Merchants of Death which own him and the NYT.

Nov 27 08:06

‘US drops Kurds like hot potatoes after ISIS power wanes’

The Americans have finished with the Kurds, now they can pack up and go. This is what happened in Iraqi Kurdistan, and in Syrian Kurdistan the same situation will be repeated, says award-winning Iraqi Kurdish journalist Hiwa Osman.

US President Donald Trump has apparently promised he will “not provide weapons to the YPG [People’s Protection Units],” according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was present during the phone call between the US president and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Nov 26 07:54

Iraqi Leader Accuses US of Providing Intel to Terrorists in Albu Kamal Battle

The US forces were backing up the ISIL terrorist group with intelligence during the Syrian Army troops' operation to liberate the town of Albu Kamal in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, Secretary-General of Iraq's al-Nujaba Resistance Movement Sheikh Akram al-Ka'abi said on Sunday.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network quoted Sheikh al-Ka'abi as saying that the US forces tried hard to push the Syrian army's operation in Albu Kamal towards failure, adding that the US forces were targeting the pro-government resistance forces before Albu Kamal battle in order to slow down their advances.

He further added that the resistance forces, however, foiled the US plot.

Nov 24 08:19

Iraq launches operation to clear desert near Syria of Islamic State

Iraqi forces launched an operation on Thursday to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State in a final push to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military said.

Troops from the Iraqi army and mainly Shi‘ite paramilitaries known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) were taking part in the campaign against militants hiding in a large strip of border land, Iraqi military officials said.

“The objective behind the operation is to prevent remaining Daesh groups from melting into the desert region and using it as a base for future attacks,” said army colonel Salah Kareem, referring to Islamic State by an Arabic acronym.

Nov 23 08:01

Did the US allow ISIS to escape to keep the fighting going?

Americans have been living in a country that has not known peace since 9/11, when President George W. Bush and his posse of neoconservatives delivered the message to the world that “you are either with us or against us.” The threat was coupled with flurry of hastily conceived legislation that opened the door to the unconstitutional “war on terror” carried out at the whim of the Chief Executive, a conflict which was from the start conceived of as a global military engagement without end.

Nov 23 04:51

Iraq Wants To Build Gas Pipeline To Kuwait In Blow To Shell

In a bid to reduce gas flaring and pay off outstanding reparations for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq has hired Japanese firm Toyo Engineering to help it build a gas pipeline to Kuwait, in what could be a blow to Shell’s gas ambitions in Iraq, industry sources tell Reuters.

Kuwait is looking to diversify its gas imports from Qatar after several Arab states led by Saudi Arabia severed ties with Qatar earlier this year accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.

Iraq has gas reserves, and it extracts large volumes of gas together with the oil, but the gas is currently being flared.

Nov 22 13:34

Everywhere Surge: US Mideast Deployments Up 33% in Four Months

The Pentagon isn’t always honest about troop levels overseas, but their quarterly reports have shown a precipitous rise in ground troop deployments across the Middle East since June. Perhaps most interestingly, these deployments came entirely after the announced escalations in Iraq and Syria had already taken place.

US troop levels are up some 33% across the 14 nations included in the report, and rose in every single one of those countries. This spans a region covering all nations from Turkey to Egypt, down to Yemen, and over to Iraq and Kuwait.

The largest deployments are some of the most surprising, with the US presence in Qatar more than double over the past report (3,164 to 6,671), and nearly tripled in the United Arab Emirates (1,531 to 4,240). It is particularly noteworthy that troops continued to be added to nations in which seemingly nothing is happening, like Oman and Lebanon, suggesting the US is determined to just escalate everywhere at all times.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Escalations like this don't happen for utterly no reason: logistics like this take time, and planning.

I would suggest that this bump in troop strength in the Middle East may well b may well be a pre-positioning of resources in advance of an attack against Iran, possibly tag teaming with both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This could get very nasty, very quickly, as Russian political and military leaders have consistently vowed to come to Iran's aid militarily, should it be attacked.

Nov 21 09:39

Iranian president says the Islamic State, ‘fed and armed’ by the West, has been defeated in Syria

Hassan Rouhani congratulated Iraq, Syria and Lebanon for the ‘great achievement’.

Nov 18 07:16

Secret US-backed deal allowed hundreds of ISIS fighters, with tonnes of weapons and ammunition, to escape Raqqa

The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa – de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate – had been arranged by local officials. It came after four months of fighting that left the city obliterated and almost devoid of people. It would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. The lives of the Arab, Kurdish and other fighters opposing IS would be spared.

Nov 17 11:38

Iraqi Forces Liberate last ISIS-held Town near Syria Border

Iraqi armed forces have liberated Rawa, the last remaining town under the grip of the Daesh terror group, hours after they launched the offensive.

Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah said in a statement from the Joint Operations Command on Friday that Iraqi forces “liberated Rawa entirely, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings.”

The force striking Rawa near the border with Syria comprised government troops and paramilitary units.

“With the liberation of Rawa, we can say all the areas in which Daesh is present have been liberated,” Reuters quoted a military spokesman as saying.

Nov 15 08:05

Iraq: A War For Israel

As the world now knows, Iraq had no dangerous "weapons of mass destruction," and posed no threat to the US. Moreover, alarmist suggestions that the Baghdad regime was working with the al-Qaeda terror network likewise proved to be without foundation.

So if the official reasons given for the war were untrue, why did the United States attack Iraq?

Whatever the secondary reasons for the war, the crucial factor in President Bush's decision to attack was to help Israel. With support from Israel and America's Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish "neo-conservatives" holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush - who was already fervently committed to Israel - resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel's chief regional enemies.

Nov 15 04:06

House Passes $700 Billion Military Spending Bill

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The bill includes $634 billion for “core operations,” and $66 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The OCO budget is notoriously used by the Pentagon to shift money around to various programs as officials see fit without having to ask Congress to fund them.

This massive bill is the culmination of months of officials trying to outspend one another, with President Trump proposing what he described as one of the biggest increases ever>>>

Nov 14 15:38

$5.6 Trillion, 7,000 Deaths, 52,500 Injuries

The United States is expected to spend nearly $6 trillion through 2018 on government-wide costs related to the wars waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria since 2001, reveals a study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Nov 14 08:50

Gordon Brown Claims the Pentagon Knew Saddam Hussein Didn't Have Weapons of Mass Destruction

Nov 13 10:30

Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

Nov 13 08:34

The ISIS-Daesh Killing Field: A Letter from Iraq – Grief, Forgiveness, and 20 Million Pilgrims

Families of the murdered youngsters silently exhibit photos of their sons and ask “international bodies to do something”. They all agree; the response from the “international community” has been shameful. Still, the Tikrit massacre committee vows to keep the memory of Speicher alive. Mothers of victims have been to Geneva to ask for help as well as mental health support for quite a few families, and plan to visit again in June 2018.

This has been one of Iraq’s most devastating nightmares of the past three decades. After such sorrow, what forgiveness?

Keep walking towards redemption

It’s possible. From agony to ecstasy. There could not be a more radical contrast between darkness and light than taking the road to Najaf – the Iraqi Vatican, and fourth holiest city in Islam – and Karbala, alongside millions of black-clad pilgrims during the annual celebration of Arba’een, the “40th Day” of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Nov 13 08:13

US setting up new military base in western Iraq: Report

A recent report has revealed that several hundred US Marines are currently building a new American base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar as government forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, are driving the extremists out of their last redoubt in the country.

Nov 13 07:19

Extremely dangerous M7.3 earthquake hits Iran - Iraq border region - more than 400 killed

A very strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.3 hit Iran - Iraq border region at 18:18 UTC (21:18 local time) on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The agency is reporting a depth of 23.2 km (14.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.2 at a depth of 19 km (11.8 miles). This earthquake can have a high humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

Nov 12 08:09

US Congress authorizes continued support for Peshmerga

In annual legislation establishing the Defense Department budget, the US Congress has agreed on continued support for the Peshmerga.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018, as laid out in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA,) includes $365 million for stipends and other sustainment funding for the Peshmerga, which the Defense Department had requested.

The final version of the NDAA is a result of an agreement between the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and, typically, differs from the language each committee first drafted. That language is agreed upon in conference between the two committees.

Nov 11 09:04

The Best Way to Honor a Vet is With the Truth

American troops, guns, money, and blood bought us time and a seemingly graceful exit. That’s about all. Iraq’s government never gained legitimacy in the Kurdish north or Sunni west. Corruption and sectarianism reigned. Our strongman, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, terrorized Sunni protesters, and kept Sunnis out of government work. The country is again in danger of fracturing. The center didn’t hold—it never could. Iraq is a mirage, a post-colonial tempest, and its problems (and solutions) are Arab and Kurdish. Not American. Neither plucky Petraeus nor his surge-enthusiast minions could change that. Nor will President Trump or any of “his” generals.

Nov 11 08:49

A Letter From Iraq - Grief, Forgiveness, and 20 Million Pilgrims

TIKRIT and NAJAF, Iraq - Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you to revive, on the spot, the memory of what will go down in history as ISIS / Daesh’s most horrid killing field in Iraq or Syria since the death cult stormed across the border in the summer of 2014; the Speicher massacre of June 12, 2014 – when almost 2,000 Iraqi army recruits were assassinated in and nearby a former Saddam Hussein palace on the banks of the Tigris near Tikrit.

As Dylan would sing it, “ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet”. In 2003, a few days after Shock and Awe and the fall of Baghdad, I took the road to Tikrit for Asia Times to survey Uday Hussein’s bombed palace as well as his father’s birthplace, only to return 14 years later to one of those palaces turned into a house of horror.

Nov 09 09:49

Iraqi military allowed Syrian Army, allies to attack Albukamal from Iraq

The Syrian Army and their allies were able to enter Albukamal’s eastern district from the Iraqi border-city of Al-Qa’im on Wednesday, prompting Isis to abruptly retreat from the area.

Nov 07 15:26

Is Saudi Arabia Engaging Iran in a New Regional Conflict?

While Hariri stepped down in a televised address from Saudi Arabia and blamed Hezbollah and Iran for meddling in the country’s internal affairs, this might only be a prelude to a new Hezbollah-Israel war—something that might enable the Saudis to force Iran to shift its focus away from Iraq and Syria.

This is how things might be forced to turn ugly in Lebanon. The Saudis, by pulling Hariri out of his office, seem to be hoping to ensure that Hezbollah gets stuck with the blame and responsibility for Lebanon’s challenges, from caring for Syrian refugees to wiping out Al Qaida and ISIS affiliates. This will probably require Hezbollah to assume more control in Lebanon—something that Israel is most likely to sees as a red-line. A stronger Hezbollah in Lebanon means a stronger Iranian presence close to Israel, forcing Israel in a conflict with them.

Nov 06 12:16

ISIS’ SELF-PROCLAIMED “CALIPHATE” IS WITNESSING ITS LAST DAYS IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

The self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS has suffered a double blow in Syria and Iraq. While US-backed forces were democratically negotiating with ISIS-linked Arab tribes in the Omar oil fields and nearby areas, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces undemocratically crushed the ISIS defense inside Deir Ezzor city. On November 3, Syrian forces liberated Deir Ezzor after they had retaken all neighborhoods which were controlled by ISIS terrorists in the northern part of the city. On November 4, the SAA secured Kati’ Island north of Deir Ezzor and secured the recent gains.

The SAA lifted the three-years long ISIS siege from Deir Ezzor city on September 5 and from Deir Ezzor Airport on September 10. Government troops needed less than a month to liberate the entire area.

Nov 05 14:25

Does Russia Now Have Superior Military Technology? – The Saker

Americans are hands down the leaders in quantitative terms; but in qualitative terms they are already behind the Russians and falling back faster and faster with each passing day.

“what happened” and “why nobody seems to be aware of it”.

“Do you think his assessment is accurate?” was the subject line of an email I got from a good friend recently. The email referred to the article by Paul Craig Roberts “One Day Tomorrow Won’t Arrive” which claimed that “the US military is now second class compared to the Russian military“.

Nov 05 09:06

US in Iraq: Taking Advantage of ISIS for Military Stay

Appearing with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday night that the American forces deployed to Iraq will hypothetically stay in that country until the ISIS terrorist group is fully defeated, even if the Iraqi government asked Washington to leave. Last week, Tillerson called on the Iranian-backed anti-terror forces in Iraq to pull out.

Tillerson remarks are seen as indicating that the US is cultivating plans for Iraq and even the whole West Asia region’s future now that the terrorist group is in its twilight after three years of barbarity in the region. Washington is trying to impose its military and security presence on Iraq and guarantee a long-term stay there under the excuse of combating till obliteration of ISIS and achieving full security of Iraq.

Nov 05 08:59

Gordon Brown admits Iraq War was not "justified"

Gordon Brown admits the war with Iraq was "not justified" and claims the US "misled" the UK over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Nov 04 11:53

Burn Pits another Iraq War disaster

Nov 03 12:58

25 Killed in Fighting Between Turkish Troops and Kurds Near Iraq Border: Turkey Says 12 Kurds Killed Trying to Flee Into Iraq

Fighting was reported in Turkey’s southeast Hakkari Province on Thursday, along the Iraqi border, with at least eight Turkish soldiers killed and 17 Kurdish fighters, who the Turkish government identified as members of the PKK.

Fighting began early in the day, when PKK members were crossing through the mountains near the border and got in a clash. Five Kurdish fighters were killed, along with the Turkish forces. Helicopters were deployed to the border to look for more.

In the course of that search, Turkey spotted another 12 Kurds trying to flee into Iraq. Warplanes quickly attacked and killed all of them, and identified all of the slain as PKK, though it doesn’t appear there was any fighting in this case.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened....

Nov 02 08:30

Iraq Threatens to Resume Invasion of Kurdish Territory

The Iraqi military offensive against Iraqi Kurdistan has been on pause since Friday, but may soon be resuming, according to Iraqi Joint Operations Command, who are accusing the Kurds of using the ceasefire talks to “buy time.”

Iraqi officials say the Kurds are in particular delaying the transfer of control of border crossings between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Iraq ordered all crossings closed and all flights banned out of Kurdish airports.

They believe the Kurds are trying to hold off on any more concessions while keeping the talks going, to give the Peshmerga time to set up new defenses, and some Iraqi officials seem keen to just resume the offensive and take more territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We may well be looking at a new civil war in Iraq, between the Kurds and the Iraqi military here.

Nov 01 09:58

Putin resets Iraqi energy landscape as Barzani steps aside

Russian moves maximize leverage as US stumbles on Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units; Massoud Barzani resigns as Kurdistan Region president; Syria and Russia take initiative with regard to local governance in Syria.

Nov 01 09:01

Sen. Marco Rubio: Iran seeks to divide the Kurds

Senator Marco Rubio (R, Florida) criticized the Trump administration for its lack of any evident strategy in regard to the conflict between Iraq and the Kurds.

“I want to know what the strategy is,” Rubio told Kurdistan 24 on Monday. “I think Iran, working through these (Shia) militias, has achieved its objective, which is to divide the Kurds and grow in influence and power at the expense of America and our allies.”

“I think it’s important that we have a strategy that shows our continued commitment to the Kurdish people,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the fact that the US used the Iraqi Kurds and then abandoned them isn't the problem, Iran is!

Nov 01 07:35

Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Iraq Even If Asked to Leave

Testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the US presence in Iraq is so permanent at this point that even if Iraq specifically requests the US withdraw and removes permission for them to be there, the US will remain.

It does bring up the question of US troops’ legal immunity from war crimes in places like Syria, where they’ve been deployed without permission or any assurances that they won’t be held liable for killings.

Oct 31 09:23

BODY OF TRAGIC IRAQ WEAPONS INSPECTOR DR DAVID KELLY MYSTERIOUSLY EXHUMED 14 YEARS AFTER 'SEXED UP' DOSSIER CONTROVERSY

The body of Iraq weapons inspector Dr David Kelly has been mysteriously exhumed, it emerged last night. Dr Kelly was found dead in 2003, days after being grilled by a Parliamentary committee about his contact with journalists. He was buried in a churchyard near his home in Oxfordshire. But a few months ago, his remains were exhumed at the request of his family, Thames Valley Police said.

Oct 31 08:23

‘ISIS will be destroyed before year’s end’ – Duma defense chief

The head of the Lower House Committee for Defense, a former commander of the Airborne Troops, says that by the end of 2017 the Syrian government will regain control of its eastern border and the Islamic State terrorist group will ‘cease to exist.’

Oct 30 10:01

Iraqi Forces Liberate over 21,000 sq/km of Territory near Border with Syria

The Iraqi Armed Forces have liberated more than 21,000 square kilometers of territory in Anbar province since launching the offensive against ISIL terrorists near the border with Syria early last week. The army men, backed by the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi) and Federal Police, managed to reach the Southern outskirts of the town of al-Qa’em in the past weekend after advancing North along the Syrian border, capturing 21,000 sq/km of lands in Western Anbar, the English-language Lebanon-based AMN reported. With their soldiers at the Southern outskirts of al-Qa’em, the Iraqi Armed Forces are expected to liberate the city within the coming days. Al-Qa’em was first occupied by the ISIL during their campaign in the Summer of 2014; since its capture, the city has become one of the terrorist group’s most important strongholds near the Syrian border-crossing.

Oct 30 08:56

Iraq to deploy soldiers to key Kurdistan border crossing

Members of the Iraqi Federal Police force are going to be deployed to a key border crossing in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region after Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters reached an agreement in a bid to resolve a conflict about control of border crossings.

Oct 30 08:30

Barzani Resigns as Iraqi Kurdish Region President

The parliament of the Iraqi Kurdistan region has approved a request by Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to step down.

The approval came during a closed session on Sunday in the regional capital, Erbil.

Oct 30 08:29

‘Why would Washington punish us?’ Resigning Iraqi Kurdistan leader accuses US of betrayal

The US has failed to back the Kurds, who were their close allies in the fight against ISIS terrorists, and has allowed Baghdad to use American weapons in its attack on Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, the Iraqi Kurdish President, has said after resigning his post.

“Nobody stood up with us other than our mountains,” Barzani said in a televised address Sunday after the Kurdish parliament endorsed his resignation request.

He was referring to Baghdad’s military operation launched on October 16 following the Kurdish referendum. The vast majority had supported the region’s independence from Iraq in the September plebiscite.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Betrayal is what we do! Ask Saddam! Or Assad. Or Gaddafi." -- Official White Horse Souse.

Oct 28 10:44

ISIS Shores Up Defenses at Key Border Stronghold

The main border crossing between Iraq and Syria, the city of Abu Kamal on the Syrian side and al-Qaim on the Iraqi side, is the last major territorial possession of ISIS, and the next big target for both Syria and Iraq’s militaries.

With those offensives likely to happen soon, ISIS is building up its defenses around the area, pushing more forces into the area while, according to US officials, ISIS leaders are being evacuated to smaller towns inside Syria that they still control.

ISIS still holds substantial territory in Syria, mostly in Deir Ezzor Province. They’ve been losing all the big cities and towns, along the Euphrates River, with Syrian military pushing on the river’s south shore, and Kurdish fighters taking the north shore.

US officials are suggesting an attack on Abu Kamal would be up to the Kurds to decide, but the Syrian military is likely to get there first.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This suggestion comes at a time when the Kurds are seeking more autonomy in Iraq; perhaps they believe that in uniting with the US and Iraqi military, to continue fighting ISIS, the Kurds will have an easier time in negotiating just how that autonomy shakes out for them.

Oct 28 09:55

US attempt to fuel Iraq-Iran rift backfires

Evidently, Tillerson crossed the red line. The point is, these Shi’ite groups, collectively known as Popular Mobilisation Forces and several tens of thousands strong, are probably going to be designated as part of the Iraqi armed forces. Abadi’s office in Baghdad came out in no time with a stinging rebuke – “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters” – and called the Shi’ite paramilitary groups “patriots.” The next day, when Tillerson showed up in Baghdad for a meeting with Abadi, the latter was fairly explicit. Abadi said the Popular Mobilisation Forces form “part of the Iraqi institutions” and they will be the “hope of country and the region.”

Oct 28 09:51

'Never Trust' the US, Ayatollah Khamenei Warns Iraq

During a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Al Khamenei advised his guest to remain vigilant of U.S. plots.

“The Americans created Daesh themselves, but now that the terrorists have been defeated by the Iraqi government and people, they pretend to be supportive of this important development,” Ayatollah Khamenei explained. “However, they will undoubtedly not hesitate to harm Iraq again if they find the opportunity.”

al-Abadi emphasized Iraq's efforts to retain unity and territorial integrity in the face of terrorist threats, while Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that unity among Iraq's ethnic groups and popular forces resulted in important victories against Islamic State group operating in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't you just hate it when a foreign leader for whom you have absolutely zero resonance makes absolute, perfect sense in their characterisation of US foreign policy?!?

Welcome to my world, dear readers!!

Oct 27 08:54

Massoud Barzani may step down, a potential blow to his ruling family

Longtime Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has been president of the northern autonomous region since 2005 and has seen his family-dominated Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) only grow in influence since. Last month, he led a controversial vote that, at least nominally, achieved the long-sought independence for Iraqi Kurds. This week, however, he’s offered to freeze the historic referendum’s results and reports indicate he may announce he’s stepping down at any moment.

Oct 27 08:53

Iraq Forces Move to Capture Last ISIS Stronghold

Iraqi federal troops continued their push to regain control over a Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish triangle border area where an oil pipeline was used by the Kurdish region to export oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, federal military command sources told Arab News on Thursday.

Iraq lost almost a third of its territories to Daesh when its militants swept the northern and western parts of the country in June 2014, after the dramatic collapse of the Iraqi army.

Baghdad, in cooperation with its international, regional and local backers, has fought back during the last three years to regain its territory and expel militants out of towns and cities and drive them to the desert.

Oct 26 09:31

How Washington Gave Iraqi Kurds Up to Baghdad and Lost to Iran

The US has suffered a defeat from Tehran in Iraqi Kurdistan, RIA Novosti contributor Gevorg Mirzayan writes, adding that Iran managed to outmaneuver the US and help Baghdad regain control over the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. According to the academic, the Iraqi operation may also affect the US-backed Kurds' independence plans in Syria.

Oct 26 09:26

Ayatollah Khamenei to Iraqi PM: Never Trust US

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday advised him to keep vigilant against Washington's plots and never trust the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sound advice!

Oct 26 09:25

Ex-State Dept. Official: US Lacks Leverage to Mediate in Iraqi-Kurdish Conflict

Former US State Department official Wa'el Alzayat said the United States does not have enough power in Iraq to facilitate dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil in order to resolve the ongoing crisis.
"Because the United States have a close relationship with both sides, they want to maintain that relationship. I think they will not be able to bridge the differences. And it is also a byproduct of the fact that we don't have the same power we used to in Iraq, we don’t have the same amount of troops, we don't have the same political clout," Alzayat said, RIA Novosti reported.

Alzayat, who served as special assistant to the US Ambassador to Iraq from 2011 to 2012, said the United States would like to see Iraq united but acknowledged that the Iraqi government will likely continue to push the Kurds in an effort to prevent them from seceding.

Oct 26 09:23

Former IDF General: Iraqi Kurds Made 'Big Miscalculation' With Independence Bid

After holding an independence referendum last month, the authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan have offered to freeze plans for secession and instead hold negotiations with the Iraqi government; Shlomo Brom of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies says the Kurds' proposal is an attempt to repair the damage done by holding the referendum.

Baghdad has refused to recognize the outcome of the September 25 referendum, in which more than 92% of voters voted in favor of independence. It has launched a military campaign which reasserted the central government's control over Kirkuk and other oil-rich northern Iraqi territories which Kurdish Peshmerga forces had wrested from the Daesh terror group.

On Wednesday, Erbil offered to "freeze the outcome of the referendum" to prevent "further war and confrontation" between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported.

Oct 26 09:22

Yazidis Kidnapped by ISIS: US Did Nothing to Help Us

Yazidis that had been kidnapped by the Islamic State group criticized the U.S.-led coalition for doing nothing to assist their liberation from captivity.

In an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, Yazidis living in the Dohuk refugee camp in northern Iraq told reporters about their horrific experiences as captives living under the oppression of the Islamic State group.

"Europe, which speaks of its commitment to human rights, and coalition forces, led by the United States, did nothing," said Abdollah Shirin, a member of the Yazidi community.

Discussing rescue operations, Shirin stressed that he was able to "save 334 people" thanks to the help of his friends and contacts in Syria. Before the outbreak of the crisis in Iraq and Syria, Shirin worked as a merchant in Aleppo and maintained ties with his business contacts who would later assist in rescuing Yazidis.

Oct 25 13:09

George W. Finally Found His Voice

George W. is in good company with his father and pals Bill and Barack, fellow travelers seeking the “new world order”

George W. Bush stayed mum during most of his presidency. He started with a strong voice in his first year as president, after 9/11...His voice then faltered as he tried to make the case for invading Afghanistan and Iraq

Oct 25 08:44

John McCain: Use of US-supplied Equipment Against Kurds “Totally Unacceptable”

The US Senator John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that using the US-supplied weapons by the Iraqi government against Kurds is “totally unacceptable.”

McCain described the recent offensive of the Iran-backed militias and Iraqi army against Kurds in Kirkuk as “deeply troubling.”

“Clashes this month between the elements of the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish fighters around Kirkuk are deeply troubling, in particular because of the United States’ longstanding friendship with the Kurdish people,” the US senator wrote in an article published by The New York Times.

Regarding the use of the US-provided weapons against Kurds, McCain affirmed that it is “totally unacceptable.”

Oct 25 08:37

Iraqi Kurds Propose Setting Aside Referendum, Starting Dialogue

The government in Iraq's Kurdistan region offered Wednesday to freeze the results of an independence referendum and start dialogue with the central government in Baghdad in order to prevent any further violence between the two sides.

Oct 25 07:38

Steve Bannon Launches His Big Foreign Policy Crusade

Just another neocon in Israels pocket!

Stephen K. Bannon joined other Republican grandees such as Sen. Tom Cotton at a packed event in Washington on Monday.

Bannon, who has sometimes been cited as “Trump’s dove,” has emerged as one of the harshest critics of Iran in Trumpworld, collaborating extensively with former UN ambassador John Bolton, as I’ve reported. Bolton thinks the current move on the JCPOA is essentially for show: the deal is unsalvageable. His plan, backed by extreme hardliners like Frank Gaffney, calls for discussing military options with Israel against Iran and backing Kurdish national aspirations, which is a nonstarter for Iran, Turkey and the Shia-dominated government in Iraq; Bolton was spotted entering the White House on Monday.

Oct 24 16:22

Hashd al-Sha’abi commander calls for US forces withdrawal from Iraq

A top commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Sha’abi) has called for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq after the elimination of Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

"To the US secretary of state, your military forces must prepare now to get out of our homeland Iraq immediately and without delay once the ISIS elimination excuse is over," Qais al-Khaz’ali, the secretary general of the League of Righteous, an Iraqi armed group fighting Daesh as part of Hashd al-Sha’abi, wrote on his Twitter page.

The statement came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a Sunday joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh that Iran and all other countries currently helping Iraq in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group needed to leave the Arab country now that the battle was drawing to a close.

Oct 24 09:28

Netanyahu Very Upset with Iraqi Forces Capturing Kirkuk, Takes Action to Reclaim Oil

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very upset with Baghdad’s decision to drive back pro-Barzani forces from important cities and energy sites in Iraq.

One week ago, Iraqi pro-government forces launched a powerful offensive along the entire Kurdish frontier in northwestern Iraq, liberating a number of cities and towns and re-claiming from pro-Barzani militants the strategic Kirkuk oilfields and the Mosul Dam.

Perhaps more upset with this outcome than Barzani loyalists is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government on a whole whose sense of oil security has been somewhat breached.

Whilst it is highly unlikely that Baghdad will cease sending oil to Israel, the price for its purchase will undoubtedly go up to levels that Israel is traditionally uncomfortable with.

Oct 24 09:02

Are Our Mideast Wars Forever?

As their U.S. allies watched, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting ISIS alongside the Americans. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the United States.

The U.S. had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sept. 25, which carried with 92 percent. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries.

But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead.

More troubling for America is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which George W. Bush and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and American ally, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The American people have grown infinitely more war-weary and more war-sceptical than at any other time I have observed them, since the Vietnam War era.

I seriously doubt that they will support more wars, when our existing ones in places like Iraq; Niger; Somalia; Afghanistan; Syria; and Yemen are going so generally horribly badly.

That Iran should become politically dominant in Baghdad, Beiruit, or Damascus, is one of the unintended consequences of a number of poorly thought out and ill conceived war scenarios, dating back to the Bush era, which did not account for for the potential hazards of getting involved militarily in the region the first place. And despite all the cheerleading from Israel's Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman regarding regime change in Tehran, such a move would most likely box the US government into another no-win situation, as is the current US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

The primary charactarization of US foreign policy over the last 16 years has to be that of magical thinking, which had absolutely zero basis in reality, but the horrific costs, in American blood and money, have been all too real.

In looking at the corporate US-presstitute demonization I am seeing of both Russia and Iran, it looks as though President Trump is ultimately looking to wage wars against both these countries; I just hope he understands that our military cannot fight both at the same time, although that is what will happen if he attacks Iran, because Russia's mllitary and civilian leadership have long pledged to defend it if it is attacked militarily.

I would like to politely point out that as a result of assisting Syria against its jihadis, Russia has earned the envy of the world in terms of its weaponry, and how well it has functioned in real-world combat conditions; the US has the Lockheed-Martin F-35 to offer, which is still incapable of working as advertised, no matter how many billions of dollars the DOD has thrown at it.

The Occupied, Unhinged Surveilled State of Amerika, at this moment the 21st century, has become a true rogue nation, and one that no nation in its collective right mind could possibly trust to keep its word; look at what President Trump has just done with the P5+1 agreement, as an example. The only way it seems to get its way, is through hubristic bellicosity, lies, and war, rather than hard-won, moral negotiations.

I would like to hope that the White House, Congress, State Department and Pentagon have the capability to think through their next moves in the in the Middle East through very thoroughly, and carefully; The next moves here, if not done with extreme care and caution, could well spark a Third World.

Oct 24 08:21

US MERCENARIES, IRAQI HIGHWAYS AND THE MYSTERY OF THE NEVER-ENDING ISIS HORDES

Maps of the conflict stretching over the last several years show clear corridors used to reinforce IS positions, leading primarily from Turkey’s southern border and to a lesser extent, from Jordan’s borders.

However, another possible vector may be desert highways in Iraq’s western Anbar province where US military contractors are allegedly to “provide security” as well as build gas stations and rest areas. These highways contributed to the current conflict and still serve as a hotbed for state–sponsored terrorism. Whether these US-controlled and -improved highways pose a significant threat for a reorganized effort by the US and its regional allies to divide and destroy Iraq and Syria seems all but inevitable.

The Islamic State’s de facto invasion of Syria and Iraq was a more massive and dramatic replay of an earlier surge of foreign militants into the region, following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

Oct 24 07:45

Press review: Iraq, Russia to deepen ties and Syrian opposition, Damascus eye direct talks

Moscow will host a meeting of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission on Tuesday. The parties are expected to discuss the energy projects in Kirkuk whose implementation came into question after the province was put under the control of the central government in Baghdad, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. For one, Russia’s Rosneft oil company had reached an agreement with Erbil on several projects, including the construction of a gas pipeline in the autonomous region, according to media reports. The Russian energy giant, Gazprom, was likewise eying joint energy projects with Erbil. Now Russia will have to conduct negotiations on these deals with Baghdad rather than Erbil.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"You can't DO that!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 24 06:56

Arab Daily: Kurdish Groups Plan to Marginalize Barzani in Talks with Baghdad

A leading Arab newspaper reported that different Kurdish parties in Iraq have agreed to participate in talks with the Baghdad government in absence of the Kurdistan region President Massoud Barzani and his representatives. According to al-Hayat daily, the main Kurdish parties in Suleimaniyeh, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Change Movement, Jama'at Islami, Democracy and Justice Coalition and the New Generation, plan to marginalize Barzani, after the central government said it is willing to start talks with the Kurds, but in absence of Barzani. Meantime, consultations are underway among the Kurdish groups to stop media tensions and accusations against each other.

Oct 23 11:55

Tillerson Demands Iran "Militias" Leave Iraq As Fighting Against ISIS "Comes To A Close"

One week after we reported that the head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (which two weeks ago was designated by the US as a terrorist organization), Qassem Soleimani, was observed in Erbil last Sunday where he met with Kurdistan regional president Barzani to "discuss" the growing crisis - the latest indication of Iran's surging influence in the region - and just days before Iraq sent in troops assisted by Iranian militia into Iraq's Kurdish region, which promptly regained control over the oil-rich Kirkuk region, on Sunday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Iranian "militias" need to leave Iraq as the fight against Islamic State militants was coming to an end.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's take a look at a map of Iran:

Iran and surrounding countries

IF the US military is planning a strike against Iran, they will need all Iranian militia out of Iraq, if they are looking to base some military actions against Iran from Iraq, with which it shares a border.

Additionally, the SDF, which recently captured the Syrian city of Raqqah, are refusing to turn it over to the Syrian government; SDF refuses to hand Raqqah over to the Syrian government

It is conceivably possible that the US military is thinking about using Raqqah a "base" for both operations against the Syrian government and Iran.

But I would politely suggest that the US government and military think twice about an attempted decap against Tehran; Russia has long stated that should Iran be attacked militarily, Russia will come to its aid.

And BTW, what specific charges does Secretary of State Tillerson hold against Iran's Revolutionary Guard?!? Sir, if you expect young Americans to die to neutralize Israel's "existential enemy du jour", I believe American mothers and fathers need a reason for this to happen, not just unspeicified accusations.

Oct 23 08:26

Rex Tillerson: 'Iranian militias' need to leave Iraq

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday it's time for Iranian "foreign fighters" to leave Iraq, now that Islamic State militants are nearing defeat.

"Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home," Tillerson said during a press conference in Saudi Arabia.

"The foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control," the former CEO of Exxon Mobile said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Does that mean the Americans are leaving Iraq?

I didn't think so.

Oct 23 08:05

Germany resumes its mission of training Peshmerga militants in Iraq

Berlin has announced that its forces are resuming the advisory mission in northern Iraq.

According to the general command of the German Armed Forces, its units will resume with training of Peshmerga, the military force of the ruling regime in the autonomous Iraqi province of Kurdistan.

On October 16th, the German mission was temporarily suspended, following violent confrontations between the forces loyal to the federal government in Baghdad and Peshmerga in Kirkuk province.

The German mission in northern Iraq began in 2014 with the purpose of training the Peshmerga militants to fight ISIS.

Oct 23 08:04

Why Vladimir Putin Deserves a Nobel Peace Prize (Seriously)

For many years, and despite all evidence to the contrary, the Western media has forwarded the inane idea that Vladimir Putin ranks in the same club with some of history's most loathsome creatures, up to and including Hitler.

The reality is that the Russian leader has done more to promote the cause of global peace and security than any other Western leader in recent times. That explains why he is the object of such intense scorn.

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