IN VIDEO: ‘BREAKERS OF TITANS’ ATTACK ANOTHER US SUPPLY CONVOY IN IRAQ

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On August 4, pro-Iranian Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin [The Breaker of Titans Company] attacked a convoy carrying logistic supplies and equipment for the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar.

The group’s operatives targeted the convoy with an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was passing on a road near the city of Nasiriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar. A video of the attack was released.

Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin is one of several pro-Iranian Iraqi groups which emerged following the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, and Iran’s Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani.

In the last few weeks, Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin stepped up its attacks on US-led coalition supply convoys. On July 29, the group attack four supply convoys in Dhi Qar, the southern province of al-Diwaniyah and the central province of Babylon. On July 30, a fifth convoy was targeted in Babylon.

More than eight hours after the attack on the US-led coalition’s supply convoy, an armored SUV of the Euphrates security company, which guards supply convoys and provides other services to the coalition, was targeted with a magnetic IED near the Islamic Bank in the district of Karada in the center of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The US, which appears to be determined to keep its forces in Iraq, is yet to find a way to protect is contractors and supply convoys from pro-Iranian forces.

Iraqi “resistance” forces will not likely cease their attacks on US supply convoys, bases and diplomatic mission before a full withdrawal plan is announced by Washington. This will not happen anytime soon, apparently.

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مجتمع مدني؟

30 تموز 2021

تقول التجربتان العراقية والفلسطينية حيث يبلغ تعداد المنتسبين الى جمعيات تحمل اسم المجتمع المدني عشرات الآلاف، والبعض يقول مئات الآلاف، أنه يكفي أن تملك سجلاً لجمعية مع سبعة أشخاص حتى يتم إدراجك على لوائح المستفيدين من منح الهيئات الدولية والسفارات الأجنبية، وتكليفك بمهام تحت عنوان حقوق الإنسان والبيئة وقضايا الديمقراطية وفي بعض الحالات التمويه باسم جمعيات للتشجيع على تمكين المرأة وسكان الريف وحماية الغابات وربما الإرضاع من الثدي والحدّ من النسل، لكن في نهاية المطاف عليك الاستجابة للمشاركة في الدعوات التي تطلقها الجمعيات الشبيهة من أجل “أن يصير المجتمع مدنياً”.

الاسم يثير التساؤل علمياً، فكيف يكون سبعة اشخاص هم مجتمع، وليسوا مجرد جمعية، ومن الذي ابتكر إضافة مجتمع، والمفردة ترمز لما هو إنساني ونبيل في صفة التمثيل كأن يصير للأحزاب تسمية الوطن، كي يتعادل الوزن على الأقل، ثم مدني، كأن هناك مجتمع عسكري يقابله مجتمع مدني، أو مجتمع ديني يقابله مجتمع آخر يفترض أن يكون اسمه لا ديني وليس مدنياً، لأن الديني ليس ضد المدنية من زاوية المعنى المطلق للمفردات.

في لبنان ولدت خلال عشر سنوات ماضية، منذ نشوب الأزمة في سورية وتحوّلها الى حرب آلاف الجمعيات، التي بدأ أغلبها تحت عنوان الإهتمام بشؤون النازحين وتنظيمهم بذريعة مساعدتهم، لأن المطلوب كان جعل النزوح وسيلة للتجنيد لمن صعب تجنيده في سورية للمشاركة بالحرب ضد الدولة السورية، وسرعان ما بدأت تسند لهذه الجمعيات مهام داخلية، ومع تفجير المرفأ تحولت ببيانات رسمية الى بديل للدولة معتمد لتلقي المساعدات لكن دون مساءلة عن وجهة إنفاق الأموال والمساعدات العينية.

مع بدء العام الانتخابي تحدّدت مهمة الجمعيات بحشد الأصوات لمرشحين سيتم اختيارهم بإشراف السفارات، وخصوصاً الرباعي الأميركي الفرنسي الألماني البريطاني، والمال العربي ينفق بإشراف هذه السفارات على الحملات الانتخابية التي يفترض ان تخدم لوائح موحّدة تشرف على تسمية المشاركين فيها من السفارات.

لهذه الغاية تمّ تكليف المسؤولة السابقة في التنظيم العسكري للقوات اللبنانية لإدارة المجتمع المدني تعاونها موظفة حقوقية لدى السفارة الأميركية ووفقاً لقاعدة 6 و6 مكرر واحدة من السيدتين مسلمة والثانية مسيحية، وشركات الإحصاءات تعمل بعقود من السفارات للترويج للفكرة لحين تبلور اللوائح.

سيُصاب المشروع بالنتيجة ذاتها التي أصابته في العراق، لكن هناك قرر الأميركيون الإيعاز لمن يلزم بطلب تأجيل الانتخابات، والمجاهرة برفض المشاركة وإعلان الانسحاب من الترشيح، فهل يفعلون ذلك في لبنان؟

التعليق السياسي

Iraqi Resistance Groups Vow to Force US Troops to Leave Humiliated

 July 30, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah resistance movement has emphasized that the American military troops must withdraw from the Arab country, vowing that it is ready to force the occupation troops to do so.

The anti-terror group, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, announced in a statement on Thursday that it has and will firmly oppose the dominance of “evil” colonial powers over the natural resources of Iraq.

The statement noted that Kataib Hezbollah will continue to carry out its duties regardless of pressures and challenges it might face.

“All resistance groups have become a thorn in the eye of the American enemy. We are fully prepared to once again drive US forces out of Iraq in humiliation,” it also read.

Kataib Hezbollah warned that further surprises await American occupation forces in case they insist on their presence on the Iraqi soil.

Jafar al-Hussaini, spokesman for the resistance movement, said the Iraqi factions would not target diplomatic missions in the country, describing attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone as false-flag operations aimed at deceiving the Iraqi nation.

“Diplomatic facilities in Iraq are not on the list of targets by resistance forces. Attacks on the evil US embassy in Baghdad are meant to disrupt equations and trick Iraqi people,” Hussaini told Beirut-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV on Thursday.

“The perpetrators of attacks on the evil embassy are pursuing destructive interests, and their affiliations are suspicious,” he added.

In the same context, Leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq Movement, Qais al-Khazali, said the United States does not intend to withdraw its forces from Iraq, stressing that the cost of continued presence of American forces in the country will be heavy.

“US overflights in Iraq are aimed at espionage purposes. Baghdad-Washington negotiations will not result in the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. This is just a deception game,” he added.

Khazali described the Iraqi government’s negotiations with the United States and the agreement purportedly ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021 as “deceptive” and “bogus.”

He said the agreement does not explicitly state the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and fails short of addressing the violation of the Iraqi airspace by US military aircraft.

“The agreement has simply been struck in order to change the title of US forces. This is what we had earlier reported about. US overflights in Iraq are being carried out to spy on resistance groups. Our demand concerning the pullout of foreign military forces is legitimate,” Khazali said.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday sealed an agreement formally ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of the current year, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the Arab country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the White House meeting, Biden claimed that the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

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US bombing of Iraq and Syria is illegal aggression – Occupiers have no right to ‘self-defense’

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Independent journalist focused on geopolitics and US foreign policy.

 July 28, 2021

Source

Ben Norton

Militarily occupying Iraq and Syria is a thoroughly bipartisan policy in the United States. And bombing West Asia has become a favorite pastime that unites both Democrat and Republican presidents.

The United States believes it has the right to bomb, militarily occupy, and economically strangulate any country, anywhere, without consequence. But the world’s peoples are standing up more and more to the global dictatorship of US hegemony.

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On June 27, Washington launched airstrikes against forces in both Iraq and Syria, two sovereign countries illegally occupied by the US military, which have repeatedly called for American troops to leave.

The US attack proved to be a gift to the genocidal extremists in ISIS: it helped provide cover as remnants of the so-called “Islamic State” launched a terror attack on a power grid in northern Iraq. Similarly, the US bombing killed several members of Iraqi government-backed units who had been protecting their nation from ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

It is far from the first time Washington has clearly been on the same side as far-right Takfiri fanatics. For example, current US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan admitted in an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 that “AQ is on our side in Syria.” And the US government supported al-Qaeda extremists in its wars on Yemen and Libya.

In addition to aiding notorious terrorist groups, these US strikes on Iraq and Syria were glaringly illegal under international law. Moreover, they constitute a clear act of aggression against the peoples of West Asia, who for decades have struggled for self-determination and control over their own, plentiful natural resources – resources that the US government and its all-powerful corporations seek to control and exploit.

The Pentagon tried to justify its attack claiming it was an act of “self-defense.” Absurdly, the US Department of Defense – the world champion in violating international law – even cited international law to try to legitimize the airstrikes.

In reality, the US military’s presence in Iraq and Syria is illegal. And under international law, a military power that is illegally occupying a territory does not have the right to self-defense. That is true just as much for apartheid “Israel” in its settler-colonial aggression against Palestine as it is for the United States in its imperial wars on the peoples of Iraq and Syria.

Iraq’s prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, made that clear. He condemned the US strikes as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.”

In January 2020, in response to Washington’s assassination of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – a criminal act of war against both Iraq and Iran – the democratically elected parliament in Baghdad voted 170 to 0 to expel the thousands of US troops occupying Iraq.

Washington simply ignored the vote, silencing the voices of the Iraqi people – while threatening more economic sanctions on their government. In addition, the Pentagon stressed that the vote was nonbinding. Still, even the US government-backed RAND Corporation acknowledged that there “is no treaty or status of forces agreement (SOFA) authorizing the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.”

Likewise, the United States is illegally occupying one-third of Syrian sovereign territory. The internationally recognized government in Damascus has repeatedly called on the US military occupiers to leave, but they have refused, in a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.

“The presence of Americans in Syria is a sign of occupation, and we believe that all nations and governments must stand up to their unlawful presence in the region,” Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis declared in 2020, after the US assassinations of the top Iraqi and Iranian military leaders.

While former Republican President Donald Trump radiated a kind of neocolonial arrogance, boasting that US troops would illegally remain in Syria because “we want to keep the oil,” the Democratic Joe Biden administration has not acted much differently.

President Biden appointed hardline neoconservative operative Dana Stroul as the top Pentagon official for Middle East policy. In 2019, Stroul bragged that Washington “owned” one-third of Syrian territory, including its “economic powerhouse,” which includes the vast majority of its oil and wheat reserves.

Stroul’s promotion was an unambiguous sign that the Democrats are endorsing the same sadistic Trumpian strategy, to militarily occupy Syria, steal its natural resources, starve its government of revenue, deny its people bread and gasoline, and prevent reconstruction of what Stroul snidely referred to as the widespread “rubble.”

The reality is that militarily occupying Iraq and Syria is a thoroughly bipartisan policy in the United States. And bombing West Asia has become a favorite pastime that unites both Democrat and Republican presidents.

Trump launched airstrikes against Syria in April 2018 on totally unsubstantiated accusations that Damascus had carried out “gas attacks,” claims that have since been proven false by multiple whistleblowers from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Then in December 2019, the Trump administration bombed anti-ISIS militias in both Syria and Iraq.

Biden carried out a similar, illegal attack on these same fighters in eastern Syria in February 2021. Another example of Washington serving as the de facto air force for the remnants of the so-called “Islamic State.”

The December 2019, February 2021, and June 2021 US airstrikes targeted the Iraqi government-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMFs), known in Arabic as the al-Hashd al-Sha’abi. In its official statement on the June bombing, the Pentagon stated unequivocally that it was attacking Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, two prominent Iraqi armed groups in the Hashd.

The Department of Defense misleadingly referred to these units as “Iran-backed militia groups.” The US government and the corporate media outlets that act as its obedient mouthpiece always describe the Hashd as “Iran-backed” to try to downplay their role as indigenous protectors of Iraqi sovereignty and deceptively portray them as foreign proxies of Washington’s favorite bogeyman.

In reality, the PMFs are Iraqi units supported by the elected, internationally recognized government in Baghdad. The Hashd played a leading role in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other extremist Takfiri groups in both Iraq and Syria – while the United States, apartheid “Israel”, and NATO allies spent billions of dollars backing Salafi-jihadist death squads in their genocidal war on the people of Syria.

The Hashd do indeed receive assistance from Tehran, and they have every right to do so. After all, Iran is Iraq’s neighbor, whereas the United States is on the other side of the planet. But Washington, NATO, and their de facto stenographers in the corporate press corps seek to discredit all resistance to criminal US aggression in West Asia by erasing its organic, indigenous roots and lazily depicting it as a vast conspiracy controlled by an omnipresent Iranian controller.

The PMFs made it clear that they will not tolerate Washington’s assault on their nation’s sovereignty. “We reserve the legal right to respond to these attacks and hold the perpetrators accountable on Iraqi soil,” the Hashd declared.

Unlike the US military occupiers, the people of Iraq and Syria do have a right to exercise self-defense in response to strikes by foreign aggressors. They can legally resist American military occupation and neocolonialism, just as the people of Palestine have the right to resist Israeli military occupation and Zionist settler-colonialism. It is a right enshrined in international law – and an inalienable right that any nation would defend.

If Washington wants to stop attacks on its troops, there is an easy way to do that: withdraw them from the region where they are not wanted. American soldiers will be much safer at home.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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الثلاثيّ غير المقدّس

29 تموز 2021

ليس في العالم بلد يكرهه بعض أبنائه ويتمنون الشر له ويجهدون لتسخيف كل إشارة خير لتعميم اليأس، كحال لبنان.

يلفت نظر المتابع للمواقف الإعلامية والسياسية وجود حلف إعلامي حزبي يضم ناشطين في جمعيات تسمّي نفسها بالثورية، مهمته شيطنة كل مبادرة أو خطوة تتصل بمعالجة وجه من وجوه الأزمة الضاغطة على اللبنانيين.

لم تكن مبادرة السيد حسن نصرالله بالدعوة لاستيراد البنزين والمازوت من إيران بالليرة اللبنانيّة الهدف الوحيد الذي تم التصويب عليه من هذا الثلاثيّ، كي نقول إن الخصومة السياسية هي السبب، علماً أن أي لبناني يفترض أن ينظر لكل مبادرة يمكن أن تسهم في حلحلة معاناة اللبنانيين بإيجابية ويناقشها بانفتاح وعقلانية بعيداً عن الكيد والشيطنة لمجرد ان المبادر هو خصم سياسيّ.

عندما عرضت شركات صينية استثمارات في لبنان بمليارات الدولارات، خرج هذا الثلاثي يشكك في مبدأ وجود هذه الشركات، بالرغم من أن لهذه الشركات ممثلين ظهروا على وسائل الإعلام وخبراء شاركوا في اجتماعاتها مع المسؤولين الرسميين، وذلك فقط للقول إن الطريق مسدود أمام أية حلول إلا بالسياق الذي ترسمه السفارات الغربية والخليجية، والتشكيك بالشركات الصينية ومؤهلاتها وقدراتها التمويليّة مثير للسخرية، خصوصاً في مجال المرافئ وتجهيزها وتشغيلها، فالمعدات والشركات الصينية تشغّل كبريات موانئ العالم من دبي الى بوسطن وصولاً الى امستردام.

عندما جاء وفد رسمي روسي يرافق شركات روسية وجال بمشاركة السفير الروسي على عدد من المسؤولين عارضاً مشاريع استثمار في المرفأ والكهرباء ومصافي النفط كرر الثلاثي المعزوفة التشكيكية ذاتها، وقامت قنوات تلفزيونية تنتسب لهذا الثلاثي بالحديث عن أن الشركات الروسية وهمية، بصورة تثير الضحك، فهل يعقل أن السفير الروسي ووزارة خارجية دولة عظمى كروسيا سترسل شركة وهمية الى أي بلد في العالم وبأي هدف، بينما ذهبت قناة تلفزيونية أخرى الى فبركة تقرير يربط بين الشركة وباخرة النترات التي تفجّرت في مرفأ بيروت.

بعد توقيع لبنان على عقد مبادلة النفط بالخدمات بالليرة اللبنانية مع العراق نشطت قوى الثلاثي الشيطاني، ولم يرق لها الأمر فخرج بعضها يتساءل عن ماهية الخدمات التي سيقدّمها لبنان بهدف القول إن العقد لن ينفذ، بينما المنطق أن يتعاضد اللبنانيون لإنجاح هذا العقد الذي يوفر على لبنان نزيف 500 مليون دولار، وبعض آخر وضع أسئلة حول كيفية مبادلة النفط بالفيول وصولاً لتشكيك لا يهدف لتحصين الخطوة بل للطعن بها، وبعض ثالث لم يتورّع عن تصوير العقد بأنه بيع نفايات عراقيّة نفطيّة للبنان بهدف التخلص منها.

ليس في العالم بلد يكرهه بعض أبنائه ويتمنون الشر له ويجهدون لتسخيف كل إشارة خير لتعميم اليأس، كحال لبنان.

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Nujaba: Entire US Military, Including “Criminal” Air Force, Must Leave Iraq

27 Jul 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement has called for a complete pullout of American forces from the country, saying the planned withdrawal under the newly-inked agreement between Baghdad and Washington must include the US military’s “criminal” air force.

“We have no confidence whatsoever in Americans, and do not agree to their presence under any circumstances. We fiercely oppose the US military presence, and demand a complete pullout of American forces,” Nasr al-Shammari, Nujaba’s spokesman, told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network in an interview on Monday night.

The comments followed a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden in Washington, where they sealed an agreement formally ending the US “combat” mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Biden said the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Shammari hailed Kadhimi’s latest remarks that Iraq no longer requires American combat troops.

The Nujaba official said the withdrawal must also include the US air force, which, he said, controls Iraq’s airspace and has been behind many of the American military’s crimes in the Arab state.

“The US military’s crimes in Iraq, especially the assassination of military commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani [of Iran] and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were carried out by its air force,” Shammari said.

He said the US military offered no help to Iraq to prevent the rise of the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] initially, or to defeat it later on.

“American forces did not warn against the Daesh militant group’s threats until after it captured more than a third of the Iraqi soil. Additionally, the troops did not provide any assistance to confront the terrorists,” he said.

Shammari said certain Iraqi factions want to promote themselves though foreign support and thus seek a prolongation of the US military presence in the country.

“Who can guarantee that American forces in Iraq will not be reinforced under the title of advisors?” he asked.

Meanwhile, prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr praised the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, saying, “We are waiting for a complete withdrawal of American troops.”

Sadr praised the role of Iraqi resistance fighters in speeding up the American pullout in a post published on his Twitter page, and wrote “The occupiers finally announced the start of the withdrawal of all their combat forces.”

“We are waiting, just as you are, for the complete pullout of the occupying forces,” he said in an address to resistance groups, while appreciating “efforts aimed at striking this agreement, especially those made by brother al-Kadhimi.”

He added, “We have already announced our conditions, and the military operations of resistance forces will stop completely once they are met. We must work to support Iraqi armed forces, including the army and law enforcement, so they can secure Iraqi territories and protect the country against terrorism, violence and proxies.”

Separately, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halboosi hailed the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, and stated that his country is moving confidently towards the full realization of its capabilities.

He described the agreement as a diplomatic and political achievement in line with Iraq’s national interests, establishment of full sovereignty and the creation of a capable Iraq.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

“Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada”: US May Back a Military Ruler in Iraq

27 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

After many Iraqi stances refusing to legitimize the US presence in Iraq, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi warns against a plan to destabilize the elections and appoint a US-backed military ruler in Iraq.

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Al-Fartousi: The Iraqi government made a grave mistake

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi considered that “the negotiations between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his accompanying delegation with the US administration are aimed at legitimizing the US presence in Iraq.”

In response to the Biden-Kadhimi agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, al-Fartousi said that “the Iraqi government made a grave mistake when it undertook the role of a mediator between the Resistance and the US.” 

“By doing so, the Iraqi government recognized the presence of US combat troops in Iraq,” he added.

Concerning the Iraqi parliamentary elections and Iraq’s political future, Al-Fartousi confirmed that “the circulated information suggests that the upcoming elections will not bring anything new to the political structure. As a result, a decision was made against them.”

Al-Fartousi warned that “a military figure, who accompanied the Iraqi delegation to the US, may be nominated as a military ruler,” he added.

The Secretary-General of “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” Qais al-Khazali said that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s statement about the need for US forces was “unfortunate”, noting that “the statement is rejected and does not reflect the reality of the capabilities the Iraqi forces have attained.”

On Monday, the Deputy Secretary-General of Iraq’s “Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement” Nasr al-Shammari expressed to Al Mayadeen his distrust in the Americans.

“Iraq’s Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement rejects the US presence in Iraq,” al-Shammari emphasized.

Commenting on some Iraqi stances which call for the continuation of US presence in Iraq, Al-Shammari  said, “Whoever demands a continued US military presence in Iraq aims to gain internal power through the foreign powers.” 

“US forces in Iraq did not provide an early warning against ISIS invasion, nor did they assist in confronting it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad had lately stressed that his country’s security forces are still in need of the training, armament, equipment, and capacity-building programs provided by the US.

On his part, Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji has recently announced that the US has been informed that “Iraq does not need any foreign combat force” on its soil.

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White House: Biden, Al-Kadhimi Agree on Continued Security Partnership

27 Jul, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi affirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October.

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US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC | AFP

United States President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss strengthening bilateral coordination under the Strategic Framework Agreement. The two parties discussed expanded initiatives on climate, energy, education, and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House stated Tuesday “the two parties are committed to a continued security partnership to ensure that ISIS can never resurge and to allow communities recovering from terror to rebuild with dignity even as the United States shifts to a purely advisory role.”

Today President Biden met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi of the Republic of Iraq. Together they discussed initiatives on climate, energy, education, combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, and their commitment to maintaining a strong partnership between the U.S. and Iraq. pic.twitter.com/b06fIOVHu5— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 26, 2021

“The leaders reaffirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October. The leaders agreed on the vital importance of holding these elections on time and welcomed the UN monitoring mission to support their full transparency and fairness,” the White House added.

“They discussed the important role of Iraq in the region and the significant diplomatic efforts led by Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi to improve and strengthen Iraq’s relationships in the region,” the readout of the meeting continued.

The two parties concluded by saying that Iraq’s stability was central to the stability of the entire region.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement on Monday, which formally ends the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, but US forces will still operate there in an advisory role.

“Our role in Iraq will be … to be available, to continue to train, to assist, to help, and to deal with ISIS as it arises, but we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” said Biden.

Al-Kadhimi expressed his happiness with the continued cooperation with the United States, stating that the relationship with Washington has many aspects.

Iraq’s Al-Nujaba Vows to Keep Targeting US Forces regardless Of New Title of Their Presence

July 26, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Spokesman for Iraq’s al-Nujaba Movement, Nasr al-Shammari said the country’s resistance forces will continue to target American forces regardless of their name being changed from combat forces to trainers and advisers.

“Regarding the US military’s presence, names and titles do not matter, and they will still be targets for the weapons of resistance under any title or attribute,” al-Shammari said in an interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television network.

Al-Shammari noted that Iraq’s prime minister, defense minister, and national security adviser have all emphasized that the country does not need the presence of foreign forces as it enjoys ample defense capabilities.

He said when Iraq was badly in need of American troops and advisers, they were of no use and their presence was not a source of any benefit to Iraqis.

“The Americans are changing the title of their presence in Iraq to deceive the public,” he said. “What good can come out of changing the title of ‘occupier’ to ‘adviser’? American troops are present in Iraq; what difference does it make under what title and pretext their presence is defined?”

He reiterated that Iraqi resistance forces will continue to target American forces because “nothing has changed from the perspective of al-Nujaba Movement and Iraq does not need American forces.”

Al-Shammari made the remarks as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is scheduled to meet President Joe Biden on Monday to push for a concrete timetable for the withdrawal of US troops.

Currently, there are approximately 2,500 US troops in Iraq. In April, the two countries agreed that the US transition to a train-and-advise mission requires the withdrawal of combat troops, without setting a timetable for the withdrawal.

Al-Kadhimi: Iraq Doesn’t Need US Combat Troops

 July 25, 2021

Iraq’s Prime Minister said that his country no longer requires US combat troops to fight “ISIS”.

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Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

Ahead of a planned trip to Washington, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that “the US and Iraq agreed in April that the US transition to a train-and-advise mission meant the US combat role would end.”

During an interview for AP, al-Kadhimi said that “there is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil. “

“Iraq’s security forces and army are capable of defending the country without US-led coalition troops”, he added.

Al-Kadhimi went on to say that “the war against ISIS and the readiness of our forces require a special timetable, and this depends on the negotiations that we will conduct in Washington.”

Furthermore, al-Kadhimi said that “Iraq is not Afghanistan, and the US withdrawal from Iraq is not comparable to its withdrawal from Afghanistan,” emphasizing that “Iraq has succeeded in gaining the trust of neighboring countries, and accordingly, it is working toward the stability of the region.”

Iraqi Prime Minister headed an official delegation to the United States on Sunday, to discuss US-Iraqi relations.

Before departing for Washington, al-Kadhimi affirmed that his visit comes within the framework of Iraq’s efforts to consolidate a close relationship with the US, stressing that “the visit culminates long efforts of intensive work during the strategic dialogue sessions period, to organize the security relations between the two countries in a way that serves Iraq’s interest.”

US sources did not rule out the possibility of Washington maintaining its military presence in Iraq at the current level. The New York Times quoted sources in the US Defense Department and the White House as saying that Washington could maintain its military forces in Iraq by reclassifying their roles on paper.

It is notable that on Thursday, an Iraqi delegation headed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad arrived in Washington to meet with US officials.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart that “we will discuss with the Iraqi delegation the fight against ISIS so that we can establish security and stability, which indicates close relations with Iraq.”

For his part, the Iraqi foreign minister said, “We are here to conduct dialogue and discussion with the American side,” hoping that the dialogue will “deepen the joint cooperation between Washington and Baghdad.”

Hussein added that “the premises of the dialogue are based on joint action, mutual respect, and cooperation in broad areas, including security, military, economic, energy, health, combating COVID-19, and many other fields.”


Iraqi Resistance Lambasts FM’s Remarks on Need for US Troops

 July 24, 2021

Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department (February 4, 2021 / photo by Reuters).

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein’s recent statements about the need for US forces in the Arab country have drawn strong criticism from anti-terror resistance groups and political leaders.

Speaking at a joint press conference alongside his American counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday, the Iraqi foreign minister said that Baghdad still required Washington’s help, and called for maintaining bilateral security cooperation.

“We need to work with the International Coalition, led by the United States, against the terrorists of Daesh,” Hussein alleged. “We need cooperation in the field of intelligence. We need help with training. We need troops to help us in the air.”

The comments came at a time when American and Iraqi officials are finalizing a shift in the US military mission in Iraq to what they call “a purely advisory role” by the end of the year.

Citing a US official and two people familiar with the matter, Politico reported on Thursday that the change is planned to be announced on Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

In response, the Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, which consists of representatives of anti-terror factions within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, underlined the need for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.

In a statement carried by Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV channel, the committee warned that the meddling of foreign forces in Iraq’s security is meant to spy on the work of the country’s security agencies, adding that the mission of the US Air Force in Iraq is to defend the security of the Zionist regime and spy on the resistance.

“We stress the resistance’s conditions not to allow the presence of any foreign military personnel on Iraqi soil,” it added. “The pullout of foreign occupying forces from Iraq must be done completely from all Iraqi territory in order for the process to be real.”

The secretary general of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, a subdivision of Hashd al-Sha’abi, said FM Hussein’s remarks are “very unfortunate and unacceptable” for all Iraqis who are proud of their military and security institutions.

Ammar Hakim, Iraqi Shia cleric and head of National Wisdom Movement (Hikma), expressed hope that the Iraqi delegation’s talks with the US would take into account the country’s interests through their professional conduct.

Source: Press TV

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Pentagon: Iraq will Decide the Fate of Our Military Presence

22 Jul 21

Al Mayadeen

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

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US military parade in Iraq (archive).

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

Kirby said that the Pentagon is hosting an Iraqi delegation “as part of the ongoing strategic dialogue between the two states” and that “the US military presence in Iraq is under discussion with our Iraqi partners.”

He added: Our mission will not permanently focus on “ISIS” and we are in close consultations with Iraqi officials. We hope that we can rid ourselves and the region of the threat posed by it.

The Pentagon spokesman considered that the fate of US military presence in Iraq is a matter that will be concluded with Iraq, adding that “We will continue to talk with the Iraqis about our direct military presence in Iraq to serve the interests of the United States.” 

The United States reduced its military presence in Iraq last year by half, equivalent to 2,500 soldiers. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman also announced last April that the presence of US forces had become limited to guidance and training.

Talks about the US presence in Iraq come amid an American drive to reduce military deployments in the Middle East that accelerated the withdrawal process of US forces from Afghanistan. 

PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

July 21, 2021 

PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

By Staff, Agencies

The leader of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, which operates under the command of Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], has held the United States responsible for the loss of dozens of lives in a deadly Baghdad bombing claimed by the Daesh terror group, which he described as a creation of the US, “Israel” and their Gulf allies.

Qais al-Khazali said in a statement on Tuesday that political motives lie behind the bloody carnage in the bustling Woheilat market of Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Sadr City a day earlier.

He said the terror attack tooisraek place on the eve of Eid al-Adha [Feast of Sacrifice] and as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi prepares to visit Washington within the next few days.

“The United States is seeking justification for its overstay in Iraq through the presence of Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’] terrorists. Everyone knows that Daesh was created by the US, the “Israeli” regime and certain Gulf Arab states, and their intelligence services are in control of the group,” Khazali said.

The Iraqi PMU leader said the United States is behind the upsurge in Wahhabi Daesh terror attacks, adding that Washington is responsible for the massacre of Iraqi people and its crimes will be responded appropriately.

He added that some individuals are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorist elements to carry out the market bombing.

A bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday night. More than 60 people were wounded.

The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.

The Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, in a separate statement, strongly criticized the performance of Kadhimi’s government and Iraqi security forces in response to the market blast in Baghdad.

“We call on the government to take immediate actions to stop criminal acts,” the group said.

The movement stressed that Kadhimi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi Armed Forces, in addition to security forces are primarily responsible for the occurrence of such bombings.

Asking for an inquiry into the failure to prevent the tragedy, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq said intelligence measures and pre-emptive operations should be taken to destroy terrorist lairs.

The anti-terror movement also stressed that the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, should be given a greater role to guarantee security and that their experiences should be used.

Backed by the PMU, Iraq put an end to Daesh’s territorial rule on its soil in late 2017, more than three years after the terror group emerged in the Arab country and captured swaths of land in its western and northern parts.

However, Daesh sleeper cells have continued to launch terror attacks against security forces and civilians from time to time.

The latest bombing, one of the largest since the victory against Daesh, signaled a rise in the strength of the remaining terrorists in Iraq, which are widely believed to have the support of the United States.

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

18/07/2021

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement said the Iraqi government is not entitled to keep any foreign forces in the country without the authorization of the country’s parliament, stressing that the American forces’ presence in Iraq runs counter to the Arab country’s constitution.

“The presence of American troops in Iraq is a clear violation of the Iraqi constitution,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie, spokesman of the resistance movement’s political bureau, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

“Furthermore, there is no agreement or approval for the presence of these forces in Iraq from the parliament of Iraq, as a country with a parliamentary system, and the government has no right to keep any foreign troops on the Iraqi soil without the consent of the parliament,” al-Rubaei said.

He pointed out that the incumbent Iraqi government has admitted, unlike previous governments, that the US forces are neither training nor advisory forces, but rather, they belong to the US Army’s Ground Force, who have committed a series of crimes in Iraq.

“Among the crimes committed by the American forces in Iraq, we can mention the biggest, which is the martyrdom of the commanders of victory,” al-Rubaei said.

He was making a reference to the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, General Qassem Soleimani, along with deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, after which Iraq’s Parliament passed a law demanding the expulsion of all US-led forces.

The spokesman said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, in his upcoming visit to Washington, would pursue the US military’s withdrawal from Iraq.

He also termed the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington as “useless”, saying such recurring talks are aimed at prolonging the US occupation forces’ stay on the Iraqi soil, which contradicts the parliament’s law and the will of the Iraqi nation.

“We believe that the Americans will leave Iraq in the near future,” al-Rubaei continued, “because the Islamic Resistance has made its decision to confront them, and this decision was made after the failure of all efforts and the end of all chances given to the Americans and the current Iraqi government for diplomatic and political moves to rid Iraq of these forces.”

He expressed hopes that public pressure and efforts made by resistance groups and some political movements would drive the Iraqi government to publicly demand the withdrawal of US forces.

“We have no request but this from the government, despite the fact it has been long overdue,” the spokesman added.

The US, under both administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, has repeatedly targeted the positions of Iraqi resistance forces, who played a significant role in defeating Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group.

Biden’s first military strike abroad was against the PMU forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border back in February, only a month into his presidency. Biden also ordered airstrikes against the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of the PMU, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, along Iraq and Syria’s common border last month.

Some 3,500 foreign troops, including 2,500 Americans, are still in Iraq, with the alleged aim of preventing the re-emergence of Daesh in the Arab country.

Observers, however, say Washington’s targeting of resistance forces is aimed at reviving Daesh and, in turn, prolonging its illegal occupation of Iraq under the pretext of fighting the terrorist group.

Such a US military presence also exists in Syria, where the Pentagon’s mission is not coordinated with the Damascus government, and while there is no clear timetable for withdrawal.

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Bomber Joe Biden Strikes Iraq and Syria: Retaliation Breeds More Incidents

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July 15, 2021

Philip Giraldi

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

In less than six months in office President Joe Biden has already developed a national security policy that appears to lean strongly towards proactive use of military force in questionable circumstances, as if war is the answer to every problem. Biden should nevertheless be applauded for his persistence in withdrawing from Afghanistan after twenty years of ill-considered nation building, but even the departure from that country appears to be characterized by a lack of coordination, rather reminiscent of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof in Saigon in 1975.

For the second time the president has ordered a US bombing raid on two targets in Syria, and for the first time, he also attacked a site inside Iraq. According to one report possibly as many as seven Iraqis died in the attacks which targeted alleged weapons storage facilities along the Syria-Iraq border belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada militias. The US claims that the two Iraqi militias have ties to Iran, which may be more than usually true because the Iraqis and Iranians have cooperated regularly in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The Pentagon also claims that the militias were behind recent attacks on American targets, see more below.

After the attacks carried out by US fighter-bombers, the excuse provided was the same one employed after Biden’s first air attack in February, namely that the US, as described by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, “conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.” He added verbiage what has now become a regular feature of all US military actions, that “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense.” For those who are intrigued by Pentagon newspeak the expression “defensive precision airstrikes” must be considered as a new entry in the crowded field of phrases that largely have no meaning.

The strikes were framed as being retaliatory, but the most interesting aspect of this latest bombing is that the initial US government justifications for the action were on somewhat tentative. Reportedly, someone had used drones with explosives attached for mostly night-time attacks directed “against places where Americans were located in Iraq,” which were further described as including diplomatic, intelligence and military facilities. The Pentagon refers to the drones as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or UAVs. No Americans were killed in the alleged attacks and there were no reports of any substantial damage, though the Pentagon is apparently collecting information and preparing a comprehensive report which the public undoubtedly will not be allowed to see.

Oddly, the initial media reporting on what had occurred and who had been blamed for it included a weasel word, “suspected.” In government-speak that frequently means there was little or no evidence that the militias that had been targeted were actually the perpetrators, but it is convenient to assume that they are responsible, making them “suspects.” After all, it is relatively easy to transport a number of drones on the bed of a pickup truck, drive with it to a location where one is unlikely to be observed and then release them at a fixed target. Even if you don’t hit anything, you will spread fear and trigger a response that might well be exploited to vilify the occupying forces. You will also provide justification for your own retaliation.

The Iraqi government, which was not informed in advance of the US bombings, not surprisingly reacted strongly, registering its opposition to such activity on the part of its so-called ally, though occupier has been suggested as a more appropriate description. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office called the airstrikes a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” After the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament had called for the departure of all US forces, but the Trump Administration ignored the demand, claiming that it was in Iraq to help the Iraqis in their fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

The US currently has a claimed 2,500 soldiers in Iraq who, it asserts, are in country advising and training their local counterparts. Meanwhile, “Fighting terrorists and training friendly forces” is roughly the same excuse that has been used to justify remaining in neighboring Syria, where the US has deployed roughly 500 soldiers who have been taking possession of the production of the country’s oil fields, which it then provides to Israel. The US is also, by the way, trying to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus, using some of the very terrorists it claims to be fighting to do the job, but that is of course another story.

If the United States government is beginning to sound a bit like the Israeli government that should surprise no one, as Israel is clearly heavily involved in whatever on goes vis-à-vis Syria and Iran directly and in Iraq by proxy. One almost expects new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to provide an endorsement, parroting the Pentagon line as well as his own country’s rhetoric, saying “the US has a right to defend itself.” Of course, the unasked question then becomes “to defend itself against what?” Israel was at least able to pretend that there was some kind of threat coming from Gaza since the two share a border, but the United States would be hard pressed to explain why it has soldiers in Syria and Iraq at all, particularly since the Iraqi government has called upon them to depart.

A neocon journalist supportive of a global crusade to spread “democracy” once quipped that the nice thing about having an empire is never having to say you are sorry, but that has not meant that mindless acts of violence inflicted throughout the Middle East are have been consequence free. One has to suspect in this case that the use of force to include a target within the borders of a nominal ally was also mostly intended to send a signal to Iran. A Pentagon spokesman ironically boasted afterwards that “This action should send a message to Iran that it cannot hide behind its proxy forces to attack the United States and our Iraqi partners.” The spokesman appears to be oblivious to the fact that it was Iraqi militiamen tied to the government that had been killed, not Iranians. And his assumption that it would reduce the level of violence also proved wrong as there have been a number of new drone, rocket and mortar attacks against American targets in Iraq since Biden’s “defensive precision airstrikes” were launched. One of the militias that lost fighters to the US airstrikes, said it would “avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs.”  Another Iranian supported group, the Popular Mobilization Forces went further, threatening to “enter an open war with the American occupation.” In short, all the attacks really accomplished was to anger the Iraqi people over the continued US presence and to guarantee more incidents.

Biden’s “sending a message to Iran” would undoubtedly be intended to do the same to the Iraqi government, telling them that drawing any closer to the Iranians is too close as far as the Pentagon and White House are concerned. In terms of the timing of the airstrikes, it is also important to note that the US has been working closely with the new Israeli government to establish a unified policy on Iranian “regional aggression” and its nuclear program. Biden met recently with retiring Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has been having discussions with Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid. Iran was the focus of both meetings.

So, Joe Biden and whoever is advising him are continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy. The problem with the meddling in the Middle East is primarily that it permits no exit strategy. It will end ignominiously when it ends as is happening in Afghanistan, without any remorse and little to show for all the expense and the deaths. Given that reality, rather than concoct largely fabricated reasons to keep US troops in Iraq and Syria the Administration should be looking for ways to end the torment for everyone involved.

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Red Alert in Iraq… Time for the U.S. to Decide

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amro@amrobilal.net), is an independent Palestinian writer and Political researcher. He writes for various Arabic news outlets, some of which are Al-Akhbar newspaperAl-Mayadeen Satellite News ChannelArabi 21, and Rai Al-Youm, and UPROOTED PALESTINIANS

July 15, 2021

By Amro Allan

‘President Joe Biden may be nearly done with America’s two-decade military involvement in Afghanistan, but another nearby war zone, where U.S. troops have been based for almost as long, is threatening to become a major thorn in the White House’s side: Iraq’, says Foreign Policy in its Situation Report on July 8, 2021, entitled ‘Red Alert in Iraq’. This comes after two fairly heated weeks in Iraq and Syria, where an escalation in the resistance groups operations against American troops was noticeable, both in frequency and in nature.

For instance, on Wednesday, July 7, 14 rockets hit Ain al-Assad Air Base, the largest military installation in Iraq housing U.S. troops, wounding at least two American soldiers. Another suicide drone attack, a day before, targeted U.S. forces based in Erbil airport, not far from where the U.S. consulate is located. Also, there were multiple improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against convoys transporting U.S. military logistic supplies, that took place in various Iraqi towns and cities in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Syria, U.S. occupation forces were busy fending off suicide drone and rocket attacks targeting al-Omar oilfield and nearby areas. Al-Omar oilfield is the largest in the country, and It is invested with both the U.S. forces and their collaborators  the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

No American soldiers have been killed in these recent intense activities in Iraq and Syria. However, Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, explains ‘It’s already very intense. The strikes aren’t killing people, but they could, easily, if they want them to’, and he adds ‘The missile defences are quietly working quite well. But what we haven’t seen is determined efforts to kill Americans’.

Many analysts consider this escalation a retaliation for the second round of U.S. airstrikes under Biden’s administration on June 27. Those airstrikes used the pretext ‘Iran-backed militia’, although in reality, they targeted a static Iraqi-Syrian border position of the Iraqi security forces (Popular Mobilisation Forces) under Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, killing four members of brigade 14 of the PMF.

While agreeing with this analysis in principle, I believe widening the scope would put the latest events in the broader context they deserve.

It is quite clear that Biden’s administration’s main foreign policy strategy, and indeed the U.S. establishment’s attitude in general of late, is to concentrate its overseas efforts on opposing the rise of China and Russia:  what Biden dubbed defending and strengthening democracy. This focus shift first took shape during Obama’s days in 2012 with his (unsuccessful) ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy and it has remained in principal a U.S. foreign policy objective since. But this shift naturally requires an improved allocation of U.S. resources.

Thus, when Biden came to power, he followed in the steps of his two predecessors in aiming to disengage from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general as much as possible.

As the QUINCY Paper No. 7 entitled ‘Nothing Much to Do: Why America Can Bring All Troops Home From the Middle East’, published on June 24, 2021, poses the question ‘Three successive American Presidents — Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden — have pledged to end the post 9/11 wars and reunite U.S. soldiers with their families.

Yet, fulfilling that pledge has proven tougher than expected. Do U.S. interests in the region require so much of the U.S. military that full-scale withdrawals are not feasible?’. The paper argued that ‘the United States has no compelling military need to keep a permanent troop presence in the Middle East.

The two core U.S. interests in the region — preventing a hostile hegemony and ensuring the free flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz — can be achieved without a permanent military presence. There are no plausible paths for an adversary, regional or extra-regional, to achieve a situation that would harm these core U.S. interests. No country can plausibly establish hegemony in the Middle East, nor can a regional power close the Strait of Hormuz and strangle the flow of oil. To the extent that the United States might need to intervene militarily, it would not need a permanent military presence in the region to do so’.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, to be presumably fully completed by September 2021, was the first manifestation of Biden’s drawdown policy from West Asia. However, when it came to Iraq and Syria, the equations were quite different.

Despite Biden’s pledge to return to the JCPOA in his election campaign, there was an assessment that was widely spread between Iranian officials which says that the Biden administration would capitalise on Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy to extract concessions from Iran, before re-joining the JCPOA. Those concessions are related to two aspects:

  • Change in Iran’s foreign policy, especially its support for resistance groups in the region. This is to  the benefit of the Zionist entity, which remains a core influence on U.S. foreign policy.
  • Imposing restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles programme.

This American approach became apparent after Biden took office, and during the latest Vienna talks to salvage the nuclear deal. However, contrary to Biden’s false assumptions, the Americans found out that Iran will not give them any concessions, and that it meant what it said when Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei stated back in 2015 ‘We negotiated with the U.S. on the nuclear issue for specific reasons. The Americans performed well in the talks, but we didn’t and we won’t allow negotiation with the Americans on other issues’.

This has put the Americans in a quandary. Biden found that he could not withdraw from Iraq and Syria without getting guarantees from Iran and the Axis of Resistance related to the security of the Zionist entity, as the Axis of Resistance will never offer any guarantees at the expense of the Palestinians’ inalienable rights. Nor could Biden maintain the same level of American involvement in the ‘Middle East’ indefinitely. As this would be at the expense of the main U.S. foreign policy strategy, “Facing the Chinese challenge”, according to the terminology the  U.S. uses.

Furthermore, this American quandary has deepened after the battle of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ exposed many of the Zionist Entity’s [Israel]  weaknesses tactically and strategically in the face of the Axis of Resistance.

Based on this overview, we can expect a fairly heated summer for the U.S. occupation forces in the region, as from the Axis of Resistance point of view, the negotiations for the American withdrawal from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general are not open-ended.

And it seems that the U.S. needs a nudge to decide whether: to start a meaningful and peaceful drawdown, with minimal losses; or risk a new ‘Middle East’ all-out war by trying to impose its sovereign will on the whole region.

And I believe, based on the Americans’ experience of the past two decades, that the consensus within the U.S. institutes is that the latter option would be highly costly. Not to mention that based on the current balance of powers in the region, as we read them, the outcome is not guaranteed to be in the favour of the U.S., nor in the favour of  “Israel” its closest ally.

“الإنذار الأحمر” وفشل الرهان الأميركي

11/07/2021

عمرو علان

المصدر: الميادين نت

لا يأتي التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة.

قالت مجلة “فورين بوليسي”، في “تقرير الوضع” ليوم الخميس، 8 تموز/يوليو 2021، إن العراق دخل في حالة “الإنذار الأحمر”. وأضاف التقرير أنه ربما يكون الرئيس جو بايدن على وشك التخلص من أعباء الانخراط العسكري الأميركي في أفغانستان، والذي امتد إلى قرابة عقدين من الزمن، إلاّ أن هناك ساحة حربٍ أخرى توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، وتُنذر بأن تتحوّل إلى شوكةٍ في خاصرة “البيت الأبيض”، في إشارةٍ إلى الساحة العراقية. 

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يأتي إعلان “الإنذار الأحمر” بعد تصاعد العمليات العسكرية ضد القوات الأميركية في الساحة العراقية، وتوأمها الساحة السورية، بحيث قامت قوى المقاومة المسلَّحة، خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين، باستهداف عدة مواقع في العراق وسوريا توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، كان بينها – على سبيل المثال لا الحصر – استهداف “قاعدة الأسد” الجوية في العراق بأربعة عشر صاروخاً، أدَّت إلى وقوع إصابات في صفوف الأميركيين. وتمّ أيضاً استهداف مطار أربيل، الذي تتمركز في داخله قوات أميركية – والذي يقع بالقرب منه مبنى القنصلية الأميركية – بعدة مُسَيَّرات مفخَّخ.، وبالإضافة إلى تلك الهجمات، تعرَّضت عدة قوافل دعمٍ لوجستيٍّ للقوات الأميركية لهجماتٍ عبر عبواتٍ ناسفةٍ في أكثر من مدينةٍ عراقيةٍ.

أمّا الساحة السورية فشهدت، في الأيام القليلة الماضية، عدةَ هجمات بالمُسَيَّرات المفخَّخة على مواقع لقوات الاحتلال الأميركي الموجودة في حقل العمر النفطي.

لا يأتي هذا التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة. لعلّ القراءة الأدقّ تضع هذه الهجمات في سياق المعركة المستمرة من أجل إنهاء الوجود العسكري الأميركي في منطقة الهلال الخصيب، لا لمجرد كونها ردّاً ظرفياً على العدوان الجوي الأميركي الأخير في 27 حزيران/يونيو، والذي استهدف مواقع الحشد الشعبي العراقي المرابطة عند الحدود العراقية السورية. 

من خلال متابعة أداء إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن لبضعة شهور، منذ تولّيه دفّة الحكم، يبدو أنها جاءت، وفي مخيِّلتها مقارَبة لوضع المنطقة، تقوم في جزءٍ من جوانبها على أساس الاستثمار في سياسات إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب السابقة، والمتعارَف عليها بـ”سياسة الضغوط القصوى” تجاه إيران، بحيث بات واضحاً في السياسة الأميركية الخارجية الميل إلى محاولة التَّخفُّف من أعباء منطقة غربي آسيا العسكرية قدر المستطاع، بهدف التركيز على منافسة صعود جمهورية الصين الشعبية في الساحة الدولية. ويبدو أن رؤية التخفُّف هذه كانت تقوم على تصوُّرين اثنين:

– التصور الأول يقوم على الانسحاب العسكري من أفغانستان، كما يجري الآن فعلاً، في محاولةٍ لإقفال باب الاستنزاف في هذه الساحة، ولاسيما أن الانسحاب الأميركي مِن أفغانستان لا يؤدّي إلى زيادة التهديدات على أمن الكيان الصهيوني. 

– أمّا التصور الثاني فيقوم على العودة السريعة إلى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، على أساس قراءةٍ تقول بوصول إيران إلى مرحلة الإنهاك التامّ، بفعل “سياسة الضغوط القصوى”. وعليه، صارت اليوم إيران جاهزةً لتقديم التنازلات المطلوبة أميركياً في سياساتها الخارجية في الحد الأدنى، ولاسيما تلك التي تتعلق بمنطقة غربيّ آسيا ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم، الامر الذي يجعل استمرار الوجود العسكري الأميركي – ولو في حدوده الدنيا – في العراق وسوريا، غير ذي تكلفةٍ تذكر. وكذلك، من الممكن إجبار إيران على تقديم تنازلاتٍ في برنامجها الصاروخي الساعي لتطوير الصواريخ الباليستية في الحد الأقصى، بحسب الفهم الأميركي.

إلاّ أن التصور الثاني اصطدم بمعطيين، أحدهما قديمٌ والآخرُ مستجدّ. أمّا المعطى القديم، فيتمثّل بأن إيران كانت قد رفضت، على نحو حاسمٍ، مناقشة برنامجها الصاروخي في أثناء جولات التفاوض التي أفضت إلى توقيع الاتفاق النووي مع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق باراك أوباما في عام 2015، ناهيك برفض إيران القاطع المساومةَ خلال جولات التفاوض تلك على سياساتها الخارجية ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم. فدعم حركات قوى المقاومة، ضمن السياسة الخارجية الإيرانية، مبنيٌّ على رؤيةٍ استراتيجيةٍ، تندرج ضمن مشروعها الأشمل في الإقليم الذي يقضي بمجابهة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية، بالإضافة إلى التأصيل الشرعي لهذا الالتزام الأخلاقي بدعم المستضعَفين ضمن نظام حكم الجمهورية الإسلامية.

ويضاف إلى هذا وذاك أمرٌ رئيسٌ، يتمثّل بأنَّ حركة قوى المقاومة في الإقليم تنطلق من إرادةٍ ذاتيةٍ لطرد المحتل عن أراضيها، وهي لا تأتمر بإرادة أيّ قوى إقليميةٍ، بل إن المسألة تكمن في تكامل أهداف قوى المقاومة ومصالحها مع المشروع الإيراني الأشمل في المنطقة، والذي يرمي إلى التخلص من هيمنة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية على عموم منطقتنا.

بعد الخروج الأميركي الأحادي الجانب من الاتفاق النووي، عبر قرارٍ من إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، أكّد المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي في عدة تصريحاتٍ، أنه في حال العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، يجب على الحكومة الإيرانية التزام هذه الضوابط التي تمنع التفاوض على كلٍّ مِن برنامج إيران الصاروخي وسياساتها الخارجية. وعلى ما يبدو، فإن إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن أخطأت عند تصنيف هذه التصريحات على أنها تصريحاتٌ تفاوضيةٌ، ليتبيّن لها بعد ذلك، في محادثات جنيف، أنها كانت مواقف مبدئية لا يمكن لأيّ حكومةٍ إيرانيةٍ تجاوزها، فخاب رهان إدارة جو بايدن على لجم حركات المقاومة في كلٍّ مِن العراق وسوريا، من خلال محاولة الضغط على إيران.

أمّا المعطى المستجدّ، فكان معركة “سيف القدس” التي كشفت فيها فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية المسلّحة في غزة هشاشةَ الكيان الصهيوني، وأظهرت بوضوحٍ مدى التهديد الذي تمثّله حركات المقاومة المسلّحة في فلسطين وفي الإقليم على أمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولاسيّما في ظلّ فشَل الرهان الأميركي على انتزاع ضماناتٍ من إيران وسائر أركان محور المقاومة، ترتبط بحفظ أمن الكيان الصهيوني في مقابل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، بحيث كان رهاناً مبنياً في الأصل على قراءةٍ خاطئةٍ لحقيقة موقفَي حركات المقاومة وإيران كما أسلفنا.

لهذا، نجد الأميركي اليوم كمن “بلع المنجل”، فلا هو قادرٌ على الانسحاب من سوريا وتخفيف حضوره العسكري في العراق، ليتفرّغ لمواجهة الصين قبل تأمين ضمانات لأمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولا هو قادرٌ على البقاء أبداً بالزَّخَم نفسه في المنطقة لحماية أمن الكيان الصهيوني، بسبب ما لهذا من آثار سلبية فيما بات يعدّها معركته الرئيسة ضدّ الصين، وتِباعاً روسيا.

يمكن التنبّؤ بكون محور المقاومة يقرأ هذا المأزق الأميركي. فإن صحّت هذه النبوءة، وأظنها صحيحة، فعندها يمكن فهم سياق التصعيد العسكري في وجه القوات الأميركية في الأسبوعين الأخيرين. وهذا يُبشِّر باستمرار هذا التصعيد، وبصيفٍ ساخنٍ نسبياً للقوات الأميركية، لإفهام الأميركي أن استحقاق الانسحاب من المنطقة هو استحقاقٌ جديٌّ، وأن عملية التفاوض على سحب قواته لن تستمر إلى ما لا نهاية.

Collective Punishments and Humanitarian Aid عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

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Arab Intellectual

10 Jul 2021

Bouthaina Shaaban

Source: Al Mayadeen

What the West wants to do is to violate Syrian sovereignty, lay the foundations for dividing Syria, and to supply terrorist groups with weapons in the name of humanitarian aid.

For the past two months, all Western media and research centers have been preoccupied with a single topic about Syria, which is the necessity of opening the so-called “humanitarian corridors” across the border, lamenting over those who will suffer hunger and poverty if the benevolent hands of the West are not allowed to be extended to save their lives. They believed their lie and rejoiced in it, because it gives them the chimerical satisfaction that they are in harmony with their moral rules for which they have always been calling, pretending saving people and caring about people’s health, food and lives. 

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The strange thing, however, is that all this Western-oriented media talked about is three million people living in the north-west and north-east of Syria, and did not mention at all the twenty million Syrians who are languishing under immoral, illegal and illegitimate collective punishments that prevent them from accessing food, medicine and power, and punishing any party who tries to lend a hand for them or who dares to violate these penalties by any means. 

Another strange thing is that no one has linked between Caesar’s law, which is not a law but a violation of all humanitarian and moral laws, and the suffering of the Syrian people over the past years, and no thinker in the West has ever tried to challenge this noisy media wave by highlighting the fact that all the aid sent by the United Nations has been distributed by United Nations organizations operating in Syria over the Syrian territory. What the West wants to do is to violate Syrian sovereignty, lay the foundations for dividing Syria, and to supply terrorist groups with weapons in the name of humanitarian aid.

Does it make sense for dozens of countries to convene a conference in Rome in order to discuss humanitarian aid to Syria, without mentioning the main reason for the suffering of all Syrians, namely the unilateral, coercive, illegal and aggressive measures imposed on the Syrian people? Following this conference, the Washington Post wrote in its editorial on June 30, 2021: “there is no better place to demonstrate our values than in Syria, by extending humanitarian aid and reaching a settlement to the war there, as per the agreed terms of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.” The writer complains that Syria has been a drag on US diplomacy for more than ten years! Such writers should rather ask the Syrians about the suffering they experienced due to the US occupation over the past ten years, and about the crimes that have been committed, wheat that has been stolen, and oil that has been smuggled, and lands that have been illegally seized by the force of American weapons in harsh violation of all international laws and legitimacy!

While reading what the Western media is publishing about Syria, I wonder about the distorted image that is being formed in the minds of Western readers as a result of misleading information which has nothing to do with reality, and which fills the pages of this media, ignoring the truth and all the difficulties and tragedies that Syrians are living, because referring to such tragedies means referring to the Western perpetrator. Therefore, everything mentioned about Syria has been written in the passive form, just as the Zionists used to do for decades when broadcasting news about Palestine and Palestinians; you cannot find a sentence in the active voice because it requires mentioning the subject, who is the causative of all crimes perpetrated against the innocent Syrians, and this is not allowed. 

In all the media promotion before the Rome Conference and following it, Syria had been shrunk to the northwest and northeast, to be under control of terrorists and occupiers, without any mention of the Syrian people who suffered patiently, and liberated a large part of their land and are trying to rebuild their lives and properties despite the difficulties created by the criminal sanctions against them. 

The editorial of Newsweek of June 30, insinuates that Syria and Iraq are inhabited only by “Iranian militias”, as if the Syrian and Iraqi peoples do not exist, and that the United States is obliged to respond to Iranian drone attacks in Iraq, and therefore it is bombing the Iraqi-Syrian border near Al-Bukamal. Since the United States has the right, as the editorial suggests, protecting its forces anywhere in the world, nobody showed any concern when the United States bombed facilities and killed people. However, they consider those attacks as acts of self-defense.  The author says that the issue is not limited only to whether this aggression is legitimate or not, he rather raised the following question: why do members of the Iraqi army, who are being trained by the United States, attack the American forces? The author is trying to correct a “strategic shift” in the United States’ view that they were unable to instill a sense of deterrence in Iraq. 

Firstly, The American forces refrained from attacking Al-Bukamal crossing and from maintaining Al-Tanf crossing too, not only to back up their troops, which should not be here in the first place, but rather to ensure safety to the terrorists they protect, and be able to move them whenever and wherever they want. Secondly, the United States wants to cut the geographical connection between Iraq and Syria on the one hand, and between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the other. This action represents one of the strategic goals of the Zionist entity, who considers any communication between these countries, in the frame of the resistance axis, as an existential threat to it. In other words, the United States is implementing the targets of “Israel”, moreover they do not respond to attacks because they are the ones who start the aggression. Thirdly, if the writer of the editorial believes that the Iraqi army, or any other army in the region, will express in the future his gratitude and loyalty to the American forces, he is certainly wrong. The peoples of the region are much smarter than you can ever think; Iraqis and Syrians are aware that it is the US occupying forces who prevent communication between the two countries and hinder the opening of the borders between two close brother countries. Our people are completely aware that the US troops want to open the borders with the Turkish occupier who used the frontier lines for the past ten years to help terrorists infiltrate Syria and provide them with illicit supplies (money and weapons).

It occurred to me while reading the editorial of the Washington Post and the editorial of Newsweek, of June 30, 2021, that the Western transatlantic people would be better off, if they do not read such misleading editorials and analysis which have nothing to do with the reality of the situation in our countries and our region, because such analysis stem from the writers’ sense of false colonial superiority and from a premeditated intent to drown our people into a sea of ignorance, abandoning them to  sufferings, stifling their innovation and destroying their ambition.

Today, the US troops are getting out of Afghanistan after causing countless tragedies to innocent Afghani peoples; while no one knows why did they enter or why do they leave now. They claimed that they went to Afghanistan to liberate its people from Taliban, while their actions prove that they contributed to its perpetuation and spread.

Every time I read what the American media and research centers publish, I wonder about the curricula of History in the United States and about what they teach all their students, but this is another topic that needs to be addressed.  


عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

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بثينة شعبان

المصدر: الميادين نت

هل يُعقل أن تتداعى عشرات الدول إلى مؤتمر في روما لمناقشة مساعدات إنسانية لسوريا من دون ذكر السبب الأساسي في معاناة السوريين جميعاً، ألا وهي الإجراءات القسرية الأحادية الجانب، والمفروضة على الشعب السوري ظلماً وعدواناً؟

طوال الشهرين الماضيين، انشغل القيّمون على وسائل الإعلام الغربية ومراكز الأبحاث بموضوع وحيد عن سوريا، وهو ضرورة فتح ما سمّوه “ممرّات إنسانية عبر الحدود”، متباكِين على من سيُصيبهم الجوع والفقر إذا لم يتم السماح لأيدي الغرب الخيّرة بأن تمتدّ لتنقذ حيواتهم.

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عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

صدّقوا الكذبة التي كذبوها على أنفسهم، وفرحوا بها لأنها تعطيهم الارتياح الزائف إلى أنهم منسجمون مع قواعدهم الأخلاقية التي يتحدثون بها دوماً، وهي الحرص على الناس وعلى غذائهم وصحتهم. لكنّ الغريب في الأمر أن كلّ هذا الإعلام الغربي الموجَّه تحدَث عن ثلاثة ملايين يقطنون في الشمال الغربي والشمال الشرقي، ولم يذكر أبداً الملايين العشرين من السوريين، والذين يرزحون تحت عقوبات جماعية، لاأخلاقية ولاشرعية ولاقانونية. وفي الحقيقة، فإنّ هذه العقوبات جريمة إبادة، وهي المسؤولة عن الفقر والجوع والغلاء، التي يعاني جرّاءها ملايين السوريين، لأنها عملياً تمنع عنهم سبل الغذاء والدواء والطاقة، وتعاقب أيَّ طرف يحاول بيع هذه المواد الأساسية لإنقاذ حياة أيّ إنسان، أو يحاول مدّ يد العون إليهم، أو خرق هذه العقوبات، بأي وسيلة كانت.

والغريب في الأمر أن أحداً لم يربط بين “قانون قيصر” الإجرامي، والذي هو ليس قانوناً، بل جريمة إبادة جماعية موجَّهة ضدّ الشعب السوري المسالم، لأنه يمثّل خرقاً لكل القوانين الإنسانية والأخلاقية، وبين معاناة هذا الشعب على مدى السنوات الماضية. ولم يحاول أي متحدث في الغرب أن يتحدى هذه الموجة الإعلامية الصاخبة، والموجَّهة سياسياً من جانب الأجهزة المخابراتية والعسكرية نفسها، التي موّلت الإرهابيين وسلّحتهم وأرسلتهم إلى سوريا، من خلال إبراز حقيقة أن كل المساعدات المرسَلة من جانب الأمم المتحدة توزّعها منظمات الأمم المتحدة العاملة في سوريا على مدى الجغرافيا السورية، لكنّ ما يريد الغرب فعله هو انتهاك السيادة السورية أولاً، ووضع أسس لتقسيم سوريا ثانياً، وإمداد مرتزقته من العصابات الإرهابية بالسلاح، تحت مسمى مساعدات إنسانية. وهذا ما فعله بالشعوب طوال تاريخه الاستعماري الدموي.

هل يُعقل أن تتداعى عشرات الدول إلى مؤتمر في روما لمناقشة مساعدات إنسانية لسوريا من دون ذكر السبب الأساسي في معاناة السوريين جميعاً، ألا وهو الإجراءات القسرية والأُحادية الجانب، والمفروضة على الشعب السوري ظلماً وعدواناً؟ ألم يكن الأجدر بهذه الدول، إنْ كانت صادقة، أن ترسل المساعدات مباشرة عبر الوسائل المتَّبَعة دولياً، وعبر المنافذ الحدودية والموانئ السورية.

وفي أعقاب هذا المؤتمر، تكتب جريدة “واشنطن بوست”، في افتتاحيتها في 30 حزيران/يونيو 2021، أنه “لا يوجد مكان أفضل من سوريا للتعبير عن قيمنا، من خلال إيصال المساعدات الإنسانية، والتوصّل إلى تسوية للحرب، وفق ما نصّ عليه قرار مجلس الأمن 2254”.

ويشكو الكاتب أن سوريا شكّلت عبئاً على الدبلوماسية الأميركية طوال السنوات العشر الماضية. وعلى مثل هؤلاء الكتاب أن يسألوا السوريين: بمَ تسببت لهم الولايات المتحدة على مدى السنوات العشر الماضية؟ وما هي الجرائم التي ارتُكبت بحقهم؟ وكيف ينظرون إلى نهب قمحهم ونفطهم واحتلال أرضهم بقوة السلاح الأميركي، في انتهاك صارخ لكل القوانين والشرعة الدولية؟ 

أتساءل، وأنا أقرأ كلّ ما يصدر عن سوريا في الإعلام الغربي، عن الصورة المشوَّهة، والتي تتشكّل حُكماً في أذهان القراّء الغربيين، نتيجة المعلومات المضلِّلة، والتي لا تمتّ إلى واقع الحال بصلة، والتي تملأ صفحات هذا الإعلام الذي تحتكره الحكومات الغربية، وتسيّره عبر المخابرات الغربية. لذلك، فإن إعلامهم يتجاهل الواقع والحقيقة وكل ما يعتري حياة السوريين من صعوبات ومآسٍ، لا يتم التطرّق إليها أبداً، لأن التطرق إليها يعني الإشارة إلى الفاعل والمتهَم الغربي المجرم. لذلك، فإن كل ما يُكتَب عن سوريا يُكتَب بصيغة “المبنيّ للمجهول”، تماماً كما درج الصهاينة على بثّ الأخبار عن فلسطين والفلسطينيين منذ عقود، إذ لا توجد جملة بصيغة المبني للمعلوم، لأن المبنيّ للمعلوم يتطلّب ذكر الفاعل المسبّب بالجرائم بحقّ الملايين من السوريين الأبرياء والمسالمين، وهذا أمر غير مسموح به.

في كل هذا الترويج الإعلامي في مؤتمر روما وما سبقه وما تلاه، يختصرون سوريا بالشمال الغربي والشمال الشرقي، وبحفنة من الإرهابيين والمحتلين، بينما لا يوجد ذكر للشعب السوري الذي عانى وصبر وحرّر الجزء الأكبر من أرضه، ويحاول إعادة بناء حياته وممتلكاته، على الرغم من الصعوبات التي ولّدتها العقوبات المجرمة عليه.

وفي افتتاحية مجلة “النيوزويك”، في 30 حزيران/يونيو أيضاً، تشعر كأن سوريا والعراق مسكونان بمليشيات إيرانية فقط، ولا وجود للشعبين السوري والعراقي، وأن الولايات المتحدة مضطرة إلى الردّ على هجمات الطائرات الإيرانية المسيَّرة في العراق. لذلك، هي تقصف الحدود العراقية السورية قرب البوكمال. وبما أن للولايات المتحدة الحق، كما تقول الافتتاحية، في حماية قواتها في أيّ مكان في العالم، لذلك لم يهتم أحد حين قصفت الولايات المتحدة الأسبوع الماضي منشآت وأشخاصاً، وقتلت مَن قتلت، واعتبروها “أعمالاً دفاعية عن النفس”. ولا يُخفي كاتب المقال أن المسألة لا تنحصر فقط فيما إذا كان هذا العدوان قانونياً أم لا، بل السؤال هو: لماذا توجد قوات احتلال أميركية في العراق وسوريا؟ ولماذا تعمد عناصر في الجيش العراقي، الذي تدربه الولايات المتحدة، على مهاجمة القوات الأميركية. وهو يحاول في مقاله أن يصحّح “حَوَلاً استراتيجياً”، في نظرة الولايات المتحدة إلى تدريب هذا الجيش، وأن الولايات المتحدة لم تتمكّن من خلق حالة الردع في العراق.

أولاً، إن قوات الاحتلال الأميركية لا تهاجم معبر البوكمال، ولا تحتفظ بمعبر التنف، من أجل سلامة قواتها التي يجب ألا تكون موجودة اصلاً، بل من أجل ضمان سلامة الإرهابيين الذين تحميهم وتحرّكهم متى تشاء وكيفما تشاء. ثانياً، لأنها تريد قطع التواصل الجغرافي بين العراق وسوريا من جهة، ومحاصَرة الملايين من الشعبين في البلدين، ومنع أيّ تبادل تجاري ينفعهما. كما تهدف إلى قطع التواصل بين إيران والعراق وسوريا ولبنان من جهة أُخرى. وهذا يمثّل أحد الأهداف الاستراتيجية للكيان الصهيوني، الذي يعتبر التواصل بين هذه البلدان الموجودة في محور مقاوم خطراً وجودياً عليه؛ أي أن الولايات المتحدة تنفّذ أهدافاً إسرائيلية، وهي لا تقوم بالرد على أي هجوم لأنها هي التي تبدأ العدوان دائماً. 

ثالثاً، إذا كان كاتب الافتتاحية يعتقد أن الجيش العراقي، أو أي جيش في المنطقة، سيعبّر مستقبلاً عن امتنانه وولائه للجيش الأميركي، فهو واهم. فشعوب المنطقة أذكى كثيراً مما تعرفون وتظنّون. والشعب في كل من العراق وسوريا يدرك أنّ قوات الاحتلال الأميركية هي أولاً قوات عدوانية، هدفها قمع الشعبين وحرمانهما من الحرية والسيادة، وموجودة من أجل نهب ثرواتهما. ويدرك الشعبان في سوريا والعراق أنّ هذه القوات المعتدية هي التي تمنع التواصل بين بلديهما، وهي التي تمنع فتح الحدود بين بلدين شقيقين متحابّين، بينما تريد فتح الحدود مع محتل تركي استخدم الحدود طوال السنوات العشر الماضية لإرسال الإرهابيين المسلّحين والمدرَّبين غربياً إلى سوريا، وتزويدهم بالمال والعتاد والسلاح.

خطر لي وأنا أقرأ افتتاحيتي “الواشنطن بوست” و”النيوزويك”، والمؤرَّختين في 30 حزيران/يونيو 2021، أن شعوب الغرب عبر الأطلسي ستكون في حال أفضل لو أنها لا تقرأ مثل هذه الافتتاحيات الموجَّهة سياسياً من جانب حكومات ترتكب جرائم حرب ضدّ الشعوب العربية، في سوريا والعراق ولبنان واليمن وليبيا. فهذه التحليلات المضلِّلة لا تمتّ بصلة إلى واقع الحال في بلداننا ومنطقتنا، وتنبع من تحيّز كتّابها إلى فكرة التفوّق الاستعمارية، وتجاهلهم واقعَ الشعوب ومعاناتها ووعيها وطموحها.

ها هم اليوم يخرجون من أفغانستان بعد التسبب بمآسٍ لا تُحصى للملايين من الشعب الأفغاني المسالم، ولا أحد يعلم لماذا دخلوا، ولماذا خرجوا، ولم يتمكنوا من الخروج إلاّ بعد التفاوض مع “طالبان” التي ادّعوا أنهم ذهبوا إلى هناك لتخليص الشعب الأفغاني منها، وإذ بهم يساهمون، عبر سياساتهم، في إدامتها وانتشارها.

أتساءل عن مناهج التاريخ في الولايات المتحدة، وعما تدرّسه للطلاب، إذا كان هذا ما تجود به مراكز الأبحاث ووسائل الإعلام، والتي تُعتبر نخبوية في الغرب؟ لكنّ هذا حديث آخر، ويحتاج إلى وقفة مقبلة. 

Al-Kaabi Warns US That Liberation Will Continue

Source: Al Mayadeen

Today 10/7/2021

Al-Nujaba Movement Secretary-General in Iraq warns the United States that the resistance will not stop until every square inch of Iraq is liberated and US forces are departed, demanding they stay out of Iraq affairs.

Al-Kaabi Wans US That Resistance Will Not Give Up Liberation
Al-Nujaba Movement Secretary-General Akram al-Kaabi

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, the Secretary-General of the Al-Nujaba Movement in Iraq, addressed the United States, asserting, “How can we stand by while you occupy our land and violate our country’s sovereignty?”

Sheikh Al-Kaabi added, “How could we ignore you, and our vengeance is unclaimed when you killed the leaders of victory and liberation in cowardice and treacherousness?”

He said, warning the Americans, “We will not leave you, and the resistance will remain a thorn in your side until the last inch of Iraqi land is liberated from your desecration.”

On his Twitter account, Sheikh Al-Kaabi continued: “When the insolence of the ‘United States State Department of Evil’ drives them to ask the resistance in Iraq to leave them alone, for that to happen: ​​we will tell them that it is you that should leave us alone, to leave Iraq, to stop your blatant and destructive interventions in our country – most of our problems are because of you.”

He added in the tweet, “How can we stand and watch while you occupy our country, steal its oil and its goods, and tamper with its institutions and electricity? Everyone knows that you have seized all the electricity distribution stations in Iraq with a corrupt contract, because of which the country has lost a lot, impeding the proper distribution of electricity.”

The Al-Nujaba Movement said a year ago that the transfer of large numbers of terrorists, including ‘ISIS’ leadership, from Syrian territory to Iraq is only a prelude to the United States’ new project to destabilize Iraq.

AN EXPLOSIVE WEEK FOR THE U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

See the source image

08.07.2021 

The punitive strikes from the Syrian and Iraqi ‘resistance’ continue on US targets in both countries.

On July 7th, the second rocket attack targeted Ain al-Asad Air Base in two days, and this time there were casualties.

According to the US-led coalition spokesman, the base was targeted with 17 rockets, and as a result two personnel received light injuries.

The rockets were reportedly fired from an improvised launcher installed in the back of a truck that was parked near a mosque in the district of al-Baghdadi to the northeast of Ain al-Assad Air Base.

The district was shelled by the US in response, following the attack.

A newly-formed pro-Iranian group calling itself the “al-Muhandis Revenge Brigades” claimed responsibility for the rocket attack. In a statement, the group revealed that Ain al-Assad Air Base was targeted with 30 Grad 122 mm rockets.

Simultaneously, the military base run by the American troops at the al-Omar oilfield in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor was also hit.

According to Syrian news agency SANA, mortar rounds were fired into the base for the third time in recent days.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of mainly Kurdish forces fighting against Damascus, claimed that they had thwarted the attack.

The US interests are constantly targeted in both Syria and Iraq, and the situation has been especially exacerbated after Washington’s strikes on ‘resistance’ positions along the border on June 27th.

On July 6th, an explosives-laden drone hit Erbil International Airport. The airport, where US-led coalition troops are stationed, had a fire break out as a result of the attack.

A spokesman for the U.S. military, citing initial information, said one drone had “impacted” near Erbil, but that there were no injuries or any damage.

Earlier on the same day, four US logistical convoys were struck by IEDs, resulting in no injuries but material damage.

Targeting of American convoys throughout Iraq is a daily occurrence.

Before any of this, in the very early hours of July 6th, an explosive-laden “suicide” drone was shot out of the sky by US C-RAM from Union 3 base as it neared the US Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.

The reported drone attack came just hours after the previous attack on Ain al-Asad airbase. at least three rockets slammed into the US position in Iraq’s Anbar Province earlier on July 5th.

The US usually downplays any damages suffered, and all claims should be taken with a grain of salt.

Kata’ib Hezbollah: Saudi Intelligence Behind Electricity Pylon Sabotage in Iraq

7 Jul 2021

Source: Al-Mayadeen

Hezbollah-Iraq: Government investigations will be under great pressure to hide the true saboteurs

Kata’ib Hezbollah confirms that it possesses irrefutable evidence pointing to the role of Saudi intelligence behind the sabotage of electricity pylons in Iraq, doing so to stir chaos and make use of ISIS fighters.

Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades) announced that it has confirmed “with irrefutable evidence that Saudi intelligence is behind the sabotage of electricity pylons in Iraq,” noting that government investigations “will be under a great deal of pressure so as to not reveal the true culprit behind the sabotage.”

The movement added that “by sabotaging the electricity pylons, Saudi Arabia seeks to create chaos and ‘recycle’ “ISIS” terrorists,” accusing Riyadh of planning to present itself as a “savior to improve its criminal image before the Iraqi people.”

Two days ago, a force of the PMU’s “25th Brigade” had foiled attempts by ISIS to blow up electricity pylons south of Nineveh province.

During the operation, the force was able to find three locally manufactured bombs that were set to be used to blow up pylons in the area.

The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity had also earlier said that a terror attack targeted the Salaheddin thermal plant in Samarra in late June. The attack was done using two explosive devices, causing great material damage to the facility.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted a pylon and a main power line that feeds into areas in Bakouba and Baghdad.

Short news update from the Saker (UPDATED 2x)

Short news update from the Saker (UPDATED 2x)

July 07, 2021

Dear friend,

Today I am starting a new kind of post – a short news update.  This is not an open thread where everybody shares all the latest information during a crisis, nor is it a full analysis.  In this new category, I plan to include several small news which are relevant to what was discussed in the past or factoids/developments which might be discussed in a full analysis in the near future. I will include links to my sources only when I have them readily available, otherwise you will have to wait until my analyses to get the full sources.  Note that this new category will appear under the “Saker Analyses and Interviews” section to give it maximal visibility.  Finally, and just to make this clear, the regular rules of moderation will apply to this new section too.  I hope that you will find this feature useful (by all means, let me know). 

Cheers

The Saker

PS: please feel free to also contribute short news items in the “short news update” section!


  • Amazing!  The US forces in Afghanistan left the (Soviet built) airbase in Bagram at night, not even informing their supposed Afghan “allies”.  The base was looted for several hours as the US Americans left A LOT of stuff, including guitars and plenty of weapons (all of which will now go on sale in the various public markets in Afghanistan.
  • Comparing the Soviet and the US performance in Afghanistan is quite amazing.  To make a long story short, I find the performance of Uncle Shmuel’s forces absolutely appalling and laughable.  Killed lots of people, built nothing, never controlled much of the country, fled in the middle of the night and abandoned its allies.   They literally switched off the electricity in Bagram and then fled.  Absolutely typical “garden variety” for all US interventions.  The Soviets even left with all their dignity safe – but the wannabe world hegemon had to leave in shame, like he always does.
  • The Taliban are now shooting Afghan collaborators in the streets, and floods of terrified refugees are now running for the border in the hope of escaping the Taliban’s wrath.
  • Did you know that since the US invasion of Afghanistan the volume of heroin produced by this country increased FIFTEEN FOLD!
  • Bottom line: the US+NATO+EU were defeated by the Taliban.  Totally and comprehensively.
  • Today Russian Su-30SM has intercepted a US Poseidon aircraft over the Black Sea and forced it to turn away from the Russian border.
  • Three more days left for Sea Breeze 2021.  Never say never, and we can’t be sure, but I don’t believe that NATO will try to breach the Russian maritime border again (these guys lost a long war to the Afghans, I don’t think they have the stomach for Russia!).

This is how the Soviet Forces left Afghanistan:

And this is how the “greatest military force in the Milky Way” left Afghanistan:

  • There are several reports, so far unconfirmed, that US bases in Iraq and Syria have come under attack.  There has also been a huge explosion in the port of Dubai.
  • UK Foreign Minister Raab just repeated in the British Parliament that the British Navy fully intends to repeat the actions of the HMS Defender.
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