IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAQ

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.

Oct 22 09:26

ISRAEL ASKS FOR AIR CORRIDOR TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO IRAQI KURDISTAN IN ITS STANDOFF AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – REPORTS

On October 21, Maxim A. Suchkov? a journalist in the US-based Al-Monitor news website said on Twitter that according to “Moscow rumors”, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that Israel is considering using the Syrian airpsace as a corridor to send planes to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Thus, Israel is allegedly going to provide aid to the Kurdistan Regional Government against the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

While it’s very unlikely that Tel Aviv is ready to provide some kind of military assistance to the KRG, there are no doubts that the Israeli leadership is considering options to provide “humanitarian assistance” to the KRG.

Oct 22 09:14

The #Resistance found its new power couple!

Former President George W. Bush discovered this week that all he had to do to make the media finally like him was take a rhetorical swing at Donald Trump.

And it didn’t hurt that he teamed up with Barack Obama to do it. The result was a media swoon. The New York Times crooned: “Without Saying ‘Trump,’ Bush and Obama Deliver Implicit Rebukes.”

Oct 21 09:16

US-Backed Syrian Kurds Transfer Key Gas Field To Russians After Secret Talks

In a move that surprised many observers of the ongoing war for Deir Ezzor province, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over one of Syria's largest gas fields to Russian forces on Thursday, possibly as the result of unprecedented direct talks between high ranking Russian officials and Kurdish leaders in Qamishli in northeastern Syria.

Oct 20 08:07

Abandoned by Trump and Cornered by Iran, Kurds Sign Oil Deal with Russia

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq announced it had signed a deal with the Russian state-owned oil corporation Rosneft that would allow the company to begin developing oil blocks worth a potential $400 million to the Kurds.

Oct 19 09:33

Barzani's Failed Kurdistan Project: A Deathblow To The Partition Of Iraq And Syria

The project to divide Iraq was dealt a deathblow by a decision of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi to send the Army and the security forces to recover all Iraqi territories controlled by the Kurds of Massoud Barzani. The Kurdish leader was riding the horse of Iraqi partition (in fact, a lame horse) to establish a Kurdish state in the northern part of the country. Following the failure of Barzani’s project in taking advantage of the fight against ISIS and therefore declaring his “state”, every country in the Middle East is abandoning him because no one likes to be associated with failure.

Barzani sent envoys (I personally met some) around the globe who returned with apparently promising results: “over 80 countries promised to recognise the new State of Kurdistan”. These promises turned out to be false (“no friends but the mountains”), other (existing) political alliances turned out to be stronger and Barzani was left alone with his empty promises and unreliable advisers.

Oct 19 09:13

US Warns Its Citizens of Security Situation in Iraq

The US embassy in Iraq advises its citizens to maintain a “heightened sense” of security awareness and take the necessary measures to enhance their personal security.

The military incursion of the Iranian-backed militias of Hashd al-Shaabi into Kirkuk Province further destabilized the stability of the country and large exodus of people were displaced.

The US embassy said that the security situation is currently stable, but it is yet volatile. Therefore the embassy calls on US citizens in Iraq to remain vigilant about their security situation.

“The security situation is currently stable but could quickly change,” said the US embassy in a statement on Thursday.

Oct 19 04:25

Commission for Military to Consider Draft,

Commission for Modern Military to Consider Skills-Based Draft, Women's Roles, Millennial Recruitment

A U.S. commission on national service has been impaneled to provide Congress and the White House with the experts’ opinion on revamping a proposed gender-neutral military draft.
Congress also wants the U.S. National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to suggest methods to close the cultural gap between the conscript-free armed forces and private citizens by inspiring millennials to join.

(*Strike While The Iron's HOT , and Patriotism is high !)

Oct 18 15:00

Iraqi Forces Seize Back More Kurdish-Held Territory

The US-backed Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is expanding military operations to take back territory being held by US- and German-trained and armed “peshmerga” militia loyal to the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Washington, Germany and other powers are applying immense diplomatic pressure on the KRG to submit.

Oct 17 11:32

Iraqi Kurd Army Agrees To Return To 2003 Border, Oil Slides

In a dramatic de-escalation of recent hostilities in Iraqi Kurdistan, where in a blitz campaign the Iraqi army was able to recapture Kirkuk , effectively regaining control of the oil-rich region, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, i.e. the army of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan told Sky News Arabia that it has agreed to return to the 2003 Iraq border, which if confirmed would be a major concession to Iraq which has been pushing for just this conclusion for the past month.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We just might have had a moment of true sanity enter this conflict.

Oct 17 11:14

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump

Washington is "not taking sides" following clashes between Iraqi forces and the country's Kurds, US President Donald Trump said Monday, as tensions escalate following the autonomous Kurdish region's independence referendum.

Speaking after Iraqi troops and tanks swept across the northern province capturing oil and military targets from the Kurds and seizing the governor's office in Kirkuk city, Trump made clear he was not going to inject himself into the dispute between two US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

"We're not taking sides, but we don't like the fact that they're clashing," Trump told journalists. "We've had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds.

"We've also been on the side of Iraq," he said, "but we're not taking sides in that battle."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word here; you cannot wiggle out of your complicity, via your foreign policy in both Iraq and Syria, in creating this train wreck; please don't even try here, because it is making you look foolish.

Oct 17 10:21

Two US partners fighting ISIS are now fighting each other

raqi Security Forces staged an assault on the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Monday morning, forcing Kurdish Peshmerga forces to withdraw from the area.

Civilians began to flee the area as the assault began. Some reports claim that the Peshmerga units withdrew instead of fighting back, though Kurdish officials reported some exchanges of fire. Government forces targeted Kirkuk's rich oil fields and a military air base. Pictures posted on social media showed massive lines of vehicles attempting to flee the attack.

The Peshmerga command referred to the operation as "a war against the Kurds." Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the assault due to concerns that the country was in danger of "partition." Kurdish fighters seized the city from Islamic State forces three years ago after the Iraqi military failed to push back against the terrorist group.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So what is the US government going to do now?!?

Is there ANYONE in the Bowels of Power in the Occupied, Unhinged, Surveilled States of Amerika, who can think a scenario through to its logical conclusion?!?

This was confirmed yesterday at antiwar.com in the following article:

Pentagon backs away as US allies perpare to battle in Iraqi Kurdistan

The article goes on to clarify the Pentagon's categorisation of the initial skirmishes as a simple"misunderstanding."

"MISUNDERSTANDING", my ASTROLABE; WE ARE LOOKING AT FULLY FLEDGED CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ RIGHT NOW!

OF COURSE, the Iraqi military wanted Kirkuk back from the Kurds, as it has one of the most oil-rich portions of the Middle East.

I cannot believe the complete insanity of the timing of this referendum by the Kurdish leadership, and what they thought their chances would be of miraculously having this happen, without Iraq fighting back.

I am just shaking my head here, at the Kurdish, Iraqi, and US leadership, or rather the absence thereof.

Oct 17 09:12

Dramatic moment Iraqi forces enter Kurdish Kirkuk, captured by RT (VIDEO)

An RT Arabic crew has been on the frontline in Kirkuk and managed to film dramatic scenes showing the very moments the Iraqi military forced its way into the Kurdish-controlled city Monday.

The exclusive footage brought by RT Arabic correspondent Bzurk Muhammad shows tanks and armored personnel carriers roaming the empty Kirkuk roads while brandishing red, black and green Iraqi flags.

As they stream deeper into the city, thick white smoke starts filling the air. Men armed with rifles can be seen firing shots in the direction of the procession from a sidewalk, sparking panic among the onlookers.

As the Iraqi forces were preparing to take over, many of the locals opted to flee Kirkuk as it turned into a battle zone.

Oct 16 10:27

Iraqi envoy calls for establishment of joint bank with Iran

Iraq has called for setting up a joint Tehran-Baghdad bank to increase financial and economic exchanges between the two neighboring states, said the country's ambassador to Iran.

Oct 16 09:07

Iraqi forces taking over Kirkuk ‘a declaration of war’ – Kurdish Peshmerga

Iraqi soldiers have raised their country’s flags over key buildings in Kirkuk, and Baghdad has declared the Kurdish city be under government control. The Kurdish Peshmerga forces called the takeover “a flagrant declaration of war” and vowed that Iraq will pay a “heavy price.”

The Iraqi government forces have taken full control of Kirkuk, Al Jazeera and Sky News Arabia report, citing the central government in Baghdad.

The Iraqi flag has been raised over the disputed city of Kirkuk and other Kurdish-controlled areas, on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s orders.

Oct 16 08:52

IRAN'S TOP GENERAL MEETS WITH KURDISH PRESIDENT BARZANI AS U.S. NEOCONS PUSH FOR WAR

In an unexpected diplomatic turn of events which underscores the seriousness of escalating tensions between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (which last week were designated by the US as a terrorist organization), General Qassem Soleimani, arrived in Erbil on Sunday and met with Kurdistan regional president Masoud Barzani to discuss the growing crisis at a moment when Kurdish Peshmerga forces are blocking Iraqi Army access to Kirkuk oil fields and military installations.

Major General Qassem Soleimani reports directly to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and his elite force provides training and weapons to Iraqi paramilitary groups (PMU or Popular Mobilization Units) backing the Baghdad government. The meeting comes just after President Trump announced his new policy against Iran on Friday that includes designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I am seeing here, from the US State Department, White House, and Pentagon, is foreign policy via dartboard, with no cohesive, top-down overview whatsoever.

And from yesterday, courtesy of zerohedge.com, we have the very much expected headline:

Casualties reported after Iraqi Troops Enter Oil Rich Kurdish City, Kirkuk: Oil "Spikes.

Oct 16 07:12

Spectre of civil war looms over Iraq

It’s the most dangerous of brinkmanship and the stakes could not be higher. While not yet making the headlines it deserves, late Friday night after eleventh-hour negotiations between Kurdish and Iraqi government officials, Iraq seemed to step back from the brink of civil war - for now.

“Had the Iraqi forces kept moving for another 15 minutes, they would have hit the first red line, you could say, and would have been fired upon”>>>
***
The analyst was describing how Kurdish and Iraqi government forces after rushing troops and armour to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, found themselves squaring off on Friday, sending political jitters across the region and beyond.

“We can’t turn on each other right now. We don’t want this to go to a shooting situation,” insisted US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

>>>

Oct 14 09:38

Iraq Kurds Set Up Defensive Line Around Kirkuk

That Iraqi security forces have managed to advance uncontested in the Kirkuk Province today does not indicate that the Kurdish Peshmerga don’t intend to put up a fight. Quite the contrary, Kurdish officials say the Peshmerga are falling back to a defensive line around the city of Kirkuk itself.

Historically a city with a substantial Kurdish population, oil-rich Kirkuk saw much of its Kurdish population expelled by the Saddam Hussein-era government, trying to bring loyal Sunni Arabs in to ensure control of the city. Kurdish Peshmerga seized the city in 2014, during the ISIS War, and have been moving a lot of Kurds back in. Kurdish leaders have ruled out handing over Kirkuk again.

Now, with Iraq’s central government advancing, parliament authorizing the use of ground troops to retake Kirkuk, thousands of Peshmerga are taking up positions, with Kurdish officials saying the orders are to defend the city at any cost.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With these military activities going on, between the Iraqi troops and the Kurdish Peshmerga, it appears that Iraq is, once more, on the cusp of another horrific civil war.

Oct 13 06:55

Baghdad launches Kirkuk operation as Kurds mobilize

The Iraqi army launched an operation to retake Kurdish-held positions around the disputed oil city of Kirkuk Friday amid a bitter row with the Kurds over a vote for independence last month.

A senior Kurdish official said thousands of heavily armed fighters had been deployed to resist the offensive "at any cost" and called for international intervention with the federal government in Baghdad to prevent the confrontation worsening.

But a Kurdish pullback, as reported by local media, appeared to have avoided a military confrontation.

Oct 11 10:43

The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin – Pepe Escobar

Saudi Arabia pivots to Russia, the new sheriff in town.

What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally.

The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy.

Oct 10 08:55

US after creating second Israel in eastern Syria

Iranian Leader’s Senior Adviser Ali Akbari Velayati warns that the increasing presence of the US in eastern Syria signifies their intention to split the region. They have the same plot for Iraq, looking for the formation of a second Israel.

Oct 10 08:31

US only pretending to be fighting Daesh in Syria, Iraq: Russia

Russia says the United States is only pretending to be fighting the Daesh terrorist group, saying a US-led coalition has intentionally reduced the number of its air raids in Iraq to allow terrorists to safely flow into Syria, where government forces have been advancing against Daesh.

Oct 09 20:10

Oil War? Whose oil? 3/4 of oil to Israel comes from Kurdish Iraq


Jewish Neocon lied about Iraq. Americans and Iraqis died. Israel Balkanized its enemies and stole 1.5 trillion in oil.
Syria is a repeat, but just keep chasing ghost and Ignoring the 6 million pound gorilla in the room.

Oct 08 14:50

US war culture and gun culture: They’re related

Lawrence Davidson examines the fact that since its founding the United States has been waging war against other countries, and that since 1968 1.53 million Americans have been killed as a result of gun violence.>>

Oct 06 12:45

Iran, Iraq, And Turkey Unite To Block Kurdish Oil Exports

Iraq, Iran, and Turkey are taking a unified stance against Kurdistan’s oil sector after the region elected to seek independence from Baghdad in a referendum in September, according to a new report by Rudaw.

“In the case of northern Iraq; Iran, Iraq and Turkey will form a tripartite mechanism and will decide on shutting down the oil,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a meeting with leaders from the other two nations on Thursday.

A day before the vote, the Iraqi central government issued a statement calling on “neighboring countries and countries of the world” to stop buying crude oil directly from Kurdistan and only deal with Baghdad.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How, practically, are Iran, Turkey, and Iraq going to do this, without literally blowing up the oil rigs?!?

And please remember: Russia has just signed off on an independent deal with Kurdistan regarding its oil; these countries have better tread very softly on any Russian resolved to see an independent Kurdistan happen.

Oct 05 07:11

Kurdistan referendum, US plot to form new Israel in ME: Leader

Referring to referendum in northern Iraq, the Leader of Iran told Turkish President Erdogan that the US and other cross-regional powers are after creating a new Israel in the ME.
“The US and foreign powers are unreliable and after creating a new Israel in the region,” said Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Iranian top figure made the remark during his meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey who is in Tehran for a one-day visit. Mr. Erdogan was accompanied by his entourage and a host of Iranian official like President Rouhani and FM Zarif in this meeting.

Oct 05 07:08

Khamenei: Iran and Turkey Must Prevent Iraqi Kurds’ Secession

In his first major comments on the matter since Iraqi Kurdistan’s late September vote to secede from Iraq, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke on state TV after meeting with Turkey’s President Erdogan. He said the two nations have to take steps to prevent the Iraqi Kurds from declaring independence.

Over 92% of Iraqi Kurds voted in favor of secession, with a high voter turnout. The Iraqi government has rejected the idea of accepting it, and has been working with Turkey and Iran to claim all border crossings between Kurdistan and the outside world.

It’s not surprising Iraq’s major neighbors are working with them on this. Both Turkey and Iran have substantial Kurdish minorities with their own ambitions for self-determination, and neither wants to set up the precedent of Kurds getting to be a state.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question here is, what, precisely, will Turkey, Iran, and Iraq be willing to do to prevent Kurdish independence?!?

Go in with guns blazing?!?

And I would like to politely mention to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that, in the words of my late Grandmother, "the horse is already out of the barn."

The Iraqi Kurds want independence, something which has been denied to them for hundreds of years.

It would be reasonable to suggest that those countries with a substantial Kurdish minority, open up dialogue with Kurdish leaders for more independence and more rights for their Kurdish populations, rather than persecutions of these minorities, as we have seen in Turkey.

But, of course, that...would be logical.

Oct 05 06:52

Why Israel Supports Kurdish Independence

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week’s referendum of Iraq’s Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

Palestinian support for the Kurds is not difficult to understand. Palestinians, too, were overlooked when Britain and France carved up the Middle East into states a century ago. Like the Kurds, Palestinians have found themselves trapped in different territories, oppressed by their overlords.

Oct 05 06:40

Top Democratic Senator Urges State Department to Not Send Collection of Jewish Artifacts Back to Iraq

On Tuesday, Schumer — the Senate minority leader from New York — stated, “This collection does not belong to the Iraqi government, it belongs to the ancient and proud Iraqi Jewish community — many now here in the States — that was exiled many years ago and forced to leave their belongings behind.”

“It’s disheartening that parchments of a Torah scroll and prayer books were discovered in such poor condition inside a flooded Baghdad Intelligence Center,” he went on to say. “After the United States preserved this ancient collection, it makes no sense to return the items to the Iraqi government, where they will no longer be accessible to the Jewish community. Therefore, I am once again urging the State Department to do everything in their power to ensure that these treasured artifacts remain available and accessible to Jews worldwide.”

Oct 03 13:56

How Kurdish independence underpins Israel’s plan to reshape the Middle East

Jonathan Cook views the Iraqi Kurdish secession referendum in the context of Israel’s Yinon Plan, which envisaged breaking apart the Middle East’s key states by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord and “Balkanising” the region by creating ethnic statelets.>>

Oct 03 09:18

Iran Deploys Tanks, Artillery to Iraqi Kurdish Border, Kurdish Officials Say

Talk of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey responded to Kurdistan’s secession vote with military action seems to be growing more serious. Kurdish officials now say that Iran has deployed a dozen tanks and accompanying artillery to their border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kurdish officials say the tanks can be seen from their side of the border, dubbing the deployment a “dangerous escalation.” The Iranian government presented it as part of a joint military drill with Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could get very ugly, very quickly.

Oct 03 09:11

NETANYAHU AND ERDOGAN FACE OFF OVER KURDISH REFERENDUM

Following the referendum in “Kurdistan,” Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are now engaged in a war of words over who is responsible for balkanizing the Middle East.

During a televised speech following the Kurdish referendum in Northern Iraq Recep Erdogan accused Israel and their intelligence agency, the Mossad, of manipulating the events leading up to the ‘yes’ vote. Upon seeing the Kurds in what is called ‘Kurdistan’ waving Israeli flags, Erdogan made his thought clear, saying “This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together.”

This has been a major point of debate between the two sides concerned with the Kurdish referendum, with Israel being the only nation to support Kurdish independence. Erdogan made this clear in his plea to Iraqi Kurdish leaders, asking them if they were “aware of what [they] are doing? Only Israel supports you.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The larger question is, what is Turkey actually prepared to do to prevent the existence of ain independent Kurdistan?!?

And what is Israel actually prepared to do to thwart Turkey's doing this?!?

Oct 01 11:16

Unraveling the riddle of the Kurds’ Iraqi pipedream

Masoud Barzani has overplayed his hand – no regional powers are going to assent to partition of Iraq. Expect major turbulence ahead.

Question is will Erdogan sacrifice business interests to put political pressure ?

"Erdogan will get what he wants; the oil, and no independence. Barzani’s hand is not exactly brilliant" avers, Asia Times Roving Eye correspondent Pepe Escobar.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has announced that “Yes” won Monday’s non-binding independence referendum. Now that index fingers in indelible indigo ink are out of the way, the real battle between the KRG and Baghdad begins. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Iraqi Supreme Court have denounced the referendum as “unconstitutional.”

Oct 01 11:11

Washington’s Iron Curtain on the Euphrates

Washington has delayed its project to throw up an iron curtain along the eastern banks of the Euphrates River in order to deploy its Kurdish shock troops deep into Deir Ezzor province. The Syrian Defense Forces or SDF have been blitzing southward for nearly a week to head off the steady advance of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their elite Tiger Forces. The SAA’s stunning triumph in Deir Ezzor has knocked Washington for a loop triggering all manner of erratic behavior including rocket and mortar attacks on SAA troop positions, a US-coordinated stealth attack in Idlib province, and numerous other provocations meant to divert attention from the main strategic objective, the lucrative Euphrates Valley oil fields.

Oct 01 09:40

Erdogan Claims Mossad Played a Role in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Independence Vote

Ankara fiercely opposed the referendum and has threatened sanctions against the region, reflecting its worries about its own sizeable Kurdish minority. During a televised speech, Erdogan claimed that Turkey had been saddened to see some Iraqi Kurds acclaiming the independence referendum with Israeli flags.

Oct 01 08:43

'Israel's Mossad intelligence agency had a role in Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum', says Erdogan

Israel's Mossad intelligence agency played a role in Iraqi Kurdistan's recent independence vote, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Saturday.

The Turkish leader said that Israel's role was evidenced by the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations of the 'yes' vote.
"This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together," Erdogan said in a televised speech in Erzurum, eastern Turkey.

Oct 01 08:18

TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE PALESTINIAN WAY

I wish that the US and the Western governments take care of their people in need. Instead of legislating to help Puerto Rico, the Israeli occupied US Congress is trying to be an even more obedient "house slave" for the Zionist masters by imposing more penalties on Hizballah (Lebanon) and Iran and pushing for yet another devastating war (just like they did in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Libya). Bernard Levy, the Jewish Zionist instigator of the mayhem in Libya was in Northern Iraq building Zionist relationships with the Kurdish region and instigating for dividing Iraq like the Zionists did in Sudan. Other Zionists pour illegally acquired money in illegal Jewish settlements and the largest terrorist organization in the world - the Israeli army. Dividing the world and creating hatred and wars has been a key pillar of global Zionist machinery for decades*. It is the old colonial strategy of divide and conquer. As always many reject divisions while some fall into this trap.

Sep 30 14:42

Why Despite Threats, Turkey Won't Impose Sanctions On Kurdistan After The Referendum

High-ranking sources in Kurdistan (Erbil) said that the Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani “expected the sanctions already announced by Baghdad and expects many more sanctions to come in the future”. Nevertheless, “the referendum was an essential step to undertake,” otherwise Barzani would no longer be considered the Kurdish leader. “We are not afraid of Turkish sanctions because Ankara would lose more than it will gain if the common borders are closed. The Turkish representative promised us (months before the referendum) that harsh political measures will be adopted against Kurdistan but that no economic sanctions would be seriously considered. After all it is up to Turkey to stop sending its oil tankers to recover our oil production at a cheap price if Erdogan considers it a practical move within his own economy,” said the source.

Sep 30 09:50

Iraq plans to take control of Kurdistan region's border 'in coordination' with Iran, Turkey

Iraq plans to take control of the borders of its autonomous Kurdistan region “in coordination” with Iran and Turkey, the Iraqi Defence Ministry said on Friday.

The statement did not give more detail or indicate specifically whether Iraqi forces were planning to move toward the external border posts controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the Iranian and Turkish side.

The move to seize the border posts is a response to a Kurdish referendum on Monday that produced a vote in favor of secession from Iraq.

Following the vote, Iraq, Iran and Turkey demanded that the KRG relinquish control over its external border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Backed by Ankara and Tehran, the Iraqi government has demanded that the Kurdish leadership cancel the result of the referendum or face the prospect of sanctions, international isolation and possibly a military intervention.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that this Kurdish independence referendum has brought Iraq closer into the orbit of Turkey and Iran, rather than the orbit of the Occupied, Unhinged, Surveilled States of America; one has to wonder, regionally, how this is going to play out over time.

Sep 30 08:32

"We do not recognize your referendum" - US disavows its top Kurdish ally

“US does not recognize Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's unilateral independence referendum”, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

The move comes as nothing surprising, as previously the US already expressed its opposition on holding a referendum which deeply violates Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like the US is backing off the plans to balkanize Iraq ... for the moment.

Sep 30 08:18

Terrorist Groups Continue Receiving Outside Support - Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov, responsible for counter-terrorism coordination stated that despite steps taken by the UN, Daesh and other terror groups keep receiving weapons, ammunition, military equipment, political cover, 'using counter-terror issues to achieve cynical political and geopolitical objectives'.

Sep 30 08:14

Barzani ‘Ready’ to Freeze Independence for 2 Years

Informed sources confirmed that President of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani informed Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi on Thursday that he was “ready” to cooperate with the latter’s initiative to contain the growing crisis between Baghdad and Erbil that erupted due to the Kurdistan referendum on independence held earlier in the week.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Barzani sent a written response in which he expressed his readiness to “wait for two years during which a constructive national dialogue will kick off to deal with all files and issues that make us partners in building the future of our peoples without imposing a fait accompli on any area.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That is not going to sit well with the US and Israel.

Sep 30 07:52

Iran, Iraq to hold joint military drill

A joint military drill will be held by Iran's armed forces and military units from Iraqi army on the border regions of the two countreis, an Iranian senior military official said on Saturday.

Sep 29 06:56

US encouraging Kurds to secede: British analyst

arrie also referred to the United States’ role in promoting the Kurds to secede when Baghdad and Damascus are still fighting Daesh terrorists.

“It (the KRG secession bid) could encourage separatism in Syria, which is already on the tip of everybody’s lips, because America has lost its war in Syria, they may well turn to Kurdish secessionism as the only viable option for them to sink their teeth into Syria,” he argued.

Lauria, the other guest on the show, said the Kurds knew they would become under severe pressure from Iraq and other states, but they went through with the referendum because “they’ve had a very tough long suffering history.”

Sep 29 06:50

Kurdish independence will see Iraq disintegrate; it’s Israel’s dream scenario

With the Kurdish referendum to separate from Iraq done and dusted, Israel’s ambitions in that country are all but complete. For many years, Israeli strategists and politicians alike have made no secret of their ambition to bring about the dissolution of the Arab states; Iraq, unfortunately, has been a prime target. In February 1982, Ze’ev Schiff, a former military correspondent for Haaretz newspaper, wrote that the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in the country is the “dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part.”

Sep 28 09:13

Turkey agrees to ‘only deal with Baghdad’ over oil exports

In a major U-turn, Turkey has agreed to solely deal with the central Iraqi government over crude oil exports, following a contentious secession referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the Baghdad government says.

The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Ankara’s change of mode on Thursday, following a phone call between Abadi and his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim.

Sep 28 09:08

Turkey stops training Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga after independence vote

Turkey said on Thursday it had stopped training peshmerga forces in northern Iraq in response to a Kurdish independence vote there, whose backers had thrown themselves “into the fire”.

The Kurdish peshmerga have been at the forefront of the campaign against Islamic State and been trained by NATO-member Turkey’s military since late 2014.

Northern Iraq’s main link to the outside world, Turkey views Monday’s vote - which final results on Wednesday showed overwhelming in favour of independence from Baghdad - as a clear security threat.

Sep 28 09:07

Chuck Schumer backs formation of new state out of northern Iraq

An effort to form a new state out of the most stable and U.S.-friendly region of Iraq has gained an ally in Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The New York Democrat called for President Trump to endorse the formation of an independent state out of northern Iraq, which is populated by an ethnic minority known as the Kurds. Such a move would reward the Kurdish militias, who proved the most effective local fighting force in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it would also redraw the lines of the modern Middle East, which would have ramifications for other U.S. allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's not up to you, Chuckie.

Sep 28 09:02

Iraqi PM Demands Kurds ‘Cancel’ Referendum Result

The results of the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum on secession are in, with over 92% of the voters in favor of seceding from Iraq. Iraq’s Prime Minister Hayder Abadi has threatened military action in retaliation.

In fact, Abadi is now demanding that the Kurds totally cancel the vote, even though it’s already taken place and the results are already in, saying he will “never discuss” the results of the referendum because Iraq’s parliament didn’t give them permission for it.

Iraqi officials seem to be throwing everything at the situation in Kurdistan now and seeing what sticks. Demands for the Kurds to surrender their airports have been spurned, and Kurdish officials had ruled out returning to Baghdad’s rule before Abadi’s latest demands were even made.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi, a word, please; in a terse statement my late grandmother frequently used to illustrate the reality that it was past time to actually fix something, she would say: "The horse is already out of the barn."

The Iraqi Kurdish people have spoken, and with one voice; how you deal with it will, ultimately, be in one of two ways; either a Turkish-assisted genocide of the Iraqi Kurds, or a political accomodation which requires no bloodshed.

The choice is both yours, and that of the Iraqi government.

But I can assure you, that the entire world is watching.

As a member of the UN, and represented by Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, Mohammed al – Hakim, you must understand that peaceful self-determination is enshrined in the UN charter, to which Iraq is a signatory.

So you have the choice; genocide; or accomodation.

Which will it be, Prime Minister Abadi, with the entire world watching and collectively holding its breath?!?

Sep 28 08:48

Iran ready to cooperate with Iraq army in shared borders

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Bagheri said Iran only accepts the unified and integrated Iraq legally governed by the constitution and the vote of Iraqi people, and doesn’t recognize separation of a part of the country.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri made the remarks following the meeting with Iraq’s chief of army, expressing his felicitations on the victories of Iraq’s army in the fight against terrorists.

Sep 28 08:23

TURKEY, IRAQ, AND IRAN CONSIDER JOINT MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE KURDS

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today warned that every option is on the table for dealing with Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence bid, and that they are considering a joint military operation with the Iraqi central government against the Kurds.

Iran chimed in shortly thereafter, saying they’re eager to stand with both Iraq and Turkey to rule out any possible secession of the Kurds. Top Khamenei adviser Ali Akbar Velayati termed the big “an abhorrent deviation,” adding that the region would “not allow the creation of a second Israel.”

Iraqi officials haven’t directly addressed the possibility of military action against the Kurds, though the Iraqi parliament has approved the deployment of the military into areas contested by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, the sense I get here, is that we are looking at ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Kurds, and happening quickly.

Turkey, historically, is very comfortable with the concept of genocide:

The first genocide of the 20th Century occurred when two million Armenians living in Turkey were eliminated from their historic homeland through forced deportations and massacres.

As the Turkish government considers much of its own Kurdish population to be "terrorists", belonging to, or adhering to the principals of the PKK (even though many are completely innocent of any violence, and just requesting more rights and freedoms as an ethnic minority in Turkey), They will not hesitate to ethnically cleanse Iraq of its Kurdish population in a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

Sep 28 08:01

IRAQ AUTHORISES TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN KIRKUK

Of the many controversial elements surrounding this week’s Kurdish separatist referendum in Iraq, the inclusion of the oil rich region of Kirkuk was among the most controversial.

Kirkuk has never been a part of autonomous Kurdish regions in Iraq, but in spite of this, the secessionist Kurdish leaders included Kirkuk in areas where Kurds voted to secede from Iraq. Crucially, the referendum was boycotted by Kirkuk’s non-Kurdish populations, including Iraqi Arabs.

After giving secessionist leaders a three day ultimatum to handover regional airports to Iraqi authorities, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Abadi now has a parliamentary mandate to send Iraqi troops into Kirkuk to police the general security against secessionist activities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may well get very bloody, and quickly.

What the Kurdish political leaders fully expected from the US, after being their proxy in Syria, was an independent Kurdistan, but it looks as though the Occupied Unhinged Surveilled States of Amerika is walking back on this.

So now that the referendum has passed, overwhelmingly, just how are those in the Bowels of Power in this country going to play this?!? By supporting the Iraqi government, and betraying the Kurds, or by supporting the Kurds, and betraying the Iraqi government?!?

The US government cannot have this both ways.

Sep 27 12:01

BREAKING: Iraq authorises troop deployment in Kirkuk

Kirkuk is being claimed by Kurdish secessionists even though it is not part of existing autonomous Kurdish regions of Iraq.

Sep 27 08:26

Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to halt renewed Israel ties over backing for Kurdish state

President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an of Turkey threatened to halt steps being taken toward normalization with Israel if it does not end its support for an independent Kurdish state.

“If Israel does not reconsider its support for Kurdish independence, Turkey will not be able to take many steps we would have with Israel, too,” Erdogan said Tuesday, the day after a nonbinding referendum by Iraqi Kurdistan on whether to seek independence. His remarks were reported by the Turkish Daily Sabah.

Netanyahu was the only leader in the region to endorse the referendum.

Sep 27 08:25

Official: Israel Benefiting From Referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan

Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council (EC) Mohsen Rezayee blasted the referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan region, and said that Tel Aviv will gain a lot from the instability and chaotic situation in the region.
"This is in the interest of Israel and those who want to expand insecurity in the region," Rezayee told reporters on Tuesday.

The EC secretary underlined that Kurdistan needs security, development and progress; any kind of conflict would make them to lag behind peace and progress.

Rezayee reiterated that the region will face insecurity which would lead to Israel's ill-treatment.

Sep 27 08:24

Israel cheers on Kurds while ignoring Palestinians

Senior Israeli politicians and the Israeli media have been showering the Kurds with warmth and support in their independence effort while ignoring the Palestinian aspirations for self-determination.

Sep 27 08:23

Foreign Ministry: Russia Supports Iraqi Territorial Integrity Amid Kurdish Vote

Russia supports Iraq's territorial integrity, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a referendum on independence held in Iraqi Kurdistan, RIA Novosti reported.

Morever, Moscow calls for both Baghdad and Erbil to resolve all the disagreements strongly by peaceful means, the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

Sep 27 07:34

Russia says it supports united Iraq in wake of Kurdistan independence referendum

Moscow respects the desire of Kurds to have a national state, but believes the issue should be resolved through dialogue, not a unilateral declaration of independence, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after Iraqi Kurds voted for secession.

Sep 26 10:40

Kirkuk governor declares overnight curfew after Kurdish independence vote

The head of police department in Iraq’s northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk says the governor has imposed a curfew following the closing of polls in a controversial referendum on the independence of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region from the central government in Baghdad.

Sep 26 09:49

Tony Blair: British public is changing its mind on my decision to invade Iraq in 2003

Asked why the Iraq conflict still causes outrage across the UK, the former Prime Minister said his justification for taking the country to war was still a "huge issue" for the public.

Speaking to Politico, he said: "Because it was a hugely contested decision, and because the intelligence turned out to be, in many cases, faulty, and obviously that’s a huge issue for people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It wasn't faulty, you were flat-out lying!

Sep 26 09:47

'ISRAELI FLAGS WON’T SAVE YOU': ERDOGAN THREATENS IRAQI KURDS WITH FAMINE OVER REFERENDUM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Iraqi Kurds will “not be able to find food” if Ankara decides to halt the flow of trucks and oil into the region, adding that all military and economic sanctions are on the table.

“[They] will be left in the lurch when we start imposing our sanctions,” Erdogan said in a speech broadcast live on television on Tuesday, as quoted by Reuters.

“It will be over when we close the oil taps, all [their] revenues will vanish, and they will not be able to find food when our trucks stop going to northern Iraq.”

Erdogan also warned that “flying Israeli flags” would not save the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from regional isolation.

“If the only support for the KRG’s referendum is given by Israel and if the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK starts celebrating [the results] even before the polls close then there can be neither innocence nor legitimacy,” Erdo?an said, as quoted by Hurriyet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF the response to the referendum was positive (and we still don't know precisely how the vote went, because results have yet to be revealed) I am very concerned about massive further violence as a result in this part of Iraq.

The Kurds have been formidable US allies in terms of stomping on ISIS in Syria; but even if the US has stopped short of endorsing this referendum, where does this referendum put the US position vis a vis Turkey, Iraq, and a (soon) nearly created Kurdish state, rich with oil?!?

And don't the Kurdish people believe that such service to the US should have translated into their having their own country?!?

The US government has placed itself, Iraq, and Turkey, into a very sticky wicket, as our British cousins would say, by supporting the Kurds in fighting ISIS in Syria, but not supporting a potentially soon-coming independent Kurdistan, simultaneously potentially carving bits out of Iraq to create this new nation.

What were those in the bowels of the Occupied, Unhinged, Surveilled States of America thinking?!?!? The bottom line is here, they just weren't.

Apparently, not being able to think a scenario through to its logical conclusiion, has to be a prerequisite for working for the Federal government these days.

Sep 26 09:46

Barzani’s decision to hold referendum ‘betrayal to Turkey,’ Erdo?an says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has warned that all military and economic measures are on the table against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), arguing that Masoud Barzani’s decision to go ahead with the vote was “betrayal to Turkey.”

Sep 26 09:42

Reactions to Iraqi Kurdistan referendum continue

Reactions continue to pour in over the independence referendum in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, which was held in defiance of widespread calls for its cancellation.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani that pushing for independence risked sparking an “ethnic war" in the region.

“If Barzani and the Kurdish Regional Government do not go back on this mistake as soon as possible, they will go down in history with the shame of having dragged the region into an ethnic and sectarian war,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.

He also emphasized that all options, from economic to air and land military measures, were on the table in response to the Kurdish vote.

Sep 26 09:42

DM: Closing Iran's Airspace Message to Officials in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami underlined that sealing his country's airspace to the Iraqi Kurdistan region was just a message to the Kurdish officials for their insistence on holding the independence referendum.

Sep 26 09:33

Commander Blames Israel for Referendum "Plot" in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri blasted the referendum for independence in the Iraqi Kurdistan region as a "plot" hatched by Israel and its allies.

Sep 26 09:08

Inclusion of Kirkuk in Kurdish Referendum to result in ‘bloodbath,’ says Turkish Minister

The decision of Iraqi Kurdistan’s authorities to conduct the referendum on independence not only on the region’s territory but also in the Kirkuk province, nominally controlled by Baghdad, may lead to an outbreak of violence in Iraq, Turkish Minister of EU Affairs Omer Celik said on Tuesday.

Sep 26 08:47

Iraq starts major military drills with Turkey along common border

Iraqi army has commenced major military drills with Turkish military along the common border after a highly controversial referendum on independence was held in the Arab country’s Kurdish region in open defiance of the central government in Baghdad.

Sep 25 09:41

After the ISIS Caliphate, Rojava

While the Syrian Arab Army, the Russian aviation and Hezbollah are preparing to finish off Daesh, the Pentagon is planning a new war against Syria, this time with Kurdish troops. Just as the mission of the Caliphate was to create a Sunnistan straddling Iraq and Syria, so the mission of “Rojava” is to create a Kurdistan straddling the two states, as the Pentagon has been publicly stating for the last four years.

According to US grand strategy, as defined by Admiral Cebrowski in 2001, and published in 2004 by his assistant Thomas Barnett, all of the Greater Middle East must be destroyed except for Israël, Jordan and Lebanon.

Consequently, the imminent victory against Daesh will change nothing of the Pentagon’s intentions.

Donald Trump has composed his administration of ex-senior civil servants from the Obama administration, a number of opportunistic politicians, many improvised representatives, and very very few trustworthy personalities.

Sep 25 09:11

Voting has ended in historic Kurdistan independence referendum

Polls are now closed, the electoral commission confirmed.

Sep 25 08:58

What the Kurdish Referendum Means for the Future of Iraq

The referendum on independence for the Kurdish controlled territory, due to take place on 25 September, is the latest event billed as threatening the stability of Iraq and a good chunk of the Middle East. Seldom has a democratic poll in such a small place been so universally denounced by so many international powers, including the US, UK, Germany and France.

A White House statement emphasises “to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat Isis and stabilise the liberated areas. Holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilising.”

Regional powers like Turkey and Iran have likewise demanded that the referendum be cancelled and threatened retaliation if it is not. In Baghdad, the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has denounced it and the Supreme Court ruled that it was “unconstitutional”. But for all the sound and fury, it looks as if the vote is going ahead.

Sep 25 08:28

Turkish army at Iraqi border and ready to take 'necessary steps' - Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that the Kurdish Regional Government’s independence referendum could spell wide-ranging consequences for the area, including Turkish military action and the blockade of a key fuel pipeline.

After members of the KRG voted for independence, Erdogan proffered a veiled threat that military force could be used to preserve the status quo in the region.

Sep 25 08:04

IRAN CLOSES AIRSPACE TO IRAQI KURDISTAN AHEAD OF HISTORIC INDEPENDENCE VOTE

The diplomatic and economic noose is tightening around Iraqi Kurdistan one day ahead of its historic independence referendum. On Sunday, the Iranian government announced closure of its airspace to northern Iraq's Sulaimani and Erbil Airports, at the request of Iraqi authorities. The Baghdad government has repeatedly threatened military intervention in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region should the vote proceed on Monday, which Baghdad warns could provoke invasion by neighboring states. The United States too has warned that the non-binding referendum will be “particularly provocative and destabilizing” - this as Turkey musters tanks along its border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this referendum gets overwhelmingly passed by Iraqi Kurds, which may well happen, look for a massive war in this part of Iraq, with Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, fighting Iraqi Kurds for territory, potentially completely destabilising Iraq.

Sep 25 07:53

Pentagon Greenlights $700 Million Program To Combat Commercial ISIS Drones

The Pentagon is throwing $700 million at a rapidly progressing program to combat the threat of commercial drone use by the Islamic State, The New York Times reports.

The program has commissioned U.S. defense contractors to begin attempting to find solutions to the drone threat, including using lasers to shoot them out of the sky. The technology is in its infancy and has yet to yield any significant results. ISIS has pioneered the use of relatively cheap commercial drones as airborne improvised explosive devices, for surveillance, and propaganda purposes.

The Pentagon program comes as it increases the number of U.S. troops in Syria to assist training for the Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS. The Pentagon reportedly worries that its bases could be vulnerable to ISIS drone attacks, and it sees the broader trend in warfare.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I frankly don't think that it is only commercial drone use by Isis the Pentagon is attempting to counter; please note that, to date, the US military has been unable to shoot any Korean test missiles out of the sky.

Sep 25 07:42

Baghdad asks Erbil to hand over airports, border posts

Calling Monday’s controversial referendum on Kurdish regional independence a "unilateral" decision, Iraq’s central government Sunday asked the regional government to hand over all border gates and airports to Baghdad, and moved to control its oil flow.

The remarks came in a statement read out after a National Security Council meeting on state-run Iraqiye TV.

"The referendum is a unilateral step and brings events to a crisis. Iraq’s government asks the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to hand over all border gates and airports to Baghdad and demands neighboring countries only contact Baghdad on oil and border issues."

According to the statement, Baghdad “rejects any dialogue with Erbil after the referendum, as it is not constitutional.”

Sep 25 07:38

Turkey Sees Baghdad As Iraq's 'Legitimate Authority'

Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday insisted the 'legitimate authority' for Turkey in Iraq was the central government in Baghdad, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported.

Speaking in a live TV interview, Yildirim said the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) independence referendum in northern Iraq was illegitimate and its results would be null and void.

"From now on, we will directly speak to Iraq's central government and decide accordingly," the Turkish premier added.

"(The vote) will not contribute to regional peace and stability, but it will increase already-existing tension and problems," he said.

Sep 25 07:37

TURKEY AND IRAN CONDUCT MASSIVE MILITARY DRILLS NEAR KURDISH REGIONS OF IRAQ

Today, Iraqi Kurds will vote in a long awaited and widely condemned separatism referendum that is being boycotting by Arabs and Turkomen.

The referendum which has been condemned by all regional powers except for Israel as well as condemned by the UN, US, China and Russia, has already caused both Iran and Turkey to effectively shut down Iraqi airspace for all commercial flights over the region.

Today, both Iran and Turkey have been conducting large scale live-fire military drills in their respective regions bordering parts of Iraq unilaterally claimed by Kurds.

The no-fly zone over the area which will be policed by Iran and Turkey has been coordinated with the Iraqi government.

According to Keyvan Khosravi, the press secretary of Iran’s supreme national security conucil

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If in fact Kurds vote for independence, this may well create yet another civil war in sections of Iraq and Syria.

But one has to wonder; where is the US government in all this?!? Although the Kurds have been the most steadfast, valiant proxy against the jihadists in Syria, and there was an unspoken understanding that the US would support an independent Kurdish state after the defeat of Isis, that support doesn't seem to be at all forthcoming. As reported at israelrising.com last week:

“The United States does not support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intention to hold a referendum later this month,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday. “The United States has repeatedly emphasized to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat [the Islamic State] and stabilize the liberated areas.” Of course, the United States should not be surprised by the drive by the Kurds for an independent state. The Kurds have for centuries pushed for their own sovereign country without success. Now, with the Kurdish Regional Government showing that they are by far the most stable entity in Iraq and have been the biggest reason behind the coalition’s success against ISIS, the drive for independence has been expected. “We know, by the way, that the State Department and possibly the [Defense Department] are personally contacting members of Congress, senators, representatives, asking them not to support the referendum,” Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, told POLITICO in a recent interview. “We’re very serious about independence. It’s kind of disheartening that for two to three years we talked about a referendum and the U.S. said that it was surprised.” The US is challenged by the possibility of an independent Kurdistan, because supporting its independence, would essentially collapse the post World War 2 security structure in the Middle East. An independent Kurdistan in Northern Iraq may only constitute a minority of the total Kurdish population and their homeland in the Middle East, but by the US supporting it, would cause Turkey to disconnect from the West and Iraq to officially declare allegiance to Iran.

Sep 25 07:03

Iran, Russia support Iraq's territorial integrity, regional security

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Iran-Russia relations will continue to be strengthened by furthering the ongoing plans.

Sep 25 07:03

Iran blocks Iraqi-Kurdistan flights on eve of controversial referendum

Iran said on Sunday that it has blocked all flights to and from Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region at the request of Baghdad, just a day before a controversial referendum on Kurdish independence.

The referendum has been staunchly opposed by Iraq, Iran and several other key players in the region.

Sep 25 07:02

Iran Closes Border With Iraq's Kurdish Region

Iran closed its border with northern Iraq's Kurdish region on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported the country's Foreign Ministry, as saying.

A day earlier, Tehran ended flights between the territories as the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) prepared to hold a referendum on independence from Baghdad.

"At the request of Iraq, we have closed the airspace and ground borders with the Kurdish Regional Government," ministry spokesman Behram Qasimi said at a news conference in Tehran.

Sep 25 06:59

Turkey could block KRG's oil exports in response to referendum, Erdo?an says

President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said Monday that Turkey considers the independence referendum in northern Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) null and void and illegitimate regardless of its results, adding that there may be economic and military repercussions.

Sep 25 06:58

We could ‘come suddenly one night,’ Erdo?an warns Iraqi Kurdish government

President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an hinted on Sept. 25 that Turkey could launch an operation to the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) if necessary, citing a previous operation in northern Syria.

Sep 25 06:57

Turkey closes borders with Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Turkish government closed Silopi- Habur border gate, a crossing point into the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Sep 24 14:56

The military top of Russia has released recordings confirming that the US works closely with the Islamic state

RECORDS SHOW US-COMMANDS ON THE FIELD UNDER CONTROL ID DO NOT READ THE READY

• The recordings of Russian drones testify that the Americans, through the Islamic State militant lines, give themselves subordinate assignments to the "Syrian Democratic Forces" which continue to move towards the city of Deir-ez-Zora on the left bank of the Euphrates\

The Ministry of Defense of Russia has released aero-recordings confirming that the United States cooperates with the Islamic state.

In particular, the footage shows that the US Commandos unit allows the passage through the combat positions of a detachment of the Islamic State to members of the "Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS)".

These forces were formed and trained by the Pentagon and the CIA, which fund and direct them.

In the statement of the RF Ministry of Defense it is pointed out and emphasizes:

Sep 23 13:57

Kurds ready to pay any price for freedom, Barzani says, sticking by independence vote

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani said on Friday that Iraq’s Kurds were ready “to pay any price for freedom”, rejecting international pressure to call off the referendum on independence planned for Monday in northern Iraq.

Addressing a rally in support of the vote in Erbil, the seat of the KRG, Barzani reacted to a United Nations Security Council statement that expressed on Wednesday concern over the potential destabilizing impact of the vote on Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And also, today, we have the following headlines from antiwar.com:

Turkey says it won't accept Kurdish independence vote

The US is behind an independent Kurdistan; Israel is behind this; it all comes down to who has the best weapons and the best financing, and that country, right now, is not... Turkey. Iraq cannot be happy about this development, but at the moment, they are, fundamentally, powerless to stop it.

Sep 23 09:18

How Independent Kurdistan Will Allow Israel to Kill Two Birds With One Stone

The Kurdistan independence vote scheduled for September 25 will play into Tel Aviv's hands: an independent Kurdish state would allow Israel to solve its energy issues and weaken its regional rivals Iraq and Syria, Iraqi expert told Sputnik. For his part, a Syrian general revealed what steps the Syrian Army is taking to halt Kurdish separatism.

Sep 23 05:39

The Crazy Imbalance of Russia-gate

If the U.S. government and mainstream media are really concerned about foreign influence in American politics, they might look at Israel and other nations with much more clout than Russia, notes Robert Parry.

The core absurdity of the Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality.

Sep 22 10:59

Trump is conflating Pyongyang with Tehran. The results could be catastrophic

President Donald Trump took a page out of the George W Bush playbook at his UN address on Tuesday. To justify confrontation with Iran, conflate it with Pyongyang. To justify confrontation with North Korea, conflate it with Tehran.

This is the latest gimmick in Trump’s desperate efforts to kill the nuclear deal with Iran: by focusing on Tehran’s objectionable non-nuclear policies and false claims of the unevenness of the Iran deal, Trump is arguing that sustaining the international accord can no longer be justified since it doesn’t address the totality of America’s concerns with Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I am seeing, in Trump's conflating Iran with North Korea and Russia, is an arc of desperate geopolitical insanity from this administration, stretching from Asia all the way through the Middle East, and over to Russia.

And why?!?

Because the US economy is about to tank, and the US government wants to have something to blame for that happening, and attempt to misdirect Americans from it with a world war.

A very "serious as a heart attack" political analyst, Paul Craig Roberts, has recently claimed that the US government is looking to nuke both Russia and China.

Washington Plans to Nuke Russia and China

This isn't some raving lunatic, screaming that the sky is falling; he is an accomplished author, politician, and lecturer. As his wikipedia bio states:

"Paul Craig Roberts (born April 3, 1939, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an economist and a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as the "Father of Reaganomics". He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He was a post-graduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.[1] His writings frequently appear on OpEdNews.com, Antiwar.com, VDARE.com. Lew Rockwell's web site, CounterPunch, and the American Free Press."

This guy has "street cred", and is no intellectual slouch by any standard. So when he told us, as he did back in April, that the US government is getting ready to militarily knock the heck out of Russia and China, to prevent the rise of the ruble and yuan in international business trade, I would suggest that you take him at his word.

Mike and I have been looking at this coming, for about the last 20 years; it's like the architypal dream of seeing a slow-motion train wreck about to happen, but being powerless to prevent it.

And unfortunately, unless we on planet earth wind up on the receiving end of a miracle, such a train wreck appears imminent.

I hope to heck I am absolutely, completely wrong; but I cannot but help seeing that the momentum toward such a war is growing exponentially for those in the Bowels of Power in the Occupied, Unhinged, Surveilled States of Amerika.

Sep 22 09:12

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

The UN Security Council on Thursday warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq's Kurdistan region was potentially destabilizing, adding its weight to international opposition to the vote.
In a unanimous statement, the 15-member council said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group.

Sep 22 09:04

Not one of the 400 Brits who fought alongside ISIS charged with war crimes or deported

MI5 estimates that 850 Brits have slipped into Iraq and Syria to fight for Islamic State – but only half have ruturned to Britain

Sep 21 14:30

Listening to the Donald at the UN – The Saker

No matter how bad things look now, Hillary President would have been infinitely worse!

In conclusion, what I take away from Trump's UN speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the US. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their “bitch” the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill.

Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet

Sep 21 13:31

200,000 Israelis expected in “Kurdistan” once independence is declared

According to the magazine Israel-Kurd based in Erbil, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Massoud Barzani, the self-appointed President of the future independent Kurdistan, have reached a secret agreement.

Tel-Aviv is committed to installing 200 000 Israelis of Kurdish origin in Kurdistan.

Sep 21 10:03

Could Kurdish Independence Spark An Oil War?

As the date of the Kurdish independence referendum approaches, oil industry moguls should be concerned about an oil production war between Iran and headless Iraq.

Sep 21 09:34

Is Trump About to Repeat George W. Bush's Worst Mistake?

In 2002, Bush used his UN speech to argue for action against Iraq. Let’s hope Trump’s first UN speech isn’t the opening salvo in a preventable war with Iran

Sep 21 08:35

North Korea amassing nukes to avoid the fate of Libya, Iraq: Writer

North Korea is building up a formidable nuclear arsenal in order to avoid the fate of Libya and Iraq, an American writer and retired professor says.

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