Author Topic: Iraq Unravels  (Read 26972 times)

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2020, 13:52:37 »
Latest USA State Dep't travel advisory for the record ...
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Iraq Travel Advisory
Travel Advisory
January 1, 2020
Iraq - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

U.S. citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.

On December 31, 2019, the Embassy suspended public consular services, until further notice, as a result of damage done by Iranian-backed terrorist attacks on the Embassy compound.  U.S. Consulate General Erbil remains open and continues to provide consular services.  On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah.  That institution has not reopened.

U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria to engage in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of, or supporting designated terrorist organizations, is a crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines in the United States.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Iraq, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Iraq:

    Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
    Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
    Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
    Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
    Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
    Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
    Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Iraq.
    U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates reflecting the termination of ordered departure of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Embassy Baghdad and Consulate Erbil.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2020, 15:15:17 »
Civil war may be the only way to root out the pro-Iranian militias.We fought them during OIF. Its something the US would not want to repeat.

After 16 years of "training" the Iraq armed forces (and 2 trillion dollars spent) it was those militia groups that were largely responsible for defeating ISIS, not the Iraq army.

Now all those well armed and battle hardened milita groups are camped all over Iraq and there isn't anything the Iraq government can do about it, especially not remove them by force.   
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2020, 15:18:51 »
Is Canada prepared for an embassy being breached ? What the US did in Iraq shows that you don't necessarily need Marines as you could insert commandoes or even a battalion sized force by helicopter. Staging may take a bit but the key is support of local security forces. If they abandon their posts then all beats are off.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2020, 15:29:11 »
After 16 years of "training" the Iraq armed forces (and 2 trillion dollars spent) it was those militia groups that were largely responsible for defeating ISIS, not the Iraq army.

Now all those well armed and battle hardened milita groups are camped all over Iraq and there isn't anything the Iraq government can do about it, especially not remove them by force.

Just part of the ongoing Op ICF that started....a long time ago;  that coin was the best $20USD I spent while part of OIR/IMPACT.

If there was one thing I've witnessed move slower than the CAF fighter procurement project, it was ISF ground forces 'advancing'.   :D
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2020, 15:35:56 »
Is Canada prepared for an embassy being breached ? What the US did in Iraq shows that you don't necessarily need Marines as you could insert commandoes or even a battalion sized force by helicopter. Staging may take a bit but the key is support of local security forces. If they abandon their posts then all beats are off.
My guess it's already been planned for, and that plan would not be available in an unclassified domain.

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2020, 15:40:28 »
After 16 years of "training" the Iraq armed forces (and 2 trillion dollars spent) it was those militia groups that were largely responsible for defeating ISIS, not the Iraq army.

Now all those well armed and battle hardened milita groups are camped all over Iraq and there isn't anything the Iraq government can do about it, especially not remove them by force.

The CTS did most of the heavy lifting in Mosul - and FedPol most of the oppression and wanton destruction...
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2020, 20:36:13 »
Holy crap.  Al Muhandis as well?

http://news.trust.org//item/20200103004609-oc5sq/

Quote
Iran's Soleimani and Iraq's Muhandis killed in air strike -militia spokesman
by Reuters
Friday, 3 January 2020 01:18 GMT

BAGHDAD, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed late on Thursday in an air strike on their convoy in Baghdad airport, an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters.

"The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani," said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed militias. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Brihard

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2020, 20:37:24 »
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2020, 20:49:26 »
Possibly Army gunships as they have been active over the Embassy ? Fox says it was a rocket attack. Proof that Iran has been involved in Iraq.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/rockets-baghdad-airport-injuries-reported

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2020, 20:52:35 »

Oh frig. Uh oh...

You know what, may just have hit the fan..
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2020, 20:57:48 »
Nothing from Trump on Twitter yet. He's still blithering about how the FBI ended up putting so many of his honest friends in jail.

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A lot of very good people were taken down by a small group of Dirty (Filthy) Cops, politicians, government officials, and an investigation that was illegally started & that SPIED on my campaign. The Witch Hunt is sputtering badly, but still going on (Ukraine Hoax!). If this........had happened to a Presidential candidate, or President, who was a Democrat, everybody involved would long ago be in jail for treason (and more), and it would be considered the CRIME OF THE CENTURY, far bigger and more sinister than Watergate!

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2020, 20:58:08 »
The open source reports speak of 3 x Katyusha rockets.  As you know doubt know, perhaps from being at the other end of one, they are not at all accurate or precision weapons.

As to this:

Quote
Fox says it was a rocket attack. Proof that Iran has been involved in Iraq.

I do not see any correlation.  Nor do I see any doubt that "Iran has been involved in Iraq".  This is a well-established fact, irrespective of which media outlet reports it....what with it being a fact and all of that.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2020, 21:02:35 »
https://www.ibtimes.com/iranian-quds-force-commander-qasem-soleimani-killed-baghdad-air-strike-airport-closed-2895518

First (but inevitable) mention of "drones".

The most telling quote:

Quote
A source from the special forces community in Iraq tells IBT, "There are indications that the attack was staged as the vehicles that were hit were in motion, the precision that the strike was carried out with could have been the work of a drone if ya know what I mean?"

"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2020, 21:12:21 »
The death of the Quds Force commander inside Iraq is proof enough. Whether a drone or apache required intelligence. Good response to the embassy attack. Now maybe security will return to the Green zone. ;)

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2020, 21:14:30 »
The death of the Quds Force commander inside Iraq is proof enough. Whether a drone or apache required intelligence. Good response to the embassy attack. Now maybe security will return to the Green zone. ;)

You're not joking are you? How will this improve security?

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2020, 21:14:50 »
The open source reports speak of 3 x Katyusha rockets.  As you know doubt know, perhaps from being at the other end of one, they are not at all accurate or precision weapons.

Reports seem to indicate two separate attacks; First the three Katyusha rockets that hit earlier and caused no casualties and then the "airstrike" that killed General Qassem Soleimani.

As always in situations like this confusion reigns.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2020, 21:17:06 »
T6 I think the opposite will happen.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2020, 21:19:40 »
... Move!! ...

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2020, 21:27:21 »
The death of the Quds Force commander inside Iraq is proof enough. Whether a drone or apache required intelligence. Good response to the embassy attack. Now maybe security will return to the Green zone. ;)

Alternatively, he’ll be replaced by someone very nearly as effective in the role, but with a longer leash and a mandate to do substantially more harm to US interests.

When in the annals of US adventurism has ‘whack a mole’ ever succesfully pacified turbulent Mideast soil?

I strongly expect this will make things worse, and that we’ve got some ugly tit for tat coming.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2020, 21:30:59 »
The Wikipedia article on the life and times of Qasem Soleimani
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2020, 21:37:40 »
This is not whack a mole.  The head of the Quds Force is not a mole, he is a whale.  He is the uniformed head of a branch of a foreign military.  Someone has taken out the equivalent of a Combatant Commander.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2020, 21:49:05 »
This is not whack a mole.  The head of the Quds Force is not a mole, he is a whale.  He is the uniformed head of a branch of a foreign military.  Someone has taken out the equivalent of a Combatant Commander.

Yup- I meant more from the standpoint of making individual hostile actors go away versus anything that has a real strategic impact. Killing a combatant commander is definitely a big deal in some ways not at all so from the standpoint of degrading capabilities.

But yes, this would be akin to killing Petraeus or Mattis, or someone of that stature.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2020, 21:54:17 »
The latest from Reuters:

Quote
U.S. strike killed Iran Quds Force chief Soleimani: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States carried out a strike that killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Thursday.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Eric Beech

Link.

This is coming from an "unnamed" officials and should be taken with a grain of salt until confirmed, but if confirmed - wow.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2020, 22:03:35 »
Its official:

Quote
Trump orders attack that kills Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, other military officials in Baghdad, Pentagon says

By Frank Miles | Fox News

Head of Iran's Quds Force killed in an airstrike

General Soleimani killed in airstrike amid U.S.-Iran tensions; reaction from 'The American Conservative' writer Curt Mills.

President Trump ordered a game-changing U.S. military attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, among other military officials at Baghdad International Airport early Friday, the Pentagon confirmed.

Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In October, Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid on a compound in northwest Syria, seven months after the so-called ISIS "caliphate" crumbled as the terrorist group lost its final swath of Syrian territory in March.

In April 2019, the State Department announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.

As recent as 2015, a travel ban and United Nations Security Council resolutions had barred Soleimani from leaving Iran.

The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, three Iraqi officials told The Associated Press. Iraqi TV reported the deaths as well.

In all, at least seven people were killed and at least three rockets were fired, officials told The Associated Press.

There was no immediate comment from Iran. Hours after the attack was announced, President Trump tweeted a simple image of the American flag.

Soleimani was the long-running leader of the elite intelligence wing called Quds Force – which itself has been a designated terror group since 2007, and is estimated to be 20,000 strong. Considered one of the most powerful men in Iran, he routinely was referred to as its “shadow commander” or “spymaster.”

"Soleimani is our leader" had been photographed spray-painted on windows by Iran-backed militiamen at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East, and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.

An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Muhandis had arrived to the airport in a convoy to receive Soleimani whose plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria. The airstrike occurred as soon as he descended from the plane to be greeted by al-Muhandis and his companions, killing them all.

As recent as 2015, a travel ban and United Nations Security Council resolutions had barred Soleimani from leaving Iran.

A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring he wore.

The PMF blamed the United States for the attack.
How Qassem Soleimani is playing larger role on world stageVideo

Local reporters had suggested that pro-Iran military leaders may have been targeted, but officials have not yet confirmed all of the dead and who may have been behind the attack. An official with PMF told The Associated Press one of the victims was its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda.

Iraq’s Security Media Cell, which released information regarding Iraqi security, said the three Katyusha rockets landed near the cargo hall.

Iraqi security also said two cars were on fire.

The nighttime attack occurred amid tensions with the U.S. after an Iran-backed militia attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was targeted Tuesday by angry mobs who were protesting recent U.S. airstrikes.

The two-day siege outside of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad came to an end Wednesday afternoon after dozens of pro-Iran militiamen and their supporters withdrew from the compound.

The crisis started early Tuesday, when, in an orchestrated assault, hundreds of protesters stormed the embassy compound, one of the most heavily fortified U.S. diplomatic missions in the world.

President Trump, who on Tuesday night vowed that the situation "will not be a Benghazi" -- a pointed reference to the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya on the Obama administration's watch, ordered deployment of about 750 U.S. soldiers to the Middle East.

The embassy attack, one of the worst in recent memory, followed deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed group, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the airstrikes were retaliation for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, which the U.S. blamed on the militia.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reacted on Thursday to the U.S. Embassy attack in Iraq earlier this week, saying that it's time for Iran to start "acting like a normal country.”

“We are there in Iraq working with our Iraqi partners to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Esper said on “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.

“Through the president's direction, we were able to physically defeat the caliphate that remains physically defeated, if you will," he added. "And now, our aim is to deter further Iranian bad behavior that has been going on now for over 40 years. It's time that Iran started acting like a normal country.”

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson, Mike Arroyo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Link

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