THERE IS NO IRANIAN-AMERICAN AGREEMENT AND NO TRUCE IN IRAQ

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier@ejmalrai

Mustafa Al-Kazemi has been chosen Prime Minister after difficult negotiations marked by intra-Shiite disagreement. The President of the Republic, Barham Salih, had exploited this disagreement when he boldly challenged the majority Shia in Iraq by his choice of an anti-Iranian and pro-US candidate, Mr Adnan Al-Zurfi. The nomination of Mr Al-Kazemi is a response to this move; Shiite blocs had already circulated his name several months ago. 

When Mr Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the caretaker Prime Minister, resigned, consultation began among various Shia political leaders to find a candidate enjoying support from most blocs. That is a task that, in the past, had always been given to the Iranian IRGC-Quds commander Major General Qassim Soleimani (treacherously assassinated by President Donald Trump at Baghdad Airport) and Sheikh Muhammad Kawtharani, who represents Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Sayyed Nasrallah enjoys great respect and a close personal relationship with all Iraqi parties of different religions and policies (Shi’a, Sunni, Kurds, tribal, and others) with whom he is in regular contact. Iraqi leaders failed to reach the agreement without outside intervention.

Many Shia groups categorical rejected President Saleh’s candidate (al-Zurfi) and decided to oppose his candidacy. However, Al-Kazemi’s selection as a new Prime Minister did not take place until Tehran asked all the Shi’ite blocs to unify their decision, to disregard al-Zurfi and choose a candidate that all could agree upon. 

This is how al-Kazemi reached the premiership:

Sayyed Ammar al-Hakim, supported by Muqtada al-Sadr, was the first to promote Mustafa Al-Kazemi last year following the resignation of Abdel-Mahdi. However, other Shiite blocs refused to accept any counter-terrorism officer, intelligence chief or any other officer belonging to the military-security establishment. Many Shia blocs are apprehensive about any candidate with a similar profile to Saddam Hussein. The experience of Nuri al-Maliki in control – he who refused to share the power with Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds – is still alive in these leaders’ memory.

Due to the disagreement within the Shia bloc, Qusay al-Suhail fell and was followed by the governor of Basra, Asaad Al-Eidani, when President Barham Salih refused to abide by the constitution and nominate the candidate of the largest bloc. Saleh played on the intra Shiite disagreement, mainly between the Al-Fatah bloc headed by Hadi al-Amiri and the Saeroun bloc led by Muqtada al-Sadr.

Because demonstrators rejected any candidate nominated by the dominant political blocs, Sayyid Muqtada tried to ride the wave by considering himself the representative of the demonstrators who in fact refused him as they did other establishment figures. Subsequently, President Saleh was asked by Sayyed Moqtada to reject any name he did not agree with. Moqtada claimed that he, not Al-Amiri, held the largest bloc. 

Later on, Muhammad Allawi also failed because he refused to consult the Sunni, the Kurdish blocs, and some Shiites in choosing his cabinet members. Allawi wrongly believed he could rely on the support of Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr, who had promised to bring everyone to Parliament by all means to approve Allawi’s cabinet. Moqtada failed to convince the Shia, the Sunni and the Kurds, and was unable to bring Allawi to power.

However, President Saleh went further relying on the Iraqi constitution rather the prevailing consensus between Iraqis (Shi’a, Sunni, and Kurd) and nominated Adnan al-Zrafi, who is anti-Iran and pro-American. Many political blocs and Shia organisations announced their rejection of al-Zarfi. At the same time, the Dawa candidate (Adnan al-Zarfi) enjoyed the support of his chief bloc, led by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Al-Zurfi was also secretly supported by Nuri al-Maliki, who wanted the position of prime minister to return to the Dawa Party (since 2005 and until 2018 al-Da’wa held the position of PM). Al-Zurfi also enjoyed support from Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr, who had been promised control over any ministerial cabinet or any other senior position within the Iraqi state.

Despite Iran’s official statement that it did not oppose the nomination of Al-Zurfi, the reality was different. Al-Zurfi was tacitly accused of burning Iran’s consulate in Najaf and Karbala during last months’ demonstrations. Admiral Ali Shamkhani – who, along with Major General Qassim Soleimani, was in charge of the relationship between Iran and Iraq – visited Iraq, followed by a short visit of General Ismail Qa’ani. Both men carried one message to the Iraqis: “We don’t disagree with the choice of Mr Mustafa Al-Kazemi, if he is your choice, and we enjoy good relations with him.” Iran has never said these words about al-Zurfi.

First Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani announced his support for al-Kazemi, and then Sunni leader, Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, followed suit. Barzani wanted to send a message to the Shiite blocs, so they would not again choose a candidate for the presidency who does not have a Kurdish authority above him, as happened with President Saleh.

Saleh was Qassem Soleimani’s choice and turned out today to be a mistake from the Iranian and the Shia blocs’ point of view. Fouad Hussein, the Minister of Finance, was Erbil’s choice, but Soleimani considered him at the time the candidate of the American presidential envoy Bret McGurk. This is why Soleimani asked the Shiites, Sunnis, and his allies Kurds in Sulaimaniyah not to vote to Hussein but to promote Barham Saleh. Saleh told Soleimani in 2018 that he would immediately nominate the candidate he wanted. This is how Adil Abdul Mahdi was elected Prime Minister.

There has never been a US-Iranian understanding in Iraq. Instead, when possible candidates have been chosen to attract minimal opposition from the Iranians and the Americans. Al-Kazemi enjoys good relations with Riyadh, Tehran, and Washington, as was the case of the caretaker Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi. Abdil Mahdi had been supported by Washington and yet, a year later, it was he who presented a draft proposal to the Iraqi Parliament demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Iraq.

Al-Kazemi, who promised to support the “Popular Mobilisation Forces” (hashd al-Shaabi), agreed to seek the removal of all US forces from Iraq, as stipulated in the binding constitutional decision of the Iraqi Parliament. Tehran convinced its ally, Kataeb Hezbollah al-Iraq, which had publicly accused Al-Kazemi of responsibility for the assassination of Commander Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, to accept al-Kazemi as a Prime Minister and wait to see his actions before judging him. The price of the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandes is the total withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq, and not al-Kazemi.

This time – after three failed attempts to nominate a prime minister  – Al-Kazemi will be supported to form his cabinet and will have the parliamentary support needed. However, he will face severe difficulties and challenges. 

The US is redeploying its forces and not showing any intention of complete withdrawal. Al-Kazemi will not be able to seek an easy US withdrawal and won’t be able to disarm Iraqi organisations as he promised to do. Moreover, he will face a real economic problem because Iraq suffers from a low oil price and external debts. The income of Iraq is just over 30 billion dollars whereas it needs 80 billion to pay salaries and maintain the infrastructure as it is. Al-Kazemi will not be able to respond to demands from the street because he simply does not have enough money. 

Iran is not afraid who sits at the top of the Iraqi government; today’s friend may turn out to be tomorrow’s enemy. Tehran enjoys enough connections with political leaders and military commanders and head of organisations in Iraq. Iran has experienced an aggressive Prime Minister in the past, Haidar Abadi, and managed its way in Iraq, a country sensitive to a balance among its political leaders. The US doesn’t have enough leverage in Iraq to match the leverage of Iran.

Proofread by:  C.G.B

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U.S. Confirms Deployment Of Patriot Missiles In Iraq. Iran Prepares For Conflict In Straight Of Hormuz

South Front

On April 5, a series of large explosions rocked the village of al-Kastan in southwestern Idlib injuring 8 people, including 3 members of the so-called White Helmets. According to local sources, an ammunition depot located in the civilian area inside the city became the source of the explosion.

Al-Kastan is located near the town of Jisr al-Shughur, controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Turkistan Islamic Party. The exploded weapon depot likely belonged to the terrorist group or persons affiliated with it.

On the same day, the Turkish military established three new ‘observation posts’ around Jisr al-Shughur. They are located at the villages of Baksariya, al-Z’ainiyah and Furaykah. Idlib militants see Turkish positions as an important defense line that would allow containing possible Russia- and Iran-backed anti-terrorist operations in the area.

The 46th Regiment Base of the Syrian Army in western Aleppo came under Turkish artillery shelling. In response, Syrian forces struck position of Turkish-backed militants near Kafr Amma. The attack on the 46th Regiment Base became a third incident between the Turkish military and Syrian troops in less than a week. On April 3, two Syrian soldiers were killed in a Turkish artillery strike on their positions near Tell Abyad.

On April 4, Iraq’s largest resistance groups released a joint statement calling the US military “occupation forces” that “respect the language of force only”. In the statement, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam and Saraya al-Khurasani added that recent attacks on US forces and facilities in Iraq were only a “minor response” to the US aggression and the decision to carry out full-scale attacks was not taken then.

Two days earlier, on April 2, Usbat al-Tha’ireen, the armed group that claimed responsibility for rocket strikes on Camp Taji and other US positions, released a 3-minute long drone footage of the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone. This is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world, and is nearly as large as Vatican City.

The US Central Command officially confirmed deployment of Patriot air defense systems in Iraq. However, the US military announced that it will not provide “providing status updates as those systems come online” for security reasons. At least two Patriot batteries are now located in at the US military bases of Ayn al-Assad and Erbil. Two more Patriot batteries will reportedly be deployed soon.

As part of its plan to redeploy forces to larger, more fortified bases, the US evacuated its troops from the al-Taqaddum Air Base in the province of al-Anbar. It became the fourth US military facility abandoned in Iraq within the last few weeks. The previous ones were located in al-Qaim, Kirkuk and al-Qayyarah.

Iraqi sources say that the US actions demonstrate that Washington is preparing for a new round of military confrontation with Iran and its allies in the region. Recently, President Donald Trump stated that the US was expecting attacks by Iranian-led forces on US troops and facilities, claiming that Iran will ‘pay price’ for this. Following the statement, Iran deployed additional anti-ship missiles and multiple rocket launchers on the Qeshm Island in the Strait of Horumz.

Rocket Strike On Iraq’s Zubeir Oil Field Where U.S. Haliburton Operates

Rocket Strike Hits Iraq's Zubeir Oil Field Where U.S. Haliburton Operates

South Front

In the early hours of April 6th, rockets struck near a site connected with foreign oil firms and state-run companies in Iraq’s southern city of Basra.

According to Reuters, citing oil and police sources there were no damages and no casualties as a result of the attack.

The rockets, which police said were three Katyusha and were launched at about 3 a.m. local time, hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra, they said.

The area has been largely empty in recent weeks because of the evacuation of nearly all foreign personnel due to the coronavirus crisis.

Two officials with state-run Basra Oil Co. (BOC), which oversees oil operation in the south, said the attack had not affected production and export operations.

US News, citing police sources said that a rocket launcher and unused rockets were found in a nearby farmland area.

Meanwhile, due to the oil price war initiated by Saudi Arabia, Iraq is spiraling in a crisis.

#Iraq security forces say 3 rockets fired at Halliburton base in Burjasiya, another 11 found in launchers nearby.

Sources near field say US workers evacuated long ago, but Iraqis & other foreigners do live 300-400m away.

Last rocket attack on oil field was June 2019

— Maya Gebeily (@GebeilyM) April 6, 2020

As mentioned above, the US company Haliburton operates in the Zubeir oil field, and this was the first such attack since June 2019.

The attack near Haliburton is no accident, and it is not isolated. Iraq’s biggest Shiite armed groups announced in a joint statement that U.S. troops in the country will be dealt with as an occupation force from now on.

“You [U.S. forces] have proven to everyone that you are occupation forces and that you only respect the language of force, on these bases you will be dealt with and be aware that all operations which were carried out against you were only a minor response to your aggressions as the decision to carry out operations [against U.S. forces] was not taken back then,” the statement, that was released on April 4, read.

The statement was signed by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam and Saraya al-Khurasani.

The attack could potentially also be from Usbat al-Tha’ireen (UT) (The movement of Revolutionary Association; the League of Revolutionaries), a new group who has issued several statements in threat of the US, and has taken responsibility for at least one attack on US bases.

“The movement of Revolutionary Association, Usbat al-Tha’ireen, promises the Iraqi people, the families of martyrs and the people who were wounded by the enemies and their allies, the devil America, we promise that what happened in Taji and Basmea is nothing but a simple message to clarify the fact that this is the least that we can use against them, also to clarify that our victorious, blooming, full of pride and dignity resent has more long rang weapons that can perish you in the land of your spoiled child Israel,” the group’s member said in a video which revealed the group.

Separately, the political and economic crisis in Iraq seems far from over.

In his first interview on TV, Iraqi Prime Minister designate Adnan Zurfi said that if the oil prices don’t recover,

In first TV interview, PM designate @adnanalzurfi sounding alarm on economic situation. “We’re going to drown,” he tells #Iraq state TV on collapsed oil prices. “We won’t be able to pay half the (public) salaries next month.”

— Maya Gebeily (@GebeilyM) April 5, 2020

Iraq’s prime minister designate Adnan al-Zurfi announced that he has sent his list of cabinet candidates and agenda to parliament for approval on April 4th, according to state media, in a bid to tackle the country’s political stasis.

The policy agenda submitted includes items related to the government’s coronavirus response, improving relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government, and women’s empowerment. As per the Iraqi constitution, the PM designate has 48 hours to send the resumes of the selected candidates to parliament.

The PM-designate faces parliamentary opposition to Allawi, with both the Iran-backed Fatih coalition led by former militia commander Hadi al-Amiri and the State of Law coalition led by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki voicing their opposition to Zurfi’s candidacy.

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PMU anti-terror forces vow to end US ‘occupation’ of Iraq

Press TV

Saturday, 04 April 2020 9:14 PM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 05 April 2020 10:35 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Fighters of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, are seen in Zumar subdistrict, Nineveh province, Iraq, on October 18, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by their Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, have blasted the US forces based in their country as “occupiers”, pledging to bring the occupation of the Arab country to an end.

In a joint statement on Saturday, Hashd al-Sha’abi groups said from now on the US troops in the Arab country will be dealt with as “occupation forces”.

The statement cited the US refusal to withdraw its forces from Iraq and its “continued aggression” against the country as the reasons for their decision.

You have proven to everyone that you are occupation forces and that you only respect the language of force; on these bases you will be dealt with as occupiers,” the statement reads.

It also said that the Iraqi resistance forces’ military operations are a basic response to the US aggression.

“Be aware that all operations which have been carried out against you so far were only a minor response to your aggressions as the decision to carry out operations [against US forces] had not been taken back then,” it added.

They stressed that the recent US threats to target the resistance forces are aimed at covering up their own failures.

The statement was signed by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam, and Saraya al-Khurasani.

In late March, the other PMU group Kata’ib Hezbollah blew the lid off a plot by the US military to carry out massive aerial operations — backed by ground troops – against bases of the elite anti-terror force, which is currently busy helping the government in the fight against a new coronavirus pandemic.

Iraq’s PMU reveals ‘US plot to exploit coronavirus pandemic, attack its bases’An Iraqi resistance group has revealed a plot by the US military to exploit a coronavirus pandemic affecting the Arab country and launch attacks on PMU positions.

The PMU statement was concluded with a message to the Iraqi people, in which the resistance groups vowed that they will not let the US occupy the country and rob its resources.

The statement comes in line with earlier calls by the Iraqi Parliament and military for all foreign troops to leave the Arab country as soon as possible.  

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMU, and their companions in a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two days earlier.

Since then, the US-led coalition has handed over to the Iraqi army a number of bases it had occupied in the Arab country. However, it has also deployed further military equipment, including C-RAM systems and Patriot missile defense systems, to protect its remaining forces in the country.

US-led coalition officially hands over strategic air base in Iraq’s Anbar to army forcesThe US-led coalition officially hands over al-Taqaddum Air base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar to Iraqi government forces.

In their Saturday statement, the PMU also declared their opposition to the designation of Adnan al-Zurfi as Iraq’s prime minster, saying that Zurfi is a corrupt politician, a CIA puppet, and a threat to Iraq’s domestic peace and security.

Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Zurfi as the new prime minister in mid-March.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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Also read

US Military Forces In Iraq to Be Treated As Occupiers – Iraqi Resistance Statement

US Military Forces In Iraq to Be Treated As Occupiers - Iraqi Resistance Statement

By Staff, Agencies

Eight groups of Iraqi Resistance Movement in a joint statement on Saturday said that US military forces in Iraq are considered as ‘occupiers’, announcing that they would turn Iraq into hell for occupiers.

Three messages were sent in a joint statement issued by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Al-Awfiya, Kata’ib Jund al-Imam Movement, Al-Nujaba, Sayyed al-Shohada, Imam Ali, Ashura and Al-Khorasani battalions. The first of which is related to the presence of US military forces in Iraq that they [US forces] will be treated with the language of force and the operations that have taken place are nothing but a simple response.

The second message is addressed to the political groups, voicing opposition to Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi and considered him as an American candidate.

The third message of these groups is addressed to the Iraqi people that these groups have emphasized their strong presence for countering any crisis such as new enemy i.e. Coronavirus global pandemic and that the resistance groups are ready to defend and sacrifice their lives in fighting it.

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العراق والغزو الأميركيّ الذي لا ينتهي

ربى يوسف شاهين

منذ ذريعة أسلحة الدمار الشامل التي ابتدعها جورج بوش الابن في 2003 لغزو العراق، ليُنشئ قواعد في الهلال الخصيب، حيث يتمّ استكمال مخطط الهيمنة الغربية لصالح الكيان الإسرائيلي، وإقامة ما يسمّى «الشرق الاوسط الجديد»، الذي بشّرت به كونداليزا رايس، والذي يقوم على التبعية سياسياً واجتماعياً واقتصادياً للغرب.

تغييرات كثيرة أحدثتها آلة الغرب الأميركي ووكلائها في منطقة الشرق العربي، والتي لا تزال آثارها قائمة حتى اللحظة، عبر تدخلات في العمق العربي فرضتها آلة الغرب وبكلّ المجالات. وإذا ما أخذنا ما يحصل في العراق حتى اليوم، نُلاحظ أنّ ما يجري من هيمنة على سياسة الحكم في العراق، بعد القضاء على بنيته الأساسية اقتصادياً، والسيطرة على المناطق الحيوية الجيواستراتيجية فيه، عبر إقامة قواعد عسكرية كقاعدة عين الأسد التي تُعتبر المركز الأساسي للقوات الأميركية.

حيث تُعتبر عودة الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق بعد خروجه عام 2011، أكبر دليل على أنّ الذريعة السابقة كانت تمهيدًا لما سيأتي لاحقاً، وعطفا على ما يجري في الساحتين السورية واليمنية من حروب، لا ينفصل عما يجري في الساحة العراقية، والتي تؤدّي إلى تفكيك الشعوب العربية وجعلها في فوضى الحروب، كي لا تستطيع التقاط أنفاسها والنهوض للوقوف بجانب بعضها البعض.

وأهم ما يميّز هذه المرحلة العصيبة، هو صعود قوى المقاومة في هذه الدول، والتي تعتبر العدو الرئيسي لقوى العدوان الأميركي الصهيوني، لكونها استطاعت وفي العراق تحديداً تشكيل جماعات مؤيدة لها عبر اتفاقية أمنية، جعلت من العراق رهينة لـ واشنطن.

وعليه، فإنّ ما تقوم به الإدارة الأميركية في العراق، يندرج في إطار أنّ العراق يُعدّ الفاصل بين إيران وسورية جغرافياً، وبالتالي فإنّ خط المقاومة من طهران إلى بغداد مروراً بدمشق ووصولاً إلى بيروت، لا بدّ أن يتمّ قطعه عبر إحداث حالة من الإرباك السياسي والعسكري في عموم العراق.

كثيرة هي الأحقاد التي تضخها أميركا ضدّ الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، ومنذ الحرب على سورية أخذت الأمور بالتبلور والنضوج بشكل جلي وواضح. والأمثلة كثيرة من أهمّها الحصار الاقتصادي على إيران، وانتهاز انتشار فيروس كورونا لخنق الشعب الإيراني أكثر عبر رفض الولايات المتحدة نداء الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة انطونيو غويتريش بأن يتمّ رفع الحصار عن إيران، ووقف كلّ أشكال الحروب للتصدي لهذا الوباء القاتل.

وبالعودة الى الملف العراقي، فكلّ الأحداث تترابط في جزئية هامة وأساسية، أن يتمّ استغلال ما يعانيه المجتمع الدولي بشكل عام من اهتمام بإنقاذ مواطنيه والتركيز على محور المقاومة عبر العراق، حيث أصدرت كتائب حزب الله ببيان تؤكد فيه «رصدها لتحركات مريبة للقوات الأميركية وعملائها مستغلة الظروف العصيبة في محاولة لتحقيق أهداف مشبوهة وتنفيذ مخططات طالما سعت للوصول إليها من قبل».

حيث أكدت «على مخطط أميركي يرتكز على القيام بإنزال جوي يرافقه دعم أرضي وإسناد ناري من طيرانه الحربي على مواقع للأجهزة الأمنية والحشد الشعبي والمقاومة الإسلامية وبمشاركة جهاز عسكري عراقي وآخر أمني سيعرّض البنى الأساسية للدولة العراقية للخطر».

وما يؤكد ذلك تصريحات للبنتاغون عبر صحيفة «نيويورك تايمز» في 28/3/2020 بأنّ «البنتاغون أصدر توجيهاً الأسبوع الماضي للإعداد لحملة تدمير كلي لكتائب حزب الله العراق»، وأضافت «الحملة ضدّ كتائب حزب الله تشمل رداً عدوانياً ضدّ أيّ قوات عسكرية إيرانية قد تتدخل».

وكما أوردت الصحيفة فإنّ مسؤولين أميركيين كباراً يرون في انشغال إيران بأزمة كورونا فرصة لتدمير حلفائها في العراق.

ومن خلال قراءة بسيطة لما يحدث على الأرض، وما يتمّ إعلانه من قبل الصحف الأميركية عبر لسان الإدارة الأميركية، بأنّ الولايات المتحدة عازمة على استكمال حروبها في المنطقة، وأنّ العراق الذي يقاوم المحتلّ الأميركي عبر فصائل المقاومة يُشكل العقبة الحقيقية على الارض منذ 2003، ولذلك يتمّ التحضير لحملة عسكرية جديدة في العراق، والذي نشرته صحيفة «نيويورك تايمز» على لسان «وزير الدفاع مارك إسبر الذي أذن بالتخطيط لحملة عسكرية جديدة في العراق»، أكبر دليل على المُخطط الأميركي في العراق.

في المحصلة، على الرغم مما يُذاع من تصريحات أميركية عن استهداف مواقع للحشد الشعبي وكتائب حزب الله العراق، فسنوات الصمود والمقاومة التي انتهجها الشعب والمقاومة العراقية، ستبقى السدّ المنيع الذي سيقف في وجه الغطرسة الأميركية، التي عاثت فساداً وخراباً في شرقنا العربي على مدار ما يقارب عقداً من الزمن.

فيديوات متعلقة

Iran-backed force planned attack on Ain Al-Assad Airbase during US official’s visit

By News Desk -2020-04-03

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:15 P.M.) – The Iranian-backed Asbat al-Thaireen group said on Friday that they had planned to carry out an attack on the U.S. military wing at the Ain Al-Assad Airbase this week.

The group said, as reported by Press TV, that it had prepared itself for an attack on Ain al-Asad as the US undersecretary of defense and a number of other American officials visited it but called off the operation after realizing a number of Iraqi troops were nearby.

They would later call off the operation after they noticed Iraqi military personnel in the vicinity of the base.

The statement also warned that the group possesses equipment and weapons that the enemy would not even imagine, but has tasted them at Taji military base

On Thursday, Kata’ib Hezbollah warned US President Donald Trump about taking any hostile measures against the Iraqi nation and its paramilitary forces.

In a statement, Kata’ib Hezbollah warned that they would continue their attacks until all U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq.

An Iraqi resistance group has revealed a plot by the US military to exploit a coronavirus pandemic affecting the Arab country and launch attacks on PMU positions.

Trump on Wednesday threatened Iran with a “heavy price” if the Islamic Republic or its allies in Iraq attack American troops in Iraq.

“Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on US troops and/or assets in Iraq,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

The US deployed Patriot missile systems to Iraq last week, apparently as a precaution against possible rocket attacks.

The US Withdrawal from West Asia Is a Price It Has To Pay – Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades

The US Withdrawal from West Asia Is a Price It Has To Pay – Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – In light of the escalations taking place in Iraq, which include the global Coronavirus epidemic, the US didn’t spare any effort to continue its hostile military actions in the country.

Reports have suggested that Washington is intending to target the country’s anti-terror paramilitary, the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], also known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, in several sites. This goes along with the US’ deployment of Patriot missile system without any authorization from the country’s government.

To further learn the Iraqi resistance’s stance toward all this, al-Ahed News managed to have an exclusive interview with Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades Spokesman, Mr. Mohammad Mohie who stressed that any US action will increase the determination of all Iraqi factions, emphasizing that the price they have to pay for this will be expelling them from West Asia.

The US Withdrawal from West Asia Is a Price It Has To Pay – Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades
https://www.english.alahednews.com.lb/52244/269

Iraqi Resistance’s Response

Representing the response of Iraqi resistance factions in general, and that of Hezbollah Brigades in particular, Mr. Mohie explained the following:

“Most of the American actions today are related to certain circumstances that include the growing resistance among the Iraqi people as well as the increase in confrontations with US forces based in Iraq. There is a mounting rejection of those forces that are attempting to impose their will using the carrots and sticks approach.”

Mr. Mohie said the US is using psychological warfare, ground actions, conspiracies and sometimes attempting to strike the resistance factions and commanders, as well as some national and security figures that oppose the US plots.

The Iraqi resistance groups take all actions seriously, the man stressed. “We don’t say that they are just withdrawing from certain places; they are in fact making tactical withdrawals, not even repositioning. The US attempts to position its forces in certain places where it thinks they may be safe in case it made any new criminal act.”

We’ve already announced that the US forces intend to make military landings against some sites belonging to the security forces, the PMU or any resistance faction, he said. “We are clearly targeted in most of US threats, and we’ve warned of the dangers and repercussions of this criminal act.”

Mohie noted that the US attempt to impose a political reality in the country by assigning certain figure for premiership is a political coup. “The US is trying to impose this by military force, by intimidating the political forces as well as the resistance factions that oppose the American plots in Iraq,” he added.

US Taking Advantage of Iraq’s Weakness

Elaborating on the circumstances behind the US repeated threats to the Middle Eastern country, Mr. Mohie was clear that the US presence in Iraq leads to controlling the security and military situation, in addition to the US efforts to control the political decision, the government and other sides.

It is no secret in Iraq, he added, that there are certain hands for the US among the political forces that support the US and want its forces to remain inside the country. “They are totally in harmony with the US plots. They are within Iraq’s security, military and intelligence apparatuses, and they clearly support the US scheme.”

Beside insecurity, political instability and the protests which the US attempted to ride their tide, Iraq is now in a battle against Coronavirus, Mr. Mohie explained, adding that all this weakens the country and allow the US play its game of imposing its will by force, controlling the Iraqi land and establishing military bases against the will of Iraqis.

“The deployment of Patriot missiles is a mere violation of the strategic struggle agreement as well as of the Iraqi sovereignty.”

There is no wonder that the US is abusing the weak situation and invest in it to achieve its goals, the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades spokesman stressed.

Iraqi Resistance vs. US Threats

As always, the Iraqi resistance stances are crystal-clear. All of them reiterate that the US presence in the country is illegitimate, which eventually gives the Iraqi people the right to resist it with any mean they find suitable.

“We, as resistance factions, are at full readiness and preparedness to confront all developments in the future, whether the US sought the hostile action or insisted to remain in the country despite the will of the Iraqis and the Iraqi parliament’s decision to expel its forces out of the country.”

It is why the US’ campaign is focused against the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades that keep it watchful and hinder its schemes, Mohie said, adding that the US thinks that by targeting us it could end our existence and control the country. “The US also thinks that after assassinating the leaders of victory, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, it has crossed all redlines and hence can dare do anything else. But the US is miscalculating the situation.”

Mr. Mohammad Mohie said the US is misreading the situation in Iraq and misevaluating the capabilities of Iraqi resistance factions, and Hezbollah Brigades in particular. “We are quite sure that in case the US dared to make any folly of its many, it will be shocked at the preparedness of all Iraqi resistance factions in general, Hezbollah Brigades in particular, and all walks of Iraqi life.”

He stressed that the US will be shocked at the nature of confrontation and its wide circle in which it won’t expect being targeted in several bases in areas it considers safe.

Aspects of Blacklisting the Group

In response to a question regarding the impact that the group being blacklisted and always targeted by the US, Mr. Mohie said the issue ages back to 2009.

“Blacklisting us won’t change the nature, activity or goals of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades. This means that the role we played in expelling the US occupation back then, and what we are doing against its plots for the country, are hindering its efforts.”

Mohie said the group has always been attacked by the US. Many criminal acts against our fighters along the Syrian-Iraqi borders took place, in addition to attacking out sites and training centers. “We don’t care for the American threats. They are something that increase our determination and strength.”

As much as the US pressures the Iraqi people, the resistance turns fiercer and more determined to be strong enough to force the world’s biggest power to submit to its will, which already happened when the US occupied Iraq in 2003, Mohie said.

In comparison with 2003, the man noted that the equation today became totally the opposite. The number of US troops is less and the capabilities and power of the Iraqi resistance is bigger.

“The land is ours, and so is the right. The equation is in the favor of the resistance factions in all scenarios.”

Tactics to End the US Presence

Had the US insisted on remaining in Iraq, this activates the equation of resistance.

The man added that “The resistance started the moment we realized the US is planning to remain in Iraq. We asked the government, parliament and political forces to adopt diplomatic and political frameworks to press until expelling those forces.”

But, Mohie explained, it was clear that the US did neither respect nor recognize the Iraqi government’s appeal to the United Nations to end the role of the international coalition inside the country. The challenge was clear, the man added, the US insisted to remain, which inevitably leads to the presence of resistance.

“If the US won’t exit Iraq, it will be confronted by Iraqi people and resistance factions. It is a legitimate right.”

The US Biggest Crime; The Price

The US has committed many crimes in Iraq. The biggest crime, however, was the assassination of leaders Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Mohie said.

“This crime, definitely, won’t go unpaid for. The price is very clear. It is not about withdrawing from Iraq alone. It is rather to pull back from the entire West Asia region.”

It is a goal that has been set by the axis of resistance, of which we are a part, the man added. The Iraqi arena, he went on to say, is the most important one minding the direct military presence [of the target] in it.

The Iraqi resistance, he explained, is in the middle of the parties to the axis of resistance. We have a great responsibility to shoulder and we started to implement this major goal which we will reach by God’s willing.

“The US know very well that this resistance is determined to achieve its goal. It is why it turned fiercer and insisting to finish the Iraqi resistance. The US thinks that we are weak and we could not make progress. It is true that there are some US tools within the Iraqi society, but no matter what are the obstacles we will continue until achieving our goals.”

As much as the US tries, it won’t be able to hold us back from achieving our goal to expel it from West Asia, Mohie concluded.

Also read it in Arabic

AFTER THE EXPLOSION, A PREPARATION TO RETURN TO NORMALITY AND LIVE WITH COVID-19

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

No country in the world is expecting to be spared and every country except perhaps China, South Korea, and some Asian countries, is waiting to reach the “explosion” level, the peak which represents the highest death rate of COVID-19, known as Coronavirus, after which the curve of new casualties will start sliding down. This is when world leaders will have to make the decision for most societies to regain normality even though the virus will still be around for many months to come. Precautionary procedures of high sanitation standards and social distancing will always be advised, particularly among the elderly and the most affected people. Still, the economy needs to return to its ordinary course sooner or later, notwithstanding the enormous losses.

On the 10th of March, the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the city of Wuhan, in the province of Hubei, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak and declared that the situation was under control: “success has been achieved in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan”, he said. The Chinese President never mentioned the virus was over but that COVID-19 was under control. China has accepted its casualties and will be able to deal with the flow of new cases and will no longer be subject to a flood of severe cases being rushed to hospitals and overwhelming medical staff.

In fact, this is what European leaders will have to decide between the month of May (for some businesses most crucial to the economy) and the month of June (for all others). It will depend on which countries reach the Coronavirus explosion level and start to come down the curve to reach a much lower level of dozens of casualties per day, rather than the hundreds and thousands, happening in the US and Europe right now.

Governments cannot afford irreparable damage to their domestic economies and will have to call for a return to productivity. The population can’t afford to be at home for so many regularly prolonged two-week quarantine periods. This is the period that was initially imposed on the community at the outset, and it seems it will be renewed regularly until casualties are reduced.

The loss of income to families and individuals is so far estimated at between $860 billion and $3.4 trillion worldwide. The losses to the travel industry are estimated at between $30 to $60 billion. Failure of trade in goods and services will amount to $320 billion per quarter of trade disruption. 

Many people relied on part-time earnings with little savings and were caught by surprise in this pandemic crisis. But societies will eventually be happy to return to work with COVID-19 around and live with it. The reason is simple: no medicine will be available before the end of the year 2020. Therefore, there would be no point in imposing an endless quarantine that lasts until a solution for the Coronavirus is found- particularly when most scientists estimate that COVID-19 may infect between 80% and 85% of the population but are either unaware or only showing mild symptoms. These have an immune system capable of fighting the virus and could return to be productive in their respective societies. Having faced and dealt with the tsunami of cases rushing to hospitals, the medical staff, after the slowing down of the number of cases, will be able to offer medical support to newly infected people. 

The elderly and the young, and persons with critical medical history (obesity, heart attacks, cholesterol, pulmonary infections, high blood pressure, and inadequate immune systems) will be still asked to minimise their movements. Their families and friends will also be recommended to take the necessary precautions when meeting each other and those prone to the virus in order to avoid being the contributor transmitting the virus to them. Governments will have the time to provide enough tests for the entire population and to improve their medical systems and equipment so as to avoid future flooding of hospitals and the exhaustion of the medical personnel (which is what is happening today in many countries reaching the explosion of the virus spread).

Distance learning and working from home will be developed: the world is quite likely to be exposed to other, future viruses or the return of the COVID-19 before an antidote is found. Imposing quarantine with every new virus would mean the population spending years at home: the economy would never recover. 

During the spread of the pandemic, people acknowledged that their dear ones were dying, or would die, and that little could be done to defeat this unknown virus. Also, due to their fear for their own lives, people were forced to accept the fact that their national medical system had failed them, even in the most advanced western societies (Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States of America) or on any other continent. The population faced the possibility of not being able to be present at funerals to mourn their relatives and bury them- for fear for their own lives. And President Donald Trump believes that the prospect of 200,000 Americans deceased from Coronavirus represents “a good job” for his administration in containing the pandemic. 

Once the storm has abated, people will want to question their leaders about their performance and the failure of planning to prevent the arrival of the worst-case scenario. Societies will criticise the reasons offered during the explosion of the pandemic why not enough tests were made available to all people to rapidly prevent the deterioration of all the individual cases. No country was indeed prepared for such a Tsunami: thousands of cases with weak immune systems being rushed simultaneously to hospitals.  Also, no hospital in the world could provide enough beds to accommodate the tens of thousands of cases. There was a shortage of respiratory systems to meet the numbers involved and save lives. 

These handicaps had to be accepted during the outbreak of the virus. However, many leaders will have to be held accountable, and even disappear, once the panic dissipates. It is just unacceptable that developed countries spend hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ money on warfare, waging wars overseas or investing in sending military troops abroad, but fail to equip, maintain and dynamise their national medical system. This “economic strategy” makes them responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. 

Europe is not finally expected to stay divided, but the virus has created collateral damage. A good lesson was learned by member countries of the EU like Italy, who can no longer see China and Russia as enemies. In moments of need, these countries, including Cuba, rushed to help Rome even though the Italian government had imposed sanctions on Moscow. The “most powerful nation,” the US, failed to fulfil its role and did not respond to the needs of its supposed allies on the European continents until very late. France and Germany waited for many weeks before supporting Italy, the country that was most hit after China and was left alone in the eye of the storm when most in need. The Italian President Sergio Mattarella asked the EU to correct its behaviour before irreparable damage occurred to the EU institution because Italy was left alone to face the explosion of the pandemic.

China and Russia are both coming out winners. A few Italians recorded themselves, raising the Chinese flag and lowering the European flag, but China is not offering itself as a substitute for US hegemony but as a strategic partner. Russia also, like China, aimed at the hearts of the population and apparently has no policy of dominance comparable to that of the US. The Kremlin offered its help (100 virologists and tons of medical supplies were offered to Italy) unconditionally, and Rome was not pressured to lift its sanctions. 

In contrast, the US refused to help Europe in the first weeks of the Coronavirus outbreak, imposing new sanctions on Iran amid the pandemic, offering a reward of $15 million for Venezuelan President Maduro and threatening to wage war on Iraqi security forces Kataeb Hezbollah. There was no human compassion from the US towards its opponents, like Iran, harshly hit by a pandemic. The current US warmongering administration is unable to change or to express empathy towards other human beings. They cannot see, understand, or adapt to the fact that this enemy is global and is making no distinctions within humankind.

A COVID-19 antidote will not be available soon. But there is little doubt that governments will take a different approach to medical readiness in the future. It is equally sure that allies will be reshuffled and that world dominance will no longer be the same when governments regain control after the pandemic. The world before COVID-19 will not be the same as that after COVID-19. The virus will be living among us and within us, waiting in silence for months and years to come.

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for their confidence and support. If you liked it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it, for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020 

Iraqi Nujaba Warns US of Crushing, Painful Response to Any Military Action

Iraqi Nujaba Warns US of Crushing, Painful Response to Any Military Action

By Staff, Tasnim News Agency

Representative of the secretary-general of Iraqi resistance group al-Nujaba Movement warned the US that the Iraqi forces are fully prepared to give a crushing and painful response to any aggressive military action.

Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi told Tasnim News Agency that the Islamic resistance forces of Iraq are fully prepared for any confrontation with the American forces.

Downplaying the reports from American media that the US may launch a military attack on the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, the Nujaba forces or the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, Sayyed al-Moussawi said the Iraqi fighters are fully prepared to counter any military action.

“All resistance groups of Iraq have become united and emphasize that they are ready for the confrontation with the US, and their response will be very painful this time,” Moussawi warned.

He also dismissed the notion of a widespread American military operation in Iraq, describing the speculation about a possible US strike on the PMUs as part of a psychological warfare against the Iraqi resistance forces, government and parliament.

“However, we emphasize that we are monitoring all aggressive movements of Americans, particularly these days, and we’re prepared to confront any measure,” he added.

He finally stressed that the Americans own no winning card in Iraq and also lack any political and social credibility among the Iraqi people.

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واشنطن تستغلّ كورونا وتحاول تجديد احتلالها للعراق…؟

حسن حردان

يبدو من الواضح أنّ إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب لا توفر جهداً لأجل استغلال وباء كورونا في الداخل الأميركي وفي الخارج، بهدف أساسي وهو خدمة سياساتها الرأسمالية النيوليبرالية القائمة على الاستغلال والنهب والسيطرة، لمصلحة الشركات وكبار الأثرياء، على حساب حياة الناس وإنقاذ أرواحهم، الذي هو آخر ما يفكر فيه العقل الاستعماري للإدارة الأميركية… وفي هذه اللحظات التي يواجه فيها العالم أجمع حرب فايروس كورونا، وبدل ان يجري توظيف الجهود ودراسة سبل القضاء على هذا الوباء، تخصّص الإدارة الاستعمارية الوقت والجهد للبحث والتخطيط لشنّ الحرب ضدّ العراق، دولة وشعباً ومقاومة، لانه تجرّأ على اتخاذ قرار مطالبة الولايات المتحدة بسحب قواتها من العراق، على اثر ارتكبها جريمة اغتيال القائدين المقاومين الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، وذلك في محاولة يائسة لإرهاب العراقيين وفصائل المقاومة وإعادة إخضاع العراق للهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية..

لقد كشفت صحيفة «نيويورك ثايمز» الأميركية فحوى ما دار في اجتماع عُقد قبل أسبوع في البيت الأبيض برئاسة ترامب وحضور كبار القيادات السياسية والعسكرية والمستشارين، خصص لبحث في تنفيذ عملية عسكرية في العراق.. حيث ساد الانقسام بين فريقين…

فريق أول، يؤيد إرسال آلاف الجنود للقيام بعملية عسكرية واسعة تستهدف قيادات ومراكز وقواعد فصائل الحشد الشعبي، لا سيما كتائب حزب الله، ومن أبرز مويدي هذا الخيار، وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو ومستشار الأمن القومي أوبراين…

وفريق ثان، ويضمّ وزير الدفاع والمسؤولين في البنتاغون، وقائد القوات المشتركة، يعارض مثل هذه العملية، ويحذر من خطورتها على القوات الأميركية، وانها ستكون دموية، وقد تعطي نتائج عكسية، وتقود إلى حرب مع إيران.. ويرى انّ مثل هذه العملية يتطلب إرسال المزيد من الجنود إلى العراق وتحويل الموارد من المهمة الأساسية وهي محاربة داعش، وتدريب القوات العراقية، وهو ما يتعارض مع الاتفاقية المعقودة مع الحكومة العراقية…

أولا، لماذا تصرّ واشنطن على رفض الاستجابة لطلب العراق بسحب قواتها منه؟ ولماذا تتمسك أميركا بالبقاء في العراق رغماً عن ارادة أغلبية أبناء العراق؟

الجواب واضح، وهو انّ العراق مهمّ جداً بالنسبة للهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية في المنطقة، للأسباب التالية..

السبب الأول، يحتوي على ثروة نفطية كبيرة.

السبب الثاني، يتميّز بموقع جفرافي هامّ، فهو مجاور لكلّ من سورية وإيران، وفي نفس الوقت مجاور لكلّ من السعودية والكويت والأردن، ويطلّ على الخليج..

السبب الثالث، عدد سكانه متوسط، يبلغ نحو ثلاثين مليون نسمة، ويحوز على كادرات وخبرات علمية…

انّ هذه الأسباب مجتمعة تجعل من العراق، في حال تحرّر بالكامل من وجود القوات الأميركية، وتخلص من كلّ رواسب الاحتلال، لا سيما دستور الحاكم الأميركي بول بريمر، وبالتالي امتلك استقلاله وحرية قراره، تجعل منه دولة قوية وطرفاً أساسياً في حلف المقاومة الذي يضمّ إيران وسورية والمقاومات العربية في لبنان واليمن وفلسطين، مما يشكل تهديداً كبيراً للسيطرة الاستعمارية في المنطقة..

ثانياً، هل أميركا في ظروف تسمح لها بالعودة الى الغرق في حرب جديدة في العراق..

الوقائع والمعطيات التالية تفيد..

1 –

تجربة غزو أميركا للعراق بين 2003 و2011، وكلفته الباهظة، مادياً وبشرياً، والتي أجبرت أميركا على الانسحاب، لا تزال حاضرة وبقوة، وأميركا لا تزال تعاني حتى اليوم من التداعيات والنتائج السلبية لذلك على الاقتصاد الأميركي، الذي دخل اليوم في حالة ركود نتيجة حرب كورونا..التي تحتاج إلى موارد كبيرة لمواجهتها..

2 –

العراق الذي هزم أميركا، هو اليوم في وضع مختلف عما كان عليه عشية الغزو الأميركي عام 2003.. العراق اليوم يمتلك مقاومة قوية ومتمرّسة ولديها قدرات وخبرات وجاهزة تفوق عشرات المرات ما كانت عليه بين أعوام 2003 و2011، وهي بعد أن خاضت حرب عصابات ضدّ الاحتلال الأميركي وأجبرته على الانسحاب عام 2011، خاضت حرباً لا تقلّ ضراوة ضدّ تنظيم داعش الإرهابي، ونجحت في إلحاق الهزيمة به وتحرير المناطق التي سيطر عليها… ولهذا فإنّ أميركا في حال شنّت حرباً جديدة ضدّ العراق، فإنها ستواجه مقاومة من نقطة متقدّمة قادرة على تكبيد القوات الأميركية خسائر جسيمة وتغرق أميركا في مستنقع من الاستنزاف يفوق حروبها السابقة، وهي غير قادرة على تحمّله…

3 –

كما أنّ العراق اليوم ليس محاصراً دولياً، أو يتعرّض لعقوبات من مجلس الأمن.. وهو اليوم ليس معزولاً، بل يملك حلفاء أقوياء في حلف المقاومة الذي يحقق الانتصارات في مواجهة الإرهاب والاحتلال والاستعمار وأدواته، في حين انّ العالم اصبح منقسماً إلى محورين كبيرين، محور تقوده أميركا ويسعى إلى محاولة الحفاظ على هيمنته الأحادية المتداعية، ومحور تقوده روسيا والصين ويسعى إلى كسر هذه الهيمنة وبناء نظام دولي جديد يقوم على التعددية والتشاركية واحترام القوانين والمواثيق الدولية.. ولهذا فإنّ أميركا لا تحظى بأيّ غطاء او تأييد دولي لتبرير شنّ حرب جديدة، حتى من قبل حلفائها الذين سارعوا مؤخراً إلى سحب جنودهم من العراق..

4 –

ترامب وعد الأميركيين بعدم شن حروب جديدة، وأعلن وما زال انّ الاقتصاد هو أولويته، وهو مقبل على انتخابات في الخريف المقبل، ويدرك جيداً انّ الرأي العام الأميركي باغلبيته لا يؤيد الحرب.. ولهذا أقدم ترامب على عقد صفقة مع حركة طالبان في أفغانستان تقضي بجدولة سحب القوات الأميركية، من هناك، ولوحظ انّ توقيت ذلك جاء عشية الانتخابات، للقول للأميركيين إنه قد نفذ وعده بإعادة الجنود الأميركيين إلى الديار.. وذلك بهدف زيادة شعبيته.. واليوم هو بأمسّ الحاجة إلى ترميم شعبيته المتراجعة على خلفية أدائه السيّئ في مواجهة وباء كورونا..

ثالثاً، أمام هذه المعطيات المذكورة آنفاً، انقسام داخل الإدارة، وعدم تأييد الأميركيين للحرب، واقتراب الانتخابات الرئاسية، وواقع العراق المختلف عن عام 2003، وكذلك الواقع الدولي المتغيّر، فإنّ المرجح ان تقدم واشنطن على اعتماد خطة تقوم على التالي..

1 –

إعادة تموضع بقواتها في العراق، وهو ما بدأته، بحيث تخلي قواعد في مناطق لا تتمتع فيها بأيّ تأييد، لمصلحة تعزيز بقائها في قواعدها الموجودة في مناطق تعتقد انها توفر غطاء لها، مثل مناطق شمال العراق..

2 –

العمل على تغذية التناقضات العراقية العراقية، من خلال دفع الأحزاب والقوى والأطراف الموالية لواشنطن لأجل الاعتراض على طلب البرلمان العراقي سحب القوات الأميركية، وكذلك الحؤول دون تشكيل حكومة جديدة تدعم قرار البرلمان، ومحاولة إثارة صراع طائفي ومذهبي وعرقي، والتحريض ضدّ إيران، وكتائب الحشد الشعبي..

لكن مثل هذه الخطة الأميركية سيكون مصيرها الفشل لسببين..

السبب الأول، انّ الشعب العراقي وفصائل المقاومة مصمّمون على خوض معركة التحرير الثاني للعراق من وجود القوات الأميركية.. لأنه من دون ذلك لن يتحقق الاستقلال الحقيقي للعراق، ولن ينعم العراقيون بالأمن والاستقرار، واستطراداً لن يستطيعوا إعادة بناء دولتهم الوطنية العراقية الخالية من رواسب الاحتلال وقانون بريمر الفتنوي، ولا استغلال ثروات العراق النفطية لإعادة بناء الاقتصاد وتحقيق التنمية والعدالة الاجتماعية..

السبب الثاني انّ الولايات المتحدة ليس بمقدورها تحمّل تبعات الانزلاق الى حرب جديدة أكثر كلفة من حربها السابقة..

لذلك عندما تستنفد واشنطن محاولة إطالة أمد بقاء قواتها، وتفشل في اللعب على التناقضات الداخلية، وتبدأ المقاومة في تصعيد عملياتها، بعد انقضاء المهلة المتاحة للقوات الأميركية لتنفيذ قرار انسحابها.. عندها سوف تختار الانسحاب باعتباره خيار لا مناصّ منه، وهي مجبرة عليه…

الموقف اليوم – ناصر قنديل

Pentagon Divided Over Prospect of Escalation in Iraq

Pentagon Divided Over Prospect of Escalation in Iraq

By Staff, Agencies

The US Pentagon issued an order last week commanding top generals to come up with a plan to step up the action against Iraqi resistance group which the US claims is the force behind a string of rocket attacks at bases hosting international troops, New York Times reported Friday.

Citing officials with knowledge on the matter, NYT said the Pentagon was seeking a plan to destroy Kataib [Brigades] Hezbollah in a drastic escalation against the resistance group which is formally operating within the Iraqi chain of command.

The order was authorized by US War Secretary Mark Esper, the officials told the paper.

However, Lt. Gen. Robert White, who is head of Operation Inherent Resolve — the alleged US mission in Iraq against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] — reportedly pushed back on the order.

In his memo, as cited by the NYT, he warned that a campaign against Kataib Hezbollah could result in a full-fledged war with Iran, as they claim it is the side backing the resistance group. It would also require additional troops and resources at a time when the US military is seeking to cut its footprint in the region to re-deploy with China’s containment in mind.

On Thursday, two rockets landed in Baghdad’s Green Zone in an apparent attack at the US diplomatic compound, which is located in the area. Earlier, two Americans and a Briton were killed in another rocket attack at Taji airbase near Baghdad.

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Iraq’s Hezb Allah: Instead of Leaving, The US is Plotting a Civil War in Iraq

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Kataib Hezbollah Iraq Hezb Allah Brigades

Iraq Hezb Allah Brigades (Kata’ib Hezb Allah) revealed that they have ‘information about dubious US movements to achieve suspicious goals, with the participation of an Iraqi security apparatus’.

The Brigades added that the plot includes ‘airdrops on military, security and PMU positions with ground support and air support’ which will lead to ‘dangerous repercussions, and will cause a humanitarian and societal disaster that is difficult to control’.

The Iraqi Parliament voted to expel the US troops from the country after their role changed from assisting the Iraqi forces in fighting ISIS to bombing and killing Iraqi commanders who were leading the fight against ISIS, the US officials didn’t accept the booting from Iraq orders and vowed to stay there at all costs.

Staying in a hostile environment requires exceptional measures, the Pentagon tried to revive ISIS in Iraq (and in Syria) to justify extending their existence, it didn’t succeed, they tried to prevent forming an Iraqi government and its stooges are playing on time to keep the country in its fail state status, time is running out, it threatened to impose sanctions on the country but that would let Iraq slip completely from its grip into the Iranian grip, so they threatened to impose sanctions on Iraqi officials. That last threat turned out to harm its own assets more than harming those who want to see their country liberated.

While the world is uniting to combat the Coronavirus and its catastrophic impact on the economies of every country, the US officials instead of concentrating their efforts in combating this pandemic and seeking assistance from the rest of the world, bringing back their troops from overseas where they’re not welcomed, are instead plotting to ignite a civil war in Iraq, something they’ve been working on for decades.

Iran - Iraq - Syria Railway

The US is using alleged attacks on its military bases in Iraq as an excuse to target the forces that fought ISIS, especially those positioned at the borders with Syria. The US opposed the reopening of Baghdad – Damascus highway through Iraqi Qaim and Syrian Bu Kamal cities, it’s the road that ISIS put its main focus on blocking and the US continues its efforts to keep it threatened if it cannot secure its closure.
Iran to Reach the Mediterranean through Iraq and Syria Railway

Similarly, to how the Turkish madman Erdogan was blocking the M4 and M5 arteries in Syria to strangle the Syrian economy. The M4 is the Syrian part of the Bagdhad – Damascus highway that connects the Baghdad with the Mediterranean through Saraqib.

Iraq’s Hezb Allah Brigades vowed to ‘respond with all force on all the US’s military, security, and economic facilities, with no exceptions’ if the US carries out this plot, they further promised to ‘turn the sites that will be targeted by the US into their graves and a shame that will follow them forever, the US and its accomplices.’

The US doesn’t need Iraq’s oil or any investment there, it’s a massive loss in the long run and they know that very well. All the US’s involvement in the region is to secure the safety of Israel within the maximum territories it can steal. If someone knows any other reason kindly enlighten us in the comments.

Syria News

“سيسبب كارثة إنسانية”… كتائب حزب الله العراق تحذّر من مخطط أميركي جديد

المخطط يرتكز على إنزال جوي على مواقع للجيش والأمن والحشد بدعم أرضي وإسناد جوي

الميادين نت

كتائب حزب الله العراق تكشف أن القوات الأميركية تجهّز لمخطط “سيسبب كارثة إنسانية ومجتمعية”، وذلك بمساندة جهاز أمني عراقي.

المخطط يرتكز على إنزال جوي على مواقع للجيش والأمن والحشد بدعم أرضي وإسناد جوي

كشفت كتائب حزب الله العراق أن بحوزتها “معطيات ترقى إلى مستوى المعلومة” عن رصد تحركات أميركية مريبة لتحقيق أهداف مشبوهة، بمشاركة جهاز أمني عراقي. 

ونبّهت الكتائب إلى “موجة الحملات النفسية الأميركية الممهدة لمخطط أميركي جديد في العراق”، موضحةً أن المخطط “يرتكز على إنزال جوي على مواقع للجيش والأمن والحشد بدعم أرضي وإسناد جوي”.

وقالت: “هذا الإجراء وما ينتج منه من تداعيات خطرة، سيسبب كارثة إنسانية ومجتمعية تصعب السيطرة عليها”، مضيفةً أنها “أمام خيار تجاوز مراحل كثيرة في معادلة المواجهة” مع القوات الأميركية.

وأعلنت كتائب حزب الله أنها سترد “بكل قوة على جميع منشآته العسكرية والأمنية واﻻقتصادية من دون استثناء”، متوعدةً بجعل “المواقع التي يخططون لاستهدافها مقبرة لهم وعاراً يلاحقهم، هم ومن يتعاون معهم”.

وحذّرت الكتائب “أي طرف عراقي تسوّل له نفسه المشاركة في هذا المخطط التآمري”، داعيةً إياه إلى أن “يضع في حسبانه أنه سيُعامل كعدو لن تغفر خيانته، ولا يعفى عن جريمته، وسيلقى حساباً عسيراً”

.المصدر : الميادين نت

NEW IRAQI GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR CAMP TAJI ATTACK

New Iraqi Group Claims Responsibility For Camp Taji Attack

South Front

A new Iraqi military group has claimed responsibility for the March 11 Camp Taji attack, which claimed the lives of three U.S.-led coalition service members.

In an official statement released on March 15, the group, dubbed Ausbat al-Thaayirin (AT), confirmed its responsibility for the recent rocket attacks on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops.

“In response to the request of our Mujahedeen brothers … we declare that the blessed operations [the shelling of occupation bases] are our operations, and we fear no one by announcing this,” the statement reads.

A few days ago, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) released a statement calling on the perpetrators of the recent attacks to reveal themselves, promising to support them. KH was held responsible for these attacks by the U.S.

AT appears to be a pro-Iranian Shiite group. The group vowed to respond to the assassination of Popular Mobilization Unties (PMU) Deputy-Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Maj. Gen. Qassam Soleimani, Commander of Iran’s Quds Force.

“The assassination of our martyr leaders is heat in our chests, a motive for our conscious that will not trail off until the withdrawal of the occupying forces in a humiliating and degrading manner,” the group said.

The U.S. carried out a series of strikes on Iraq on March 13 in response to Camp Taji attack. The strikes hit positions of the PMU, the Iraqi military and police.

AT’s statement is yet to be verified. More information about the mysterious group will likely appear in the coming months.

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«حفلة الجنون» الأميركية: نحو تبديل قواعد الاشتباك؟

العراق

نور أيوب السبت 14 آذار 2020

«حفلة الجنون» الأميركية: نحو تبديل قواعد الاشتباك؟
أسفر الهجوم الأميركي عن استشهاد 5 جنود ومدني وجرح عدد آخر (أ ف ب )

الردّ الأميركي السريع على الهجوم الصاروخي الذي استهدف «التاجي» لا يبشّر بالخير. «حفلة من الجنون»، وكسر لقواعد الاشتباك، وتأكيد أن واشنطن «محت» الخطوط الحمراء، وأنها باتت في مواجهة العراق دولة وشعباً… كل ذلك يعزّز فرضيّات التصعيد في الأيام المقبلةالردّ الأميركي على الهجوم الصاروخي الذي استهدف «معسكر التاجي» (45 كلم شمال العاصمة بغداد) كان أشبه بـ«حفلة جنون» تعكس إفلاساً ضارباً في مقاربة الإدارة الأميركية للأزمة المستفحلة مع الأحزاب والقوى السياسية العراقية، والمتعلّقة بانتشار قواتها على طول بلاد الرافدين. قيادة «العمليّات المشتركة» العراقية أكّدت في بيان أمس، تعرّض البلاد إلى «اعتداء سافر» من طائرات أميركية مقاتلة استهدفت قطعات الجيش العراقي (مغاوير الفرقة 19) ومقر اللواء 46 في «الحشد الشعبي»، وفوج شرطة بابل الثالث، ومطار كربلاء (قيد الإنشاء، ويقع على الطريق الرابط بين كربلاء والنجف)، ما أسفر عن استشهاد خمسة جنود ومدني، وجرح عدد آخر.

هو ردّ «مجنون» بتوصيف مصادر أمنية رفيعة، لأنه يكسر «قواعد الاشتباك» المعمول بها منذ سنوات، والقاضية بـ«تحييد» مؤسسات الدولة ومنشآتها في سياق المواجهة بين فصائل المقاومة وقوّات الاحتلال. مصادر سياسية مطّلعة قالت لـ«الأخبار» إن الهجوم الأخير «يعكس إفلاس الإدارة الأميركية، ورفضها التزام القرار السيادي العراقي الداعي إلى انسحاب القوات الأجنبية وفق جدول زمني يُتفق عليه بين الجانبين… واشنطن ترجمت عجزها عن تحديد عدوّها من صديقها». وعليه، فضّل الجيش الأميركي العسكرية اعتبار كل نقطة في البلاد هدفاً يمكن استهدافه. هذا «الجنون» من شأنه، وفق المصادر، أن «يعقّد الأزمة أكثر، ويشرّع الأبواب أمام تصعيد مرفوض (حالياً) من الحكومة الاتحادية، والمؤثرين في القرار السياسي».

بيان «المشتركة» حمل لهجة حادّة ضد الجانب الأميركي كلهجته ضد «المجموعات» التي استهدفت «التاجي»، إذ وصف ما جرى «انتهاكاً لمبدأ الشراكة والتحالف بين القوات الأمنية العراقية، والجهات التي خطّطت ونفّذت الهجوم الغادر»، كما رأى أن الحديث عن كون «الهجوم ردّاً على العمل العدواني الذي استهدف التاجي ذريعة واهية تقود إلى التصعيد ولا تقدّم حلّاً للسيطرة على الأوضاع».

في هذا الإطار، تساءل البيان عن المبرّر الأميركي لاستهداف المنشآت الحكومية، العسكرية والمدنية، في ظلّ التوصيف الأميركي للضربات الجوية بـ«الناجحة»، والإعراب عن الرضى بـ«حجم الأضرار التي خلّفتها».

في غضون ذلك، تتساءل المصادر عن سبب الاستهداف المتكرّر لمقارّ «الحشد» الذي يُعدّ جزءاً من المؤسسة الأمنية ــــ العسكرية، وملتزماً قرار الدولة العراقية، فـ«المواجهة» بالمنظور الأميركي ضد الفصائل، وليس «الحشد»، وعجز واشنطن عن مواجهتها يدفع بها إلى استهداف «الحشد» في ظاهرة متكرّرة. أما التصعيد الخطير، فكان استهداف مقارّ الجيش والشرطة الاتحاديّة، التي «تواطأت» مع المنفذين الميدانيين لضربة «التاجي»، كما ينقل مطّلعون على مناخات السفارة الأميركية. لكن المصادر السياسة تعلّق على الإعلان الأميركي «إبقاء حاملتي طائرات في المنطقة (للمرّة الأولى منذ 2012) للرد على التهديد، المتمثّل في الأسلحة المتطوّرة التي قدّمتها إيران»، بالقول: «الجانب الأميركي بات عاجزاً جدّاً» منذ اغتياله نائب رئيس «هيئة الحشد» أبو مهدي المهندس، وقائد «قوّة القدس» في «الحرس الثوري» الإيراني قاسم سليماني، ورفاقهما، في محيط مطار بغداد الدولي، مطلع العام الجاري، كما أنها رأت تصعيده الأخير قائماً على «حجج واهية».

بالعودة إلى بيان «المشتركة»، وبيان الرئاسات الثلاث والأحزاب والقوى السياسية، يُسجّل التنديد والاستنكار المصاحب بلهجة حادّة، ووصف ما جرى بأنه «تصرّف خارج عن إرادة الدولة العراقية، واعتداء على سيادتها، ويقوّي التوجهات الخارجة عن القانون… فلا يحق لأي طرف أن يضع نفسه بديلاً عن الدولة وسيادتها وقراراتها الشرعية». هذه اللغة استُتبعت بتسليم الخارجية العراقية السفير الأميركي لدى بغداد، ماثيو تولر، مُذكّرة احتجاج، وتبليغه بأن الحكومة سترفع شكوى إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وأخرى إلى الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، بشأن الاعتداء على مقارّ الجيش والشرطة و«الحشد». لكن السؤال يبقى، وفق أكثر من مصدر، أمام هذا الحراك الدبلوماسي، عن مآلات المفاوضات مع الجانب الأميركي الداعية لانسحابه، وهذا ما سيترجم «الحرص» الحقيقي على السيادة الوطنية ويثبتها فعلاً لا قولاً أو بياناً.

حمل بيان «المشتركة» والرئاسات الثلاث لهجة حادّة ضد الاحتلال الأميركي

في غضون ذلك، تتساءل المصادر عن سبب الاستهداف المتكرّر لمقارّ «الحشد» الذي يُعدّ جزءاً من المؤسسة الأمنية ــــ العسكرية، وملتزماً قرار الدولة العراقية، فـ«المواجهة» بالمنظور الأميركي ضد الفصائل، وليس «الحشد»، وعجز واشنطن عن مواجهتها يدفع بها إلى استهداف «الحشد» في ظاهرة متكرّرة. أما التصعيد الخطير، فكان استهداف مقارّ الجيش والشرطة الاتحاديّة، التي «تواطأت» مع المنفذين الميدانيين لضربة «التاجي»، كما ينقل مطّلعون على مناخات السفارة الأميركية. لكن المصادر السياسة تعلّق على الإعلان الأميركي «إبقاء حاملتي طائرات في المنطقة (للمرّة الأولى منذ 2012) للرد على التهديد، المتمثّل في الأسلحة المتطوّرة التي قدّمتها إيران»، بالقول: «الجانب الأميركي بات عاجزاً جدّاً» منذ اغتياله نائب رئيس «هيئة الحشد» أبو مهدي المهندس، وقائد «قوّة القدس» في «الحرس الثوري» الإيراني قاسم سليماني، ورفاقهما، في محيط مطار بغداد الدولي، مطلع العام الجاري، كما أنها رأت تصعيده الأخير قائماً على «حجج واهية».

بالعودة إلى بيان «المشتركة»، وبيان الرئاسات الثلاث والأحزاب والقوى السياسية، يُسجّل التنديد والاستنكار المصاحب بلهجة حادّة، ووصف ما جرى بأنه «تصرّف خارج عن إرادة الدولة العراقية، واعتداء على سيادتها، ويقوّي التوجهات الخارجة عن القانون… فلا يحق لأي طرف أن يضع نفسه بديلاً عن الدولة وسيادتها وقراراتها الشرعية». هذه اللغة استُتبعت بتسليم الخارجية العراقية السفير الأميركي لدى بغداد، ماثيو تولر، مُذكّرة احتجاج، وتبليغه بأن الحكومة سترفع شكوى إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وأخرى إلى الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، بشأن الاعتداء على مقارّ الجيش والشرطة و«الحشد». لكن السؤال يبقى، وفق أكثر من مصدر، أمام هذا الحراك الدبلوماسي، عن مآلات المفاوضات مع الجانب الأميركي الداعية لانسحابه، وهذا ما سيترجم «الحرص» الحقيقي على السيادة الوطنية ويثبتها فعلاً لا قولاً أو بياناً.

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IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES RAISE STAKES. ROCKET ATTACK KILLS SEVERAL U.S. COALITION TROOPS IN IRAQ

South Front

A volley of rockets struck the Camp Taji military base in Iraq on the evening of March 11, killing three US-led coalition service members, two of them Americans and one British, and injuring 12 others. The targeted military base is a large facility located in a rural region approximately 27km north of Baghdad.

After the shelling, Iraqi security forces found the improvised rocket launcher used in the attack in the nearby area of Rashidiya. It was forty 107mm barrels installed on the back of a Kia Bongo truck. Three rockets were still remaining inside the barrel.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. However, over the past months US-linked targets have witnessed a number of similar rocket attacks. Most of them led to no casualties. In general, US sources blame Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-linked groups for these incidents.

The situation became especially tense after the US strike on a convoy of Iraqi and Iranian officers moving near Baghdad International Airport on January 3. The prominent Iranian general, commander of the Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani, was assassinated in this strike. The attack caused a large-scale crisis in the region, and prompted an Iranian retaliatiory missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. Washington swallowed a public attack on its forces by a state claiming that there were no casualties. In the following weeks, these ‘no casualties’ steadily turned into at least 110. All of them, according to the official version, received traumatic brain injury.

Additionally, the Iraqi Parliament accepted a bill demanding US troop withdrawal from the country, which Washington ignored, even threatening Baghdad with devastating sanctions, should Iraq continue to act like it is a sovereign, rather than occupied, country.

Following the attack on Camp Taji, ‘unknown aircraft’, most likely belonging to the US-led coalition, struck positions belonging to Iranian-backed groups near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The surroundings of the Syrian town of al-Bukamal, located on the highway linking Deir Ezzor and Baghdad, became the main target of the attack. Pro-Iranian sources claimed that the strikes caused material damage only.

Meanwhile, US forces in northeastern Syria strengthened their military positions by deploying additional howitzers. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces declared in an official statement that the military buildup was needed to provide US bases with additional protection. Another troop withdrawal announced by the administration of President Donald Trump is apparently successfully ongoing.

Syria’s northwest is also a source of tensions. On March 11, intense fighting erupted among Turkish-backed armed groups in the town of Azaz. As always, the incident was caused by internal contradictions between Turkish proxies who are involved in a wide range of various criminal activities and regularly clash for spheres of influence.

In the region of Greater Idlib, Turkish-backed groups, including those linked with al-Qaeda, are preparing to sabotage another ceasefire deal. They reinforced their positions north of the M4 highway and east of Jisr al-Shughur and declared that they are not planning to withdraw from any areas south of the highway. These statements go contrary to Turkish claims that preparations for the creation of a security zone in the area and the start of joint Turkish-Russian patrols are successfully in progress. Despite these, Ankara continues blaming the Syrian government for supposed violations of the Moscow deal and threatening it with military action should the ceasefire be violated. It seems that Turkey once again seeks to sweep agreements regarding the withdrawal and neutralization of radicals under the carpet, thus pushing the region into a new round of military escalation.

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واشنطن تتهرّب من المواجهة


ناصر قنديل

– عندما بدأت الحشود الأميركية في الخليج صرّح كل قادة أميركا من الرئيس دونالد ترامب إلى وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو ووزير الدفاع مارك إسبر وقائد الأركان الجنرال بيكيت ماكينزي وقادة المنطقة، أن هذه القوات موجودة لحماية مصالح واشنطن وحلفائها، وأن إيران ستتحمّل مسؤولية أي استهداف لهذه المصالح ولهؤلاء الحلفاء حتى لو جاء ممن تسمّيهم واشنطن بوكلاء إيران في المنطقة. وبعد فترة وجيزة بالأيام لا بالأسابيع تعرّضت المصالح النفطية في الخليج للاستهداف، وتوّجت بإعلان من أنصار الله عن المسؤولية عن استهداف خط نقل النفط بين الدمّام وينبع بطائرات مسيّرة وتدمير محطات الضخّ فيه. فأعلنت واشنطن انها لن ترد إلا إذا استهدفت قواتها، وتخلّت بسرعة عن حلفائها الخليجيين ومصالحهم وأمنهم، وقال الرئيس الأميركي وردّد قوله مراراً في فترات لاحقة، إننا نبيع السلاح لحكومات الخليج لتدافع عن نفسها لا لندافع عنها. وعندما أسقطت طائرة التجسس الأميركية العملاقة بصاروخ إيراني مباشر، قال الرئيس الأميركي إنه طالما لم يسقط قتلى فإن تفادي الحرب يتقدّم على الانتقام والرد.

– مع إقدام واشنطن على اغتيال قائد فيلق القدس الجنرال قاسم سليماني ورئيس أركان الحشد الشعبي العراقي أبي مهدي المهندس، ظنّ كثيرون أن قواعد الاشتباك قد تغيرت، وأن القرار الأميركي قد انتقل من تلقي الضربات إلى توجيهها. وعندما جاء الرد الإيراني باستهداف قاعدة عين الأسد وتدمير منشآتها، امتنعت واشنطن عن الرد رغم أنها هددت بأنها ستستهدف عدداً حدده الرئيس الأميركي بـ 22 هدفاً بينها أهداف ثقافية، وفيما قال الإيرانيون إن سبب عدم الرد هو المعادلة التي تبلغها الأميركي بأن أي رد على أهداف إيرانية سيعني تعريض تل أبيب لضربة إيرانية قاسية تهدّد بإزالتها عن الخريطة، بينما عاد الأميركيون إلى نغمة عدم وقوع قتلى، رغم اعترافهم بعشرات المصابين بالارتجاج الدماغي لاحقاً.

– استهداف قاعدة أميركية في العراق وسقوط قتلى أميركيين باعتراف رسمي هو الأول من نوعه الذي يحرج القيادة الأميركية بتكذيب معادلاتها للردّ. وقد سبق القول بعد قصف قاعدة عين الأسد أن أي استهداف للقوات الأميركية في العراق من حلفاء إيران سيرتب رداً أميركياً على إيران نفسها. وكانت المواقف الأميركية التي ستعقبه موضع تتبع واهتمام لمعرفة القرار الاستراتيجي الأميركي في المنطقة، فإيران المنهمكة بمتابعة فيروس كورونا بنظر أميركا شديدة الضعف، ويفترض أنها تمثل هدفاً نموذجياً للنيل منها الآن، وإلا لا فرصة لاحقة. وكان واضحاً أن الرد الأميركي على مواقع الحشد الشعبي في منطقة البوكمال هو ردّ موضعي تقليدي، وأن الرد الذي يترجم القرار السياسي الكبير سيأتي لاحقاً، حتى خرج الموقف الأميركي الرسمي يتحدث عن تحليل الجهة التي قامت بالعملية، وعن عدم وجود تغيير بتقدير واشنطن لدرجة وجود خطر إيراني على أمن القوات الأميركية. ويبدو أن الأميركيين لم يتردّدوا باستعمال الباب الموارب الذي تُرك لهم للخروج من خيار المواجهة، بعدم إعلان جهة مسؤوليتها عن العملية.

– عملية التاجي رسمت معادلات وقواعد الاشتباك في العراق، وهذا سيعني رسم مسار الانطفاء الأميركي، لأن قرار عدم المواجهة، سيعني التحضير للانسحاب، لأن الذين قاموا بالعملية لن يعتبروها الأخيرة، بل البداية إلا إذا وصلت الرسائل الأميركية الواضحة: لا تطلقوا النار نحن منسحبون !

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IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES RAISE STAKES. ROCKET ATTACK KILLS SEVERAL U.S. COALITION TROOPS IN IRAQ

South Front

A volley of rockets struck the Camp Taji military base in Iraq on the evening of March 11, killing three US-led coalition service members, two of them Americans and one British, and injuring 12 others. The targeted military base is a large facility located in a rural region approximately 27km north of Baghdad.

After the shelling, Iraqi security forces found the improvised rocket launcher used in the attack in the nearby area of Rashidiya. It was forty 107mm barrels installed on the back of a Kia Bongo truck. Three rockets were still remaining inside the barrel.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. However, over the past months US-linked targets have witnessed a number of similar rocket attacks. Most of them led to no casualties. In general, US sources blame Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-linked groups for these incidents.

The situation became especially tense after the US strike on a convoy of Iraqi and Iranian officers moving near Baghdad International Airport on January 3. The prominent Iranian general, commander of the Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani, was assassinated in this strike. The attack caused a large-scale crisis in the region, and prompted an Iranian retaliatiory missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. Washington swallowed a public attack on its forces by a state claiming that there were no casualties. In the following weeks, these ‘no casualties’ steadily turned into at least 110. All of them, according to the official version, received traumatic brain injury.

Additionally, the Iraqi Parliament accepted a bill demanding US troop withdrawal from the country, which Washington ignored, even threatening Baghdad with devastating sanctions, should Iraq continue to act like it is a sovereign, rather than occupied, country.

Following the attack on Camp Taji, ‘unknown aircraft’, most likely belonging to the US-led coalition, struck positions belonging to Iranian-backed groups near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The surroundings of the Syrian town of al-Bukamal, located on the highway linking Deir Ezzor and Baghdad, became the main target of the attack. Pro-Iranian sources claimed that the strikes caused material damage only.

Meanwhile, US forces in northeastern Syria strengthened their military positions by deploying additional howitzers. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces declared in an official statement that the military buildup was needed to provide US bases with additional protection. Another troop withdrawal announced by the administration of President Donald Trump is apparently successfully ongoing.

Syria’s northwest is also a source of tensions. On March 11, intense fighting erupted among Turkish-backed armed groups in the town of Azaz. As always, the incident was caused by internal contradictions between Turkish proxies who are involved in a wide range of various criminal activities and regularly clash for spheres of influence.

In the region of Greater Idlib, Turkish-backed groups, including those linked with al-Qaeda, are preparing to sabotage another ceasefire deal. They reinforced their positions north of the M4 highway and east of Jisr al-Shughur and declared that they are not planning to withdraw from any areas south of the highway. These statements go contrary to Turkish claims that preparations for the creation of a security zone in the area and the start of joint Turkish-Russian patrols are successfully in progress. Despite these, Ankara continues blaming the Syrian government for supposed violations of the Moscow deal and threatening it with military action should the ceasefire be violated. It seems that Turkey once again seeks to sweep agreements regarding the withdrawal and neutralization of radicals under the carpet, thus pushing the region into a new round of military escalation.

U.S. LAUNCHES STRIKES ON KATA’IB HEZBOLLAH IN RESPONSE TO CAMP TAJI ATTACK

The U.S. Department of Defense announced early on March 13 that it had carried out “defensive precision strikes” against Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) in Iraq.
In an official statement, the DoD said the “defensive strikes” were carried out in direct response to the threat posed by Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups, holding these group responsible for recent attacks on its bases in Iraq.
The U.S. strikes targeted five weapons storage facilities of KH. The DoD claimed that the facilities contained weapons used to target U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq.
“The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies,” Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper said. “As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.”
Iraq’s Security Media Cell said a “U.S. aggression” targeted position of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Iraqi military’s Emergency Regiments and 19th Division in the areas of Jurf Sakhar, Musayib, Alexandria and Najaf.
Airstrikes were also reported near the eastern Syrian city of al-Bukamal on the border with Iraq. A wave of airstrikes targeted Iranian forces’ positions there a day earlier.
Some Iraqi sources claimed that British warplanes took part in the attack. However, this is yet to be confirmed by the UK.
Initial reports indicate that some of the U.S. strikes resulted in causalities. Several sources are talking about at least one civilian casualty in a strikes on an airport near Karbala city. These reports are yet to be verified.
The strikes were meant as response to the March 11 rocket attack on Camp Taji in central Iraq. The attack claimed the lives of three U.S.-led coalition service members, two Americans and a British.
Earlier today, KH released a statement praising the attack on Camp Taji without claiming responsibility for it. The group called on the perpetrators to reveal themselves, promising to support and protect them.
If the reports of human losses are true, the situation could escalate even further in the upcoming few hours. Iraqi Shiite groups had vowed to expel U.S. forces from Iraqi by all possible means.
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