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Soleimani was to deliver Tehran’s reply to Saudi de-escalation letter when killed: Iraqi PM

Picture released by Iraqi Prime Minister’s Media Office shows Iraq’s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (L) attending a parliamentary session on January 5, 2020. (Photo via AFP)
Press TV – January 5, 2020

Iraq’s Caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has said that Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was set to deliver Tehran’s reply to an earlier Saudi message regarding de-escalation talks mediated by Baghdad when he was assassinated.

Abdul-Mahdi made the remarks during an extraordinary parliamentary session in the capital which led to the adoption of a law demanding the withdrawal of US forces from the country on Sunday, the National Iraqi News Agency reported.

The premier said that he was due to meet Soleimani at 8:30 am local time on Friday before the US assassinated the general a few hours earlier.

The revelations come as Baghdad has been mediating talks between Tehran and Riyadh following a recent uptick of tensions the region.

Sunday’s parliamentary vote was held in response to Washington’s Friday airstrikes targeting Soleimani and his comrades.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) was also killed in the attack.

Iran’s judiciary has said that the attack took place despite Soleimani being a “formal” and “high profile” guest of the Iraqi government.

The Sunday vote comes as many Iraqi figures and parliamentary factions have been long demanding the withdrawal of US troops from the country, specifically following a series of unclaimed airstrikes on PMU forces.

Abdul-Mahdi also revealed in his Sunday remarks that Washington had confirmed to Baghdad that Tel Aviv was behind a number of the attacks.

“America informed us that Israel bombed the warehouses of the PMU last summer,” he said, calling on the parliament to take all measures to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.

Rockets rock Baghdad’s Green Zone

Also on Sunday, the Iraqi military reported that three Katyusha rockets fell in Baghdad, two of which landed inside the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone housing government buildings and foreign missions.

Witnesses told AFP that the rockets had landed close to the US embassy without further elaborating on probable casualties.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Some War Truth In A Single Photograph

By Bill Willers | Dissident Voice | January 5, 2020

Once I realized to my dismay that I couldn’t believe a word of what our media and political leaders said about major events in the here and now, their credibility on controversial happenings so long ago and far away entirely disappeared.” Ron Unz, 2018

The 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, generated renewed interest in the First World War, its beginnings, its aftermath, and the lead up to World War II. For anyone brought up with the carefully-crafted narratives that constitute “popular” history, a dive into details of the World Wars can shake one’s faith in the validity of all generally accepted history.  A good introduction to long buried aspects of the era of the World Wars is Patrick J. Buchanan’s 2008 book “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War“, in which all roads lead back to Britain’s 1914 declaration of war on Germany, which soon involved much of the world. Germany’s rising power had threatened British imperial dominance within a Rube Goldberg complexity of formal alliances and secret agreements. A Serbian shot an Austrian archduke, Serbia allied with Russia, but Austria-Hungary allied with Germany, and Russia with Britain and France, etc. Ultimately, the “Great Men” leading the masses appeared powerless to stop the WW I slaughter: 8 million dead, 20 million wounded. Thereafter, the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany grossly unjust reparations, this leading ultimately to a humiliated Germany embracing Hitler’s rise, thence to a war with a price tag of more than 50 million human lives.

Massive works on Churchill and Hitler by the towering historian David Irving are based on every conceivable information source down to personal diaries and interviews. Irving’s departure from widely accepted “mainstream” story lines has irked some fellow historians, and because he has not been perfectly in synch with Holocaust dogma, he, like so many, has suffered unwarranted accusations of anti-semitism. He writes that many details in the generally-accepted history of WW II, apparently like much of history itself, are simply wrong. His depiction of Winston Churchill is as a central causative agent of both world wars. What’s that? you say! Churchill, during his lifetime considered the greatest living Englishman, a war monger? Likewise, Adolph Hitler struggled to avoid war? Are these too shocking to accept? Research for yourself, and you may find yourself in agreement with Caitlin Johnstone: “Our species fought two world wars (or arguably one world war with a long intermission to grow more troops) for no justifiable reason at all.”

Insight into how governmentally-sanctioned histories might be managed for mass consumption is offered by Ron Unz who cites an amazing number of A-list commentators (scroll down to subtitle “Purging our Leading Historians and Journalists”) who, on diverging from authorized accounts, were simply blacklisted, thereafter unable to get published. It seems that a thread of decency runs through the human family such that elaborate lies must be maintained by governments in order to justify and generate and perpetuate wars. If the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, Vietnam and both invasions of Iraq have anything in common, it is that all six involved official lies used to bring We The People on board: Remember the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti babies, Weapons of Mass Destruction. Lies.

During Christmas, 1914, certain British and German soldiers of WW I got the urge for a truce. Shouts of “Merry Christmas!” across “no man’s land” of the front led to troops emerging from trenches, exchanging food and trinkets, playing a bit of soccer. Photos are easy to find on the Internet, but one in particular crystalizes a truth about humanity, regardless of what contorted propaganda might be coming down from the damned stuffed shirts who send humans to slaughter. Historians necessarily focus on political power players and the decision makers of war, but it is decent folk within the powerless masses who are the ones driven to do the killing and the dying. The two youths in the photo — not many years beyond childhood — could be any soldiers from any period of time, of any ethnicity, in any war. Like healthy people everywhere, they would have greatly preferred to be friends, and it shows.

Dwight Eisenhower, a General turned President, is quoted as having said “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.” Such a day is not yet visible on the horizon.

Bill Willers is an emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He can be contacted at willers@uwosh.edu.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 4 Comments

Wikipedia Beats Turkey, but It’s No Win for Free Expression

By Helen Buyniski | Helen of DesTroy | January 5, 2020

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled the government’s decision to ban access to Wikipedia in April 2017 was a violation of freedom of expression, a constitutionally-protected right. The decision represents a reversal of a Turkish court ruling from 2017 and comes just a month before an expected ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a body which has ruled against Turkey more than any other country in its purview. No timetable has been put forth for when Turks might regain access to the online encyclopedia, which had been blocked as a “national security threat” under Turkish law.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that owns Wikipedia, is doing a victory lap, congratulating the Turkish people on being reconnected with what it never stops reminding the world is the largest online repository of human knowledge. The Foundation bragged that despite the two-year blackout, it never caved to Ankara’s request to remove negative information showing Turkey “in coordination and aligned” with ISIS and other terrorist groups, information the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced as a “smear campaign.” Wikipedia, it boasted, would never give in to governments trying to quash free speech.

But there are more than a few holes in the Foundation’s version of events, starting with its boast that it stands for freedom of expression against repressive governments. While the Foundation very rarely obeys requests to remove information, whether they come from governments or individuals, it admits to having done so once. In 2014, the newly-installed US-backed Ukrainian government made a request to take down content on the English-language Wikipedia, and the Foundation acquiesced (it’s not clear what the information was). Why obey the dictates of Kiev but not Ankara? The puppet government of Petro Poroshenko was certainly no friend to free expression – its launch of a Ministry of Information Policy in December 2014 was widely ridiculed as a ham-handed censorship effort heavy on the propaganda, no different from Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.” Thousands of journalists were doxxed through a site called Mirotvorets, declared “terrorist collaborators” for nothing more than obtaining accreditation from the separatist eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. As a result, at least 14 journalists had been killed by 2016, and many more were threatened and attacked. While some politicians advocated punishing the publishers of Mirotvorets, others called for revoking the press accreditation of the doxxed journalists and declaring them enemies of the state, and the Ministry of Information Policy itself praised the site for its “principled stance concerning defending national security.”

This is not the behavior of a government that supports free speech. Yet Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and the Foundation made no secret of their support for the coup that replaced Russian-sympathetic Viktor Yanukovych with the neo-Nazi Poroshenko government. Not only had Wales nominated a Ukrainian Wikipedia editor shot to death during the Maidan Square riots for ‘Wikipedian of the Year’ (without explaining how or by whom he came to be shot), but he would go on the record during the Yalta European Strategy conference of December 2014 calling on Ukrainian editors to skew the narrative in the Russian-language Wikipedia to retroactively whitewash the color revolution (and demonize Crimea’s reunification with Russia). Russian Wikipedians, Wales said, deserved to be bombarded with “alternative views, alternative statements” – a.k.a. Trumpian “alternative facts” – through the supposedly-neutral encyclopedia.

Additionally, Turkish editors determined to circumvent Ankara’s ban on Wikipedia never really lost access to the site – it was a simple matter to use a VPN or other location-spoofing tools to read and edit to their heart’s content. Indeed, by blocking the average Turk’s access to Wikipedia, the government only ensured that whatever slander against Erdogan and his administration already existed on the site would metastasize, reproducing without interference by pro-Erdogan editors who might otherwise have pushed back against negative portrayals of the country. If anything, the ban handed control of Turkish Wikipedia to dissidents – a self-sabotaging move that may explain why the Turkish court was willing to reverse course on the ban. Others have speculated that the ruling by the Turkish court was meant to preempt yet another negative ruling from the ECHR, which never misses a chance to censure Turkey.

Turkey’s reasons for banning Wikipedia – the site wouldn’t remove information about government officials being involved with ISIS in trading oil, or about Turkey’s sponsorship of ISIS and other terror groups – are somewhat petty, as the information is true, no matter how negatively it reflects on Turkey. For all that Wikipedia is positively bristling with libel about any government that has gotten on the bad side of the US, UK or Israel, the relationship between Turkey and ISIS is real. While Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US provide funding, weapons, protection, and PR, Turkey assists in the movement and protection of people and supplies – and oil. If Turkey didn’t want the world learning about their support for terrorists, they might have thought of that before getting into bed with the governments that have done more than anyone else to unleash chaos upon the region.

Even if Turkey is in the wrong, however, for the Foundation to cry “freedom of expression” is disingenuous when it is willing to give other countries a pass on their own human rights violations, even working with them to oppress their populations. The case of Wikipedia in Kazakhstan is an instructive example of what a repressive government can do when it cooperates with the encyclopedia, instead of kicking it to the curb. In March 2011, a month before Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev changed the country’s official language from Russian to Kazakh, a group of Kazakhs bankrolled by the ruling family operating under the name WikiBilim began transferring material from the government-sanctioned Kazakh encyclopedia into the Kazakh-language Wikipedia. WikiBilim soon arranged with the Wikimedia Foundation to have all 15 volumes of the encyclopedia piped in, overwriting the work of any Kazakh Wikipedia editors who might have thought they were entitled to something more than the government-approved version of reality.

Wales didn’t merely allow the Nazarbayev regime – which has been repeatedly sanctioned by the ECHR for human rights violations and which has a lengthy track record of jailing and even killing journalists critical of the government – to seize control of the Kazakh Wikipedia. He declared Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, director of WikiBilim, Wikipedian of the Year and awarded him a $5,000 prize. Wales for years insisted WikiBilim was an independent organization, but when it later emerged that he had discussed the project with the group’s government patron at Davos the previous year, he was left scrambling for excuses. When Kenzhekanuly, a former government official, was appointed governor of the Kyzylorda region in 2014, Wales finally gave up on pretending everything was kosher in Kazakhstan, implying in a Reddit Ask Me Anything the following year that he’d been tricked into assisting the repressive regime.

Kazakhstan is only one of the countries that has received the Foundation and Wales’ stamp of approval despite (because of?) an adversarial relationship with freedom of expression. Wales is married to the former diary secretary of Tony Blair, who has followed up his warmongering stint as British PM with a lucrative lobbying career, hopping from one despot to another to help them whitewash their human rights records and reposition themselves as ripe for foreign investments. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Azerbaijan, and Israel have all fostered friendships with the Foundation to various extents, despite atrocious track records in human rights. For the Foundation to cry foul in Turkey’s case is hypocritical in the extreme – Erdogan’s crime, in their eyes, is not jailing journalists but failing to work out a lucrative agreement that would allow him to whitewash his human rights record by lining the Foundation’s pockets. Wikipedia no more supports free expression than Turkey fights terrorism.

[need more information about what Wikipedia is? start here…]

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments

The USA is now at war, de-facto and de-jure, with BOTH Iraq and Iran

The Saker | January 5, 2020

First, let’s begin by a quick summary of what has taken place (note: this info is still coming in, so there might be corrections once the official sources make their official statements).

  1. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdl Mahdi has now officially revealed that the US had asked him to mediate between the US and Iran and that General Qassem Soleimani was to come and talk to him and give him the answer to his mediation efforts. Thus, Soleimani was on an OFFICIAL DIPLOMATIC MISSION as part of a diplomatic initiative INITIATED BY THE USA.
  2. The Iraqi Parliament has now voted on a resolution requiring the government to press Washington and its allies to withdraw their troops from Iraq.
  3. Iraq’s caretaker PM Adil Abdul Mahdi said the American side notified the Iraqi military about the planned airstrike minutes before it was carried out. He stressed that his government denied Washington permission to continue with the operation.
  4. The Iraqi Parliament has also demanded that the Iraqi government must “work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason
  5. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that Baghdad has turned to the UN Security Council with complaints about US violations of its sovereignty.
  6. Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said the parliamentary resolution to end foreign troop presence in the country did not go far enough, calling on local and foreign militia groups to unite. I also have confirmation that the Mehdi Army is being re-mobilized.
  7. The Pentagon brass is now laying the responsibility for this monumental disaster on Trump (see here). They are now slowly waking up to this immense clusterbleep and don’t want to be held responsible for what is coming next.
  8. For the first time in the history of Iran, a Red Flag was hoisted over the Holy Dome Of Jamkaran Mosque, Iran. This indicates that the blood of martyrs has been spilled and that a major battle will now happen. The text in the flag says “Oh Hussein we ask for your help” (unofficial translation)
  9. The US has announced the deployment of 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne to Kuwait.
  10. Finally, the Idiot-in-Chief tweeted the following message, probably to try to reassure his freaked out supporters: “The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way… and without hesitation!“. Apparently, he still thinks that criminally overspending for 2nd rate military hardware is going to yield victory…

Analysis

Well, my first though when reading these bullet points is that General Qasem Soleimani has already struck out at Uncle Shmuel from beyond his grave. What we see here is an immense political disaster unfolding like a slow motion train wreck. Make no mistake, this is not just a tactical “oopsie”, but a major STRATEGIC disaster. Why?

For one thing, the US will now become an official and totally illegal military presence in Iraq. This means that whatever SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) the US and Iraq had until now is void.

Second, the US now has two options:

  1. Fight and sink deep into a catastrophic quagmire or
  2. Withdraw from Iraq and lose any possibility to keep forces in Syria

Both of these are very bad because whatever option Uncle Shmuel chooses, he will have lost whatever tiny level of credibility he has left, even amongst his putative “allies” (like the KSA which will now be left nose to nose with a much more powerful Iran than ever before).

The main problem with the current (and very provisional) outcome is that both the Israel Lobby and the Oil Lobby will now be absolutely outraged and will demand that the US try to use military power to regime change both Iraq and Iran.

Needless to say, that ain’t happening (only ignorant and incurable flag-wavers believe the silly claptrap about the US armed forces being “THE BEST”).

Furthermore, it is clear that by it’s latest terrorist action the USA has now declared war on BOTH Iraq and Iran.

This is so important that I need to repeat it again:

The USA is now at war, de-facto and de-jure, with BOTH Iraq and Iran.

I hasten to add that the US is also at war with most of the Muslim world (and most definitely all Shias, including Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthis).

Next, I want to mention the increase in US troop numbers in the Middle-East. An additional 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd AB is what would be needed to support evacuations and to provide a reserve force for the Marines already sent in. This is NOWHERE NEAR the kind of troop numbers the US would need to fight a war with either Iraq or Iran.

Finally, there are some who think that the US will try to invade Iran. Well, with a commander in chief as narcissistically delusional as Trump, I would never say “never” but, frankly, I don’t think that anybody at the Pentagon would be willing to obey such an order. So no, a ground invasion is not in the cards and, if it ever becomes an realistic option we would first see a massive increase in the US troop levels, we are talking several tens of thousands, if not more (depending on the actual plan).

No, what the US will do if/when they attack Iran is what Israel did to Lebanon in 2006, but at a much larger scale. They will begin by a huge number of airstrikes (missiles and aircraft) to hit:

  1. Iranian air defenses
  2. Iranian command posts and Iranian civilian and military leaders
  3. Symbolic targets (like nuclear installations and high visibility units like the IRGC)
  4. Iranian navy and coastal defenses
  5. Crucial civilian infrastructure (power plants, bridges, hospitals, radio/TV stations, food storage, pharmaceutical installations,  schools, historical monuments and, let’s not forget that one, foreign embassies of countries who support Iran). The way this will be justified will be the same as what was done to Serbia: a “destruction of critical regime infrastructure” (what else is new?!)

Then, within about 24-48 hours the US President will go on air an announce to the world that it is “mission accomplished” and that “THE BEST” military forces in the galaxy have taught a lesson to the “Mollahs”.  There will be dances in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (right until the moment the Iranian missiles will start dropping from the sky. At which point the dances will be replaced by screams about a “2nd Hitler” and the “Holocaust”).

Then all hell will break loose (I have discussed that so often in the past that I won’t go into details here).

In conclusion, I want to mention something more personal about the people of the US.

Roughly speaking, there are two main groups which I observed during my many years of life in the USA.

Group one: is the TV-watching imbeciles who think that the talking heads on the idiot box actually share real knowledge and expertise. As a result, their thinking goes along the following lines: “yeah, yeah, say what you want, but if the mollahs make a wrong move, we will simply nuke them; a few neutron bombs will take care of these sand niggers“. And if asked about the ethics of this stance, the usual answer is a “f**k them! they messed with the wrong guys, now they will get their asses kicked“.

Group two: is a much quieter group. It includes both people who see themselves as liberals and conservatives. They are totally horrified and they feel a silent rage against the US political elites. Friends, there are A LOT of US Americans out there who are truly horrified by what is done in their name and who feel absolutely powerless to do anything about it. I don’t know about the young soldiers who are now being sent to the Middle-East, but I know a lot of former servicemen who know the truth about war and about THE BEST military in the history of the galaxy and they are also absolutely horrified.

I can’t say which group is bigger, but my gut feeling is that Group Two is much bigger than Group One. I might be wrong.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , | 7 Comments

Enrichment based on technical needs: Iran rolls back on 2015 nuclear deal

RT | January 5, 2020

Tehran has removed the last constraints it agreed to impose on its nuclear program under the 2015 deal but said it is ready to return to fulfilling its obligations under the agreement if the US lifts sanctions.

Iran’s nuclear program “no longer faces any operating restrictions,” a government statement cited by Iranian media said, adding that parameters of enrichment capacity, enrichment level and the amount of enriched material would from now on be determined only by the program’s “technical needs.”

Tehran still vowed to continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said that it could potentially return to fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear deal if sanctions imposed by Washington are lifted and Tehran’s interests are respected.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Adviser Says Iran Will Target US ‘Military Sites’ – Report

Sputnik – January 5, 2020

The world waits in anticipation after Iran pledged to respond with a “vengeance” to the killing of top ranking General Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike on Friday. The killing came after the US claimed that the Iranian commander was going to put US lives at risk in a series of planned attacks.

Iran will respond to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike by targeting “military sites”, an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s said on Sunday.

While speaking to CNN former Iranian defence minister Hossein Dehghan said: “The response for sure will be military and against military sites”.

Dehghan reiterated the position that Iran “will not be seeking war”.

“It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted,” he told the network. “Afterward they should not seek a new cycle.”

Dehghan also used the opportunity to respond to a threat by US President Donald Trump on Saturday night that any Iranian retaliation would be met by the targeting of 52 unspecified Iranian sites, describing them as “ridiculous and absurd.”

Many of the areas which the US plans to target may be culturally important or UNESCO protected sights.

“Trump doesn’t know international law. He doesn’t recognize U.N. resolutions either. Basically, he is a veritable gangster and a gambler. He is no politician he has no mental stability,” Dehghan told CNN, citing United Nations Resolution 2347, which makes illegal the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage under international, which the US itself is a signatory to since 2017.

Dehghan warned that if Trump were to carry out his threat: “for sure no American military staff, no American political center, no American military base, no American vessel will be safe. And they are accessible to us.”

While speaking to ABC on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo softened the presidents remarks claiming that the US would “act lawfully”.

The attack which killed Soleimani in Baghdad was approved by Trump in Mar-a-Lago last Thursday.

The operation took place in Baghdad in the early hours of Friday as Soleimani and as well as Iraqi officials of Iranian-backed militias were leaving Baghdad airport.

Several missiles were launched from a drone killing at least seven people including Soleimani and his comrades.

Iran has pledged to respond to the attack, vowing “harsh vengeance” against the US for the liquidation of one of their top commanders and beloved officials.

“Harsh vengeance awaits the criminals that got his and other martyrs’ blood on their evil hands in last night’s incident”, said Iran’s supreme leader in a statement following the event on Friday.

US officials claim that it was a preemptive strike in response to planned attacks by Soleimani on American targets but have yet to provide any details.

The strike followed a storming of the UN embassy in Iraqi after US airstrikes were launched against Iranian-backed militia groups in Iran which killed 25 people.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | 14 Comments

Israeli Forces Committed 255 Violations against Journalists in 2019

Moath Amarneh lost his eye by a rubber bullet while covering a peaceful protest in Hebron (Al-Khalil). (Photo: via Social Media)
Palestine Chronicle – January 5, 2020

In 2019, Israeli forces committed 255 violations against journalists and media institutions working in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to The Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA).

The agency released its annual report on Israeli violations against journalists on Sunday.

Israeli violations included the use of live fire, rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters against journalists, in addition to physical beating and arrest.

The report added that 145 journalists were injured by live fire or rubber-coated rounds, suffocated by teargas or beaten by Israeli forces during the year, while 145 journalists were either arrested or targeted by Israeli gunfire but were not injured. A total of 27 assaults by Israeli forces on media institutions were also documented.

“These daily crimes and violations against journalists,” the report said, “require an urgent and immediate intervention to pressure the Israeli government to stop its systematic and deliberate targeting of photographers and field journalists”.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Iraqi parliament passes resolution asking government to cancel request for assistance from US-led coalition

RT | January 5, 2020

Iraqi parliament has voted to have foreign troops removed from the country, heeding a call from its caretaker prime minister. The move comes after US assassination of a top Iranian general and a commander of Iraqi militia.

The resolution, which was passed anonymously, instructs the government to cancel a request for military assistance to the US-led coalition, which was issued in response to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). With IS supposedly defeated, Iraq will not need foreign troops to fight the jihadists and can close its airspace to coalition aircraft.

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”

According to Press TV, some Western military presence may remain for training purposes. The resolution says Iraqi military leadership has to report the number of foreign instructors that are necessary for Iraqi national security.

At the same time, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that Baghdad had turned to the UN Security Council with complaints about US violations of its sovereignty.

Speaking at an emergency parliament session on Sunday, Iraq’s caretaker PM said the American side notified the Iraqi military about the planned airstrike minutes before it was carried out. He stressed that his government denied Washington permission to continue with the operation.

“Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically.”

Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force, were killed by a drone strike as their convoy was leaving Baghdad International Airport on Friday morning.

The interim prime minister said after the incident that it was clear it was in the interest of both the US and Iraq to end the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil.

Mahdi said Soleimani was on his way to meet him when the US airstrike killed the Iranian general.

Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated in a letter that Iraq should go further and shut down the US embassy.

Washington claims the assassination of Soleimani was an act of self-defense justified by his planning of attacks on American citizens. Tehran called it international terrorism and vowed to avenge the popular military officer.

In the wake of the attack the US advised all American civilians to leave Iraq. The US-led coalition troops in Iraq have also suspended all training operations and hunkered down at fortified bases, bracing for retaliatory strikes.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment

170 Iraqi lawmakers sign draft bill to expel US military forces from country

Press TV – January 5, 2020

A total of 170 Iraqi lawmakers have signed a draft bill, demanding the withdrawal of US military forces from the country following the assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

On Sunday, the legislators used an extraordinary parliamentary session to push for a vote on a resolution requiring the government to press Washington to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

The lawmakers, citing Articles 59 and 109 of the Constitution and in line with their national and regulatory responsibilities as representatives to safeguard the security and sovereignty of Iraq, singed a four-point draft bill as follows:

Firstly, the central government in Baghdad is obliged to cancel its request to the US-led military coalition, which was purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist on the grounds, now that military operations have ended in the country, and victory over Daesh has been achieved. The Iraqi government should therefore put an end to the presence of any foreign troops and prevent the use of the Iraqi airspace.

Secondly, the government and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces must announce the number of foreign trainers they need, along with their locations, responsibilities, and duration of their contracts.

Thirdly, the Iraqi foreign minister, on behalf of the government, must turn to the United Nations and the Security Council to file a complaint against the United States for violations of the Iraqi sovereignty and security.

Finally, the plan comes into force once it obtains the parliamentary approval.

On Saturday, the leader of a powerful political coalition in Iraq’s parliament said US forces will be driven out of the Iraqi territory following the vicious, cowardly US operation.

“We offer our condolences to the adherents of Hashd al-Sha’abi and all Iraqis over the martyrdom of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, General Soleimani and a number of young valiant men. This is the path of martyrdom, and we hereby declare that we will continue to tread it. We have no reservations whatsoever in this regard,” Hadi al-Ameri, who is the head of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance, told reporters as he participated in the funeral ceremony for the fallen heroes in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Saturday.

“We will defeat Americans and drive them out, as we did earlier in the face of Daesh. We will expel Americans right before Iraqis’ eyes as they will be frustrated and humiliated.”

“We will press ahead with this struggle. We don’t have any option but to fully restore Iraq’s sovereignty,” added Ameri, who is also the secretary general of the Badr Organization.

Back on August 27 last year, the Fatah Alliance called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, following a series of airstrikes targeting Hashd al-Sha’abi forces in the country that have been blamed on Israel.

The parliamentary bloc said it held the United States fully responsible for the Israeli act of aggression, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.”

The US, backed by the United Kingdom, invaded Iraq in 2003 claiming that the former regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

No such weapons, however, were ever found.

The invaders withdrew from Iraq, after nearly nine years of a military campaign that cost tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

Leading a new coalition of its allies, the United States returned to Iraq in 2014, when Daesh unleashed a campaign of destruction in the Arab country. Widespread reports, however, said the Washington-led operations largely spared the terrorists and led, instead, to civilian deaths and inflicted damage on the Iraqi infrastructure.

Iraq’s army troops, backed by volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi forces, managed to liberate all Daesh-held areas thanks to military advisory assistance from neighboring Iran.

Baghdad declared the end of the anti-Daesh campaign in late 2017.

January 5, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 13 Comments