As talk in the US about the possibility of sending ground troops to Iraq increases, Baghdad has reiterated its opposition to the deployment of any ground forces from countries of the international coalition to take part in fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This as the Iraqi Defense Ministry announced the start of a comprehensive strategy to retrain the Iraqi army. The announcement coincided with Iraqi forces seizing control of the Baiji oil refinery.
Iraqi defense minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, said: “The Iraqi government will not allow ground coalition forces to enter Iraq in order to participate in the war on terrorism.” Continue reading Iraq renews opposition to deployment of foreign troops as army makes progress against ISIS
There are increasing tangible signs that the US is considering a ground intervention in Iraq. Several developments on the battlefield led the US to accelerate its steps in this direction. The significance of these developments lies not so much in the nature of the military achievements themselves but in their repercussions on the geostrategic equation in the region.
One might say that what happened on the ground in the past few weeks in Iraq was not originally linked to strategic goals. In the end, as the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reached the outskirts of Baghdad, the Iraqi government and its allies did not have the luxury of long-term planning since it was necessary to stop the advance of the takfiris. Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Sayyed Ali al-Sistani, issued the “righteous jihad” religious edict. This led hundreds of thousands to volunteer in what came to be known as the “popular mobilization,” and a human dam made ISIS reach, what is known militarily as, the peak of its expansion. Continue reading Why is the US administration pushing for a ground intervention in Iraq?
(EDITOR’S NOTE: As an Iraqi, it brings me joy beyond measure that the Iraqi Popular Mobilization has broken the barrier of fear created by ISIS and liberated the strategic town of Jaref al-Sakher. This victory has exposed the evil intentions and ineptitude of the Zionist-occupied American regime, prevented any potential Takfiri assault on Baghdad and stopped any Takfiri infiltration into Najaf, Karbala, Kufa and Basra. I also am humbled, in a way that words cannot describe, that the young heroes of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization had the privilege and honor of fighting alongside Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani — the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard — who not only developed their battle plan but fought with them on the front line. Suleimani is one of the gems of the Ummah, masha’ALLAH wa ALLAH yehmi ya Rab; a man who has given his life, blood, heart and soul not only to his own nation, that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the Muslim nation as a whole, and freedom fighters in Lebanon, occupied Palestine and now my precious homeland of Iraq owe much to him. With all of this said however, we cannot in good conscience endorse the view of the piece below which suggests that the battle of Jaref al-Sakher, albeit important in its own right, somehow eclipses the momentousness of the battle for Al-Qusayr in the countryside of Syria’s Homs in May/June 2013. The liberation of Al-Qusayr, led by Hizbullah, changed the game in Syria; the liberation of Al-Qusayr ripped out the heart of the US-Zionist-NATO-GCC-fomented Takfiri rebellion, choked off its most vital supply line and started a chain reaction of Syrian-Arab-Army-Hizbullah-NDF victories — including the liberation of Homs in its entirety, Lattakia and the Qalamoun Mountains — that hasn’t stopped until this very moment. Whether the triumph in Jaref al-Sakher will have a similar domino effect remains to be seen but until then, overblowing it is not just insulting to Hizbullah and the Syrian Arab Army, but the Iraqi Popular Mobilization and the Iraqi army too, as they’re in for a long fight against the Empire-backed ISIS scourge and lowering their defenses along with developing a level of overconfidence would be detrimental to their struggle. The lesson to be learned here is that the Iraqis can be victorious, they can be ferocious, they can be Husseini, and they can be great, just as Commander Suleimani trained them to be. ~ Jonathan Azaziah) Continue reading Iraqis prove that ISIS is a paper tiger
by Arash Karami, Al-Monitor
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s personal website has republished an article by Kayhan newspaper that responded to reports about US President Barack Obama’s letter offering Iran cooperation against the Islamic State (IS) if a nuclear deal is signed by Nov. 24. Though the newspaper does not always specifically reflect Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the fact that this article was republished on his website is a rare endorsement of some of the views expressed in the article.
Obama’s letter, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, initially received straightforward coverage from Iranian news agencies and brief mentions on Iranian TV. In recent days, there has been more coverage, especially the foreign media reacting to the letter. Continue reading Newspaper close to Iran Supreme leader reacts to Obama’s letter
Iraq stepped up security amid fears of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group launching major attacks as thousands of Shia worshipers flocked Monday to the shrine city of Karbala for an annual pilgrimage.
The pilgrims are prime targets for the ISIS jihadists, who have carried out a series of mass executions in recent days, killing scores of members of a tribe in Iraq’s western Anbar province. Continue reading Iraq steps up security measures ahead of Ashura commemorations
Weekend bombings in the Baghdad area killed at least 36 people, just days ahead of major Shia religious commemorations that face significant danger from militants, security and medical officials said.
A car bomb targeting Shia pilgrims killed 12 people in Baghdad on Sunday, police and hospital sources said. Continue reading Bombings targeting pilgrims heading to Karbala leave 36 dead
by Wayne Madsen, The Wayne Madsen Report
WMR’s sources in Turkey and Iran are confirming that links have been established between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Iranian exiled terrorist group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) through Central Intelligence Agency and Israeli Mossad interlocutors. Continue reading Two CIA-Mossad-backed Cults Team Up To Terrorize Region
As winter nears, about 5.2 million people in Iraq are in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations said on Monday.
Senior officials from the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned that an “immense” humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Iraq and called for greater resources from the international community to help with the upcoming winter season. Continue reading UN: 5.2 million Iraqis in need of assistance for winter