Author Topic: Iraq Unravels  (Read 26971 times)

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2020, 22:26:03 »
Good riddance. Maybe Iran will start to think twice about constantly destabilizing the Middle East, when its Quds Force Generals start dropping dead from Hellfires. They're a terrorist group, and got a terrorist leader's death, sans burial at sea unless they can retrieve the body.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2020, 22:30:51 »
https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/rockets-fired-at-baghdad-airport-qasim-suleimani-reported-killed-20200103-p53oku.html

Quote
US confirms it assassinated Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani
Updated January 3, 2020 — 2.01pmfirst published at 12.26pm

Baghdad: The Pentagon says US military has killed Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at direction of US President Donald Trump.

"This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The key Iranian military leader and an Iraqi militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were assassinated 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.

US officials told Reuters that strikes had been carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad.

Trump whose Twitter account was quiet for 12 hours, posted a cryptic tweet, with no words just the American flag, shortly before the Pentagon confirmation.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to give any further details.

Three rockets hit Baghdad International Airport, killing five members of Iraqi paramilitary groups and two "guests", Iraqi paramilitary groups said on Friday.

A Facebook page belonging to Iraqi Security Media posted photos it said were of the strikes.
Earlier the official said seven people were killed by a missile fired at the airport, blaming the United States.

The dead included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda.

A security official confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack on the airport, describing it as an air strike. Earlier, Iraq's Security Media Cell, which releases information regarding Iraqi security, said Katyusha rockets landed near the airport's cargo hall, killing several people and setting two cars on fire.

It was not immediately clear who fired the missile or rockets. There was no immediate comment from the US.

The security official said the bodies of those killed in the airport attack were burnt and difficult to identify. The official added that Reda may have been at the airport to pick up a group of "high-level" visitors who had arrived from a neighbouring country. He declined to provide more information.

Saudi television channel Al-Arabya TV reported Soleimani was killed in the attack, along with the head of Kataib Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.  Iraqi state TV also carried the report quoting militia sources.

The attack came amid tensions with the United States after a New Year's Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the US Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack which ended on Thursday, Australian time, prompted President Donald Trump to order about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

Trump earlier accused Iran of orchestrating the violence and threatened on Tuesday to retaliate against Iran but said later he did not want war.

The breach at the embassy followed US air strikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataib Hezbollah. The US military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the US blamed on the militia.

"The game has changed," Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq - including the rocket attack on December 27 that killed one American - will be met with US military force.

He said the Iraqi government has fallen short of its obligation to defend its American partner in the attack on the US embassy.

The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington's hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

More to come

Reuters, AP
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2020, 22:50:50 »
The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2020, 23:00:38 »
The question the Iranians are going to be asking themselves is who divulged the location and timing information? Publicly they blame US/Israel, but they have to worry if there is a leak from within, a pissed off Iraqi Shi militia or someone high up in the Iraqi government fed up with Iranian influence?

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2020, 23:48:20 »
The US has been tracking him for years. Catching him out of Iran and in the open was perfect for no collateral damage. Remember that a US contractor was killed last week in a rocket attack and he was responsible for the deaths of over 600 americans in the Iraq War this was justified.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2020, 23:57:13 »
Maybe, we never know for sure, hopefully some "source" leaks to the Iranian friendly Iraqi that the information came from inside and then sit back and watch as they eat their own.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2020, 00:15:01 »
The US has been tracking him for years. Catching him out of Iran and in the open was perfect for no collateral damage. Remember that a US contractor was killed last week in a rocket attack and he was responsible for the deaths of over 600 americans in the Iraq War this was justified.

Understood. “Legally justified” doesn’t mean “tactically or strategically sound” though. That’s one of the problems with constantly firing everyone who gives you informed and nuanced advice though...

America can absolutely spank Iran viciously id they choose. But, assuming America wishes to stay short of all out military conflict with entire fleets at risk, which do you suppose can do more new harm to the other’s strategic and economic interests in the asymmetrical game?

We will have to see if this hit - satisfying as it may be - proves to have been ‘worth it’.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2020, 01:30:01 »
The US has been tracking him for years. Catching him out of Iran and in the open was perfect for no collateral damage. Remember that a US contractor was killed last week in a rocket attack and he was responsible for the deaths of over 600 americans in the Iraq War this was justified.

Don't get me wrong. I won't be shedding a tear for either Soleimani or al-Muhandis. They definitely had a major role to play in Iran's aggression in the region but to say the attack was justified because of some 600 American deaths is a bit disingenuous when one recalls that the US invaded Iraq in the first place on flimsy evidence, disassembled the Iraqi military and government structure which was the only thing keeping the sectarian strife under check and then completely botched the follow up restructure of Iraq for many years. The result of this US led fiasco was some 4,809 allied deaths (including the 600 that you mention), some 15,000 Iraqi military deaths, some 27,000 insurgent deaths and probably something in the order of several hundred thousand civilian deaths not to mention the untold numbers of seriously maimed people of all natures that still suffer as a result (the actual numbers, especially of civilians, vary wildly depending on source).

As I said I won't shed a tear for those two but I certainly hope the US has done a better analysis of what the downstream consequences of this little object lesson will be. I hope that they have but, regretfully, I think the ultimate go/no-go decision was probably based more on how this will sell with the November voting base.

Despite my criticism here, I wish the US luck because much of what happens next, will effect all of us.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2020, 07:38:11 »
Pentagon info-machine's version ....
Quote
At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week. 

This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2020, 07:45:21 »
And, next up, via Iranian media ...
Quote
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has appointed Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force following US assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani.

"Following the martyrdom of the glorious general Qasem Soleimani, I name Brigadier General Esmail Qaani as the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps," the Leader said in a statement posted on his official website.

In the statement, the Leader described Gen. Qaani as one of the IRGC's most prominent commanders during Saddam's imposed war on Iran, which lasted eight years starting in 1980 ...
More in link, or in attached PDF in case you don't want to link to an IRN news site.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2020, 08:53:58 »
I have no problem with most of the informed analysis in this thread.
But the one thought that keeps going through my mind is to paraphrase ]Trump.
"If it looks like I am going to lose the Presidency I'll start a war." And as reported in the media this morning:
Earlier this week while on his Mara Largo golf course he told Lindsay Graham he would be doing this strike. As usual, he didn't inform the appropriate Congressional leaders. It was an attack directed by Trump.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2020, 09:26:42 »
... "If it looks like I am going to lose the Presidency I'll start a war." ...
Well, if we take POTUS45 at his word, he seems to have believed at one point that this was an approach (more) ...
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 09:45:19 by milnews.ca »
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2020, 09:36:22 »
The CTS did most of the heavy lifting in Mosul - and FedPol most of the oppression and wanton destruction...

Very much believe it about the FedPol. I can't imagine being a civilian in that country having to deal with police like that.

I've only seen the CTS a few times and they were acting as body guards to high ranking officers. Better weapon optics and comms equipment than Canadians. Black styrofoam in their magazine and grenade pouches to make them look high speed for the pictures they were obsessively taking of themselves (and probably lighter?)
Have a feeling these guys weren't in Mosul.


The question the Iranians are going to be asking themselves is who divulged the location and timing information? Publicly they blame US/Israel, but they have to worry if there is a leak from within, a pissed off Iraqi Shi militia or someone high up in the Iraqi government fed up with Iranian influence?

I was under the belief that Iran knows the US has middle East fatigue and knows if they want the US out of the area then they should leave the US alone. Up to and including giving the milita groups in the area a moratorium on bothering the US forces because they realize what the US reaction will be.


Don't get me wrong. I won't be shedding a tear for either Soleimani or al-Muhandis. They definitely had a major role to play in Iran's aggression in the region but to say the attack was justified because of some 600 American deaths is a bit disingenuous

Couldn't agree more. Some estimates put the civilian death toll over a half million souls.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2020, 09:47:16 »
Very much believe it about the FedPol. I can't imagine being a civilian in that country having to deal with police like that.

I've only seen the CTS a few times and they were acting as body guards to high ranking officers. Better weapon optics and comms equipment than Canadians. Black styrofoam in their magazine and grenade pouches to make them look high speed for the pictures they were obsessively taking of themselves (and probably lighter?)
Have a feeling these guys weren't in Mosul.

I can assure you that not only were CTS in Mosul, they did most of the heavy lifting on the ground. Their casualty figures reflect that as well. Won't comment on your experiences with them other than to say that mine were very impressive.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2020, 09:59:11 »
I'm glad this SOB is dead. And his 2 I/C too.

Admiral Yamamoto was killed by American fighters in WW 2. By the comments I've seen posted here I'm guessing this is an equivalent of that.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2020, 10:12:40 »
I definitely must have been seeing the B team then. That's actually good to hear.

When I read the The Bear Went Over the Mountain something that stood out was the author talking about how Russian recon soldiers were better trained and equipped so were constantly used to get the job done, which reflected in their casualty figures and burn out. Recon guys would be used for conventional fighting as well.

I wonder if the Iraq CTS share a similar fate.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2020, 10:26:39 »
I'm glad this SOB is dead. And his 2 I/C too.

Admiral Yamamoto was killed by American fighters in WW 2. By the comments I've seen posted here I'm guessing this is an equivalent of that.

Me too Jim.  I also think this sends a very powerful message to others not to mess with American interests in that region.

I was under the belief that Iran knows the US has middle East fatigue and knows if they want the US out of the area then they should leave the US alone. Up to and including giving the milita groups in the area a moratorium on bothering the US forces because they realize what the US reaction will be.

The US will be fatigued with the Middle East when the oil wells run dry, not before.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2020, 10:31:45 »
If this had happened on Iranian soil I might have given it a second thought....

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2020, 10:43:21 »
If this had happened on Iranian soil I might have given it a second thought....

I don't understand the distinction. 

So it is okay to launch drone strikes on members of the Iraqi military inside Iraq, but it would be wrong to target members of the Iranian military in Iran?
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #69 on: January 03, 2020, 10:46:14 »
Admiral Yamamoto was killed by American fighters in WW 2. By the comments I've seen posted here I'm guessing this is an equivalent of that.

I'd say it was the same scale (from the power/influence of the now-deceased) but the results may be different.  US and Japan were formally at war for 2 years by then, while this *may* drag the US and Iran into war.  It's not to the scale of Franz Ferdinand (and we all know how that turned out), but I'd say the situation was closer to that.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #70 on: January 03, 2020, 10:47:17 »
The US will be fatigued with the Middle East when the oil wells run dry, not before.

Not first-order interest in oil, as US Shale 1.0 with 2.0 in solid reserve, makes the direct value of M.E. oil less that it was pre-Shale.  That said, much of the rest of the world still depends on M.E. oil, so there is impact to be assessed and influence to be effected in the next chapter of the unfolding M.E. story.

Not sure it didn’t happen, but I hope the US gave the Iraqi PM a courtesy heads up (minutes/seconds) before the strike actually happened. If not, I can understand why he’d be pissed.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #71 on: January 03, 2020, 10:49:33 »
If this had happened on Iranian soil I might have given it a second thought....

Al Muhandis makes this different.

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #72 on: January 03, 2020, 10:51:44 »
Al Muhandis makes this different.

So let me get this straight - the head of the IRGC and this guy are/were allies?  And that's why the IRGC was let into Iraq? 

I understand that alliances shift like the sands there, but Iran and Iraq teaming up was something I didn't think was ideologically compatible with the whole Shia/Sunni thing...
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #73 on: January 03, 2020, 10:58:50 »
So let me get this straight - the head of the IRGC and this guy are/were allies?  And that's why the IRGC was let into Iraq? 

I understand that alliances shift like the sands there, but Iran and Iraq teaming up was something I didn't think was ideologically compatible with the whole Shia/Sunni thing...

There’s a lot we don’t know about this. If it was as you describe above (less that Soleimani was the Quds Commander, a sub-unit of the IRGC, not the IRGC proper), those are questions to ask, but...still, Al Muhandis was an Iraqi Commander.  OTOH, what if he was meeting Soleimani on the Iraqi PM’s direction as an intermediary to work an issue out between two nations interacting diplomatically? It is not apparent what the interaction was going to be. No matter the interaction, Al Muhandis was a highly-ranked Iraqi Commander, so the issue isn’t a clear-cut ‘anyone associated with evil Iranian guy also deserves to die’ situation.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 11:01:22 by Good2Golf »

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #74 on: January 03, 2020, 11:01:17 »
If this had happened on Iranian soil I might have given it a second thought ....
Iran doesn't seem to be making any such distinctions * ...
"(IRGC Deputy) Commander Warns US: Either Escape or Order Coffins for Troops Stationed in ME"

* - Full text also attached in case you don't want to link to IRN's state news agency web site.
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