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Tag Archive: Iraq


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ISIL Ringleader’s Mobile Phone Speaks Loud of Turkey’s Support for Terrorism

ISIL Ringleader's Mobile Phone Speaks Loud of Turkey's Support for Terrorism

TEHRAN (FNA)- A commander of the Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) revealed that a mobile phone found with one of the killed ISIL ringleaders proved the Turkish spy agency’s support for the terrorist group.

“The mobile phone was found with one of the killed ISIL leaders in the Northern parts of Salahuddin province two days ago,” Jabbar al-Ma’mouri told Soumeriya news on Monday.

He said that the mobile set and history files contain messages from the Turkish intelligence agency which show that Ankara supports the ISIL terrorist group through providing security at the points of entry used by ISIL militants from Turkey to Iraq.

“The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny,” Ma’mouri said.

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‘It’s not even a close call’: Ted Cruz insists the Middle East was a safer place when dictators Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were alive

  • The presidential candidate, 44, said US should focus on its own security
  • Said Middle East was more secure when Iraq and Libya dictators were alive
  • Cruz said Libya was now a ‘chaotic war zone ruled by radical Islamic terrorists’

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow tyrants Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported.

The Texas senator, a Republican presidential candidate, said America should focus on its own security rather than toppling dictators abroad.

He said it was ‘not even a close call’ when asked whether the Middle East was more secure when Gaddafi and Hussein were dictators of their respective countries.

 

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

In an interview with MSNBC, Cruz told Joe Scarborough: ‘Now, what has been a mistake – and we’ve seen a consistent mistake in foreign policy – is far too often, we’ve seen Democrats and a lot of establishment Republicans in Washington get involved in toppling Middle Eastern governments.

‘And it ends up benefiting the bad guys. It ends up handing them over to radical Islamic terrorists,’

He described Syrian president Bashar Assad as a ‘monster’ but warned that ISIS extremists would sweep further across the country were he to be overthrown.

He said: ‘My view, instead of getting in the middle of a civil war in Syria, where we don’t have a dog in the fight, our focus should be on killing ISIS. Why? Because ISIS has declared war on America. They’re waging jihad.’

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EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms

© Fred Greaves
The EU says it may retaliate if the US goes ahead with plans to impose visas for some members of the bloc who are currently part of the Visa Waiver Program. Brussels says it will not increase security and that US nationals may require visas to enter the EU.

A letter signed by 28 European member state ambassadors to the US was published in The Hill after Europe reacted furiously and with disbelief to plans by Washington to tighten-up the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which currently lets millions of citizens from the bloc travel to the US each year without a visa.

 

OP-ED: EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms

 

Last week, the US House of Representatives adopted a bill to reform the visa program that would ban certain EU nationals from entering the US without a visa if they had visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan after March 2011. Some US politicians want the legislation introduced to tighten security following the November 13 Paris terror attacks.

“A blanket restriction on those who have visited Syria or Iraq, for example, would most likely only affect legitimate travel by businesspeople, journalists, humanitarian or medical workers while doing little to detect those who travel by more clandestine means overland,” the letter signed by the 28 ambassadors stated.

At present, 23 of the EU’s 28 member states enjoy visa-free travel to the US, with the remaining five nations keen to join the VWP. The bloc says it is imperative to keep the visa waiver program intact for business and tourism purposes, while the current system does not mean that it is “a license to enter the US with nothing more than the wave of a passport of an allied country.”

 

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‘Murderers’: Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
 
Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

 

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Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

© Fatih Saribas
Turkey’s “incursion” into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is – what else? – Divide and Rule.

Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan – which is part of the state of Iraq – no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a “training camp”– as Ankara is spinning. It’s a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about “training” Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the “4+1” alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In Syria, Ankara is virtually paralyzed, after the “stab in the back”downing of the Su-24; the Russian revelations of complicity between Turkey’s first family and stolen Syrian oil (Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan ‘Mini Me’denies everything); and the Russian Air Force relentless pounding of Turkey’s fifth column Turkmen. Not to mention the deployment of S-400s and even a third-generation submarine complete with Kalibr cruise missiles.

So Ankara now switches the attention to Iraq with a “counter-alliance”, made up of Turkey; the KRG (which – illegally – sells oil to Turkey); and Sunnis in northern Iraq under the supposed leadership of the sprawling Nuceyfi tribe in Mosul.

© Stringer

This is textbook neo-Ottomanism in action. We should never forget that for the AKP in power in Ankara, northern Syria and northern Iraq are nothing but former Ottoman Empire provinces, an eastward extension of Turkey’s Hatay province. ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s (unstated) wet dream is to annex the whole lot.

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Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.

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BREITBART

EuroParliament Prez: Christians ‘Not Safe In Our Continent’

In a high-level meeting on religious persecution in Brussels, the President of the European Parliament (EP) said that Europe cannot afford to continue ignoring the fate of Christians, who are “clearly the most persecuted group” in the world.

In Wednesday’s meeting, EP President Martin Schulz said that the persecution of Christians is “undervalued” and does not receive enough attention, which has also meant that it “hasn’t been properly addressed.”

Schulz’s concerns were echoed by EP Vice President Antonio Tajani, who warned that Europe sometimes “falls into the temptation of thinking we can ignore this task,” referring to the protection Christians throughout the world who suffer persecution.

Speakers cited the work of Open Doors, a human rights organization that monitors the persecution of Christians, noting that 150 million Christians worldwide suffer torture, rape and arbitrary imprisonment. Christians in Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria are among those hardest hit.

The Open Doors report for 2015 found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

 

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USNU.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Wikimedia.org

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BBC

US air strike on IS in Iraq ‘killed civilians’

A US air strike aimed at an IS checkpoint is likely to have killed four civilians, possibly including a child, the US military has said.

On Friday the military released the findings of an investigation into the incident, which took place in March.

Investigators concluded the checkpoint was a valid target and the attack did not violate international laws.

The US has rarely acknowledged civilian deaths in the fight against IS and the announcement brings the total to six.

“All reasonable measures were taken to avoid unintended deaths of, or injuries to, non-combatants,” US Central Command spokesman Patrick Ryder said.

 

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Obama speaks about the Islamic State and refugees following the Paris attacks

President Obama made remarks and answered questions at the G-20 summit in Turkey on Nov. 13. Here’s what he said about the path forward fighting the Islamic State, welcoming Muslims and protecting Syrian refugees. (AP)
November 16  
The carnage of the Paris attacks and the largely stalemated war in Iraq and Syria have prompted heavy criticism of President Obama’s handling of the fight against the Islamic State over the past three years.The questions came in waves Monday at the Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey: Hadn’t Obama underestimated the threat posed by the Islamic State? Wasn’t it time for a new and more aggressive attack plan? Did he really understand the group well enough to defeat it and protect the United States?

“All right,” Obama replied to the last question, his tone betraying utter indignation. “So this is a variation on the same question. . . . Let me try it one last time.”

In response to each of the questions posed by reporters, Obama made his case for a steady and persistent campaign that seeks to gradually shrink the Islamic State’s territory in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes, slowly build up indigenous ground forces and press for renewed diplomatic negotiations to end Syria’s civil war.

The questions reflected concerns following the Paris attacks — which killed 129 people and led France’s president to promise a “merciless” response — that Obama had missed opportunities to defeat the group when it was still gaining strength.

 

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 The New York Times

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An oil well in Texas owned by Apache Corporation, the object of a failed bid last week from Anadarko Petroleum. Many in the oil industry expect large companies to buy small operators. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

HOUSTON — Such is the state of the oil industry these days that there is sometimes nowhere to put the oil. Off the coast of Texas, a line of roughly 40 tankers has formed, waiting to unload their crude or, in some cases, for a willing buyer to come along. Similar scenes are playing out off the coasts of Singapore and China and in the Persian Gulf.

There is little sign that the logjam will ease, as the price of oil continued its yearlong plunge this week, declining by nearly $10 a barrel.

The renewed collapse in crude prices is helping to again drive down gasoline prices for American drivers, to a national average of $2.19 a gallon for regular gasoline on Friday, according to the AAA motor club. That is 9 cents below the price a month ago and 73 cents below the price a year ago.

The slide in oil companies’ fortunes has been significant because of expanded production in Russia, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states, as well as a slowdown in demand growth in China and the expectation by commodity traders that the Iran nuclear deal will introduce large quantities of oil to the glutted market.

 

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ZeroHedge

Something Very Strange Is Taking Place Off The Coast Of Galveston, TX

Having exposed the world yesterday to the 2-mile long line of tankers-full’o’crude heading from Iraq to the US, several weeks after reporting that China has run out of oil storage space we can now confirm that the global crude “in transit” glut is becoming gargantuan and is starting to have adverse consequences on the price of oil.

While the crude oil tanker backlog in Houston reaches an almost unprecedented 39 (with combined capacity of 28.4 million barrels), as The FT reports that from China to the Gulf of Mexico, the growing flotilla of stationary supertankers is evidence that the oil price crash may still have further to run, as more than 100m barrels of crude oil and heavy fuels are being held on ships at sea (as the year-long supply glut fills up available storage on land). The storage problems are so severe in fact, that traders asking ships to go slow, and that is where we see something very strange occurring off the coast near Galveston, TX.

FT reports that “the amount of oil at sea is at least double the levels of earlier this year and is equivalent to more than a day of global oil supply. The numbers of vessels has been compiled by the Financial Times from satellite tracking data and industry sources.”
The storage glut is unprecedented:
Off Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Asia’s main oil hub, around 35m barrels of crude and shipping fuel are being stored on 14 VLCCs.
“A lot of the storage off Singapore is fuel oil as the contango is stronger,” said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob. Fuel oil is mainly used in shipping and power generation.
Off China, which is on course to overtake the US as the world’s largest crude importer, five heavily laden VLCCs — each capable of carrying more than 2m barrels of oil — are parked near the ports of Qingdao, Dalian and Tianjin.
In Europe, a number of smaller tankers are facing short-term delays at Rotterdam and in the North Sea, where output is near a two-year high. In the Mediterranean a VLCC has been parked off Malta since September.

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  • Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the United States will ramp up attacks on Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq, with additional air strikes and even direct action on the ground
  • Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter said he expects more actions like the one last week that freed dozens of captives but left an American commando dead in Iraq 
  • See our full coverage on ISIS at www.dailymail.co.uk/isis 

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday said the United States will ramp up attacks on Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq, with additional air strikes and even direct action on the ground.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter said he expects more actions like the one last week that freed dozens of captives but left an American commando dead in Iraq.

‘We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,’ Carter said.

 

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the Middle East on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the Middle East on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC