IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

IRAQ

Jan 22 07:20

‘Back Into Wars on the First Day’: Trump Jr Blasts Biden Amid Reports US Could Beef Up Iraq Presence

Baghdad was rocked by twin terrorist attacks on Thursday, with at least 32 people killed and 110 injured. Daesh (ISIS)* claimed responsibility. In its final days in office, the Trump administration made good on a longstanding commitment to draw US troop numbers in Iraq down from about 5,800 to 2,500 troops total.

Donald Trump, Jr. has taken aim at President Joe Biden over a news report suggesting that the new administration may treat Thursday’s Baghdad bombing as a pretext to scale up America’s military footprint in Iraq.

“Getting back into wars on the first full day. The Swamp/War Inc. is thrilled right now,” Trump wrote, referring to the ‘the Swamp’ of Washington, DC corruption, and the US military-industrial complex.

Jan 19 09:21

Alleged US Airstrikes Reported in Iraq

Explosions were reported south of Baghdad in the Iraqi town of Jurf al-Sakhar overnight on Monday in what could have been US airstrikes, although nothing has been confirmed. Nine people have been reported killed in the incident, according to local sources and Arab news outlets.

Sources close to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a group of mostly Shia state-sponsored militias, told Iran’s PressTV that the attacks were carried out by F-16 warplanes and drones.

The PressTV report said the location of the alleged airstrikes was where PMF forces and Kataib Hezbollah used to be stationed, although they said the attacks targeted and killed members of Iraq’s regular army. Kataib Hezbollah is a Shia militia that the US has previously targeted.

Although there is speculation that the US was responsible, a senior Pentagon official told Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin that there were no US airstrikes in Baghdad overnight on Monday.

Jan 08 11:45

Iraq Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Soleimani Killing

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for outgoing President Donald Trump in connection with the killing of an Iranian general and a powerful Iraqi militia leader last year, Iraq's judiciary said.

The warrant was issued by a judge in Baghdad's investigative court tasked with probing the Washington-directed drone strike that killed Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the court's media office said. They were killed outside the capital’s airport last January.

Al-Muhandis was the deputy leader of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group composed of an array of militias, including Iran-backed groups, formed to fight the Islamic State group.

Soleimani headed the expeditionary Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Jan 04 10:40

In pictures: Iraqis converge on Baghdad airport to remember Soleimani, Muhandis on assassination anniv.

Iraqi people converged on Baghdad International Airport Saturday night to pay tribute to Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top anti-terror commander, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force,?? on the first anniversary of their ??assassination in a US drone strike near the airport on January 03, 2020.

Jan 04 10:38

Iraqis demand US troops pull out on Soleimani killing anniversary

Thousands of Iraqi mourners have condemned the “American occupiers”, a year after a United States drone strike killed Iran’s revered general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The anniversary of their deaths in Baghdad – which brought arch enemies the US and Iran to the brink of war – was also marked on Sunday in Iran and by supporters in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Jan 04 09:13

Why invent conspiracies when you have the neocons starting the Iraq war

Heather Cox Richardson, a history prof at Boston College, is a star commenter these days (heralded by the NYT and my wife who listens to her podcast); and CSPAN aired an appearance Richardson made last May about her Civil War book in which she discussed conspiracy theories and the neocons who got us into the Iraq War. Long excerpt:

Jan 02 07:32

Israeli Military Preparing For ‘Iran-Backed’ Attacks From Iraq and Yemen

According to a report in Israeli media, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing for a possible strike from “Iran-backed militias” in Iraq and Yemen. The IDF reportedly held talks last week about possible attacks from Iraqi militias and the Houthis in Yemen.

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, both Israel and the US have been overblowing the threat of possible Iranian retaliation. Israel, like the US, likes to conflate any Shia group in the Middle East with Iran, despite the many different factions and sects.

For example, the Houthis are a Zaydi Shia group and practice a different form of Shiism than the mullahs in Iran. The Houthis are also an entirely homegrown movement and are not the Iranian proxy the US and its allies portray them to be. Zaydi Shia Imams ruled the area of north Yemen the Houthis now control for over 1,000 years until 1962.

Jan 02 07:28

‘Naval BOMB’ prone to ‘sudden explosion’ found on hull of Iraqi tanker as Iran warns US may use false-flag attack to start war

Explosives experts were called in to defuse a naval mine found attached to the hull of an oil tanker as it departed an Iraqi port, prompting an evacuation of the ship’s crew amid simmering tension in the Gulf.

Iraqi authorities confirmed the discovery on Friday morning through the semi-official Security Media Cell Twitter account, saying a “foreign body” was spotted on the vessel as it entered international waters in the Persian Gulf on Thursday afternoon, some 28 nautical miles (52km) off Iraq’s coast.

“Immediately a team for handling explosives was formed from the Ministry of Interior,” the Security Cell continued, adding that the team was “still working to neutralize the mine and evacuate the target ship, and our naval forces are making a great effort with the bomb team to accomplish this mission.”

The tanker, rented from Iraq’s government-run Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), was in the area to refuel another vessel, which was successfully evacuated after the bomb was found.

Dec 31 07:54

US Sends Dozens of Armored Fighting Vehicles to Iraqi Military

On Wednesday, the US announced it sent 30 armored vehicles to the Iraqi military to help secure Baghdad.

“The United States is committed to helping the Iraqi military maintain the security of Iraq and Baghdad,” the US embassy in Baghdad said in a Facebook post.

The move comes after a rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone, that the US blamed on Iran, despite Tehran’s clear interest in avoiding provoking the US before President Trump leaves office.

US officials are also warning of potential “Iranian-linked” attacks on US forces in Iraq due to the upcoming anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani on January 3rd.

Dec 30 13:46

US B-52 bombers headed to Mid East amid intel of ‘complex attack planning’ against Americans in Iraq

U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers made a “deliberate appearance” in the Middle East on Tuesday to deter potential attacks against U.S. troops amid intelligence showing “complex attack planning” in Iraq.

A CENTCOM statement provided to American Military News confirmed the deployment of the two bombers from Minot Air Force Base’s 5th Bomb Wing, adding that the deployment “delivers a clear deterrent message to anyone who intends to do harm to Americans or American interests.”

Dec 30 07:10

Iraq today is a nightmare that Americans largely sleep through

What does it look like when you “liberate” a country that hasn’t asked for it, when you unleash a violent chain of events creating the conditions for an even worse tyranny than before?

Those who witnessed Iraq in the wake of the American invasion in 2003, the failures of reconstruction, and the rise and fall of ISIS, say one need look no further than that country today to get your answer.

Dec 30 07:09

Two US military convoys attacked in S Iraq

According to the Iraqi sources on Tuesday two US convoys were targeted in the southern provinces of Iraq.

A convoy was targeted in Al-Diwaniyah province in the south of Iraq, Sabrin News reported.

Al-Sumaria news also reported that the convoy was affiliated with the international coalition and was targeted on the Al-Diwaniyah international Road.

The Shafaq News quoted a security source as saying that a bomb had exploded in the path of the convoy, damaging one of the vehicles.

Minutes after the news was reported, Saberin News announced that another US convoy had been targeted in the city of Samawah in Muthanna Province.

Dec 29 07:36

I witnessed the fear inspired by Blackwater and the military in Iraq

The first time I saw Blackwater contractors in action was one morning in 2005 on al-Mansour street in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. In the middle of the bridge, heavily armed contractors emerged from a vehicle driving north, blocked the traffic by pointing their machine guns in all directions, including mine, and moved what seemed to be a VIP they were presumably protecting.

They then jumped into another vehicle with tinted windows heading south, in the opposite direction. In the time between the contractors’ emergence from the first vehicle and their entry into the second, everybody on the street froze, anticipating that bullets could start flying at any moment given the gunmen’s aggressivity and menacing behavior — to the point where my driver ducked and forgot to push on the brakes, allowing his car to roll forward and hit the one ahead.

Dec 22 07:47

Pompeo Blames ‘Iran-Backed’ Militias for Baghdad Rocket Attack

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed “Iran-backed” groups in Iraq for a Sunday rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“Iran-backed militias once again flagrantly and recklessly attacked in Baghdad, wounding Iraqi civilians,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter. No deaths were reported in Sunday’s attack, but some reports said Iraqis were injured by the barrage of rockets.

Iran denied involvement in the attack. “Attacking diplomatic and residential premises is not acceptable,” Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, said.

Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shia group that is seen as close to Iran, also denied responsibility for the attack. The group issued a statement on the incident, calling it “uncontrolled” and “a threat to civilian lives.”

Dec 17 13:14

Camp closures force Iraqi families back to shattered homes

After living in a camp for three years, 70-year-old Merhi Hamed Abdullah returned to his village west of the city of Mosul to find it in ruins — his first glimpse of home since Iraq defeated the Islamic State group.

To shelter his family of seven, Abdullah resurrected the tent he had hurriedly packed as the government closed Hamam Alil camp last month, forcing him and 8,500 others to return to devastated hometowns and an uncertain future.

All around Abdullah, 200 other returnee families in the remote village of Debaja followed suit. The sweeping plains are dotted with burned-out shells of broken homes and, next to them, the tents they have erected, emblazoned with the unmistakable logo of the U.N. refugee agency. Without running water or electricity, Debaja is pitch black at night. Few have steady work.

“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have left,” Abdullah said. “It wasn’t.”

Dec 16 11:14

RUSSIAN FORCES ESTABLISH PRESENCE ON SYRIAN-IRAQI BORDER

Over the past weeks, the Syrian Army and its allies have intensified their operations against ISIS cells hiding in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert.

According to pro-government sources, during the past few days, Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militias carried out a series of raids to the south of the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway and southeast of al-Mayadin. Pro-militant media outlets clam that over 10 Syrian soldiers and 15 ISIS members died in these clashes.

The Russian Aerospace Forces also resumed their strikes on ISIS targets in the desert region. Pro-opposition sources say that the Russians delivered over 100 airstrikes. Indeed, the intensity of this campaign demonstrates that the regularly resurfacing ISIS cells, which actively exploit the state of chaos on the Syrian-Iraqi border, pose a notable security threat.

Dec 16 07:19

Iraq to Sue US over Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons: Official

An adviser to the Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee said the Baghdad government is planning to lodge an international lawsuit against the US for using internationally-banned munitions in civilian areas.

Hatif al-Rikabi told Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency in an interview that Iraq is going to file the case at Swedish and German courts over appalling crimes that Washington has perpetrated in the Arab country, including the use of depleted uranium weapons.

Rikabi went on to say that such a measure will ensure international accountability for the US, and will not give it the chance to procrastinate the case.

“Hundreds of cancer cases are recorded every month (in Iraq), and the figure is clear evidence for the extent of the damage that US forces have committed,” he stated, calling on the Iraqi Health Ministry to “release facts and figures about casualties caused by US bombing campaigns,” Press TV reported.

Dec 15 07:34

Ignore the Spin, The Hague’s ICC Ruling on British War Crimes in Iraq Is Damning

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court recently reported that there was “reasonable basis to believe” that British troops committed war crimes in Iraq. She declared that there was evidence of crimes including unlawful killing, rape, torture and inhumane treatment of detainees.

Ben Wallace, the UK’s Defence Secretary, responded to this report by saying that it “vindicates our efforts to pursue justice”.

Several headlines about this report have focused on the ICC’s decision not to open a full-scale investigation into British war crimes. But the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, made clear that this is not due to a lack of evidence. It is based on a procedural technicality.

The ICC is not supposed to investigate crimes unless there is evidence that they are not being investigated properly by the country concerned. They concluded that there was insufficient evidence that authorities in the UK were deliberately shielding armed forces from investigation.

Dec 14 07:09

Protests flare in Iraq's Kurdish north

Kurdish authorities in Iraq are struggling to quash wildcat protests as frustration at delayed public-sector payments and decades of mismanagement have boiled over into street violence.

The protests now highlight the magnitude of the economic and political dysfunction shaping the lives of ordinary Iraqis, now spilling into the relative calm of the Kurdish-controlled areas in the north.

Dec 08 08:13

Pope Frances Will Make 'High Risk' Official Visit To Iraq In March

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis plans to break his 15-month hiatus from international travel, a delay which was also largely to blame on the coronavirus pandemic, by visiting Iraq in the Spring of 2021.

It's being widely reported as a surprising and "risky" trip given the tense security situation there, also as COVID-19 infections spike globally. It's planned for March 5-8.

According to the official announcement Monday, "He will visit Baghdad, the plain of Ur, linked to the memory of Abraham, the city of Erbil, as well as Mosul and Qaraqosh in the plain of Nineveh," said the Vatican Press Office.

Dec 03 08:37

US Pulling Diplomats Out of Embassy in Baghdad Amid Heightened Tensions

The Trump administration is removing about half of its diplomats from the Baghdad embassy in Iraq amid heightened tensions with Iran, Politico reported on Wednesday. The staff reduction is said to be temporary and comes after the assassination of a prominent Iranian scientist.

Iraqi officials told AFP the move was being made out of security concerns. “It’s a minor drawdown based on security reservations from the US side. They could come back — it’s just a security blip,” one source said.

The US embassy was the site of frequent rocket attacks that ramped up after the US assassinated Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in January. Soleimani was killed alongside Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), a group of mostly Shia Iraqi state-sponsored militias formed in 2014 to fight ISIS. The killing enraged the Shia militias inside Iraq.

Dec 02 06:58

Iraq: Sadrists' deadly violence prompts fears for upcoming elections

Hopes for peaceful preparations ahead of parliamentary elections in Iraq next year were dealt a worrying blow over the weekend as supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr confronted anti-government protesters, with deadly results.

Tens of thousands of the influential Shia cleric's supporters hit the streets of Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriyah over the weekend in a show of force as preparations ramp up for June parliamentary elections.

Nasiriyah was a hub for the 2019 anti-government protests and was also the site of one of the bloodiest incidents of the uprising last November, when more than three dozen people died in protest-related violence, prompting the government to resign.

Dec 01 08:00

Reports: Airstrike Killed Iranian Commander Near Iraq-Syria Border

Iraqi sources told several Arab media outlets on Monday that an airstrike near the Iraq-Syria border killed a commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The strike reportedly occurred either late Saturday or early Sunday, and some accounts say it was a drone strike.

Some of the sources identified the slain military leader as Muslim Shahdan, a senior IRGC commander. Other reports say the IRGC commander could not be identified, but all accounts say three other people were killed in the same event. The commander was reportedly struck in a vehicle that was entering Syria from Iraq.

Iran has yet to confirm or deny the report, but if it is true, the IRGC commander’s killing comes just days after prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed inside Iran and would ratchet up tensions in the region even more. All indications point to Israel being responsible for Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Dec 01 07:57

Thousands of Iraqis Protest in Nasiriyah After Crackdown on Protesters As Death Toll Rises

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on Monday, attending a funeral march for protesters who died in last week’s clashes between the demonstrators and supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr.

Last week’s clashes culminated Friday when Ridha al-Rikaby was shot in the head and died. His funeral was where the Monday rally started. This brings the death toll to eight. PM Kadhemi sent officials to talk with the protesters.

The protesters are complaining that, just like last year, they are being killed right under the government’s nose, and officials have failed to hold anyone accountable.

Nov 30 07:37

Offering a ‘Return to Normalcy,’ Biden Pledges Troop Surges in Iraq and Afghanistan

After promising a return to normalcy after four turbulent years under his predecessor, President-elect Joe Biden took concrete steps in that direction today by pledging to order troop surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan on his first day in office.

“Americans today are more divided than ever before,” the former vice president said in a speech. “And those deep divisions are reflected here in Washington at the highest levels of government.”

“It seems like the last time Congress achieved a true bipartisan consensus was when we authorized the use of military force against Iraq back in 2002,” Biden said. “Those halcyon days can be ours again — and they will be, once troop levels return to 10,000 in both Iraq and Afghanistan!”

Nov 29 08:35

The War Crimes of Bush and Blair – Afghanistan and Iraq

“The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law…We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.” (Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize for Literature Speech, 2005)

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre Twin Towers in New York, on September 11, 2001, (known as 9/11) the US declared a global war on terror. Since then it has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It has supported the destruction of Yemen, and the attempted destruction of Syria. (Libya, Syria and Yemen will be discussed in a subsequent post).

Nov 28 08:02

Iraqi children 'forced to live among corpses and bombs' after camp closures

Iraqi children are living in squalor among "corpses, unexploded bombs and rubble", the Save the Children charity said on Friday after the closure of several camps for the interally displaced.

The IDP camp closures come as part of a plan to relocate around a quarter of a million people back to their areas of origin.

But many of those areas are ill-prepared to resettle families who fled the extremist Islamic State group, Save the Children said on Friday.

More than 300 families were recently forced out of the Yahyawa camp in Kirkuk and have since returned to Mosul, Eiyadiah and Tal Afar in the Nineveh governerate in northern Iraq.

Nov 27 12:02

Rand Paul Says He Will Ask Biden’s Secretary Of State Pick Tony Blinken To Apologize For Supporting War In Iraq

Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he will ask President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Tony Blinken, to apologize for supporting the war in Iraq.

In a Tuesday interview with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, Paul criticized a few of Biden’s cabinet picks, especially Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser. Biden announced Monday that Blinken would serve as his secretary of state. Paul said he is very concerned about foreign policy under the Biden administration.

“On foreign policy, I am very worried that there will be a big shift, and it’s back to those who believe that we should militarily intervene abroad in a big way. You have neoconservatives on the right who wants to intervene for geopolitical reasons, but then you have liberals, like Blinken and Samantha Power and others, who want to intervene for humanitarian reasons,” Paul said in the interview.

Nov 18 08:45

Promises Kept: Trump To Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan And Iraq

According to media reports, President Trump is set to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before January next year.

The move would be another promise kept by the President, who has long been a critic of both the Iraq War and the 19-years-running War in Afghanistan.

Thousands Of Troops To Leave Afghanistan And Iraq
US officials told the Associated Press that President Trump would take thousands of troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, mostly from the former.

Nov 18 08:15

Rockets Target US Embassy In Baghdad Just As Trump Ordered Troop Draw Down

Coming less than within an hour of President Trump announcing his troop draw down order in Iraq and Afghanistan Tuesday afternoon, a hail of rockets fell near the US embassy in Baghdad.

Local and regional reports say at least five rockets were fired on the fortified Green Zone in Iraq's capital and that four struck near the American compound.

Nov 18 08:12

'They destroyed our life': Iraqi Kurds fear Turkey's drones in PKK mountain war

Fighting a guerilla movement in the mountains of northern Iraq is not an easy endeavour, even for Nato’s second largest army.

While the usage of sophisticated drone technology has given Turkey an aerial advantage, it has not proven enough to take down the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

But the ongoing military campaign in northern Iraq has succeeded in stoking tensions between different factions in the country's autonomous Kurdish region, as well as having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population.

Middle East Eye was able to speak with inhabitants of the areas where Turkey has deployed and maintains strict surveillance of the countryside with drones.

Nov 16 05:17

WORTH THE PRICE? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War (narrated by Danny Glover)

Nov 03 07:17

America’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Trump; It’s That We Can’t Hold Iraq War Hawks Accountable

One of the more troubling features of America’s current political culture is its inability to cashier politicians, policymakers, military leaders, and other establishment figures who have been proven not only wrong but wildly wrong. Those who led the nation into the unmitigated disaster that was the Iraq War, for example, should have been quietly ushered off the nation’s public stage and, if not prosecuted, at least stigmatized for the horrors that they inflicted upon the Iraqi people and our brave American troops. Members of Congress who supported the war should have been defeated, public policy “intellectuals” who argued for it should have been whisked off to private life, and generals who promised that victory was “around the corner” should have been retired. There must be public accountability in the res publica.

Oct 27 06:36

Covert strikes against Iran recount Israeli campaign against Iraq

The country had become an existential threat. It was ruled by a megalomaniac who wanted Israel eliminated. And now he wanted a nuclear bomb.

The leader claimed his nuclear program was purely a civilian program, but Israel knew that was not true. So, it set the program back. Israel undertook covert assassinations of nuclear scientists. And, when that did not work, it blew up a nuclear facility.

But the country wasn’t Iran. This was Iraq under Saddam Hussein who came to power in 1979 and ruled for 24 years. To challenge the nuclear program, Israel used assassinations, sabotage and targeted strikes in Iraq, a signature that is today found in Iran.

Oct 27 06:04

Protests in Iraq: Corruption, Unemployment, Impoverishment

Long-suffering Iraqis have legitimate grievances in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

Notably they include rampant corruption, high unemployment, impoverishment affecting millions — the nation’s youths notably affected — and lack of essential to life public services.

Saddam ruled despotically but he wasn’t all bad. According to UNESCO, he established one of the region’s best educational systems that was free to the highest levels.

Healthcare was near-universal, available in nearly all urban areas and most rural ones, according to UNICEF.

Pre-Gulf War, it ranked with the region’s best. Since that time, things changed dramatically for the worst.

For the last 30 years, the US waged wars on Iraq by hot and other means.

Oct 27 05:27

'Iraq War Diaries' At Ten Years: Truth Remains Treason

The purpose of journalism is to uncover truth – especially uncomfortable truth – and to publish it for the benefit of society. In a free society, we must be informed of the criminal acts carried out by governments in the name of the people. Throughout history, journalists have uncovered the many ways governments lie, cheat, and steal – and the great lengths they will go to keep the people from finding out.

Great journalists like Seymour Hersh, who reported to us the tragedy of the Mai Lai Massacre and the horrors that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, are essential.

Ten years ago last week, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks organization published an exposé of US government wrongdoing on par with the above Hersh bombshell stories.

Oct 26 06:04

Protesters Return to Baghdad a Year Later, Say Demands Still Unmet

The one-year anniversary of some of the last major protests in Baghdad saw thousands take to the streets in Tahrir Square, insisting that their demands are still generally unmet after all this time, and that the promises which were supposed to placate them generally didn’t pan out.

As with the last protests, the government sought to handle this rally by sending police out en masse to fire tear gas and put up barricades. Past history suggests this will not work, and will just rile up more people.

The demands have been straightforward for the protesters, who want a break form historic corruption, and free elections in which the candidates are loyal to the Iraqi voters first and foremost, instead of being aligned to either the US or Iran.

Oct 26 05:57

Hundreds gather to mark exhumation of Shingal mass grave

Several hundred people came together on Saturday on the southern side of mount Sinjar for a ceremony marking the start of the exhumation process of a mass grave of the Islamic State (ISIS) group victims in the village of Solagh.

“In Solagh subdistrict, ISIL [Islamic State, ISIS] militants committed mass killings of Yazidi women, and buried them in a mass grave. The remains of two such graves will be exhumed to then be matched, based on DNA sampling, with surviving family members who finally get the opportunity to lay their loved ones to rest, appropriately and according to traditions,” reads a press release.

The ceremony, which included Yezidi religious rites, was attended by roughly a hundred Yazidi men and women who lost someone to ISIS, when the group swept across northern Iraq in August 2014, committing genocide against the ethno-religious minority.

Oct 25 06:02

10 YEARS AFTER IRAQ WAR LOGS ONLY PEOPLE JAILED ARE THE ONES WHO EXPOSED WAR CRIMES

On October 22, 2010, WikiLeaks published the Iraq War Logs, a colossal compendium of nearly 400,000 classified U.S. Army field reports revealing what founder Julian Assange called “intimate details” of the war—including war crimes and other serious human rights abuses perpetrated by American and coalition troops, private contractors, and Iraqi government and paramilitary forces.

It was the largest leak in U.S. military history and a stunned world demanded justice. However, in the decade since then, only the whistleblowers who revealed the crimes detailed in the logs were ever seriously punished, while the architects and the perpetrators of the atrocities continue to enjoy impunity.

Oct 24 07:08

U.S. Foreign Policy Never Recovered From the War on Terror

In a 1996 essay in Foreign Affairs, the conservative authors William Kristol and Robert Kagan proposed a U.S. foreign policy of “benevolent global hegemony.” Scoffing at former President John Quincy Adams’s maxim that America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy,” they asked, “But why not? The alternative is to leave monsters on the loose, ravaging and pillaging to their hearts’ content, as Americans stand by and watch.” In Kristol and Kagan’s view, it was the United States’ responsibility to sally forth and slay—an argument they reprised years later as two of the biggest advocates for the Iraq war.

Oct 24 06:59

Iraq's lost boys: Former Islamic State child soldiers left without help

Hundreds of Iraqi boys, many of them Yazidis, were forced to become child soldiers by IS, but few are getting any support to help them move on from their experience

Oct 19 11:28

The Israel Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the Theft of Iraqi and Syrian Oil

“We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil,” President Trump stated on November 3, before adding, “I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.”

Though he had promised a withdrawal of U.S. troops from their illegal occupation of Syria, Trump shocked many with his blunt admission that troops were being left behind to prevent Syrian oil resources from being developed by the Syrian government and, instead, kept in the hands of whomever the U.S. deemed fit to control them, in this case, the U.S.-backed Kurdish-majority militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Oct 10 06:23

‘War Is Imminent’: Iraq’s Kadhimi Moves to Fend Off US Threat to Target Pro-Iran Groups

The United States has drawn up a list of 80 sites in Iraq linked to Iranian-backed groups that it plans to target if it follows through with a threat to close its embassy in Baghdad, Middle East Eye has learned.

The sites include secret headquarters and shelters used by Hadi al-Amiri and Qais Khazali, the respective leaders of the Badr Organisation and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), as well as sites associated with Kataeb Hezbollah (KH).

All three are Shia armed groups supported by Tehran which are also part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces under the nominal control of the Iraqi government.

Political leaders and armed group commanders told MEE that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared hundreds of satellite images of the 80 sites with Iraqi President Barham Salih during a phone call on 20 September.

Oct 05 06:38

Iraq PM: 2,500 US Troops Have Withdrawn From Iraq

Iraqi PM Mustafa Kadhimi has confirmed over the weekend that at least 2,500 US troops have already withdrawn from Iraq as part of what will ultimately be a three year period of pullout from the country.

This came following the recent announcement of US troop cuts during Kadhimi’s US visit, and the more recent threats to close the embassy and withdraw outright after troops came under rocket attack from militias.

Some Iraqi officials have objected to the US threats, and particularly to the way they were made, cautioning that US threats were liable, in such a public way, to have a spillover effect on other nations working with Iraq.

Oct 05 05:36

Unidentified Aircraft Attack Pro-Baghdad Militia in Iraq Near Border With Syria, Report Says

Over the past year-and-a-half, Iraq’s pro-government paramilitary forces have accused Israel of targeting them in air raids on multiple occasions. Tel Aviv has accused ‘Iranian-backed’ militias of using Iraq to ship weapons to Syria, but has declined to comment on whether or not it has carried out any operations inside Iraqi territory.

A Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia unit was bombed by unidentified aircraft west of the town of Akashat, Iraq near the Iraqi-Syrian border, Arab media have reported, citing a security source in Iraq’s western Anbar Governorate.

According to the source, the attack took place shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, with the area struck multiple times. The source said the strikes caused material damage, but no loss of life or injuries.

Oct 03 07:28

A Trump Regime Middle East October Surprise Coming?

Trailing Biden by an average of 6.8 points — according to Real Clear Politics as of late September — do Trump strategists intend an October surprise to improve his reelection prospects?

On Monday in response to phony US Middle East anti-terrorism operations, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said the following:

“You claim you eliminated Daesh. You killed Daesh’s number one enemy in a wretched act and with utmost bestiality.”

Zarif referred to the Pentagon’s murder of redoubtable terrorist fighter Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in January.

Tehran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed at the same time — prompting retaliatory rocket attacks against the US presence in the country that continue.

On Sunday, two US convoys were attacked with explosive devices. Iraqis want their country back, Pentagon occupation ended.

Sep 30 07:09

'Rapid Strikes To Follow': Iraqis See US Threat To Shutter Embassy As Prelude To War

We detailed previously that the US State Department is livid over repeat rocket and mortar attacks on both the US Embassy in Baghdad and the high secure 'Green Zone' in which the American compound is located.

This resulted in US officials signaling at the start of this week they are mulling shuttering the embassy altogether and calling all diplomatic personnel home. Multiple reports say "preparations" for just such a retreat are underway, which strongly suggests bigger US military intervention will follow.

Not only was there weekend fire on the US embassy area, but a Monday attack on Baghdad's international airport, which also hosts Western military advisory forces, killed five Iraqi civilians when a rocket slammed into their house on the edge of the airport.

Sep 30 06:49

US Demands Iraq Immediately Act Against Militias

The US State Department has declared itself “outraged” over a Monday rocket strike by an unnamed Iraqi militia near the Baghdad Airport. The strike killed seven civilians. The US is now demanding Iraq take “immediate” action against the militias.

US officials say they consider the “Iran-backed militias” a danger, and expect Iraq to fight them, even though in practice these militias are part of Iraq’s own security forces. Iraq has struggled to exert control over the militias for years.

Iraq has promised a move to create a new special forces unit in the Green Zone meant to allow existing security forces to exit the area, while the new forces focus on protecting embassies in the area. Officials say a number of embassies are asking for Iraqi help protecting them.

Sep 29 07:19

US Launches Airstrikes in Iraq from Carrier For First Time in Two Years

For the first time in nearly two and a half years, US jets launched airstrikes in Iraq from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. The strikes were carried out on September 23rd by two F/A-18F Super Hornets from the USS Nimitz, a spokeswoman for the Bahrain-based US 5th Fleet told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

“The last such strike was by USS Theodore Roosevelt in [March] 2018,” Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said. Rebarich only said the attacks were carried out in Iraq and did not elaborate on targets.

Operation Inherent Resolve, the anti-ISIS coalition fighting in Iraq and Syria, reported airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in Kirkuk, Iraq, on that same day. It is likely that these strikes were carried out by the carrier-launched jets, but Stars and Stripes could not confirm this.

Sep 29 07:17

US Threat to Evacuate Iraq Embassy Raises Fear of War

Iraqi Premier Mustafa Kadhimi came out of his recent visit to the United States with talk of a US drawdown and potential outright pullout from the country. As it stands today, Iraqi officials are expressing real concern that the United States could be about to start yet another war in the country.

All of the uncomfortable signs are there. The US has been threatening to close its Iraq embassy, and is making preparations to evacuate diplomats over the recent rocket attacks in the vicinity of the site.

The threat to close the site comes with the usual bells and whistles, and ultimatums, about how unhappy the US is with the Iraqi government. Talk of the Shi’ite militias responsible being in league with Iran also makes this a potential proxy war, one the US has oft-threatened.

Sep 29 06:50

Video: US Is Preparing Military Response to Wave of Iranian-backed Attacks on Its Forces in Iraq

Over the past months, attacks on convoys of the US-led coalition moving military equipment and supplies have become an ordinary development in Iraq. Local Iranian-backed resistance groups demanding a US military withdrawal from the country have conducted over two dozen attacks so far. The most recent ones took place on September 22 and 23.

The September 22 attack erupted in the district of al-Dujayl, around 60 km to the north of Baghdad. According to Iraq’s Security Media Cell, the convoy was targeted with an improvised explosive device. No casualties were reported. On the afternoon of September 23, a second supply convoy of the U.S.-led coalition was targeted in the district of Awja, more than 160 km north of Baghdad.

Sep 28 09:23

Rocket Attacks On Baghdad's Green Zone Stepped Up Amid US 'Warning' It'll Shutter Embassy

Rumors seemed to fly all day Sunday on Mideast social media channels based on unnamed US sources that a major attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone was imminent.

This at the same time it's being widely reported that the State Department is actually considering shuttering the embassy's operations altogether, angry at the Iraqi government's inability to reign in the Shia paramilitary groups likely responsible for repeat mortar and missile attacks on the area.

Sep 28 09:22

Iran and Iraq agree to boost ties in high-level meetings

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has concluded a two-day diplomatic trip to Tehran, during which he met with top Iranian officials to discuss boosting political and economic ties, and the role of the United States in the region.

On Saturday, Hussein met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and parliament Speaker Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf.

Sep 28 07:11

US threatens to shut embassy in Iraq if attacks continue on American compounds

The United States has threatened to close its embassy in Baghdad if the Iraqi government does not move to stop attacks on American compounds, an Iraqi media report says.

Iraqi24, a Baghdad news site, reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned Iraqi President Barham Salih that Washington was ready to shut its diplomatic mission in Baghdad and take action against anti-terror resistance groups.

“The decision to close the embassy in Baghdad is in President Trump’s hands and is ready. … If our forces withdraw and the embassy is closed in this way, we will liquidate all those who have been proven to have been involved in these attacks,” Pompeo said, naming anti-terror groups of Kata'ib Hezbollah and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, which are part of Iraq’s pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha'abi.

Sep 28 06:20

US Angrily Threatens To Close US Embassy In Baghdad After Near Daily Attacks

Following near daily attacks centered in and around Baghdad's Green Zone where the sprawling US embassy is located as well as other multiple American and other international institutions, Washington has put the Iraqi government on notice over the breakdown in security, saying it could shutter the US embassy altogether.

The State Department is livid after repeat rocket and mortar attacks on the embassy, and has blamed a failure of Iraq's security forces and of Iraq's leaders to respond appropriately, also amid the intensified proxy war with Iran:

In a new escalation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iraqi President Barham Saleh last week to deliver an ultimatum, Iraqi and foreign officials told AFP.

Unless Iraq's government puts an end to the rockets raining down on US military and diplomatic sites, Washington would shutter its embassy and recall its troops, the sources said.

Sep 28 05:36

Israel admits ISIS fighter in Iraqi prison is its own and permits his return

Israel has acknowledged the existence of an Arab Israeli ISIS fighter who has languished in solitary confinement at a northern Iraqi prison without trial for more than two years, according to a letter obtained by The National. It says he would be allowed to return home if he can reach Israel’s borders from Iraq, despite a lack of formal ties between the two countries.

When US forces captured Mohammed Khalid in a December 2017 raid in eastern Syria following four years spent fighting for ISIS across the group's self-proclaimed state, Israel kept the case of the Palestinian from Israel's Arab-majority Northern Triangle area, and his whereabouts, in the dark.

Sep 27 05:36

Deutsche Bank: Suspected of facilitating funds to Daesh in Iraq

The Islamic State’s infamous rule over vast areas of Iraq during 2014 and 2016 not only led to a humanitarian crisis, but also left the country’s economy depleted. Its expansion in Iraq, marked by its control over vast areas of the country, most notably capturing the city of Mosul in June 2014, also allowed the organisation to seize over 121 bank branches according to the Central Bank, in what was described as one of the largest bank robberies the world has ever seen. Across its operations, the Islamic State (Daesh) stole a total of approximately $830 million.

Despite this, some banks, including Deutsche Bank and specifically its US branches, continued to allow money transfers to be sent to Iraq despite the group’s control over large parts of the country.

Sep 27 05:14

How America Destroyed Iraq

Sep 22 07:27

Iraq’s Sadr says Israel will mark own ending if it opens embassy in Baghdad

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says Israel will mark its own ending by opening its embassy in Iraq amid some reports about Tel Aviv considering opening its virtual diplomatic mission in the Arab country.

The prominent Shia cleric made the comment during a sermon at the Friday prayers, warning the “enemy of God [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu,” who has “evil intentions” toward Iraq, about possible “coming” to the Arab country or even “thinking about establishing an embassy” there.

Sadr’s warning was an apparent reaction to some unconfirmed reports that Tel Aviv is seeking to establish its virtual embassy in Baghdad, which, in turn, allegedly wants to open its own in Israel.

Addressing the Israeli premier, Sadr further warned him that if he took such actions, he would “mark the end” of the occupying entity, “according to the Holy Quran.”

Sep 20 12:51

Dozens Of US Tanker Trucks Filled With Oil Leave Syria For Iraq

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the American forces transferred a large amount of oil from eastern Syria to Iraq over the weekend.

The agency quoted local sources as saying that “a convoy of 30 tankers and a tanker for the American occupation loaded with stolen oil from the oil wells it occupies in Syria’s Al-Jazeera left this evening to Iraqi lands through the illegal Al-Walid crossing in the Al-Yarubiyah region in the eastern countryside of Al-Hasakah.”

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 05 06:08

Iranian Resistance Axis Strikes Back: Convoys With US Equipment Blowing Up In Iraq

Submitted by South Front,

On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar.

Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Pentagon and the US government will not allow an orderly withdrawal from Iraq, because it would telegraph that despite the blood and money spent, we have lost this one.

Sep 04 12:14

IRANIAN RESISTANCE AXIS STRIKES BACK. CONVOYS WITH US EQUIPMENT BLOWING UP IN IRAQ

On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Sep 01 15:13

Trump Must Back Iraq Withdrawal Promise With Action — Ron Paul

Yes, General Odom was right. It was a strategic disaster. Turning the US into a global military empire is also a strategic disaster. Trump’s promise to bring troops home from overseas wars sounds very good. But it’s time to see some real action. That might mean some people who disagree with the president need to be fired.

Aug 29 00:28

"Terminate Bush's War": Trump To Reduce Troops In Iraq By One-Third Just Ahead Of Election

Republican leadership at the RNC Convention this week talked a big game when it comes to "bringing the troops home" - something Trump has been promising since 2016 - but which has not yet ultimately been realized. But can he deliver now as part of a pre-election promise? It looks like the wheels are finally in motion.

Multiple reports citing Pentagon officials on Friday say up to one-third of all American soldiers will permanently return from Iraq over the next two to three months.

This would bring numbers down from 5,200 to about 3,500 according to Pentagon officials. Trump is in the meantime expected to tout an Iraq withdrawal as a success in ending the wasteful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aug 26 14:46

Painting of George Bush Playing Airplanes With Two Jenga Towers Found In Jeff Epstein’s House

One of the paintings inside Epstein’s home was of Bill Clinton wearing a blue dress, sitting seductively in a chair, crossing his legs and pointing a finger to the person looking at the picture. Another one was of George W. Bush, called “War Games” which features the former president sitting on the floor of the White House playing with paper airplanes in front of two fallen Jenga towers, obviously implying his manipulation of the 9/11 attacks which were used to justify the invasion of Iraq for ulterior motives. Who knows what the Clinton painting is supposed to imply, I’ll let you be the judge.

Aug 24 07:45

US Troops Withdraw From Major Iraqi Base

The US-led coalition in Iraq has withdrawn the last of its forces from Camp Taji, a base near Iraq’s capital Baghdad that has been the target of recent rocket attacks. The coalition handed control of the base to Iraqi security forces, along with $347 million in military equipment.

The anti-ISIS coalition dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve is hailing the move as a success and says it is part of a “long-range” plan with the Iraqi government.

“Camp Taji has historically held up to 2,000 Coalition members, with the majority departing over the summer of 2020,” the coalition said in a statement released on Sunday. The statement said the force was made up of a Spanish helicopter battalion and “military trainers” from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey, the UK, the US, and NATO.

Aug 20 06:02

US Calls on Iraq to Dismantle Armed Groups

With Iraqi PM Mustafa Kadhemi set to visit the US this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is demanding that Iraq dismantle all Shi’ite militias in the country, calling them a threat to national sovereignty and promising US support on doing this.

The US has long had a problem with the Shi’ite militias, even though in recent wars, like the ISIS War, they were on the same side. This is because the militias are friendly with Iran, and the US sees them as a potential enemy in a future Iran war.

This has been a hassle for Kadhemi since he took power, as he’s seen as a US ally but also needs to try to avoid outright fights with the militia. This has left a tenuous balance, and one the US wants to tip to the scales over.

Aug 19 15:37

Video: Rain of Rockets Hits US Forces in Iraq. Israeli-UAE Peace Deal Crumbles Days after Its Announcement

As it was expected, the ‘historic’ UAE-Israeli peace deal did not contribute to the stability in the Middle East. Instead, the situation has been slowly, but steadily moving towards a larger confrontation in the region.

Immediately after the announcement of the US-sponsored peace deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country is not going to fulfill one of its key provisions – the suspension of the annexation of West Bank territories. The prime minister emphasized that the annexation plan was just delayed, but not suspended.

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said adding that “Israel will have comprehensive peace agreements with other Arab countries without returning to the 1967 borders.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder just how long it is going to take President Trump to realize that Netanyahu has 'played him' on this issue, and Israel was never going to stop this coming annexation, ever.

Continually, throughout their relationship, which very far pre-dates Trump's presidency, Netanyahu has been "relieving himself" in President Trump's face, and telling him it's raining; this is simply more of the same.

Aug 17 08:50

Rockets fall inside Iraq's Taji camp housing US-led coalition troops – reports

At least two unguided rockets fell inside Iraq's Taji military base that houses US troops, local media has reported, citing the country’s military. No information on damage or potential casualties was immediately available.
Camp Taji, located some 27km (17 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, came under rocket fire late on Saturday. At least two projectiles fell inside the base, Iraqi military confirmed to local media.

While no reports on damage or casualties were readily available, unconfirmed imagery circulating online suggested the attack might have sparked a fire at the base.

Aug 13 05:06

Explosion Reportedly Hits International Coalition Military Convoy Near Iraqi Town of Batha

No injuries were reported after the explosion took place, according to a report by Al Sumaria TV that cited security sources. An investigation into the incident has been launched.

Following a report by Al Sumaria that an explosion hit a US-led international coalition convoy on Wednesday in Iraq, the US Central Command said it is looking into reports on the explosion and cannot confirm whether an attack took place.

"We are looking into this report," the spokesperson said on Wednesday. "At this time, we have no confirmation of the event."

Aug 12 12:27

IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES CHALLENGE US MILITARY IN IRAQ WITH INCREASING ROCKET ATTACKS

In the recent weeks the US-led coalition in Iraq experienced a turn for the worse.

On the evening of August 10th, a military convoy carrying equipment for US forces near the Iraq-Kuwait border was reportedly targeted by an explosion. The Iraqi Shiite armed group, Ashab al-Kahf, issued a statement claiming that its forces had destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy” in a bombing, targeting a border crossing south of the Iraqi city of Basra. The group also released a video purposely showing the attack.

Aug 12 06:12

Iraq Cancels Turkish Defence Minister Visit After Iraqi Soldiers Killed in Kurdistan Shelling

Earlier on Tuesday the Iraqi government condemned a Turkish drone strike in the country's province of Erbil that killed two Iraqi soldiers, slamming "repeated military violations" by Ankara as a "dangerous violation of Iraqi sovereignty, international law and the UN Charter".

Iraq cancelled a 13 August visit by the Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, to the country, following condemnation of a Turkish drone strike in the Erbil province that killed two Iraqi border guards, according to an Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement.

The Turkish ambassador in Iraq has been summoned to Baghdad after the Turkish drone attack.

"We are announcing the cancellation of the visit by the Turkish defense minister to Iraq, scheduled for Thursday. The Foreign Ministry will summon the Turkish ambassador and hand him a note of protest in connection with the attack", the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

Aug 11 12:34

Explosions hit U.S. coalition supply convoys in Iraq: sources and military say

At least two explosions have hit convoys supplying U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq in the last 24 hours, security sources said, the first on Monday evening near the southern border with Kuwait and the second on Tuesday north of Baghdad.

The explosions, which caused no casualties but did some material damage, are the latest in a string of such incidents in recent weeks. An attack in southern Iraq on Sunday hit a convoy carrying supplies to coalition forces, the military said.

Jul 27 08:06

Large explosions rock arms depot of Iraqi forces at military base near Baghdad

Large explosions have struck an arms depot belonging to the Iraqi Federal Police forces and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, at a military compound southwest of the capital Baghdad.

The Security Media Cell said in a statement that the two consecutive blasts occurred at al-Saqr military base, which lies in the Saydiya neighborhood of Rashid district and close to the highway linking Baghdad to the city of Hilla, at 6:40 p.m. local time (1540 GMT) on Sunday, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

The statement added that the ammunition warehouse exploded due to high temperatures and “faulty storage.” It made no mention of any casualties.

Jul 15 10:50

Turkish military forces deployed over dozen kilometers into northern Iraq: Top lawmaker

The head of the security and defense committee at the Iraqi parliament has condemned Ankara’s ongoing cross-border operation in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, stating that Turkish forces are now deployed more than a dozen kilometers into the area.

“Iraq rejects transgression of its sovereignty or airstrikes within its territory by another state,” Mohammad Reza Al Haider told the official Iraqi News Agency on Tuesday, calling on the Baghdad government to address such issues.

Haider noted that the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Iraq permits hot pursuits between five and seven kilometers from the border, but Ankara has exceeded the limit, and Turkish troops are now deployed along an area stretching some 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the frontier.

Jul 15 10:32

Turkish military forces deployed over dozen kilometers into northern Iraq: Top lawmaker

The head of the security and defense committee at the Iraqi parliament has condemned Ankara’s ongoing cross-border operation in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, stating that Turkish forces are now deployed more than a dozen kilometers into the area.

“Iraq rejects transgression of its sovereignty or airstrikes within its territory by another state,” Mohammad Reza Al Haider told the official Iraqi News Agency on Tuesday, calling on the Baghdad government to address such issues.

Haider noted that the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Iraq permits hot pursuits between five and seven kilometers from the border, but Ankara has exceeded the limit, and Turkish troops are now deployed along an area stretching some 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the frontier.

Jul 08 07:21

US’ Illegal Killing of Soleimani ‘Same Deal’ as Past Wars Over ‘Sphere of Influence’ - Journo

In a recent report, a United Nations expert found the January killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike was against international law. One journalist told Sputnik the killing fit a long pattern of the US destroying places it cannot control, which is linked to the proliferation of poverty in the US.

Kei Pritsker, a journalist with BreakThrough News, told Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits Tuesday that “for most of US history, we’ve just attacked countries purely out of our interest to extend our sphere of influence for power and take out governments we don’t like, and it’s really the same deal with Qasem Soleimani.”

Jul 07 07:33

Is intercepted rocket attack on US embassy a game changer? Analysis

Hours after the US reportedly tested a defense system that can stop mortars, artillery and small rockets, a rocket was said to be intercepted after it was fired at the Green Zone in Baghdad where the US Embassy is located.

This adds to 24 hours of tension in Iraq that coincided with American Independence Day. There were claims the US had deployed a C-RAM system to confront threats to its embassy and other facilities.

Jun 30 07:57

The Fall of Eliot Engel: Israel-Firster Defeated in Congressional Primary

Sometimes listening to the morning news on television is a bit like entering into an alternate universe. Last Wednesday, the day after primary elections in New York State, CBS News reported that New York Congressman Eliot Engel was “facing a challenge” from Democratic Party challenger Jamaal Bowman. NBC News reported that Engel was “trailing.” The reality, according to the New York Times tally of the results that morning was that Bowman had beaten Engel by a margin to 60.9% versus 35.6% with more than 82% of votes counted. Even though it posted the numbers, the Times felt compelled to describe the apparently impending lopsided loss as if it were something less than that, as a “stiff challenge” for Engel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We need to advocate, peacefully and logically, for the end of tenure for ALL Israeli-firsters in Congress; if these people are so Israel-centric, they need to leave this country, adopt Israeli citizenship, and run for the Knesset!!

I, for one, am very tired of what this "special relationship" has wrought for this country, in both blood and money, and think it is past the time for the US to examine who its real "friends" are on this planet.

Jun 29 07:50

Iran-backed Katai'b Hezbollah spokesman threatens Iraqi PM following overnight raids

A security spokesman for an Iran-backed militia issued a statement on Friday threatening Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, describing him as an “American agent,” following an overnight raid on the group by security forces.

The Iran-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah security spokesperson threatened al-Kadhimi with punishment, or “torture” after the raid that led to the arrest of over a dozen fighters, which sent a strong message to militias, warning against attacking Iraqi facilities.

Jun 17 06:20

Turkey launches military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq

The Turkish military has begun an air and ground operation against Kurdish PKK militants in northern Iraq, calling it an act of self-defense to weed out “terrorists” in the area.

Named Operation Tiger-Claw, the incursion involves Turkish commandos supported by warplanes, helicopters and armed drones. The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that its planes had struck Kurdish targets in northern Iraq’s Haftanin region, and that troops were already on the ground.

In a statement released on Twitter, Turkey’s military described the attack as “legitimate self-defense” against PKK forces and “other terrorist elements” accused of carrying out attacks on Turkish personnel in the region.

Jun 13 04:32

Israel and the US Step Up Efforts To Intimidate the Hague War Crimes Court

Now, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, looks poised finally to give the court some teeth. She is threatening to investigate two states – the US and Israel – whose actions have been particularly damaging to international law in the modern era.

The court is considering examining widespread human rights abuses perpetrated by US soldiers in Afghanistan, and crimes committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially Gaza, as well as the officials responsible for Israel’s illegal settlement program.

An investigation of both is critically important: the US has crafted for itself a role as global policeman, while Israel’s flagrant violations of international law have been ongoing for more than half a century.

The US is the most powerful offender, and Israel the most persistent.

Both states have long dreaded this moment – the reason they refused to ratify the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No matter the findings, neither Israel or the US will take any responsibility for the evils they have perpetrated; both nations believe that they are above any international law.

May 20 05:24

Fresh Rocket Attack On US Embassy In Baghdad Amid Renewed Anti-America Protests

After months of the world's attention focused on the pandemic and resulting national shutdowns and economic pauses, the fact that the US and Iran were only months ago almost at war in Iraq seems a world away. But a proxy war pitting Iranian-backed Shia paramilitary fores in Iraq against US interests and allies has continued unabated, threatening once again to draw in American military intervention.

In the latest instance, multiple rockets were fired on the US embassy in Baghdad Tuesday morning. "A rocket struck Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government, early on Tuesday morning, according to an Iraqi military statement, the first attack on the area since a new prime minister was sworn in earlier this month," AP reports.

May 19 05:52

Rocket Attack Hits House in Baghdad's Green Zone, No Casualties Reported

A rocket landed on an empty house in the Green Zone near the US embassy in Baghdad early on Tuesday morning.

According to the Iraqi Security Media Cell, the Katyusha rocket, which was launched from an eastern district of Baghdad, landed on an empty house inside the Green Zone, but did not cause any casualties. The rocket caused "minor damage to the wall of the house."

The Green Zone is an "international zone" in the Karkh district of central Baghdad, which served as the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

May 14 06:16

IRAQ: US Aircraft Continue Transfer Of ISIS Terrorists From Syria To Iraq

A leader in Iraq’s Badr Organization said US forces have transferred Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists from Syria into Iraq amid Washington’s attempts to reinforce the American presence in the Arab country.

May 12 09:23

From Wuhan to Baghdad with Donald Trump and George W. Bush

Lawrence Davidson compares the delusions of Donald Trump and George W. Bush behind Trump’s desire to blame the coronavirus on a lab in China to hide his own failings, and Bush’s fantasy of Iraqi nuclear weapons to justify his obsessive desire to invade Iraq. >>

Apr 27 04:46

Trump Regime Aims to Suppress Iranian Truth-Telling

US hostility toward Iran is all about its sovereign independence — free from US control.

It’s also because of its large hydrocarbon resources the US seeks control over, along with wanting Israel’s main rival neutralized.

Hostile US policy toward Iran reached a unprecedented level under Trump and hardliners surrounding him.Earlier the Obama regime falsely claimed that the US can “seize any .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies that have the contracts to administer them are based on United States soil.”

Cyberspace is the last frontier of press freedom. Without it, the Internet would be like cable TV, controlled by corporate giants.

Truth-telling would be marginalized and silenced, speech and press freedoms consigned to the dustbin of history — where things are heading without redoubtable resistance.

Republicans and Dems are hostile to free and open expression.

Apr 27 03:21

US Beefs Up Gunship Presence In Gulf Ready To Back Trump's Iran 'Red Line'

American forces in the Persian Gulf have greatly bolstered their ability to respond to Iran at a moment President Trump has renewed trading threats and barbs with the Islamic Republic, ordering the US Navy "to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."

This includes the Pentagon bolstering its AC-130 gunships and Apache attack helicopters to target and destroy small surface threats in the Arabian Sea. Tehran has meanwhile responded with its own threats to 'destroy' American vessels of course.

It was apparently this beefed up presence that led to the April 15 confrontation about which Trump was responding by ordering destruction of boats that "harass" American vessels.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government could do is, unfortunately, no guarantee that it will not do it.

US elections are to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020; that is only 160 days from today; and between the Dementocrats' "race to the bottom" with their Candidate appearing to suffer from both dementia AND a potential history of sexual predation, "Sleepy Joe" Biden, and President Trump's fumbling and bumbling on Covid 19 and the shutdown that has destroyed huge swathes of the the American economy, God only knows how this campaign is going to unfold.

But I can tell you one thing for certain; Team Trump desperately needs a win, of some kind, and I am hoping (and praying) that a war against Iran is NOT what they are looking at right now, as their "pre-election" win."

Russia's Putin has been very clear, that if the US goes into Iran, they will most probably be facing the Russian military as well, and as we have seen very clearly in Syria, their weaponry does work as advertised, which cannot be said with a completely straight face, regarding some of the US's most costly weapons programs.

The F-35 still has hundreds of problems the Pentagon has no plans on fixing

Apr 27 02:59

"Driving The Gringos In The White House Crazy": Iran & Venezuela Deepen Sanctions-Busting Cooperation

Two so-called 'rogue states' recently targeted for US-imposed regime change are helping each other fight coronavirus as well as Washington-led sanctions.

Late last week it was revealed Venezuela received a huge boost in the form of oil refinery materials and chemicals to fix the catalytic cracking unit at the 310,000 barrels-per-day Cardon refinery, essential to the nation's gas supply.

This as a fuel and food shortage crisis has driven protests and clashes with police, especially in hard-hit rural areas, over the past month.

“Thanks to the support of our allies in the Islamic Republic of Iran... We will overcome our difficulties,” Erling Rojas, vice minister for refining and petrochemicals in Venezuela’s Oil Ministry, stated when the much-needed refinery parts arrived last Thursday.

He further underscored in colorfully provocative rhetoric that Iran’s support is “driving the gringos in the White House crazy.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What did the Trump administration think, that both governments were going to roll over and play dead, as their responses to these sanctions?!?

I am very much reminded of a one-liner from the American comedian Ron White, which is: "You can't fix stupid!"

And unfortunately, the "stupid" when it comes to Iran, is that President Trump, and his cabinet, are, collectively, pathologically incapable of seeing Iran, except through the jaundiced eyes, and equally jaundiced perception, of one of his BFFs in the Middle East, Israel's Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu.

The other bit of "stupid" comes from ignoring a statement made by one of Putin's confidantes a year ago last summer to their Iranian counterparts at a summit last summer: Iran will not be alone, if the US attacks.

The statement was made by Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow\ last Summer, and reported by the Moscow Times.

There is one thing of which I am very certain; Kabulov would never have made the statement without Putin's absolute backing: if the US government attacks Iran, we will most probably be facing Russian military in Iran as well.

And Putin will move heaven and earth to insure that any US invasion of Iran.... will have precisely the same outcome as did the US invasion of Vietnam.

Apr 26 09:14

The history of “OIL-POLITICS.” – IRAQ

Apr 21 04:59

Daesh Militants Plotting to Distribute Contaminated Masks in Iraq Amid Epidemic

Daesh* are plotting to hand out contaminated masks in Iraq through pseudomedics as the country struggles to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen channel reported on Friday, citing Iraqi sources.

The militants are planning to do this in a number of villages that are out of firm control of the government forces.

The security forces aim to thwart this plot and urge Iraqis to stay away from strangers.

As of Thursday, Iraq confirmed 1,434 COVID-19 cases, including 80 fatalities. The country declared a victory over Daesh on its soil back in December 2017, but still continues fighting terror sleeper cells.

Apr 16 03:31

Washington Plans to Start Violence in Iraq before Leaving; Former US Diplomat

Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Policy. He resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over US strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in September 2009. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew served in Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. In his extensive interview with Parsi Policy, he explored the chances of a US coup in Iraq and warns of flip-flop policies of White House.

Apr 14 04:28

Iraq’s new choice for Prime Minister suggests defeat of US pressure

Iraq has designated a new Prime Minister that, contrary to his two predecessors, apparently enjoys inclusive support from the various political blocs in a development that suggests the defeat of the United States’ attempts at forcing its choice on the Arab nation.

On April 9, President Barham Salih tasked Mustafa al-Kadhimi, director of Iraq's National Intelligence Service, with forming a new government in a month. The president said Kadhimi was a “fighter and intellectual who is well known for his integrity, moderation, and keenness [to honor] the rights of the Iraqi people.”

The presidential ceremony was attended by several high-ranking politicians and public figures, something that reflected Kadhimi’s across-the-board popularity with Iraq’s political groupings.

The New Arab or al-Araby al-Jadeed, a London-based pan-Arab media outlet, interpreted the broad guest list as “a sign that Kadhimi will likely find success at forming a government.”

Apr 13 06:59

CIA’s Candidate for Iraq PM Fails to Secure Support, the New PM-Designate Is Iran-Friendly

With the appointment of intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Iraq’s new prime minister-designate, Iraq’s President Barham Salih is attempting for the third time this year to end a months-long political deadlock.

Apr 10 08:02

War-Torn Yemen Confirms First COVID-19 Case, Official Says Brace For 'Millions'

Throughout five years of war Yemen has been considered by the UN and health agencies to be the 'world's worst humanitarian disaster' — but few Americans have heard much about the war or its over 100,000 dead, including tens of thousands of civilians, given that it's the US-Saudi coalition doing the bombing.

But now Yemen is about to rip back into the headlines, given the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the country, with health officials fearing "one million" could be infected if the outbreak takes hold in the war-torn country.

This as already some 25 million civilians are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including basic food, medicines, and other staples. The Saudis have essentially imposed a complete land, sea and air blockade of the country for years. Its health system also long ago collapsed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I type this, there was a news flash in the Presstitute Non-Media from yesterday which got nearly zero traction, and the headline read: Saudi royals hit by COVID-19; King, Crown Prince in isolation. Any infected staff members will now be treated at a less elite hospital to save room for royals.

Please remember; Saudi royalty will be treated brilliantly, and their staffs, at least well, and with any and everything known to help them recover, and ease their suffering.

But once this gets hold of the Yemeni population, the Yemeni people, suffering from underlying medical conditions as malnutrition; cholera; and with infants; children; women and the medically fragile elderly maimed for life by US/Saudi bombing sorties, and God knows what else, thanks to the US/Saudi blockade, Yemenis will die by the thousands from this new scourge.

I would truly love to be a citizen of a country which does not, as a matter of national course and policy, commit war crimes; unfortunately, Mike and I are both too broke, and too old, to make that happen at this time.

But having said this, I want to make something very clear to both the present, and future, US administrations; the moment you start committing war crimes around the world in our names, and with our tax dollars, this site will, in the most peaceful, logical, and most documented manner, will call you out on it, for both our brother and sister Americans, and all the world to see.

Apr 10 05:45

Oil Smuggling And Politics: Washington’s Patience With Iraq Is Wearing Thin

Under its effective leader, firebrand ultra-nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraq is theoretically committed to not allowing itself to become overly dependent on any one country. That was the rallying call of al-Sadr’s ‘Sairoon’ (‘Marching Forward’) power bloc during the last general election in Iraq in May 2018 that saw him and his grouping win the most seats of any party. For a while, this theory seemed to be in effect, with Iraq playing off Chinese and Russian interests against those of the U.S. All the time, though, in practice, Iran continued to dodge and weave around any and all sanctions aimed at preventing it from continuing to wield the deciding power in its neighbour through the leverage of its military, militias, and pro-Iran politicians in Baghdad. The surest sign yet that the U.S. has had enough of this situation came in the shape of the latest waiver granted just over a week ago by the U.S.

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