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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Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Any US Threat

Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Any US Threat

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary-General of Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi said that the resistance front and popular forces of Iraq will give a powerful response to any possible military adventurism by the US president.

“The resistance front is fully prepared and vigilant and will reciprocate any threat by the mad Trump with twice more powerful response,” al-Kaabi wrote on his twitter account on Tuesday.

He stressed that the resistance front will not withdraw, fail or fear, adding that occupiers will be confronted until their complete pull-out from Iraq.

In a relevant development in August, the Iraqi resistance groups in a statement threatened to target the American interests in the Arab country if the US fails to withdraw its forces from the Iraqi soil.

The statement was released concurrent with the premier’s meetings with American officials at the White House — by the resistance groups that form part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] anti-terror force, better known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network reported.

The PMU, which includes Kataib Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba resistance groups, has been integrated into the Iraqi Defense Forces as a result of its successful and indispensable contribution to the country’s defeating the Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group in late 2017.

The groups considered expulsion of the troops to be Baghdad’s top priority, urging the PM to accord primacy to a law approved by the parliament that mandates the forces’ withdrawal.

The legislature passed the law in January shortly after a US drone strike assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the PMU’s second-in-command, in Baghdad alongside many others. The attack came while General Solemani was paying an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

“If an agreement on the expulsion of US forces from Iraq is not concluded in Washington, we reserve the right to target America’s interests in Iraq,” the statement warned.

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هل يقلب ترامب الطاولة إلى فوق أم إلى تحت؟

ناصر قنديل

بعدما هدّد الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بقلب الطاولة داخلياً عبر رفض التسليم بنتيجة الانتخابات يبدو كل شيء يسير بالاتجاه المعاكس. ففي الداخل الأميركي وفي الخارج الدولي تسليم بأن جو بايدن هو الرئيس الأميركي المقبل، وكلام مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي المعين من ترامب روبرت أوبراين عن الانتقال السلس والفريق الانتقالي المحترف لبايدن كافٍ لمعرفة الاتجاه المقبل، وفي الخارج جرى تسويق نظرية قلب الطاولة لجهة القول بخطوات تصعيدية حربية سيُقدم عليها ترامب، ومما تداولته وسائل الإعلام الأميركية من تسريبات من فريق ترامب للحديث عن ضربة لمفاعل نطنز النووي في إيران، ثم الكلام عن نصائح أدّت لصرف ترامب النظر عن العملية.

فجأة أعلن ترامب عبر وزارة الدفاع التي غير وزيرها قرار البدء بسحب قواته تدريجياً من العراق وأفغانستان، وخطة الوزارة للانسحاب لا تكتمل قبل نهاية ولاية ترامب ما يعني أن مواصلتها تحتاج موافقة الرئيس الجديد، فما هي خيارات ترامب لقلب الطاولة، إن لم تكن الضربات العسكرية التي صرف النظر عنها تفادياً لتداعيات خطيرة، كما قيل، وإن لم تكن الانسحابات التي لن تكتمل خلال ما تبقى من ولايته؟

نشرت مجلة فورين بوليسي مقالاً تبيض فيه صفحة ترامب مضمونه أن سياسات ترامب غيّرت الشرق الأوسط. فالعقوبات أنهكت إيران وجعلت التفاوض معها أسهل، والتطبيع الإماراتي والبحريني مع كيان الاحتلال فتح طريقاً لفك العلاقة بين التعاون العربي «الإسرائيلي» والقضية الفلسطينية، لكن فورين بوليسي التي تعتبر أن ترامب قلب الطاولة وانتهى تتجاهل أن استنتاجها بتغيير الشرق الأوسط متسرّع جداً، فمن قال إن التفاوض مع إيران بات أسهل، والمعلوم أن إيران لن تفاوض من خارج إطار الاتفاق النووي، فما لم يعد الأميركي سواء كان اسمه ترامب أم بايدن إلى الاتفاق وأطره وقواعده للتفاوض، لا تفاوض مهما بلغت العقوبات ومهما بلغت التهديدات، ومهما أراد الأميركي من الانسحابات.

في الشرق الأوسط القضية ليست حل النزاع العربي «الإسرائيلي» وقد صارت المقاومة هي اللاعب الرئيسي وليس النظام العربي الرسمي الذي فشل فشلاً ذريعاً في نظريته التي صاغها انور السادات بأن 99% من أوراق اللعبة بيد أميركا، بينما اليوم المعادلة هي أن 99% من أمن «إسرائيل» بيد المقاومة، فماذا ستفيد تفاهمات التطبيع مع دول لا تمثل تهديداً لأمن الكيان، بينما التهديد الذي تمثله المقاومة يتزايد، وما يحتاجه الكيان قبل الوفود السياحية الإماراتيّة هو الاطمئنان إلى وجوده وأمنه.

الصواريخ التي تساقطت على السفارة الأميركية في بغداد تقول إن على الأميركي أن يختار بين الانسحاب تحت النار أو الذهاب لاتفاق مضمونه التسليم بالسيادة العراقية الكاملة، ومثلها في سورية، وفي الحالتين التسليم بسقوط مشروع الهيمنة، والصواريخ التي سقطت قرب تل أبيب تقول إن أمن الكيان لن يجلبه التطبيع.

ما يفعله ترامب ليس موجهاً ضد محور المقاومة بقدر ما هو موجه لبايدن بمحاولة خلق وقائع تربك مسيرته الرئاسية، وقائع متناقضة بين مناخ تصعيدي مع محور المقاومة، وانسحابات تترك الساحة فارغة أمامه، وهي في مضمونها تسليم بأن زمن ترامب ينتهي وزمن جديد يبدأ، ليس أكيداً انه زمن بايدن، فمن يملك الأرض يملك الزمن، والكلمة الفصل لم تُقَلْ بعد.

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Al-Kaabi: US Only Understands Language of Force – We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

Al-Kaabi: We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

Al-Kaabi: We Will Witness Definitive Destruction of ‘Israel’ In Any Future War

By Staff, Agencies

In a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, a Senior Advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Secretary-General of Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi emphasized on the strong relationship with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance groups and stressed that the Zionist regime will mark its end if it enters any war.

Al-Nujaba’s Communication and Media Affairs Center reported that Sheikh al-Kaabi met with Imam Khamenei’s advisor on international affairs in Tehran on Tuesday.

Al-Kaabi pointed to the pressure of the electoral campaign of US President Donald Trump, on regional governments regarding compromise with the Zionist regime, saying “This anti-Islamic and humiliating wave has even reached Iraq to such an extent that some Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] and mercenary politicians have taken up the issue of normalizing Baghdad-Tel Aviv relations and created a virtual embassy for ‘Israel.’”

In this regard, the Iraqi resistance leaders stressed that “the Iraqi Islamic Resistance and al-Nujaba will stand against the policy of normalizing relations with the Zionist regime. We have strong ties with Palestinian groups and al-Quds is the key to our resistance. Therefore, we will not withhold any help or support from the Palestinians.”

Explaining the movement of Zionist delegations to Iraq undercover as citizens of the United States, Sheikh al-Kaabi stated: “It is a clear threat to Iraq, Iran, the region and Muslims that some security elements of the Zionist regime arrive at Baghdad International Airport with Western passports, travel freely in the country and meet with personalities.”

He then emphasized the weakness and declining nature of the Zionist regime: “We believe that if ‘Israel’ enters any war, it will end with a strategic mistake and the Islamic Resistance groups of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran will reach al-Quds, and then, just as the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has promised, we will pray in al-Quds.”

He also underscored the destructive role of the Saudi and Emirati regimes in the region and Iraq, noting, “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, is waging war in Yemen, creating sedition in Lebanon, and supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. The case of Iraq has also been handed over to Muhammad bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, by the President of the United States, who has a mission to use the intelligence services to foment divisions and instability in Iraq.”

Al-Kaabi further warned that “We see the hand of the United States and ‘Israel’ behind the evil acts of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the flame of all these riots and seditions will eventually fall on the lives of their troops.”

He finally described the blood of the martyrs as a bright beacon of the path of struggle: “Due to the blessings to the blood of martyrs like Haj Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Resistance Front has united and expanded. Now, the Islamic Resistance is not limited to one country, and its seeds have grown in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and so on.”

US Only Understands Language of Force

Iraq’s Nujaba Leader: US Only Understands Language of Force

By Staff, Agencies

The Secretary General of Iraqi resistance movement al-Nujaba, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, said the United States only understands the language of force, noting that resistance will end the US presence in Iraq.

In a press conference held at Mehr News Agency headquarters, Sheikh al-Kaabi said the US is responsible for the economic crisis in Iraq and Washington plunders Iraq’s oil and natural resources.

The Iraqi resistance leader went on to say that the US and the Saudi Arabia are the source of unrest in Iraq and are taking advantage of people’s demands.

He further maintained that Lt. General Soleimani had repeatedly stated that he wished to be martyred in an Iraqi territory and finally achieved his goal.

Sheikh al-Kaabi further called for the implementation of Iraqi parliament’s resolution regarding the expulsion of US forces.

“The US only understand the language of force, and if they do not leave Iraq, the resistance will end their presence in the country,” he added.

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أميركا تستجدي وقف العمليات ضدها في العراق.. هل تبحث عن كسب الوقت؟

المصدر: الميادين 12

تشرين اول 00:10

تبحث الإدارة الأميركية عن تهدئة في المناطق التي تحتلها قواتها، ولا سيما في العراق تجنباً لما ينغص على ترامب رهاناته الانتخابية، وقد وصل الأمر حد استجداء وقف العمليات، فهل ستشهد مرحلة ما بعد الانتخابات تصعيداً ضد الأميركيين في المنطقة؟

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً” بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً.. ومن بعد بالسلاح

تقر القوانين الدولية والأعراف، وتجمع الدساتير المحلية، على حق أي شعب بمقاومة الاحتلال. وفي التاريخ شواهد على أن الاحتلال مهما تجبر، فإنه لا يدوم. وتثبت التجارب أن القوة وحدها السبيل إلى ضمان الحرية وصون الكرامة.

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً”، بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً، ومن بعد بالسلاح.

لا فرق عند المقاومة العراقية أن يحدث انسحاب أميركي كامل بين رئاستين أو في حال استمرار الرئاسة الأميركية الحالية، فلا بديل أمام الأميركيين إلا جدولة انسحابهم بشكل واضح ودونه تصعيد في القتال.

لكننا قلما نسمع عن احتلال يستجدي المقاومة عدم استهداف جنوده حتى ينسحبوا، كحال الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق، وفقاً لما كشفه الناطق باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق للميادين.

من اللافت أن ترسل أميركا برسائل استجداء للمقاومة العراقية تناشدها وقف عملياتها ضد القوات الأميركية، خطوة أبلغتها الميادين على لسان المتحدث باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق محمد محيي، فبعد أن تمادى الاحتلال في جرائمه، وبعد طلب رسمي نيابي وحكومي بخروج القوات الأجنية من العراق، كان الحل الرد على المماطلة، عسكرياً.

مشاريع الأميركي وخططه فشلت في أفغانستان والعراق وسوريا، وبات أمام خيارين الانسحاب طواعية أو الانسحاب بالقوة.

قد يكون تكتيكاً من الرئيس الأميركي الذي يريد استخدام التهدئة كورقة انتخابية، وقد ينسحب الأمر على سوريا إذ تخاطب واشنطن الحكومة السورية خطاباً دبلوماسياً، فتدعوها إلى اتخاذ إجراءات لمكافحة الحرائق حماية للأرواح.

وفي غزل متبادل، تشيد طالبان بالرئيس الأميركي وتبرق بأمنياتها أن يكون الفوز من نصيبه، ما يثير تساؤلات حول ذاك الخطاب إن كان بناء على طلب من إدارته.

تبدو أميركا في انقطاع كامل عما يحدث في العالم، فصمتها ميزة رافقت حرب القوقاز رغم تداخل المصالح وتضاربها إقليمياً ودولياً، وأهمية المنطقة استراتيجياً، فهل تحاول إدارة ترامب إيهام الناخبين بنجاحات دبلوماسية في بؤر عديدة للتوتر؟ 

يؤكد الباحث السياسي والاستراتيجي، ريتشارد ويتز، أن “واشنطن ترغب بوقف الهجمات ضدها في العراق”، لافتاً إلى أن “واشنطن تعزل نفسها عن الازمات الخارجية حتى لا تلحق أي ضرر بالانتخابات”.

وقال ويتز للميادين، إن “الانسحاب الأميركي لن يتم خلال شهر أو اثنين لكن هو أمر تريده واشنطن”، مشيراً إلى أن “التطورات الميدانية والسياسية في العراق أدت الى تراجع النفوذ الأميركي هناك”.

من جهته، الباحث في مركز الهدف للدراسات، كاظم الحاج، يقول إن “المشروع الأميركي في العراق على وشك الانهيار، وقرار الشعب العراقي سيسرع ذلك”.

وأضاف الحاج للميادين، أن “الشعب العراقي لا يهتم من هو رئيس أميركا، وقرار إخراج القوات الأميركية لا رجعة فيه”، مؤكداً أن “مؤشر محور المقاومة ماض في اتجاه صحيح بافشال المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة”.

الحاج أوضح أن “في العلاقة بين طالبان وواشنطن تبادل منفعة ومصالح”، لافتاً إلى أن “أحلام الأميركيين في المنطقة تم دفنها عام 2006 بعد هزيمة إسرائيل في لبنان”.

 وقال إن “دول محور المقاومة واعية لما يخطط له الأميركي في المنطقة”، معتبراً “الإرادة والشجاعة لدى محور المقاومة ستنهي الأحلام الأميركية في المنطقة”.

وشدد الحاج على أن “الوكيل الأميركي في المنطقة أوهن من بيت العنكبوت”، منوهاً إلى أن “لا الوكيل الإسرائيلي ولا الأصيل الأميركي يستطيع فرض أي شيء على شعوب المنطقة”.

بدوره، الكاتب والمحلل السياسي، مهند الضاهر، قال إن “ما يفكر به ترامب حالياً ليس الانسحاب بل الفوز بالانتخابات”.

وأضاف الضاهر للميادين، أن “المشروع الأميركي وصل إلى مرحلة الانحسار في المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أن “لغة السفارة الأميركية في دمشق تجاه سوريا ليست لغة دبلوماسية”.

الضاهر اعتبر أن “الأميركي يبحث عن المزيد من الفوضى في سياسته في المنطقة”، مؤكداً أن “الأميركي يدرك أن القادم من الأيام صعب جداً عليه”.

Iran seeks complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq to avenge Qassem Soleimani

By News Desk -2020-09-28

TEHRAN, IRAN – SEPTEMBER 18 : Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 A.M.) – The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, said on Sunday, that the minimum penalty for those behind the assassination of the late Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, is the complete withdrawal of the U.S. forces from the region, especially Iraq.

During his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, he called on the Iraqi government to follow up on the assassinations of Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Shamkhani continued, “The Zionist project is currently underway to normalize relations with some countries in the region under pressure from America, which aims only to fully dominate the region.”

He pointed out that “this operation, which is a major betrayal and a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, will lead to escalation of instability and stir up differences among the countries of the region, as it will expose the existence of bargaining countries to serious dangers.”

It should be noted that Soleimani and Muhandis were both assassination on the night of January 3rd, 2020, near the Baghdad International Airport.

Following the assassination, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran fired several missiles towards the U.S. troops in Iraq, as they targeted two installations that housed the American forces.

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TWO U.S.-LED COALITION CONVOYS ATTACKED BY SHIITE FIGHTERS IN SOUTHERN, CENTRAL IRAQ

South Front

On September 27 afternoon, two convoys transporting equipment and weapons for the U.S.-led coalition were attacked in Iraq.

The first convoy was targeted with an improved explosive device in the district of Batha in the southern province of Dhi Qar. The second convoy was attacked in a similar fashion as it was passing on the Hilla highway in the central province of Bablyon.

A truck carrying an armored vehicle of the U.S.-led coalition was damaged as a result of the attack in Batha. Sabereen News shared a photo of the truck.

Two U.S.-led coalition Convoys Attacked By Shiite Fighters In Southern, Central Iraq

The new attacks came following a Washington Post report that revealed a recent threat from the U.S. to the Iraqi Government. According to the report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that the U.S. will close its embassy in Baghdad if the attacks continues.

Iraqi Shiite group Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin, which claimed responsibility for Batha attack, responded to Pompeo’s threat by vowing once again to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.

“We say to Pompeo, we swore to expel your rats dead, their vehicles burned and their hideouts destroyed, from our country,” the group said in a statement.

These recent attacks on U.S. troops are a response to the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander, Qassim Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, earlier this year.

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US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

By Staff, Agencies

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Iraqi al-Nujaba movement, said that threats and outcries of the United States are because of victories of the Resistance Front.

In a tweet on Saturday, al-Kaabi likened US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threats against the Iraqi movement to struggles of a suffocating person.

These useless threats show the fruitfulness of the Resistance’s efforts to liberate and restore Iraqi sovereignty from American control, he added.

He congratulated the achievements of the Resistance and encouraged forces to continue their actions, noting that the threats of enemy do not create fear in the hearts of Nujaba forces.

“We have been striving for one of the two virtues since we set foot on this path; victory or martyrdom.”

Al-Kaabi emphasized that Iraqi groups should urge the United States to withdraw its occupying forces completely from the country because of Iraqi Parliament’s order and the will of the people.

Pro-Iranian Forces Attack US Convoys Withdrawing From Largest Base In Iraq

Video

The US military has been facing increasing pressure from local resistance forces and pro-Iranian groups in Iraq.

On August 21, an improvised explosive device (IED) reportedly struck a vehicle of company working with the U.S.-led coalition in Aweerij, south of the capital, Baghdad. The vehicle was destroyed and its driver was killed. Pro-Iranian sources even claimed that the entire supply convoy of the US-led coalition was destroyed, and three Fijian private military contractors working for the U.S. military were killed. These claims have not been confirmed by any visual evidence so far.

On August 22, another IED attack hit a logistical convoy of the US-led coalition near Baghdad. This time the incident happened in Ghazaliya, on a highway leading to the al-Shuala district. The video from the site showed that at least one vehicle was damaged.

On August 23, an IED explosion targeted a convoy of US forces withdrawing from Camp Taji just a few hours after the US military officially handed the military base to Iraqi government forces. The base used to host 2,000 US troops. Most of them are set to be withdrawn in the coming days.

According to local sources, local Shiite resistance groups and Iranian-linked forces were behind these attacks. Iran and its Iraqi allies vowed to expel US forces from Iraq after the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Deputy-Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.

On August 20, Iran even unveiled two missiles with named after Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The missiles were revealed on the occasion of the National Defense Industry Day. The first missile “Martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani” is ballistic with a range of up to 1,400 km. The second weapon, named “Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,” is a cruise missile with a range of up to 1,000 km. Iran claimed that both missiles are capable of penetrating advanced anti-missile systems.

Tehran considers its missile program to be among the cornerstones of the country’s defense capabilities. On January 8, 2020, Iran even publicly conducted a missile strike on US military bases in Iraq retaliating for the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad. The naming of new Iranian missiles after these prominent commanders are likely a demonstration of the Iranian determination to continue its anti-US campaign in the region. Therefore, the pressure on US forces in Iraq will likely further increase in the near future.

USA TO IRAQ: WE WILL WITHDRAW BUT WITHOUT BEING HUMILIATED

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is preparing to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House, about issues that are burdening Iraq. The country is struggling with a stifling economic crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic, the US military presence that is no longer desirable, the “unmanageable balance” between Iran and the US, and the omnipresent Turkish military activity and Turkey’s presence on Iraqi soil.

The Al-Kazemi team includes economic experts and diplomats who want to resume the second round of strategic talks that began between the two countries last June. This exchange has been imposed on both sides following the binding decision of the Iraqi parliament to order US forces to withdraw from Iraq, following the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, leader of the “Axis of the Resistance” and commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard- alongside the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis- together with their companions, in January 2020. 

Several groups of unknown affiliation have attacked US bases with Katyusha rockets and mortar shells, deliberately not inflicting fatal injuries. Moreover, Iraqi convoys transporting equipment belonging to the US forces have been intercepted and the contents set on fire- a warning to Iraqi drivers to refrain from providing any services to the US forces, otherwise they too will bear the consequences.

These “so-far unknown” groups shared a common goal: warn US forces that their presence in Iraq will no longer be tolerated unless they withdraw as requested by Parliament. It is to be expected that these groups will escalate, intensifying their attacks so as to put more pressure on both Al-Kazemi’s government and on Washington. Violent confrontation is no longer distant.

Iran has repeatedly indicated its support for Iraq as well as its support for the Iraqis who want to get the US out of Iraq. When Al-Kazemi visited Tehran last month and met with Iranian officials, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, told him: “The US has killed your guest.” Sayyed Khamenei wanted to arouse Arab tribal feelings that sanctify and protect the guest, to remind Iraqi officials that they have done nothing yet to avenge a guest’s murder, and to underscore that if the Iraqis revolt against the killers, this is indeed their right.

Thus, the Iraqi Prime Minister – who is trying to find common ground between the US and Iran – is not mediating with the goal of a meeting between the two countries’ officials, because Iran refuses to engage with the killers of Major General Soleimani, the current US administration. Al-Kazemi would rather try to avoid a military clash in Mesopotamia. However, the chances of him succeeding in his endeavour between Tehran and Washington are weak so long as the Trump administration is in power. The big challenge that Al-Kazemi faces is the illegal Turkish presence in Iraq. For many years, 

RAIN OF ROCKETS HITS US FORCES IN IRAQ. ISRAELI-UAE PEACE DEAL CRUMBLES DAYS AFTER ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

South Front

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

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

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

This unfortunate, but expected statement goes fully in the framework of the Israeli regional policy and contradicts position of the US-sponsored deal reached with the UAE. In particular, Crown Prince Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed emphasized that “it was agreed to stop Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian lands.”

The Israeli actions strengthened the already existing controversy over the deal and on August 15-16, the situation escalated in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Palestinian protesters with explosives tried to approach the security fence and then Palestinian forces launched at least 2 rockets at southern Israel. In its own turn, IDF aircraft conducted a series of airstrikes on what Tel Aviv described as Hamas targets.

If the Israeli leadership keeps its course on the annexation of the West Bank areas, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will expectedly escalate, and even possibly expand further. For example, in this scenario, an escalation could be expected in the area of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and on the Lebanese-Israeli contact line.

On August 14, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah already declared that the movement “will not remain silent on the crime of the bombing the Port of Beirut if it is proven that Israel is behind it.” According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah would wait for results of an investigation into the Beirut port explosion and if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then it would “pay an equal price”.

The August 4 blast in the port of Beirut is still surrounded by mystery and uncertainties, and many sources, including the top US leadership, still consider the possibility that the tragedy was caused by some kind of ‘attack’. In this event, the main suspect is Israel, which has always been interested in the destabilization of neighboring Arab states to secure own dominance in the region.

Tensions are also growing between the United States and Iran. On August 14, the Department of Justice announced that US forces have seized some 1.116m barrels of Iranian fuel aboard 4 ships headed for Venezuela. The seizure came amid increasing attacks on US forces and facilities from pro-Iranian and anti-US armed groups in Iraq.

On the evening of August 16, a rocket targeted the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. The strike led to no casualties. Just a few hours earlier, the pro-Iranian armed group Ashab al-Kahf released a video showing an improvised explosive device attack on a US equipment convoy in the Anbar area. The group claimed that the convoy was fully destroyed. On August 15, two rockets targeted the biggest US military base in Iraq – Camp Taji. The base is located north of Baghdad. On the same day, a convoy carrying logistical supplies for the U.S.-led coalition was targeted on the highway between Dhi Qar and Basrah in southern Iraq. The attack was conducted by another pro-Iranian group, Usbat al-Tha’ireen. Pro-US sources denied any casualties as a result of the attack. These were just the most recent in about two dozen various attacks on US-affiliated targets in Iraq during the past few weeks.

If the US and Iran continue the current confrontational course, it is expected that the number and intensity of attacks in Iraq will increase boosting the chances of an open confrontation between the US and Iranian-led forces.

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

South Front

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

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

Ashab al-Kahf is one of multiple anti-US resistance groups, which have surfaced in Iraq since early 2020 after the US assassination of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, the deputy chairman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several other prominent Iraqi officers leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq. All these new groups declare their goal to be forcing US troops to leave Iraq and conduct attacks on US military infrastructure and forces. This has already become an everyday reality for the US military.

Additionally to the August 10 attack, there were at least 4 more military incidents blamed by the US and mainstream media on these groups during the past weeks.

Early on August 12, 3 rockets fell near the US embassy building in the Baghdad Green Zone. No casualties were reported. On August 5, at least one rocket was launched at the US embassy area in Baghdad. The rocket was reportedly intercepted by the C-RAM [Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar] system which was recently deployed in the area by the U.S. military. On July 30, two rockets targeted the military section of the Baghdad International Airport, where US forces were deployed. On July 27, multiple rockets pounded the US-operated military base ‘Camp Taji’ north of Baghdad.

The structure and intensity of these attacks demonstrate that they are mostly aimed at pressuring the US military and political leadership into directing a troop withdrawal by creating a hostile environment rather than causing large-scale damage to US forces. If Washington decides to ignore them and accepts instead an increase in casualties in the region, such a resistance may continue for years without a breakthrough. Nevertheless, an especially successful rocket strike leading to significant casualties might well lead to an open military response from the United States. The most likely scenario would then be large-scale airstrikes on what Washington would call ‘Iranian and Iranian proxy targets’ in Iraq and eastern Syria. However, such an isolated even if powerful response would not be enough to change the situation strategically. Therefore, if the situation develops in the current direction, the low intensity conflict between the US and Iranian-led forces in Iraq would enter a lingering phase. The prospects for the stabilization of the economic and security situation in the country would be seriously in question.

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Iraqi PM’s visit to Washington will fail if he is not ‘obedient’: Iraqi politician

Description:

In an interview with Afaq TV, Sa’ad al-Muttalibi, a senior member of the Iraqi State of Law Coalition says that Iraq’s prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi will fail on his imminent state visit to Washington, as US officials never treat Iraqi officials as equal counterparts and al-Kadhimi won’t be an exception.

This is especially true as al-Kadhimi is tasked by the Iraqi parliament with pulling US military forces out of the Arab country, al-Muttalibi explains.

The senior politician goes on to say that one of the major problems that US officials had with former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was that he treated American officials as ‘equal counterparts’, while other Arab leaders usually behave as ‘subservient subjects’ when they visit Washington.

Source: Afaq TV (YouTube)

Date: 24 July, 2020

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

Read Transcript: http://middleeastobserver.net/iraqi-pms-visit-to-washington-will-fail-if-he-is-not-obedient-iraqi-politician/

Israel Reinforces Troops Near Golan Heights Fearing Hezbollah Retaliation To Strikes On Syria

South Front

The Middle East is rapidly moving towards a new round of confrontation between the US-Israeli bloc and Iranian-led Shiite forces.

On July 26, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deployed M109 Doher howitzers near the separation line with Lebanon. The deployment of howitzers became the latest in a series of broad measures employed by the IDF near Lebanon recently. Earlier, the 13th “Gideon” Infantry Battalion of the IDF’s elite 1st “Golani” Brigade reinforced troops near the border. The number Israeli Hermes 450 drone reconnaissance flights also significantly increased over southern Lebanon. Additional IDF units were also deployed in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. On top of this, the IDF announced that it will hold the Lebanese government responsible “for all actions emanating from Lebanon”.

These measures followed the July 20 Israeli strike on Syria, which resulted in the death of a member of Lebanese Hezbollah. Over the past years, Hezbollah has been one of the main supporters of Syrian Army operations against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Tel Aviv increases its strikes on what it calls Hezbollah and Iranian-affiliated targets in Syria every time when the Syrian Army launches active actions against terrorists and seems to be very concerned by the possibility of a Hezbollah response to the July 20 attack.

If Israel is really set to conduct strikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon to the retaliatory action by Hezbollah, this scenario could easily evolve into a wider border confrontation between Hezbollah and the IDF.

At the same time, tensions between local resistance groups and the US-led coalition grew in Iraq. On July 24, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, Ashab al-Kahf, announced that its forces had shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle of the US military over the province of Saladin. The group claimed that the UAV was downed by some ‘new weapon’ and released a photo showing the launch of what appears to be an anti-aircraft missile, likely a man-portable air-defense system.

On the same day, four unguided rockets struck the Pasmaya military camp, which is located 60km south of Baghdad. One of the rockets hit a garage for armoured vehicles, while another one targeted the barracks of the security unit. Two other rockets landed in an empty area. Despite causing some material damage, the rocket attack did not result in any casualties. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Pasmaya military camp is known to be hosting troops of the U.S.-led coalition and is used for training of Iraqi troops. On July 25, the coalition withdrew its forces from the camp and handed it over to the Iraqi military. According to the official statement, the coalition trained 50,000 personnel and invested $5 million into the creation of training infrastructure there.

Earlier in 2020, the US-led coalition withdrew its forces from several smaller military camps across the country. Some sources tried to present this as a withdrawal from Iraq due to the increasing attacks on coalition forces by anti-US Shiite paramilitary groups. These attacks increased significantly after the assassination of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020. The attack put the region on the brink of the US-Iranian war and caused a public outcry against the US military presence in Iraq. However, in fact, the US has not been withdrawing its troops from the country, but rather redeploying them to larger bases. The US military even brought Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to provide additional protection to its forces. It also continues isolated attacks on positions of the Popular Mobilization Units, an official branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces that Washington describes as terrorist groups and Iranian proxies.

On July 26, several large explosions rocked the al-Saqer military camp near the district of Dora south of Baghdad. The Al-Saqer military camp hosts forces of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) as well as the Iraqi Federal Police. Large quantities of ammunition, which were stored in the camp, exploded. Iraqi Security Media said the ammunition exploded as result of “high heat” and “poor storage”. Nevertheless, sources affiliated with the PMU rejected these speculations. Local sources claimed that the explosions were caused by US drone strikes. An MQ-1 Predator combat drone was spotted over the al-Saqer military camp just after the incident. This was the second situation of this kind that happened in al-Saqer. In 2019, a US drone strike hit a weapon depot at the camp.

The current situation sets almost no prospects for a de-escalation in Iraq. The main goal of attacks by local Shiite groups is to force the US to withdraw troops from the country. At the same time, the US is not planning to withdraw its forces and uses these attacks to justify the increase of its campaign against pro-Iranian forces in the Middle East.

WHEN HEZBOLLAH FLAGS UP THE CHINA AND IRAN OPTIONS THE US TREMBLES

Source

Meeting Between The Lebanese Cabinet With Ambassador Wang Kejian, The Chinese Ambassador To Lebanon

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Hastily and under the watchful eye of Israeli and US drones, Hezbollah is storing hundreds of tons of food stock, supplied by Iran, in dozens of improvised warehouses on the Syrian-Lebanese border. This new and unusual step by Hezbollah reflects Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s recent promise to prevent the starvation threat looming for the Lebanese population. 

The US-Israel war against the “Axis of the Resistance” continues but with different tools. It is progressing from waging wars with armies on the ground as the US did in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003, and as Israel did in Lebanon in 2006, to the assassination of key figures in Iraq. And now it is the sanctions war on Iran, Syria and Lebanon and the intimidation of Iraq. Last January, following the US’s unlawful targeted killing of Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani – UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard described it as “an act of war” – President Donald Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Iraq “like they’ve never seen before” if Baghdad were to ask for US troops to withdraw from Mesopotamia. Iran has survived 40 years of continuous and escalating US sanctions, and Syria has just been faced with the unilateral and harsh “Caesar’s Act” sanction: the country has already been under EU-US sanctions for the last nine years.

The dire economic situation and the sharp devaluation of the local currency that led to prices of foodstuffs skyrocketing are pressing the Lebanese government and the quasi-state actor, Hezbollah, to look for solutions distinct from the US dictate and objectives. For this purpose, Sayyed Nasrallah proposed that the government look towards the East, to China and Russia, without necessarily turning its back on the West, unless the US continues its harsh punishment which is hitting the entire Lebanese population. 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s suggestion that the government “go East” created a storm in Washington, aware of the growing threat of the colossal Chinese economy and its partners around the globe that are threatening US hegemony. US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea criticised Lebanon’s overture to China in a move indicating the confusion of the US administration. Sayyed Nasrallah’s blow “below the belt” pushed the US administration off balance. Sayyed Nasrallah proposed turning the country’s compass towards the two countries (China and Iran) declared most despicable by the Trump administration. These countries have the capacity to counteract US actions against Lebanon.

This economic strangulation is known as the “soft war” because it costs the US and Israel no human losses. Nevertheless, what US planning did not foresee is the reaction of the opposite camp. The “Axis of the Resistance” has been pushed to be more creative, to learn ways to survive in solidarity, and to overcome the difficult challenges posed by the US and Israel.

Iran promised to support its allies in the Middle East (and in the Caribbean) by exporting oil to Venezuela under the watchful but impotent eyes of the US. Whereas the US treats those who believe they are allies as disposable pawns, interested only in the well-being of Israel. Indeed, the US ambassador, in a private meeting with Prime Minister Diab, raised the Israeli request to establish maritime and land borders between Lebanon and Israel, a request the government in Beirut has always turned down. The US is trying to offer temporary solutions to Lebanon to keep it in limbo and dependent on Washington’s mood and blessing, as long as the Lebanese government doesn’t take that real step towards China for alternative energy and infrastructure.

Hezbollah’s military capability has confirmed a robust seat for the organisation in many theatres around the Middle East. Sayyed Nasrallah’s last speech was not aiming to increase his popularity but was a road map and a plan of action preparing his group to cover some of the needs of the population. The US may indeed be thinking of even further sanctions and other ways to counter Hezbollah. The so-called “soft war” is only just beginning, but the “Axis of the Resistance” seems indubitably ready to produce counter-measures.

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and  Maurice Brasher

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

Iraqi PMF leader: Operations on US forces to escalate day by day

Iraqi PMF leader: Operations on US forces to escalate day by day

Original link 

Description:

Deputy Secretary General of the Al-Nujaba Movement, a faction of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), says that ‘resistance operations against U.S. occupation forces in Iraq will escalate day by day’.

In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV, Nasr al-Shimmari added that the country’s ‘resistance forces’ had previously given time for dialogue in order for American forces to leave Iraq, however, it was clear that the ‘US only understands the language of force’.

Source: Al-Alam TV (citing from Al Mayadeen TV)

Date: 16 July, 2020

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

Transcript:

Iraq: Nasr al-Shimmari, Deputy Secretary General of the Al-Nujaba Movement:

– the Americans cannot change the equations in Iraq

– the Americans have no choice but to withdraw from Iraq or stay and endure the losses that will be inflicted on their forces

– we bless the operations targeting the Americans and the resistance is devising the appropriate methods that will force them to leave

–  the U.S. forces in Iraq are occupying forces and targeting them by the resistance will escalate day by day

– the operations of the resistance are characterized by secrecy, and there is a unified decision among the resistance forces (factions) to confront the American forces

– the government is an executive – and not a legislative – entity, and (thus) cannot prevent the resistance from targeting the American (forces)

– Iran is a friend of all the resistance forces, but the main (side) concerned with confronting the American obstinacy in Iraq are the Iraqis (themselves)

– Washington did not take the initiative to help Iraq confront ISIS by using the pretext that this is was an ‘internal matter’ and not an external attack

– the Americans and the British want to put their (military) forces in areas (of Iraq) where they think the resistance will not (be able to) target them

– Turkish forces invaded Iraqi territory and bombed positions in Iraq and we did not see any American action (in response)

– Neither the prime minister nor the government has the authority to bring foreign troops to Iraq, especially after the parliament’s decision

– We hope that the actions of Al-Kadhimi and his government will be in the interest of Iraq, and we affirm that the future of the country depends on (it attaining its) freedom

– The Americans only understand the language of force and resistance is the only weapon capable of getting them out of Iraq

– resistance had given way for (the path) of dialogue and the implementation of the parliament’s decision for U.S. forces to leave (but that failed)

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