Category Archives: Iraq

500+ U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan directly linked to Iran #irandeal

The origin of the dirty Iran nuke deal can be traced back to the Bush days when Democrats decided to do everything they could to undermine an enemy administration. Back then the cause they threw themselves into was “saving” the Iran-Syria axis from Bush.

Pelosi and Kerry visited Assad to protect him from Bush, even though Obama nearly ended up going to war with Assad anyway. The amount of Americans killed by Iran wasn’t discussed. Information like this was usually buried.

At least 500 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were directly linked to Iran and its support for anti-American militants, a newly disclosed statistic that offers grim context for the Obama administration’s diplomatic deal with the Iranian regime aimed at curtailing the rogue nation’s nuclear ambitions.

Many of those estimated 500 deaths occurred during the so-called surge in Iraq, when President George W. Bush ordered an influx of tens of thousands of troops to confront what had devolved into a sectarian civil war. Scores of American personnel were killed or maimed by highly lethal bombs, known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, that Iran manufactured and supplied to Shiite militias across the border in Iraq. Many EFPs were powerful enough to destroy U.S. humvees and breach tank hulls.

The estimate of 500 American deaths is probably on the low side, said David “Bo” Bolgiano, a retired Army Special Forces officer who deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2007 with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, an organization created by the Pentagon to rapidly address the number of casualties inflicted by roadside bombs and other IEDs.

“It’s very difficult to quantify because, when you have an IED explosion that occurs in theater, you’d have to connect the dots and say, ‘Well, we have three U.S. casualties tied to that IED,’ and then that IED is tied to a specific copper-plated EFP from Iran. Often times, those forensics are missing,” Bolgiano said in an interview.

But really even few Democrats in Congress seem to be enthusiastic about the Iran deal. California Dem Brad Sherman’s rundown ends on a particularly grim note.

“The arms embargo was not a nuclear sanction, yet it’s being waived,” he said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “The Iran Sanctions Act will be waived even though there are basically nine reasons recited in the act as to why we imposed it. Only one of them is nuclear. This sanctions relief is so complete that we’re even going to import things from Iran. Not oil, but only the things that we don’t need and they can’t sell to anybody else.”

“They’ll spend it on graft and corruption,” Sherman said. “They’re good at that. They’re going to kill a lot of Sunnis, some of whom deserve it and many of whom do not. Then they’ll have a few billion at least left over to kill Americans, Israelis and worth other mischief.”

That’s grim, but accurate. Especially since ISIS has put American personnel back on the ground in Iraq.

Even Sherman’s more optimistic assessment concedes that it’s an unworkable mess and offers few solutions.

Ugly (After Year 10): End of restrictions on quality and quantity of centrifuges. Even President Obama says this reduces break-out time to virtually zero.

Our goal must be to prevent what happens after year ten. We must act this decade to demand that the restrictions on Iran’s centrifuges be extended for decades to come. We must put all options on the table to achieve this extension.

Perhaps the best part of the deal is that it is not binding on future Congresses and Presidents under international law. This is particularly true if Congress refuses to approve the deal, and a Congressional vote of approval is highly unlikely.”

And that’s coming from a Democrat. But Sherman fails to explain how the deal can be extended for decades to come without sanctions. And even if the deal somehow were extended, and even if Iran didn’t just manage to set up a parallel program that used the technologies from the legalized program to weaponize, which it arguably has been doing all along, Iran ends up always being on the edge of going nuclear.

And that’s the very optimistic best case scenario.

The realistic scenario involves killing a whole lot of Sunnis, Americans and Israelis.

Iraq begins operation to oust ISIS from Anbar

ISIS 2

The Iraqi government began on Monday a long-awaited large-scale military operation to dislodge Islamic State militants from Iraq’s western Anbar province, a military spokesman announced.

The spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, said in a televised statement that the operation started at dawn Monday and that government forces are backed by Shiite and Sunni pro-government fighters. Rasool didn’t clarify whether the US-led international coalition is taking part.

ISIS one year on since fall of Iraq’s Mosul

Here is how the year of offensives unraveled, beginning with the siege of Iraq’s second city of Mosul exactly a year ago. (File photo: AFP)

A year ago, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria began a destructive campaign to gain control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria, leading to thousands of deaths and displaced millions of people.

Here is how the year of offensives unraveled, beginning with the siege of Iraq’s second city of Mosul exactly a year ago today.

Following the fall of Mosul in n June 2014, the province of Nineveh followed suit as several Iraqi army divisions collapse.

Just two days later Tikrit, another major city in Iraq, falls to the control of ISIS. Following this, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, calls for military action to be taken against ISIS. As this was happening, ISIS made the claim that they had executed 1,700 people, by issuing photos of the slaughters.

At the end of June, ISIS formally declared their “caliphate” crossing the border between Iraq and Syria, the leader of which was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In the first days of August ISIS re-launched their northern offensive, targeting the religious minority of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar in Iraq. Their actions sparked international concern, so only days later the U.S. began an airstrikes campaign on Iraq, with an international coalition not far behind.

On August 19, ISIS released a clip of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley. This was first in a series of beheadings of international journalists and aid workers including Steven Sotloff, Kenji Goto, David Haines and Alan Henning.

ISIS militants attack ancient artifacts with sledgehammers in the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. (File Photo: AP)

Towards the end of September, the coalition expanded the airstrike campaign to include Syrian territories.

Throughout the month of October there were several mass killings, such as that of the Albu Nimr tribesmen. The jihadist group also declared their first significant government victory near Baghdad in the Jurf al-Sakhr area.

By mid-November Iraqi forces recapture the town of Baiji, strategically located on the main road to Mosul, but fail to maintain the control and eventually lose it to ISIS again.

Islamic State group militants patrol in a commandeered Iraqi security forces trucks sprayed with the representation of the al-Qaida flag and the Arabic that reads, “There is no god but Allah,” in Fallujah (File photo: AP)

During the month of January, claims were made accusing Shiite militia men, typically loyal to the Iraqi government, of executing 70 residents in the Diyala province. Just days after these claims were made Staff Lieutenant Gen. Abdulamir al-Zaidi declared that the province was “liberated” from ISIS.

The following month ISIS released more footage of them murdering people. This time it was Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who had been captured in Syria in December. The clip showed him being burned alive in cage. Other footage showed militants destroying priceless artefacts in a museum in Mosul.

In March of this year, Iraqi forces launched an operation to reclaim the city of Tikrit, which Haider al-Abadi announced had been successful on the 31st. In the meantime, ISIS released more footage of the destruction of ancient artefacts, but this time in the Assyrian city of Nimrud.

Security forces defend their headquarters against attacks by Islamic State extremists during sand storm in the eastern part of Ramadi. (File photo: AP)

In April there was further destruction of artefacts, this time belonging to a UNESCO world heritage site in the city of Hatra.

The most recent ISIS victory was the seizure of Ramadi, the capital of the province of Anbar, on May 17. This was followed by the capture of Syrian Palmyra just days later.

(With AFP)

ISIS Holds Massive Military Parade Celebrating Victory in Ramadi …(Where’s the Coalition?)

ISIS 2

by Jim Hoft

ISIS held a massive parade in West Anbar province celebrating victory in Ramadi.
isis parade ramadi 4

isis parade ramadi 2

isis parade anbar

isis parade ramadi 3

So where is the Coalition of the Willing? And why is this not a burning line of charred vehicles?

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Da'ish convoy in Rutbah, W. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Anbar?src=hash”>#Anbar</a&gt; province, celebrating events in Ramadi. Begs the question, where's the coalition? <a href=”http://t.co/hIMO5cszF4″>pic.twitter.com/hIMO5cszF4</a></p>&mdash; حيدر سومري (@IraqiSecurity) <a href=”https://twitter.com/IraqiSecurity/status/600368151801569281″>May 18, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

#Iraq #Ramadi More than 90,000 flee Islamic State (ISIS) advance in Anbar province

More than 90,000 people have fled their homes in Iraq’s western province of Anbar where ISIS militants have been gaining ground over the past week, the United Nations said on Sunday.

ISIS militants have encroached on the provincial capital Ramadi, displacing thousands of families.

“Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing — food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,” Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Iraq, said in a statement.

More than 90,000 flee Iraq’s Anbar province

Iraqi forces are preparing to mount a counter-offensive to reverse Islamic State advances on the eastern edge of Ramadi after military reinforcements were sent from Baghdad, officials said.

Provincial officials warned earlier this week Ramadi was in danger of falling to the militants.

At least 2.7 million Iraqis have been displaced across the country since January 2014, including 400,000 from Anbar.

Iraqis flee as Islamic State captures three villages in Ramadi

Residents began fleeing three villages in Ramadi, capital of the Iraqi western province of Anbar, after they were captured by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on Wednesday.

Earlier, an advisor for Anbar’s mayor, described “fierce battles” taking place between Iraqi security forces and tribal volunteers against ISIS, calling for an “urgent” need airstrikes from the U.S.-led coaltion and more military enforcement.

Aziz Khalaf al-Tarmouz told the local Al-Sumaria News that “security forces from army, police and emergency alongside with tribal members are in a fierce battle against the terrorist ISIS group in Albu-Ghanim, Albu Sodeh, Albo Mahal regions in eastern Ramadi.”

He added: “Our security and tribal forces need more military consolidation and urgency,” asking “for airstrikes from the international coaltion and Iraqi forces to support security teams there.”

The residents told the Associated Press that ISIS launched an offensive at dawn east of the city, seizing the villages Sjariyah, Albu-Ghanim and Soufiya, which had been under government control.

They say fighting is now taking place on the eastern edges of Ramadi about two kilometers away from local government buildings.

In Soufiya, the militants bombed a police station and took over a power plant. The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing for their own safety, said airstrikes are trying to support Iraqi troops.

ISIS was dealt a major blow this month, when Iraqi troops pushed it out of Tikrit, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s hometown.

(With The Associated Press)