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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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

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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. 

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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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.

Changes Are Looming on the Horizon: What Is America Preparing For the Region?

July 7, 2021

Changes Are Looming on the Horizon: What Is America Preparing For the Region?

By Ali Abadi

Are black clouds gathering over the region? Are we headed back to the days of Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and the internal cracks in other Arab countries in 2011?

Here are some indicators that warn of new challenges:

– A tangible return to sabotage activities by Daesh in Iraq came in the form of sporadic bombings in Baghdad, daily attacks on Iraqi forces in the Anbar, Salah al-Din, Nineveh, and Diyala provinces, and the bombing of several transmission towers, which exacerbated the electricity crisis in Iraq.

In addition, there is a chronic quest to inflame the internal situation in Iraq before the legislative elections expected to be held next fall. The US administration and its assets in Iraq are exploiting a number of factors to re-establish a comfortable parliamentary majority. These factors include the worsening electricity crisis during the hot summer and the value of the Iraqi currency, which is plummeting against the US dollar, leading to higher prices.

There is a gasoline crisis in the oil-rich country [a peculiar similarity with the situation in Lebanon]. Meanwhile, the United States has not offered Iraq anything to solve its chronic problems, such as the electricity problem. Instead, Washington is preventing the German company Siemens from obtaining contracts to carry out this task, according to Iraqi sources.

This is accompanied by Washington’s refusal to withdraw its forces from Iraq and Syria. The declared objective of this occupying presence is to exert pressure for regime change in Syria – exploiting the economic blockade is the main tool in this operation. The American military presence is also designed to act as a dam between Iran and the establishment of normal relations with the countries of the region. However, there are implicit goals, including controlling the future of Iraq and Syria and their hidden wealth and establishing permanent American bases in the region.

– There is a strong resurgence of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, as it now controls 70% of the Afghan territory, including those that were considered centers for Tajiks and Hazaras in the north of the country. This development coincided with the accelerated US withdrawal, which left the Afghan government in limbo, with little backing.

The new situation in Afghanistan can cause political and security agitation for each of the three players that challenge American influence internationally: Iran, Russia, and China. And each of these countries has its own concerns and grievances in dealing with Afghanistan, the Taliban, or groups that appeal to an extremist religious authority. Also, in the three countries, religious or ethnic groups can cause headaches due to the resurgence of the Taliban. Is the US withdrawal merely an American electoral necessity, or does it contain an element of distraction for the three mentioned countries?

Afghanistan and Iraq, by the way, were targets of an American invasion in 2001 and 2003, which opened the door to major storms in the region, the effects of which are still being felt today. However, there is an important difference between the two countries. In Iraq, there is a strong dam against the re-expansion of Daesh. This dam is Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi [or the Popular Mobilization Forces] that stands steadfast in the face of American efforts to dismantle and disrupt it, while its positions on the border between Iraq and Syria are exposed to US raids from time to time.

– In addition to the two worrying security developments in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing siege on Syria to bring about a change in the hierarchy of power, there is an American effort to capitalize on the financial siege on Lebanon to impose the guardianship of the International Monetary Fund on the country as the only one option.

The US is taking advantage of the existing corruption and its local tools to provoke people’s anger and direct it mainly towards the resistance, with the aim of changing the political equation in the upcoming parliamentary elections in a few months. The anti-resistance propaganda is based on the idea that Hezbollah is protecting the corrupt, a claim that has not been proven in practice [did the party prevent a judge from prosecuting a corrupt person, for example?]. That’s unless the party is required to open side battles that further complicate matters and weaken the country’s internal immunity in the face of a lurking enemy.

– On the Palestinian side, features appeared to bring back former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad [the trusted American option] to the fore, in conjunction with an intense Egyptian presence in the Gaza Strip through the gateway of reconstruction and the establishment of calm. This comes after the last round of confrontation [the al-Quds Sword], which tilted the scales in favor of the resistance and placed al-Quds at the heart of the existing equation.

We are facing an American counterattack: a withdrawal here, a strengthening of military presence there, and economic and political pressures to impose ready-made American models in the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. But the United States is not in the days of 2001-2003. Attempts to subjugate by sowing discord and employing ready-made American models will not change the fact that US influence is waning and is dependent on starvation and despair, not enticement, as in the American dream.

There is a counter opportunity to take advantage of the blockade in order to create new facts outside the closed game that the American tools contributed to creating. Perhaps we are beginning to perceive this by opening new supply channels to Lebanon and others, as well as strengthening the advanced al-Quds equation.

US deploys weapon system at key base in Iraq after rocket attack

US deploys weapon system at key base in Iraq after rocket attack

April 24, 2021

Source

The US military has reportedly deployed a C-RAM weapon system at a key base near Baghdad International Airport, hours after a number of rockets targeted the facility.

Iraq’s Nas news agency reported on Friday that a C-RAM system — which is used to intercept and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortar rounds — had been stationed to protect Camp Victory, shortly after three rockets landed in the vicinity of the base.

In addition, US warplanes conducted aerial patrols over the heavily-secured Green Zone in the capital, Baghdad, which hosts Iraqi government institutions and foreign diplomatic missions.

This is the second such deployment in a week with the declared goal of protecting American positions and interests in Iraq. The first C-RAM system, which had been transferred to the site last Friday, failed to successfully counter today’s raid.

The US does not coordinate the deployment of such systems with the Baghdad government, in what is seen as a violation of Washington-Baghdad agreements on the future of the American military presence in the Arab country.

That law was approved in the aftermath of the US military’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) near the Baghdad airport in January 2020.

The assassinations fueled anti-US sentiment among Iraqis and led to an outcry against foreign military presence in the Arab country.

On April 8, Iraq and the US said they had agreed on the eventual withdrawal of US “combat” troops from Iraq, and that the two sides would hold talks to work out the timing. The mission of US forces is now supposed to be focused on what is claimed to be “training” Iraqi troops to fight Daesh.

Iraqi resistance groups have warned that they will treat the American troops as occupying forces and take up arms against them if they refuse to leave their country.

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انقلاب في الأردن أم في أميركا؟

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب وباحث سياسي

الأخبار

عمرو علان

الثلاثاء 13 نيسان 2021

تتميّز المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية بموقع جغرافي مميّز، فهي تشكل فاصلاً جغرافياً وحاجزاً بشرياً بين الكيان الصهيوني وبين العراق والسعودية، وبصورة ما أيضاً بين سوريا والكيان الغاصب، إذا ما أخذنا في الحسبان الحدود الأردنية السورية المشتركة، بالإضافة إلى كون الحدود بين الأردن وفلسطين المحتلة هي الأطول من بين دول الطوق.

أما سياسياً، فالمَلَكية في الأردن وأجهزة الدولة تربطهما مع المملكة المتحدة البريطانية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية علاقات وثيقة وقديمة أمنياً واستخبارياً وعسكرياً، ناهيكم بالعلاقات المميزة بين الحكم الأردني وبين الكيان الصهيوني، تتضافر كل هذه العوامل لتجعل الأردن ذا أهمية خاصة في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه العالم العربي، لذلك تُعد ديمومة الحكم في الأردن واستقراره من المسلّمات في العقيدة الأميركية، وبناءً عليه يُستبعد حصول أي تغيير أو محاولات تغيير في الحكم الأردني دون أن تكون لها ارتباطات دولية وإقليمية، أو دون أن تكون محكومة بسقف أميركي لا يسمح بانزلاق الساحة الأردنية إلى فوضى غير منضبطة، تُفضي إلى انعكاسات أمنية خطيرة على كيان العدو. إذن كيف يمكن تفسير إجهاض ما بات مرجّحاً أنه كان محاولة لاستبدال رأس الحكم الأردني عبر إحلال الأمير حمزة بن الحسين وليّ العهد السابق محل أخيه غير الشقيق الملك عبدالله الثاني؟
بدايةً نستذكر «صفقة القرن» التي طرحها الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، والتي كانت ترتكز على ثلاثي ترامب وابن سلمان ونتنياهو، وكان واضحاً عدم رضى الأردن الرسمي عن تلك الصفقة بما تشكّله من تهديد مباشر للوصاية الهاشمية على المقدّسات في القدس المحتلة، ومن حيث كونها مقدمة لتنفيذ مخطط الوطن البديل في الأردن، وكان حضور الملك عبدالله الثاني لقمة القدس الاستثنائية التي عُقدت في إسطنبول في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2017 برغم الضغوط الإقليمية التي تعرّض لها آنذاك مع محمود عباس لثنيهما عن الحضور علامة فارقة في العلاقات السعودية الأردنية، حيث ظهرت للعلن بعدها آثار توتر العلاقات عبر وقف المساعدات السعودية للأردن وعبر ضغوط أخرى، لكن ما شهدناه في الأيام القليلة الماضية يشير إلى أن تأزّم العلاقات هو أكثر عمقاً مما كان ظاهراً، وأنه مذّاك الحين بدأت السعودية والإمارات بالتعاون مع نتنياهو بالإعداد إلى استبدال رأس الحكم في الأردن ضمن مسعى تنفيذ «صفقة القرن»، وعلى الأرجح أن ذلك كان بعلم ورضى أميركيين لما يشكّله الأردن من أهمية في الاستراتيجية الأميركية.

ما موقع الأردن من الإستراتيجية الجديدة لإدارة بايدن؟ هل تقرر تحويل المملكة الهاشميّة إلى ما يشبه قاعدة عسكرية أمريكية؟


لكن تعثر تطبيق «صفقة القرن»، وصعود الديمقراطيين إلى سدة الحكم الذين جاؤوا باستراتيجية مغايرة لتلك التي اتّبعها ترامب، يبدو أنهما فرضا تبديلاً في الأولويات الأميركية وتغييراً في طريقة التعاطي الأميركي مع ملفات المنطقة، ولقد كان لافتاً إبرام الاتفاقية العسكرية الأميركية الأردنية أخيراً، التي لاقت استياءً كبيراً في الأوساط الأردنية لما تتضمنه من تنازل عن السيادة الأردنية لمصلحة القوات العسكرية الأميركية، والتي تُحوِّل الأردن على امتداد أراضيه إلى قاعدة عسكرية أميركية، وقد تزامن توقيع هذه الاتفاقية مع الإعلان عن إحباط محاولة إطاحة العاهل الأردني عبدالله الثاني، لذلك يصير من المشروع ربط الخطوتين، إحداهما بالأخرى.
إذا ما صحّت هذه القراءة، فنحن نشهد انقلاباً في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه المنطقة العربية اقتضى طيّ صفحة مشروع سابق لمصلحة مسار جديد يتم العمل به، ويصير معه البعد الداخلي الأردني للأحداث تفصيلاً، ويصبح السؤالان الأهم: ما الذي ترسمه إدارة جو بايدن للمستقبل؟ وما هو موقع الأردن في هذه الإستراتيجية الجديدة الذي يلزمه معها تحويل الأردن إلى ما يشبه القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية؟
من المبكر الإجابة عن هذين التساؤلين بشكل قطعي، فنحن في انتظار تكشُّف المزيد من المعطيات، لكن من المفروغ منه أن احتمالية الانسحاب الأميركي من العراق، ومصير التوصل إلى تفاهم في الملف النووي الإيراني من عدمه، وما يخفيه الأميركي لسوريا في قابل الأيام، هي قضايا لعبت كلها أو بعضها دوراً في الهزة غير المسبوقة التي شهدها الأردن في هذه الأيام القليلة، وفي تحويل الأردن إلى منصة عسكرية أميركية يمكن استعمالها بصورة أو بأخرى.

مقالات سابقة للكاتب


Iraqi Resistance Against US Forces to Persist Until Full Withdrawal – Asaib Leader

Iraqi Resistance Against US Forces to Persist Until Full Withdrawal - Asaib Leader

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of Iraq’s anti-terror movement Asaib Ahl al-Haq Sheikh Qais Khazali said the armed resistance against American forces occupying Iraq will continue until they are fully removed from the Arab country.

“As resistance groups, we have taken up and will continue to take up arms to destroy any US or US military presence on Iraqi soil,” Khazali said on Thursday.

“There is no room for American military bases, neither in al-Assad nor in al-Harir,” he said. “This is the decision and promise of the men of resistance.”

Iraqi lawmakers, last year, approved a bill requiring the Baghdad government to end the presence of all foreign military forces in the Arab country.

The Iraqi MPs’ decision came two days after the high-profile assassination of top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders – General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] – near Baghdad airport in a drone strike authorized by former US President Donald Trump.

Anti-American sentiments rose sharply following the assassination of the two top commanders, who played a major role in the defeat of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Iraq. It is estimated that there are currently 2,500 American troops in Iraq.

“We emphasize that the current operations of the resistance will continue and will increase everywhere in Iraq, in the west and in the north of the country. This is a fundamental issue which we want to be a national stance,” Khazali said.

He said demanding the expulsion of American forces amounts to the implementation of the country’s constitution.

The United States is set to resume strategic talks with Iraqi officials this month over the status of its combat forces in Iraq.

Talks between the US and Iraq began in June 2020 under the Trump administration. But the upcoming talks are the first under the Biden administration.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazali warned of certain countries’ agendas in Iraq, especially that of the United Arab Emirates, saying the UAE is seeking to impact Iraq’s election results.

“Therefore, we do not accept the result of an election handled by the Emirates’ rulers,” Khazali said, adding that the UAE’s plot will not be implemented as long as national forces and the anti-terror PMU forces are present in Iraq.

Earlier in March, Khazali warned of a conspiracy against Iraq hatched by an Emirati security team which is reportedly in the country to influence the Iraqi intelligence service.

In his Thursday remarks, he also lauded the PMU forces for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

Khazali also warned of secret attempts aimed at normalizing Iraq’s ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime, saying that Iraq will not yield to such attempts.

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BURNING U.S. CONVOYS FIESTA IN IRAQ

South Front

MARCH 30, 2021

One of the most common occurrences in Iraq in 2021 is a US supply convoy being blown up by an IED.

On March 29th, three separate supply consignments were targeted. The first one took place in the Al Diwaniyah province in central Iraq.

The two other attacks were reported in the provinces of Dhi-Qar and Babil.

No casualties were reported however, only damage. No loss of human life is an important fact, due to the fact that the convoys are largely carried out by Iraqi contractors, since US forces no longer take part in logistics.  The aim of the pro-Iranian groups that target the supplies is to force the US out of Iraq.

It is unlikely that these convoys will stop being targeted anytime soon, but strikes on US positions appear to have subsided in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, in northern Syria and Greater Idlib the chaos is here to stay.

Trying to improve the situation, Russia proposed to Turkey to reopen 3 humanitarian crossings into Greater Idlib, but that failed. Ankara, similarly to how it carries out its ceasefire commitments, put no effort towards attempting to contain any of the factions that it backs.

In northern Syria clashes between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the factions backed by Turkey continue.

On March 29th, a large explosion was reported in the town of Ras al-Ain, which is under the control of Turkish-backed forces.

Nearby, clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed militants were reported in the Sher district of Afrin.

According to the reports by the Syrian Observation for Human Rights, on March 28th, SDF forces carried out a successful operation in the Ras al-Ain countryside, killing 5 Turkish-backed militants and wounding 3 others.

It is a back and forth struggle, especially since the SDF stopped giving oil to the Turkish-backed factions to smuggle for Ankara.

In Greater Idlib, the Russian Air Force carried out an airstrike on a militant headquarters.  The attack reportedly took place near the town of Martin in the Western Idlib countryside.

These strikes, as well as shelling from the Syrian Arab Army will continue as long as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the other militant groups in Greater Idlib continue to regularly violate the ceasefire agreement.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, in Yemen, Ansar Allah (the Houthis) continue their largely successful operations against the Saudi-led coalition.

In the southern Taiz province, Ansar Allah repelled an attack of Saudi proxies. Reportedly, the Houthis destroyed 3 vehicles and the enemy lost a large number of fighters.

A missile was launched at a Saudi-led forces position in Marib, however no casualties or damage was reported.

At least two drones were used to attack the Khamis Mushait Airport.

Saudi Arabia, on its part, continues its heavy airstrike activity, but it seems to be achieving close to nothing.

Iraqi ‘Resistance’ Groups Attack Five US Supply Convoys (Video)

MARCH 25, 2021

Illustrative image

On March 25, five convoys carrying supplies and equipment for the US-led coalition came under attack in different parts of Iraq.

The attacks took place in the following areas:

  • The first supply convoy was attacked near the city of al-Diwaniyah in the southern province of al-Qādisiyyah. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – ‘Ashab al-Kahf claimed responsibility for the attack;
  • The second supply convoy was attacked near the city of al-Nasiriyah in the southern province of Dhi Qar. Saraya Awli’a al-Dam claimed responsibility for the attack;
  • The third supply convoy was attacked near the district of Yusufiya in the outskirts of the capital, Baghdad. The International Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack. Three trucks were allegedly damaged. The group shared a video of the attack;

Biden becomes the fourth successive President to bomb Iraqis: how far could this latest round of escalation go?

Biden becomes the fourth successive President to bomb Iraqis: how far could this latest round of escalation go?

March 04, 2021

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Another president, another act of aggression. For the past few decades, it’s almost like a mandatory rite of passage for US presidents to bomb Muslim countries. I don’t think many of us are surprised to see that current US President Joe Biden turned out to be no different to his predecessors, when Washington once more bombed Iraqis last week.

Continuing the same policy of terrorism and humiliation from the Trump era, Washington felt the need to show strength against the Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border area. What angers me most, is not just the terrorist act of killing people who are fighting US occupation and US backed terrorism, but the fact that Washington cannot and will not recognize that there is a growing local resistance to Zionist hegemony, instead resorting to degrading and humiliating legitimate resistance groups such as Hashd al-Sha’abi of Iraq (PMU) or the Houthis of Yemen by labelling them “Iranian backed proxies”.

Everything and everyone that oppose Washington and Zionist hegemony in West Asia are “Iranian backed”. Whether it is a Houthi attack on a Saudi airport, a Taliban attack on a NATO convoy or a suspiciously random rocket attack on a US base in Iraq, it is always Iran’s fault and somehow the Islamic Republic must be held responsible for these attacks. Both Washington and the Zionist entity keep attacking Resistance forces in the very area where ISIS remnants have been re-emergent for the past months, claiming their right to self defense. Self defense?! America is more than 10 000 kilometres away. US troops are occupying Syrian and Iraqi territory and Washington claims the right to self defense? This narrative has been drilled into the minds of so many people in the West that nobody even reacts when one of the Obama gang’s old crude liars, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was telling the press that Washington acted to “de-escalate” the situation when it bombed Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

What Kirby really meant by “de-escalation” was that he believes that Washington sent Iran and its allies a “clear message”, that messing with Washington is unwise. The sad part is that he and the other psychopaths in Washington actually believe that the so called “message” will in any way deter the Resistance forces in West Asia. It is pretty clear what the US is doing with these random attacks on the Resistance forces. Washington knows the realities on the ground and acts in response to them. In Syria, it has become clear for Washington that Damascus won’t fall, that dream came down crashing when Russia entered the war in 2015. So, Washington is acting to deny Syria and her allies their well deserved victory through the occupation and looting of eastern Syria. Washington will act for as long as it takes to starve the Syrian people into submission.

In Iraq, Washington, being well aware that the Iraqi parliament has voted to expel US forces from Iraq, is desperately seeking new reasons to prolong their occupation. Be it through the magical re-emergence of Daesh terrorists in Western Iraq or through suspicious Katyusha rocket attacks on US interests in Baghdad’s green zone, which are then blamed on the Iraqi Resistance forces without any kind of evidence presented, Washington is seeking to undermine the Iraqi parliament’s decision.
In Iraq, Washington has a foothold in Baghdad not seen in Syria’s Damascus. It is through this foothold that Washington wields influence over many Iraqi politicians and thus has the ability to cause great internal disunity and animosity among Iraqis themselves.

Washington has both great influence over the Kurds in northern Iraq and over the Prime Minister’s office. PM Al-Kadhimi is known to be a close associate of Washington’s and is suspected to be cooperating with the US to prolong their stay in Iraq. During his tenure, tensions between Baghdad and the PMU have run high as government forces have made random raids on the PMU headquarters, arresting some members even. Yet even more dangerous is the escalating tensions between Washington and the PMU. On Wednesday March 3rd, a new rocket attack on the Ain Al-Assad military base was reported. This is the same military base that was struck by the IRGC last year in retaliation for Washington’s murder of martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. Previously the PMU had vowed revenge for Washington’s attack last week, which makes it rather obvious that Washington will blame the PMU for this recent strike.

With this latest round of escalation, one wonders what will happen next? Of course I’m just speculating but I see some real dangers with tensions running this high. I believe that Washington could very well seek to push Iraq into a new civil war in a bid to eradicate the Hashd al-Sha’abi. Many of the groups within the PMU have threatened to wage war on US forces if Washington refuses to withdraw. Unfortunately, this threat by the PMU can easily be exploited by the US, giving Washington a casus belli, as they intensify their “defensive” airstrikes while claiming to support Baghdad’s campaign to bring “stability” to Iraq. Such an endeavour could risk dragging several regional countries into the conflict as the Islamic Republic could be forced to intervene on behalf of the Iraqi Resistance forces. It is clear that Washington cannot and will not attack Iran directly, such an adventure would be too risky for the crazies in the White House and Pentagon. However, fighting “Iranian backed” forces and rolling back Iranian influence could serve to both solidify the continued US occupation of Iraq in the short term, and prevent the Resistance forces from achieving complete victory, in the mid-to-long term. In order to manufacture consent, Washington must portray their actions as both “defensive” and in service of “stability and peace”. Having others fight Washington’s wars for them is a speciality for the Empire. This is why I believe the most likely scenario to be one where Washington attempts to pit Baghdad against the PMU, then sweep in to “help” Baghdad “preserve stability”. This strategy has been used in different ways before by the Obama regime when it unleashed the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq, then claimed to fight the same terrorists it had armed and trained, in a bid to continue their occupation of Iraq and pressure pro-Iran PM Nouri Al-Maliki to resign. Obama then did the same thing in Syria with the support of Kurdish militants in a bid to pressure Damascus into concessions. Trump continued on the same path but went even further when his administration began using phony attacks on “US interests” in Iraq as a pretext for direct confrontation with the PMU, a path that ultimately led to the murder of Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. The then-secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Washington had acted to “stabilize” Iraq with the murder of these “terrorists” who were “hated among Iraqis”.

Iraq is key to the Resistance Axis and cannot fall into enemy hands. It is however also the most vulnerable of the countries where the Resistance forces are active, as not only does Washington have great influence over Baghdad, but also over the Kurdish autonomous region in the north.

Supporting Kurdish independence is another way that Washington could seek to attack the Resistance Axis. This can be seen in Syria as well where the Kurdish militants are acting as excellent proxy troops for Washington, occupying about a third of the country and helping US forces in the looting of Syrian oil. Kurdish parties also have excellent ties to the Zionist entity in Tel Aviv, as Zionist chieftain Netanyahu has on several occasions been a vocal supporter of Kurdish independence, often likening the Kurdish people’s cause with the Zionist one. The reactionary Kurdish parties, who are too ignorant and too greedy to understand and realize that they are being used as cannon fodder to further US imperial ambitions, will be more than happy to wage war on Syria and Iraq with US support behind them.

It’s been almost 10 years since the war in Syria began, and 18 years since the war in Iraq began, and still there seems to be no peace in sight for any of the Arab countries. Biden has been in office in less than two months, but in my opinion, the next four years seem to be rather clear in terms of Washington’s policies towards the West Asia region- the long wars will continue and more blood is to be expected. Bush bombed Iraq, Obama bombed Iraq, Trump bombed Iraq, and now Biden bombs Iraq. For our people, it never matters who or what occupies the White House, the bombings and wars will continue. Iraq has a rather young population, more than 60 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. This means that most Iraqis have known nothing else except the US imposed wars on their homeland. It is a tragedy and a shameful moment in human history where most people in the totally “advanced, civilized, democratic, morally superior” West don’t care about what their despicable governments are doing in Iraq or Syria, because they are stupid Muslim terrorists anyway. This is why Iraq cannot and should not rely on Western public opinion. Resistance is the only way, and the US Empire must be kicked out with force in order for Iraqis to finally have some peace.

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Iraqi ISIS Suicide Terrorist Kills 20 of His Friends by Mistake

 ARABI SOURI 

Iraqi ISIS terrorist blows up his car in his friends

An Iraqi ISIS terrorist blew up his vehicle in his friends in Saladin province killing 20 of them and himself by mistake.

The US-sponsored ISIS terrorist was planning to blow up the booby-trapped car in an Iraqi Federal Police checkpoint in the Jallam district south of Samarra.

Samarra Police Operation Commander said in a statement that 21 of the ISIS terrorists were killed by a booby-trapped car driven by one of them when the latter wanted to farewell his friends and honked the car forgetting the honk button is the detonator of the vehicle.

The Iraqi government has been under pressure from the Iraqi population and the Iraqi MPs to implement the Iraqi Parliament decision to expel US troops from the country which was taken after Donald Trump killed Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani in a long-planned drone and ground attack near Baghdad Airport and the top commander of the Iraqi PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the main force in fighting and defeating ISIS early January last year causing an uproar across the region.

Iraqis, in particular, felt embarrassed having their guest killed in their country and also because of their beloved al-Muhandis by the force that claimed it was protecting them from ISIS and turned out it was protecting ISIS from the Iraqis.

After the repeated calls by the Iraqi government to the US officials to withdraw their troops from Iraq, ISIS operations unsurprisingly increased and became more bold and deadly across Iraq and in Syria as well. Observers are commenting that it looks like ISIS does not want the US troops to leave Iraq and Syria!

Despite their efforts and their ability to eliminate a number of ISIS terrorists in Iraq including leading commanders of the terrorist organization, and also disrupt their operations, the Iraqi security and army are surprised by the sudden increase in the abilities of the terrorist group that was declared defeated just before Donald Trump killed the commanders who defeated it last year.

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AZERBAIJAN RESCHEDULES ‘VICTORY DAY’ TO PLEASE SULTAN ERDOGAN. HEZBOLLAH DRONE BUZZES ISRAELI FORCES

South Front

An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by Lebanese Hezbollah managed to cross into Israel’s north and monitor the Israeli military drills dubbed “Lethal Arrow”, Lebanese media affiliated with Hezbollah reported on December 3. The incident allegedly took place on November 26, on the second day of the drills.

The Israeli side promoted the drill as an exercise to put to the test a strategy based on network-centered warfare bringing together the capabilities of ground, air, naval and cyber forces to quickly eliminate hostile targets in the event of the conflict in the area. The Hezbollah drone buzzed Israeli forces just during these military exercises. Additionally, on December 3, the Israeli government urged its citizens to avoid travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, citing threats of Iranian attacks.

At the same time, the United States and its allies continue demonstrating concerns regarding possible attacks in Iraq in the wake of an expected Iranian retaliation to the assassination of its top nuclear scientist near Tehran in an alleged US-Israeli plot. According to media reports, following the earlier move of the United States, France and Spain are also considering at least partial withdrawal of diplomatic staff from Iraq. US officials speculate that Iranian-backed factions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, an official branch of the Iraqi military, are preparing attacks on facilities and personnel of the US diplomatic mission.

Meanwhile, in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan for the first time released an official number of its casualties in the Second Nagorno-Karabkah War. According to the defense ministry, 2783 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, 1245 were injured and over 100 are still missing. In own turn, the Health Ministry of Armenia reported that at least 2718 Armenian soldiers were killed as a result of the conflict. The almost equal casualties of the advancing and defending forces in the standoff in such a complex mountainous area as Nagorno-Karabkah is another factual demonstration of the overwhelming Azerbaijani dominance in the manpower, and firepower, including heavy military equipment, artillery and air support, the in the 1.5-month conflict with the Armenians.

Azerbaijan, however, seems to have already started paying price of its sovereignty for the Turkish support in the war. On December 2, President Ilham Aliyev declared the establishment of the new national holiday ‘Victory Day’ in Azerbaijan. The holiday scheduled for November 10 was dedicated to the start of the implementation of the peace agreements in Karabakh, under which Armenian forces in fact accepted their defeat and agreed to withdraw from Agdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts.However, a day later Baku was reminded by Ankara that November 10 is the Day of Remembrance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. So, on December 3, the presidential administration of Azerbaijan changed its order and rescheduled the Azerbaijani national holiday for November 8. Let’s hope the Big Neo-Ottoman Brother is now satisfied. In other case, the Azerbaijani leadership will have to reschedule a few more national holidays and rename ministries to please it.

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Trump on Borrowed Time and Potential Dangers

Trump on Borrowed Time and Potential Dangers

By Ali Abadi, Al-Ahed News

Why are we witnessing the intensification of normalization efforts between Arab regimes and the Zionist entity following the US presidential elections? What options does Donald Trump have during the remainder of his time in office?

Prior to the US elections, it was clear that the goal of the normalization agreements was to boost Trump’s reelection campaign. But the extension of the normalization current beyond the election that Trump lost has other potential objectives:

–    Attracting additional support for Trump in his battle to cling to power by sharpening the capabilities of the Zionist constituencies to support his electoral appeals that don’t have a great chance of success. But Trump has not given up yet in his efforts to reverse the results.

–    Sending important signals to those concerned at home and abroad that Trump still has vigor, as he plans to complete the goals he set and stay on the political scene. If he were to lose the presidency now, he may return in 2024, as those close to him have hinted. In the meantime, he seeks to gain support from the Jewish and Christian Zionist circles as a “man of word and action” in supporting “Israel” absolutely and without hesitation.

With Trump preoccupied with the battle to cling to power at home, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is abroad – touring as “Israel’s” minister of foreign affairs accompanied by Arab ministers to sign more normalization agreements. He is legalizing “Israeli” settlements and the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights and declaring a move to criminalize the campaign of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). 

It’s worth noting that months before the US elections, Pompeo reportedly had his sights set on the 2024 presidential race. As such, Pompeo, who identifies with Trump’s approach and acts as his obedient supporter, plans to be the natural heir to the Trumpian current in the event that its leader is absent due natural causes like death or unnatural causes such as imprisonment due to his legal issues. 

He is also preparing the groundwork for the birth of an “Israeli”-Arab alliance (Saudi, Bahraini, and Emirati) standing in the face of the Islamic Republic of Iran and adding further complications to any possible return of the Biden administration to the nuclear deal.

Saudi and “Israeli” officials are now speaking in one voice about a “no return” to the nuclear agreement, as they set the conditions and limits that they feel the next American administration should abide by. This is also a reflection of widespread concerns over the failure of Trump’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. 

This was the background for news reports about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saudi territory – a get-together arranged by Pompeo.

The choice for war is in the balance

All of the above are possibilities. But does that give way to expectations for a military adventure against Iran, for example, during the transitional period before Joe Biden takes office on January 20?

No sane person can absolutely deny such a possibility. In this context, news about the US strategic B-52 bomber’s flight to the region, the possibility of supplying US bombs that penetrate fortifications to the Zionist entity, the dismissal of US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and the withdrawal of US units from Iraq and Afghanistan trickled in. 

The last move may be aimed at withdrawing targets near Iran in the event Washington takes military action against Tehran. However, attacking Iran militarily is not an American desire as much as it is an “Israeli” and Saudi one. The Pentagon has previously opposed military action against Iran, at a time when the US military has not recovered from its wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

This view does not appear to have changed, and US military commanders are unlikely to agree to put the military during the transition period on the course of a new war in the Middle East for personal or populist purposes. 

There are other considerations too. The costs of the war and its consequences are difficult to determine. Trump also knows that the mood of the American public can’t bear sacrifices abroad, financially or on a humanitarian level.

What about other possibilities?

Based on Trump’s behavior over the past four years, it appears the US president prefers to score goals and make quick deals. He is not inclined to get involved in prolonged duels. As such, it’s possible to predict that Trump will resort to localized strikes in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen (there is talk about the possibility of placing Ansarullah on the list of terrorist organizations) or cover a possible “Israeli” strike in Lebanon under one pretext or another. 

He could also resort to assassinating figures affiliated with the axis of resistance, and this possibility is more likely, especially in Iraq and Syria. Trump revealed in recent months that he thought about assassinating the Syrian president, and there are also American threats directed at leaders of the resistance factions in Iraq.

In conclusion, any aggressive military action against Iran appears to be a rooted “Israeli” option that Netanyahu tried to market to the Americans since the Obama era but failed. He is trying to strike Iran via the Americans, but Washington has other calculations and options. 

The Saudis have also urged successive US administrations to strike Iran, according to what appeared in WikiLeaks documents quoting the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. The window of opportunity for major military action before Trump’s departure appears narrow. He may consider the rapid operations approach followed by similar actions against Iran’s allies to deal a moral blow to Tehran, cut back its regional leadership role, and besiege its growing influence in the power equation with the Zionist entity that is challenging the US hegemony over the region.

However, we should add that the axis of resistance has its own plans for the confrontation. It withstood the maximum pressure and is able to turn any adventure into an opportunity, relying on its vigilance and accumulated capabilities.

‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

November 23, 2020

Description:

Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, announced in an interview with Iraqi state television that the truce that ‘resistance factions’ provided US occupying forces weeks ago had now ended.

Al-Khazali explained that the truce was now over because US occupying forces did not meet the main condition of providing a timetable for their withdrawal from Iraq.

The other key condition was that the Iraqi government retake control of its airspace from the Americans, which also did not occur.

The following is a translation of an Al Mayadeen TV news report about the Al-Iraqiya TV interview with al-Khazali.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube)

Date: November 20, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Reporter:

“The truce with Washington is over.”
An announcement made by Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, declaring that the (conditional) truce had come to an end as the two conditions of the truce had not been met.


Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement:

The conditions were not met, thus the truce is over. So we stress on the principle: our full right to militarily confront the foreign forces present (in our country). The implementation and tactics (of this confrontation) will depend on the developments and circumstances of the situation.

There were two conditions (for the truce), none of which were met…in exchange for the continuation of the truce. The first condition was a timetable for the (withdrawal) of the (occupying) forces, based on a reasonable timeframe. The second was the recontrol of (Iraqi) airspace by Iraq’s state and government.  

Reporter:

These were among a range of positions that Al-Khazali announced in his interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, the most prominent of which was stressing on the principle of the full right to militarily confront (the occupying) foreign forces, in addition to stating that there is (precise) information regarding the presence of a spy within the three (branches) of government.

Between the American and Turkey military threats towards Iraq respectively, Al- Khazali described the threat by Ankara as the greater and more dangerous (of the two).

Al- Khazali:

The (looming) Turkish military threat will be graver, greater and more dangerous than the threat posed by the American military presence; as for the American military presence (in the coming days), it will definitely be contained.

Reporter:

Al- Khazali was keen to outline the reasons Mustafa Al-Kadhimi took over as (Iraq’s) new prime minister. He elaborated that (the common) interest finally necessitated the nomination of a secular, ‘Shia’ prime minister who was ‘non-Islamic’ (i.e. did not practice Islam in the realm of politics), and who also had no relations with Iran but had close relations with the US and the Gulf.

While waiting for the (official) results of the US elections, Al- Khazali deemed the announcement of Biden’s victory a restoration of (American) policy that functioned according to specific formulas reflecting a certain rationale. However, he is convinced that Washington does not wish well for Iraq and the region, because it prioritises the strategic security of the Israeli entity.

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بين إرسال “قاذفة” وإعلان سحب القوات.. ما هي رسائل إدارة ترامب للمنطقة؟

الساعدي: واشنطن لن تستطيع التغطية على رد إيران على أي عمل عسكري أميركي ضدها

المصدر: الميادين نت

22 تشرين ثاني

الخبير في الشؤون السياسية والعسكرية أمير الساعدي، يقول للميادين إن “ترامب لا يمكن أن يتجاوز الكونغرس لاتخاذ أي قرار بالحرب”، ورئيس تحرير جريدة “رأي اليوم” عبد الباري عطوان، يشير إلى أن “ترامب يريد عرقلة عودة بايدن إلى الاتفاق النووي”.

تستمر إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الحالي دونالد ترامب حتى في آخر أيامها في بعث الرسائل المتناقضة، وفيما أعلنت عن قرار خفض عديد قواتها في المنطقة، ترسل قاذفاتها الاستراتيجية.

وانطلق طاقم العمل الجوي لطائرة (B-52H) “ستراتوفورتريس” في 21 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر، من قاعدة جوية في ولاية نورث داكوتا، إلى الشرق الأوسط.

ووصفت القيادة المركزية للجيش الأميركي في بيان اليوم السبت، مهمة الطائرة بـ “الطويلة”، مشيرةً إلى أن هدفها “ردع العدوان وطمأنة شركاء وحلفاء الولايات المتحدة”. 

كما أوضحت القيادة المركزية أن “الولايات المتحدة لا تسعى لإحداث أي صراع، لكنها لا تزال ملتزمة بالاستجابة لأي طارئ حول العالم”، مشددةً على “التزامها بالحفاظ على حرية الملاحة والتبادل التجاري في جميع أنحاء المنطقة وحمايتها”.

وحيال قرارات الإدارة الأميركية الأخيرة، قال الخبير في الشؤون السياسية والعسكرية أمير الساعدي، للميادين إن “إرسال (بي 52) إلى المنطقة استعراض من إدارة ترامب الذي يحاول إذكاء قاعدة الجمهوريين في الداخل”. 

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Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

By Staff, Agencies

A senior Iraqi leader vowed that the Islamic resistance forces will not lay down their arms as long as Iraq is under threat.

Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, said the Iraqi government is entitled to having a monopoly on carrying and using weapons in order to restore stability to the country.

However, he noted that the Iraqi resistance forces will continue carrying arms as long as the country is in danger.

In interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, Khazali said resistance forces carry weapons for a specific goal and reason.

“Once that goal is achieved, they will lay down their weapons,” he noted.

He said he is opposed to rocket attacks against the US embassy, and so are many other groups, as it is a diplomatic site.

“Resistance groups are opposed to [the US] occupation; we do not approve of rocket attacks against diplomatic centers,” he added.

The heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts foreign diplomatic sites and government buildings including the US embassy, has been frequently targeted by rockets and explosives in the past few years.

Washington, each time, has been quick to point the finger at popular anti-terror groups, which are now integrated into Iraq’s armed forces.

The US has time and again targeted positions of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], also known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, after blaming the major anti-terror force for the rocket attacks.

The popular group and other resistance forces have strongly denied any involvement in the strikes. They even agreed last month to stop military operations against US and foreign forces in Iraq to allow them to leave the Arab country.

Khazali, however, said the ceasefire announced by Islamic resistance groups has come to an end as two conditions for the truce have not been met.

“The two conditions included Iraq’s control over its airspace and setting up a timetable for the withdrawal of American occupying forces from Iraq,” he said in the Thursday interview.

“We will establish the principle of our full right to confront alien forces militarily,” he added.

Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and deputy head of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3.

Just days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.

The US has refused to withdraw its troops, with US President Donald Trump balking at the idea with the threat to seize Iraq’s oil money held in bank accounts in the United States.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

The US announced on Tuesday that it would slash troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 in each country, their lowest levels in nearly 20 years of invasion.

Washington still has some 3,000 troops stationed across Iraq.

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حرب فضربة فعمليّة

طبّلت وزمّرت وسائل الإعلام الخليجية لمشروع حرب يشنها الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب وتقلب معادلات المنطقة، انطلاقاً من خبر قيام ترامب بإقالة وزير دفاعه مايك إسبر. وخلال أيام وبعد تعيين وزير جديد كتبت الصحف الأميركية عبر تسريبات ترامب نفسه أنه كان يفكر بضرب المفاعل النووي الإيراني في نطنز، لكنه صرف النظر عن الفكرة بعد تلقيه تحذيرات من مستشاريه بخطورة فتح حرب كبرى في المنطقة.

في الخبر نفسه أن وزير خارجية ترامب مايك بومبيو كان الوحيد في فريقه المؤيّد للعمل العسكري في المدة المتبقية من ولاية ترامب ووجاءت جولة بومبيو الخارجية تعبيراً عن سعيه لتسويق مشروعه وربط الخطوات السياسيّة في المنطقة بنتائج هذا المشروع.

في باريس كان واضحاً أن بومبيو سعى لتجميد ولادة الحكومة اللبنانية الجديدة تحت شعار أن متغيرات كبرى مقبلة وستقلب الوقائع في المنطقة ومنها لبنان ولاستبعاد أي فرضية تربط كلام بومبيو بفرضية عمل عسكري أميركي أصدرت وزارة الدفاع الأميركية بياناتها عن تنفيذ قرار انسحاب متدرّج من المنطقة بتوجيهات ترامب.

لم يكن كافياً تقلّص الحرب الى ضربة فتقلص المرجع أيضاً من ترامب الى بومبيو الذي حط رحاله في كيان الاحتلال وقام بجولات استفزازية وصلت الى الجولان تعبيراً عن الوقوف الأعمى مع الكيان في كل خطواته العدوانية وفي طليعتها ضم الجولان، لكن يبدو أن زيارة الجولان كانت تعبيراً رمزياً عن أبوة بومبيو لتقلص جديد حيث الضربة صارت عملية تنفذها قوات الاحتلال على تخوم الجولان المحتل وتمنحها وسائل الإعلام الخليجية تغطية استثنائية بصفتها تغييراً نوعياً لقواعد الاشتباك وإصابة استراتيجية لمحور المقاومة.

الشهداء عندما يسقطون مهما كانت رتبهم ومهما كان عددهم هم إصابات موجعة، لكن التغيير الاستراتيجي شيء آخر.

بلغ الهزال في حالة المشروع الأميركي حدّ أن يكون الردّ على قرار الانسحاب الجزئي صواريخ على السفارة الأميركيّة وأن يكون سقف المقدور عليه أميركياً وإسرائيلياً هو تكرار لما سبق وتمّ اختباره من عمليات توجع بسقوط الشهداء، لكنها لا تغير معادلات باتت فوق طاقة الأميركي والإسرئيلي والمطبع الخليجي معهم ولا تعوّض عجز الفقاعات الإعلاميّة ولا النقل المباشر للقنوات الخليجية وخروج بعض المعلقين المدفوعي الأجر ليكرروا عبارة تحول استراتيجي.

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