IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAQ

Jan 20 08:07

1.3 million children displaced by Iraq's war with Islamic State - UNICEF

While the Baghdad government last month declared victory over Islamic State after wresting back almost all the territory IS seized in 2014, persistent bombing and shooting attacks make it difficult to rebuild the lives of displaced people, according to UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency.

“We believe that as a result of the conflict, a lack of investment over the years, and the poverty ... that there are 4 million children now in need across Iraq,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF chief representative in the country.

He told a Geneva news briefing by telephone from Baghdad that 1.3 million of the 2.6 million displaced by the often devastating fighting with Islamic State were children.

“While the fighting has come to an end in several areas, spikes of violence continue in others - just this week, three bombings went off in Baghdad,” UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere said in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When you destroy a country's children, you destroy that country's future.

Jan 20 07:38

NGO: US-Led Coalition Civilian Killings Tripled in Iraq and Syria in 2017

UK-based NGO Airwars has offered a reckoning of the 2017 air operations of the US-led coalition against ISIS, involving attacks in both Iraq and Syria.The number of civilians killed increased dramatically, with estimates suggesting that they roughly tripled from 2016.

In 2016, they documented an estimated death toll of between 1,243 and 1,904 non-combatants, but in 2017, the estimate was a minimum of 3,923, and potentially as many as 6,102 non-combatants killed.

That’s a huge increase, and a troubling one, in no small part because the US doesn’t admit it’s even happening, with Pentagon assessments putting deaths at no more than a few hundred annually, and around 800 over the entire past four years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And it gets worse, folks: here's a story from alternet.com, to which we should all be paying attention:

Trump Is Turning the State Department into a Global Weapons Dealer

The story goes on to state:

"The Trump administration will soon announce its next move in the ongoing assault on diplomacy and human rights currently taking place in the United States. Through a plan dubbed “Buy American,” the administration is calling for U.S. attachés and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of U.S. weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy.

This means the State Department, the agency that is meant to foster diplomatic relations and maintain peaceful engagement with other countries, will now openly operate as a weapons dealer. The administration is essentially forcing the State Department to undermine itself, as seeking out and expanding opportunities for increased weapons sales are certainly not conducive to fostering peaceful global relations."

If EVER this country needed a "Department of Peace", to figure out non-martial, non-military alternatives to this country's never-ending geopolitical conflicts, it is right the hell now!

Jan 18 09:53

Turkey launches first ground operation in northern Iraq

The Turkish military has launched a land operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, stating that its aim is to “prevent PKK militants from threatening border security.”

The operation is the first time in nine years that Turkish land forces have engaged in Iraq.

Commando units entered the Zap region of Iraq after crossing from the Çukurca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari. The move, which is part of “Operation Zap,” came after the military determined an increase in movement of outlawed militants in the area, Do?an News Agency reported on Oct. 18.

A total of 21 PKK militants have been “neutralized” since the air-supported operations began on Oct. 16, according to statements made by the military. Authorities use the word “neutralized” to refer to militants who are killed, wounded or captured.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even though this happened last Sunday, and one might think that this is at least some kind of "big deal", not a word in the western media about Turkey launching a ground invasion of Iraq.

Jan 18 09:06

15 YEARS AFTER THE INVASION OF IRAQ, AND NOW LARGELY OUT OF THE GLARE OF THE MEDIA, US AND UK OIL CORPORATIONS START TO FLAUNT THE SPOILS OF IMPERIAL CONQUEST.

After 15 years of repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources, large oil corporations fronted by former architects of the war who vacated to the private sector are flagrantly advertising their contracts for exploration and production of Iraqi oil fields to potential investors.

The British oil and gas company BP won the contract to operate the Rumaila Oil Field back in 2009, and now proudly boast of its new drilling capabilities on Twitter. Rumaila is simply huge; by some measures it is the third largest reserve of crude oil on the planet, and is currently extracting 100 million dollars worth of oil every day – enough to cover the annual health budget of Iraq under the wartime rule of the US coalition every five days.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now, it can be honestly shouted from the rooftops; one of the biggest winners in the war against Iraq is... BRITISH PETROLEUM!!

Funny; I don't remember the Butchers of Baghdad (that unholy triumverate of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld) saying anything about the ultimate winners of the Iraq war being the large petroleum companies who would profit by a takeover of the Iraqi oil fields, or how the US would benefit from that oil only being sold in US dollars.

To the young men and women who enlisted shortly after 9/11, and thought that a war against Iraq would be the perfect revenge; you were decieved with every piece of nationalistic codswallop the US government threw at you, and you swallowed all of them whole.

This war was not about honor, courage, or preserving and defending "the American way of life", whatever that is supposed to be; it was about the money to be made from Iraq's oil reserves, and the reality that the oil would only be sold in US dollars.

Of course, the US warmongering politicians, who benefit greatly from their relationships with America's military/industrial complex, attending memorials for one of our fallen, can never tell the truth as to why this war was initiated in the first place; so they simply reguritate the lies which stand as "cover" for the ugly truth that all wars, including the Iraq war, are truly economic in their origin.

At this moment in time, we stand on a precipice of yet another world war, most likely to be initiated by the American Deep State.

To those young people of draft age, if in fact you have dual citizenship in a country not on the US's invasion route (somewhere maybe like Switzerland, Australia, or Monaco) perhaps heading to those places, and hunkering down there, might not be a bad idea at the moment. And I say that because were I a betting person, I would not bet against the draft being reinstituted in this country, and relatively quickly.

The US government understands that the economy in this country is about to crash, so it desperately needs a war, regional or world-wide, to deflect American attention from the real economic mess into which it has placed all but the most elite, and most monied.

The potential scenarios for conflict are everywhere, and I will mention the most obvious here.

1. The US military is establishing a 30,000 troop strong "buffer zone" for the Kurds in Syria. The Syrian and Russian government are screaming at the US to stand down... or else. And this gets complicated because Turkey's Edrogan has threatened, and appears to be readying, an invasion Syria, to prevent that from happening. So you have NATO allies, potentially the US and Turkey, at each other's throats, militarily.

The longer the US stays inside Syria, the more likely a hot conflict with Russia over this illegal invasion of Syria by the US military.

2. North Korea/China. Even though North and South Korea appear to be making splendid progress in recent negotiations toward peace, expect the US to scupper what it can, in terms of creating a war between North Korea, China, and the US. Statements as recently as yesterday, indicate that the US government is terrified of peace breaking out here, with President Trump making the observation that it is possible that these negotiations will not lead to a denuclearization of the North Korean Penninsula, and Tillerson's observation that the US will not honor the "freeze for freeze" concept, presented by Russia and China.

3. Russia/Iran. I have already mentioned the possibility of war over Syria between Russia and the United States, but there are many other potential flashpoints, Ukraine being a very likely scenario. But should the US/Saudi Arabia/Israel attack Tehran, in order to bring regime change there, it should reasonably expect Russia to defend Iran militarily. And we have seen, in Syria, that Russia does have military hardware which works spectacularly well, and countries around the world have been making a beeline to Moscow to acquire these weapons.

4. China/India: there are still massive geopolitical problems here, and both countries are nuclear armed. In a conflict between China and India, the US government has thrown its hat in the ring with India, with an enhanced "security agreement" put into effect by the Obama administration.

5. India/Pakistan: Again, both countries are nuclear armed, and have been threatening each other with nuclear war. Recently, the US government withdrew financial aid to Pakistan. And, as mentioned in an earlier post today, India just tested a nuclear-capable missile, the "jewel in the crown", if you will, of their ICBMs.

So please remember, when the propaganda starts getting spread hard and thick by the presstitutes, as a "justification" for war, any war, please remember; wars are about the rich (and the bankers) getting richer, and the "grunts" being completely expendable, through death or massive injury, after having done what they were tasked to do. All wars are mass murders toward those ends, period, end of discussion, wrapped in a pretty, cheap little flag.

And "patriotism" is the pathological disability to see beyond the propaganda, and to deconstruct the real agendas of war, which are always engineered to bring more money and profits for the already monied and profitable.

Jan 06 09:21

Pro-Israel editor’s joke about Iran-Iraq War provokes response

The editor of a prominent Jewish community newspaper has come under strong attack for making a joke about a war in which more than a million Iranians and Iraqis lost their lives.

Stephen Pollard, editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, now stands accused of inciting hatred and bigotry following a tweet in which the staunchly pro-Israel and equally enthusiastic Tottenham Hotspur fan compared the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal yesterday to the war between Iran and Iraq because he wanted both sides to lose.

Jan 02 13:08

Neocon War Criminal Tells CNN Viewers to Trust Media Because It Lies

Neocon architect David Frum, a man who spearheaded the Iraq WMD war, a man who has never gotten anything right on geo-politics, but has used mainstream media to push his war hawk agenda, (much to the detriment of America and the world), is now on CNN telling viewers to trust mainstream media because they make so many mistakes and lie so much.

Jan 01 09:26

How Donald Trump Learned to Love War in 2017

The president promised to deliver peace. But in his first year, he expanded every war he inherited.

President Trump has maintained or expanded the wars that he inherited from his predecessor.

As Jennifer Wilson and I pointed out in an appropriately titled column in August, “Donald Trump Is Dropping Bombs at Unprecedented Levels.” Within eight months of assuming office, Trump — with the announcement of six “precision aistrikes” in Libya — had bombed every country that former President Barack Obama had in eight years. One month after that, the United States surpassed the 26,172 bombs that had been dropped in 2016. Through the end of December 2017, Trump had authorized more airstrikes in Somalia in one year (33), than George W. Bush and Obama had since the United States first began intervening there in early 2007 (30).

Dec 30 07:24

The Trump Peace Plan: 'The War Is Not Over' in Iraq and Syria

Declarations of victory over ISIS by both Iraq and Syria, along with Russia, are not having an impact on US military policy in the region, according to Defense Secretary James Mattis, who insisted on Friday that “the war is not over.”

Which isn’t to say that the US is determined to keep fighting a war against ISIS, as such, but rather that there’s definitely going to be a war against somebody in those countries. Mattis in particular has been keen to talk up the idea of an “ISIS 2.0” emerging in areas ISIS has been expelled from.

>>>

Dec 29 05:12

Mosul, After ISIL War

The ruined city of Mosul shows that ten times more civilians may have been killed by the US-led coalition in the liberation of Mosul than previously reported. |VIDEO|

Dec 28 08:56

Top Russian General Accuses US Of Training ISIS At Syrian Border Base

According to a new Reuters report, the chief of the Russian General Staff has accused the United States of hosting a training facility for ISIS fighters in Syria along the Syria-Iraq border. Al-Tanf base on Syria's southeast side has been under the control of the US-backed "New Syrian Army" and their US special forces advisers since the area was captured from ISIS in August of 2016.

Russia has previously called the base a 100km wide “black hole” operated by the US wherein an assortment of unaccountable armed groups and militants can operate freely. That American troops have long been deployed there was previously confirmed through multiple photographs and videos released early in the summer of 2017 which showed US elite soldiers on active patrols with Syrian rebel factions associated with the Free Syrian Army (or FSA, elements of which were more recently renamed the New Syrian Army).

Dec 27 09:30

Less than 1,000 Daesh fighters in Iraq, Syria: coalition

Fewer than 1,000 Daesh (ISIS) fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, the United States-led international coalition fighting the hardline Sunni militant group said Wednesday, a third of the estimated figure only three weeks ago.

Iraq and Syria have both declared victory over Daesh in recent weeks, after a year that saw the two countries' armies, a range of foreign allies and various local forces drive the fighters out of all the towns and villages that once made up their self-proclaimed caliphate.

Dec 26 06:07

No sign of recovery for devastated Mosul after 5 months of freedom

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An estimated 90 percent of Mosul was destroyed or significantly damaged during the nine-month siege by Iraqi forces supported by the US-led coalition>>>

Dec 24 08:27

Mosul celebrates first post-Daesh Christmas

Hymns filled a church in Iraq's second city Mosul on Sunday as worshippers celebrated Christmas for the first time in four years after the end of extremist rule.

Tens of thousands of Christians fled northern Iraqi towns in 2014 as Daesh (ISIS) seized Mosul and swathes of the surrounding Nineveh province.

But Iraqi forces expelled the extremists from the city this year after months of battle, allowing Christians to return to pray at Saint Paul's church.

On Sunday morning, the patriarch of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, called on dozens to pray for "peace and stability in Mosul, Iraq and the world".

Muslims, as well as local and military officials, stood with Christian worshippers amid the candles and Christmas trees.

Dec 21 13:37

DID OBAMA ARM ISLAMIC STATE KILLERS?

A new study shows that U.S. government weapons ended up in the hands of Islamic State jihadists, but no one in Washington seems interested in how they got there or what President Obama knew, writes Daniel Lazare.

Dec 20 08:40

SYRIAN-IRAQI WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 20, 2017: IRAN DEPLOYS REINFORCEMENST ON SYRIAN-IRAQI BORDER

Syrian government forces have continued to develop momentum in southern Idlib and liberated Tal Afghar from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).

Previously, government troops established control over Ruwaydah, Tall Khinzir, Zafaria, Shutaib and other points in the area.
According to local sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is now regrouping its forces and preparing to attack government forces in southern Idlib and southern Aleppo.

Iranian-backed forces are deploying reinforcements to the cities of al-Qaim and al-Bukamal in the Syrian-Iraqi border area, according to pro-government sources.

Experts link the growing activity of the Iranian-backed forces with the recently opened land route that links Teheran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. The Al-Bukamal-Deir Ezzor part of the road is its most vulnerable segment because it borders with the ISIS-held part of the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert.

Dec 19 11:12

Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery

Dec 18 03:10

The Case Against Iraqing Iran

The case against Iraqing Iran includes the following points:

Threatening war is a violation of the U.N. Charter.

Waging war is a violation of the U.N. Charter and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Waging war without Congress is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Have you seen Iraq lately?

Have you seen the entire region?

Have you seen Afghanistan? Libya? Syria? Yemen? Pakistan? Somalia?

War supporters said the U.S. urgently needed to attack Iran in 2007. It did not attack. The claims turned out to be lies.>>>

Dec 15 07:58

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

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

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

Dec 09 13:22

Jerusalem’s fate – Grant F Smith

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

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

The law of unintended consequences is surely in play.

Dec 09 09:31

Daesh completely 'evicted' from Iraq: Abadi

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US just lost their justification to stay in Iraq!

Dec 09 09:07

Iraqi Militias Vow to 'Defend Jerusalem' After Trump Announcement

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

Dec 08 08:56

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

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

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

Dec 06 06:14

Syria war, Sochi peace – Pepe Escobar

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

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

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

Dec 06 05:17

Rare Conversation with Jared Kushner, Saban Forum – 2017

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

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

Dec 02 10:02

Lebanon will only survive if Hezbollah disarms: Saudi minister

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

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

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

Dec 01 10:04

Quds commander declines letter sent from CIA director, Iranian official

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Dec 01 07:22

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

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

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

Nov 30 08:29

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

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

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

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

Nov 28 10:18

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

Nov 27 08:06

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

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

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

Nov 26 07:54

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

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

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

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

Nov 24 08:19

Iraq launches operation to clear desert near Syria of Islamic State

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

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

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

Nov 23 08:01

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

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

Nov 23 04:51

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

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

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

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

Nov 22 13:34

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

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

Nov 21 09:39

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

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

Nov 18 07:16

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

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

Nov 17 11:38

Iraqi Forces Liberate last ISIS-held Town near Syria Border

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

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

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

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

Nov 15 08:05

Iraq: A War For Israel

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

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

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

Nov 15 04:06

House Passes $700 Billion Military Spending Bill

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

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

Nov 14 15:38

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

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

Nov 14 08:50

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

Nov 13 10:30

Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

Nov 13 08:34

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

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

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

Keep walking towards redemption

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

Nov 13 08:13

US setting up new military base in western Iraq: Report

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

Nov 13 07:19

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

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

Nov 12 08:09

US Congress authorizes continued support for Peshmerga

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

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

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

Nov 11 09:04

The Best Way to Honor a Vet is With the Truth

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

Nov 11 08:49

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

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

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

Nov 09 09:49

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

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

Nov 07 15:26

Is Saudi Arabia Engaging Iran in a New Regional Conflict?

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

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

Nov 06 12:16

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

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

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

Nov 05 14:25

Does Russia Now Have Superior Military Technology? – The Saker

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

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

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

Nov 05 09:06

US in Iraq: Taking Advantage of ISIS for Military Stay

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

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

Nov 05 08:59

Gordon Brown admits Iraq War was not "justified"

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

Nov 04 11:53

Burn Pits another Iraq War disaster

Nov 03 12:58

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Nov 02 08:30

Iraq Threatens to Resume Invasion of Kurdish Territory

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Nov 01 09:58

Putin resets Iraqi energy landscape as Barzani steps aside

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

Nov 01 09:01

Sen. Marco Rubio: Iran seeks to divide the Kurds

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Nov 01 07:35

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

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

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

Oct 31 09:23

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

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

Oct 31 08:23

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

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

Oct 30 10:01

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

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

Oct 30 08:56

Iraq to deploy soldiers to key Kurdistan border crossing

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

Oct 30 08:30

Barzani Resigns as Iraqi Kurdish Region President

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

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

Oct 30 08:29

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Oct 28 10:44

ISIS Shores Up Defenses at Key Border Stronghold

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Oct 28 09:55

US attempt to fuel Iraq-Iran rift backfires

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

Oct 28 09:51

'Never Trust' the US, Ayatollah Khamenei Warns Iraq

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Welcome to my world, dear readers!!

Oct 27 08:54

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

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

Oct 27 08:53

Iraq Forces Move to Capture Last ISIS Stronghold

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

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

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

Oct 26 09:31

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

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

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