Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Bosch, Jan 3, 2020.
Why hasn't Trump tweeted anything yet?
There's a fixed match going on. Last week the US did airstrikes inside Iraqi territory and Iraqi elected (?pawns?) passed a stern message to the US. This entire to-and-fro was engineered by both sides to make it look like the Iraqi elected members are sovereign and not US pawns.
The planted CIA stooges in Iraqi parliament are having a credibility deficit within Iraq so they are invoking a foreign power to show the people that they are acting in their interests. The organic Iraqi opinion has turned against them and a new leadership is looking to emerge and threaten US political grip on Iraq.
All of this drama is to be looked at in that context. These are not terror related or military related targets. These strikes are a show of strength by the US to demonstrate their hold over their vassal state and to scare the opposition party. For all we care, the missiles would have been shot in an open desert, doesn't matter. It's a show of intent by the US to Iraqi opposition. It ain't about Iran. If they wanted to hit Iran, they'd pick the Syrian theater or hit Hezbolla in Gaza. They wouldn't be upsetting the peace in Iraq where US multinationals have made huge investments that are under threat. The fact is that the peace in Iraq has already been upset by Iraqi opposition, the US is late to the party.
Just a few months ago, they were threatening to invade and capture Iran, and today they are struggling to hold on to their existing vassal states.
But why target Qassem Suleimani? He apparently has a cult like following in Iran and Trump has already shown that he is anti-war so far.
It's a complicated thing inside Iraq. Just look at some of these videos?
IRGC Top Commander dead via US Air strike
Here, take a look at this video :
They could have killed him in Iraq but declared him being killed in Syria if they wanted to steer attention away from Iraq, it's not like Fox News was going to do a fact check.
He may have been killed but the "Iraq" angle is an independent battle the US is fighting due to Iran backed opposition trying to overthrow US puppets from Iraq parliament. The admission that the US bumped him inside Iraq is a deliberate messaging to the opposition that "player 2 has entered the game". From Iran's point of view, they wanted player 2 to enter that game, just like Osama wanted the US to enter Afghanistan so that their resources could be tied up there.
Net net the takeaway is that a few months ago it appeared like the US had the military ascendancy, but now Iran has played their card, created an upheaval in Iraq and forced the US to divert their attention. If they lost one commander for it, it's a veritable cost in the great game. They saved Iranian mainland from a full scale invasion by setting fire to Iraq and drawing the US there. The US has a lot of $ investments in Iraq, resting on the misplaced understanding that it is safe. Iran showed that their investments in Iraq are indeed not safe.
THE SUPREME COMMANDER OF IRAN ‘S ELITE QUDS COMMANDO FORCE QASSAM SOLEIMANI WHICH IS PART OF THE IRANIAN MULLA CONTROLLED IRGC FORCES HAS BEEN KILLED BY A US DRONE STRIKE IN THE IRAQI CITY OF BAGHDAD TRAVELING A HEAVILY ARMED CONVOY TO THE AIRPORT. HE IS ONE OF THE TOP DOGS OF THE IRANIAN MULLA REGIME AND HAD HUGE INFLUENCE OVER IRAN’S FOREIGN AND ARMED POLICIES. IT WAS SAID THAT HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE MULTIPLE ATTACKS AGAINST US FORCES IN IRAQ, SYRIA AND SOME ATTACKS IN AFGHANISTAN THE LATEST BEEN ATTACK ON US EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD. IN WHICH PRESIDENT TRUMP WARNED THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR THIS ACTION.
This Again Proves why the US is Still the Top Dog in the World. It will take China even more years to catch with the Americans. The Americans have the Balls to take out who or what ever that is a threat to them be it state leaders to petty terrorists. Only thing left to see is how the Iranian Regime Would React to this news of one of there Top and Most Elite General turning into fucking molten steel. Trump get took out one of America biggest enemies in the world. Obama was scared shitless to do anything against Iranians but this could lead to war. Which in turn means trouble for India and Chabahar Port to Afghanistan.
Translation : Impeachment canceled. Naukri bacha li banta ne.
Senior Iranian, Iraqi commanders killed in Baghdad airstrike - Iraqi state TV
If confirmed, death of Qassem Soleimani would stoke US-Iran tensions
Iraqi counterterrorism personnel guard the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday following the dispersal of pro-Iran protesters who had attacked the facility. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Afp Via Getty Images)
By Missy Ryan and
Jan. 2, 2020 at 8:23 p.m. EST
An airstrike near the Baghdad airport has killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and another senior Iranian-linked figure in Baghdad, Iraqi state television reported Thursday.
No one immediately asserted responsibility for the strike, which Iraqi television said also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia commander. But the death of Iran’s most revered military leader appeared likely to send tensions soaring between the United States and Iran.
Soleimani, who is closely linked to Iran’s foreign proxy groups, has taken on an enhanced role in Iraq as the country’s Shiite militias have gained new clout in recent years.
Pentagon officials declined to comment on the airstrike.
The attack comes amid already increased friction between Washington and Iran over what U.S. officials say is a campaign of sustained aggression against the United States and its allies.
How the siege of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad unfolded 0:20 / 4:21
On Jan. 1, the siege on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad appeared to come to an end after supporters of the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia retreated. (Liz Sly, Joyce Lee, Mustafa Salim/The Washington Post)
Earlier Thursday, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Iran and its proxies may be preparing renewed strikes on U.S. personnel in Iraq, even as the Trump administration increases the number of troops in the region.
“There are some indications out there that they may be planning additional attacks,” Esper said at the Pentagon, a day after members of an Iranian-linked militia, Kataib Hezbollah, withdrew from the area around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad following their assault on the diplomatic facility.
“So do I think they may do something?” he said. “Yes, and they will likely regret it.”
The attempted siege — in which militiamen threw molotov cocktails, stormed into a reception area and then established a camp outside the sprawling American compound — marked the most intense flare-up in U.S.-Iran tensions in Iraq since the end of the Iraq War in 2011.
The incident has strained relations with the Baghdad government, which has sought to maintain stable ties with both its chief Western backer, the United States, and its powerful neighbor, Iran, and the violence posed a new test of the Trump administration’s hawkish policy against Tehran.
After the airstrike that Iraqi state TV said killed Soleimani, there were reports of gunfire erupting near the airport at the time of the strike, and the Iraqi army command said three Katyusha rockets, which typically are fired by Iranian-backed militias, exploded nearby.
Kataib Hezbollah’s targeting of the embassy followed U.S. strikes over the weekend on militia facilities in Iraq and Syria. Officials said they came in response to repeated rocket and artillery attacks on U.S. facilities, including one recent incident that killed an American contractor in Iraq. At least 25 militia members were killed in the retaliatory strikes.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have been building. The Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and has since imposed new sanctions that have devastated the Iranian economy. In June, President Trump authorized and then called off airstrikes in Iran following Tehran’s downing of an American surveillance drone.
Trump threatens Iran after embassy attack, but remains reluctant to get more involved in region
“The game has changed,” Esper said. “And we’re prepared to do what is necessary to defend our personnel and our interests and our partners in the region.”
He said that could include military action to preempt militia attacks if U.S. officials learn about them ahead of time.
Speaking alongside Esper, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the embassy compound, which contains hardened offices and residences and occupies more than 100 acres in Baghdad’s international zone, remained secure.
“There is sufficient combat power there, air and ground, that anyone who attempts to overrun that will run into a buzz saw,” Milley said.
In response to the attack on the embassy, the administration has deployed 750 troops from a special quick-action battalion from the 82nd Airborne Division to Kuwait, a staging ground for forces going into Iraq. About 100 Marines were sent into Baghdad to protect the embassy.
Milley said the increase in forces in Kuwait was needed in part to compensate for the Marine deployment and ensure readiness to respond to other possible incidents in the region.
About 5,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq as part of efforts to combat the remnants of the Islamic State and support Iraqi security forces. While the number of diplomats there is far fewer than it has been in past years, hundreds of embassy personnel were forced to shelter in safe rooms during the militia siege.
Milley also appeared to question whether the Iraqi government, which includes senior officials seen as having strong allegiances to Tehran, intended to take action to check militia groups.
Last year, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued an order aimed at strengthening government control over militia units, which have gained new military and political clout since 2014 because of their instrumental role in battling the Islamic State.
“They have the capability,” Milley said. “It’s a question of political will, and that’s not for us to decide. That’s for the internal political dynamics of Iraq.”
The Iraqi government has been in crisis for months amid massive popular protests focused on widespread corruption and, to a lesser extent, Iranian influence in Iraq. The mass mobilizations prompted Abdul Mahdi to resign late last year, though he remains in office in a caretaker capacity.
It is unclear in the wake of the U.S. strikes and the embassy episode whether some Iraqi politicians’ calls for a full American withdrawal will gain momentum.
Speaking in a subsequent Fox News interview, Esper suggested a potential shift in U.S. strategy in Iraq, saying the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate “remains physically defeated, if you will,” and now the administration’s “aim is to deter further Iranian bad behavior that has been going on now for over 40 years.”
Asked whether Iranian leaders needed a “punch in the nose” that goes beyond sanctions and tough rhetoric, Esper declined to answer directly. The Trump administration has already sent thousands of troops and additional assets to the Middle East, including missile defense systems, in response to the perceived Iranian threat.
Esper said Iran must end its nuclear and long-range missile programs, stop taking hostages and move away from “malign behavior where they are inspiring terrorist groups, and resourcing and directing them all the way from Africa across the Middle East and into Afghanistan.”
Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, said the embassy episode had not damaged efforts to target the once-powerful militant group, which no longer holds territory but continues to conduct insurgent attacks.
“Although they are a dangerous distraction, recent attacks from Kataib Hezbollah militias have not deterred us from partnering with local security forces for training missions and outside-the-wire operations to catch ISIS members,” he said in an email, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
Iran’s Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA44 minutes ago
Baghdad (AP) — Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials said.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said.
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.
The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. or Iran.
A senior Iraqi politician and a high-level security official confirmed to the Associated Press that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were among those killed in the attack. Two militia leaders loyal to Iran also confirmed the deaths, including an official with the Kataeb Hezbollah, which was involved in the attack on the U.S. Embassy this week.
The 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.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject and because they were not authorized to give official statements.
The senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.
Soleimani had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. More recently, rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria’s Aleppo.
Earlier Friday, an official with an Iran-backed paramilitary force said that seven people were killed by a missile fired at Baghdad International Airport, blaming the United States.
The official with the group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces said 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 airstrike. 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 or who was targeted. There was no immediate comment from the U.S.
The attack came amid tensions with the United States after a New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack which ended Wednesday prompted President Donald Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. 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 U.S. blamed on the militia.
U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.
“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the rocket attack on Dec. 27 that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.
He said the Iraqi government has fallen short of its obligation to defend its American partner in the attack on the U.S. embassy.
The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.
For some comparison, India described Balakot strike as a non military pre-emptive strike.
India Should have used Drones instead of Fighter Bombers.
AMERICANS OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED IT
NOW WAITING FOR IRANIAN REGIME’S RESPONSE TO THE DRONE STRIKES AGAINST ITS GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL.
Separate names with a comma.