The uneasy relationship between the White House and US military is on full display as President Barack Obama and his top generals continue to clash over the new strategy to combat the ISIL terrorist organization. ● Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, but has ruled out American boots on the ground in a combat role. US military officials have complained privately for weeks that airstrikes alone would not be sufficient to achieve the announced goal of deafening ISIL.
The United States launched at least one airstrike against Islamic State militants near Baghdad on Monday, marking the expansion of the US military campaign against the extremist group. The airstrike was reportedly requested by Iraqi forces under attack. ● According to US officials cited by the Associated Press, the airstrike was authorized after Iraqi security forces requested air power support as they engaged Islamic State (IS) fighters south of Baghdad. An unnamed defense official, meanwhile, told NBC News that the most recent air attack near Baghdad was an “offensive” strike, and there was no suggestion that militants were making headway towards the country’s capital. US Central Command confirmed the air strike and affirmed that it was part of a new phase in the battle against IS. Previous airstrikes in Iraq were characterized by the US as “defensive” in nature, as they were used to protect American diplomatic sites as well as crucial Iraqi facilities like the Mosul Dam.
■ New Phase of ISIS War With Strikes Near Baghdad
■ IRAQ: THE REAL STRATEGY IS ABOUT TO SUCCEED [June 19, 2014]
■ “Going After” the Islamic State. Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
■ The CIA Engaged In Covert Terrorism to Give Government Plausible Deniability
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says ISIL Takfiri terrorists have massacred hundreds of captured Iraqi troops when the militants overran a military base in the north of Baghdad. ● The New York-based group said on Wednesday that the mass killing of 770 soldiers took place at Camp Speicher near the city of Tikrit back in June. The leading international watchdog also says the number of slain Iraqi troops was several times higher than what was initially reported. The HRW also says the new number is based on analysis of new satellite imagery, videos and a survivor’s account. On June 10, the terrorists took hundreds of prisoners from a Mosul prison. They ordered the prisoners to get on their knees and then opened fire, killing up to 670 people on the spot.
New reports indicate that hundreds or possibly thousands of members of Iraq’s Kurdish Izadi minority escaping ISIL militants remain abandoned on top of Sinjar Mountain. This is while Washington has claimed that its operation there against the Takfiri terrorists earlier this month was a success. “Because of the skill and professionalism of our military, and the generosity of our efforts, we broke the [Isis] siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety, and we helped save many innocent lives,” US President Barack Obama said on August 14. According to a report by The Guardian, which was based on satellite imagery and interviews, most of those stranded are said to be sick and old. Figures estimated by the Pentagon in mid-August show that 4,000 to 5,000 people remained on Sinjar in fear of being killed by ISIL militants.
The Islamic State group (IS) has executed 700 people from a Syrian tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria over the past two weeks, the majority of whom were civilians, a Syrian monitoring group said Saturday. ● The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has consistently tracked violence on both sides of the three-year-old Syrian civil war have said that around 700 members of the al-Sheitaat tribe, from the Deir al-Zor province, have been executed and that many of them were beheaded by IS jihadists. "Those who were executed are all al-Sheitaat," Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman told Reuters by telephone from Britain. "Some were arrested, judged and killed." The conflict sucked in the al-Sheitaat tribe, who are about 70,000 in number, after the Islamic State captured two oil fields in July.
Whatsupic: Zionist front ISIS Begins Selling Iraqi Crude Oil to Turkey and Israel
Business Insider: ISIS Is A Zionist Plot; A Jew Is Leading The Group - Reports Claim
PressTV: Israel and ISIL are allies: Syrian envoy
RT.com: ISIS killed 500 Yazidis, buried some alive incl women and children - Iraq
The so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria(ISIS) began selling Iraqi crude oil extracted from oil fields which its seized in recent months and exporting it through the Kurdish region to Turkish refineries and from Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan ultimately to Israel. ● [They] began shipping 100 tanks loaded with crude oil extracted from the Ajeel oil field which the Saudi-terrorist group took control of last month. ISIS sells the crude oil at a price ranging between $12-14,000 per tank to finance their operations. Israeli and Turkish companies which buy the oil use paved roads controlled by ISIS militants and take it through the cities near the border with Turkey to civil refineries inside Turkey or they go through the city of Makhmour to the Kurdistan region in coordination with the checkpoints." As the Islamic State is established, it's clear that ISIS wants to have all parts of their government and revenue sources well organized, and that energy exports are part of this scheme. The scheme includes the collection of taxes, but also other black market activities like trade in other illegal goods the group plunders from the land it captures. Given the call by [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi on the first day of Ramadan –asking for consolidation of the state and the recruitment of individuals to help run that state – one has to figure that the energy sector figures into his planning.
American military planes have carried out a fourth round of airstrikes against insurgents in Iraq as a Republican senator warned the group was a threat to the US homeland. The strikes have included attacks by fighter jets and drones close to Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in the north...Rebpuclican Senator Lindsey Graham said of the rebels: "They are coming here. This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. It is about our homeland."
Lindsey Graham predicts an ‘American city in flames’ if Obama doesn’t go to war in Iraq
The New Republic: Israel Is Challenging America to Support Kurdish Independence
RT.com: US starts providing weapons to Kurdish forces in Iraq - report
The Complete Annotated History Of "Liberating" US Presidents Bombing Iraq Back Into The Middle Ages
Justin Raimondo ■ Iraq: Why Bomb Now? || The problem with this narrative is that ISIS has been beheading its way through Iraq all these months with nary a peep from our vaunted "humanitarians." And yet suddenly, we are told, it was imperative that we act. Why? Are the Yazidis so special that their suffering counts for more than the Shi’ites and others who have faced the very same predicament – conversion or death – in northern, central, and eastern Iraq? Surely not. So we return to the original question: why now? The answer is the central axiom of real estate: location, location, location. ISIS was getting close to Kurdistan, and eyeing Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The feisty Kurds have taken advantage of the chaos spread by ISIS to seize disputed Kirkuk, which the Kurds consider their Jerusalem. Aside from the symbolic value of this prize, Kirkuk is also the site of oil fields worth a substantial amount of moolah. But before we segue into the familiar mantra about how this is a "war for oil," let’s step back and look at the larger picture – because it’s really much worse than that.
Extremists from the Islamic State have killed at least 500 people, including women and children, Iraqi officials said. Some of the victims were buried alive. ● The killings reported by Iraqi Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to Reuters add to a long list of atrocities reportedly committed by the radical group in Iraq and neighboring Syria, where it wants to create a caliphate. "We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing [their ancient home city of] Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene
images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic State have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar," Sudani said. "
Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar," he added. Some 300 women were kidnapped as slaves, he said.
Tyler Durden ■ While the biggest geopolitical news of the past week was Obama's announcement he would become only the fourth president in a row to order military action in Iraq, explicitly targeting the ISIS jihadists, the far bigger question are the developments that spurred the administration to finally act. ■ The NYT reports that "as the tension mounted in Washington" the catalyst for Obama's decision was sudden developments surrounding the Kurdistan capital, Erbil. "Kurdish forces who had been fighting the militants in three nearby Christian villages abruptly fell back toward the gates of the city, fanning fears that the city might soon fall. By Thursday morning, people were thronging the airport, desperate for flights out of town. "The situation near Erbil was becoming more dire than anyone expected," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the White House’s internal deliberations. “We didn’t want another Benghazi." ■ The reason for this is that the US has an embassy in Erbil: that falling to ISIS would be the supreme punch in the gut for an administration whose foreign policy has become the butt of all global jokes.
The Obama administration is using the ISIL terrorist group as a pretext to "dominate" the resources of Iraq and other nations in the Middle East, says Stephen Lendman, author and radio show host in Chicago.
“ISIL is used by America both as an ally in Syria for example, and as an enemy currently in Iraq,” Lendman told Press TV on Saturday. US President Barack Obama authorized on Thursday the use of targeted airstrikes on Takfiri ISIL terrorists, also known as ISIS or IS, to protect American personnel inside the country and also help the Iraqi refugees under siege by the terrorist group and stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Obama’s assertion about the purpose of the airstrikes in Iraq are “two, big, bald-faced, fat lies,” Lendman said. “It’s all about the oil. It’s about Iraqi oil. It’s about total dominance. It’s about regional dominance.” “America simply, in plain English, doesn’t care about humanitarian intervention. If it did, why would it have murdered literally millions of people post 9/11 alone?” he stated. Lendman described all of America’s post-9/11 wars as “illegal acts of aggression, from Afghanistan, to Iraq in 2003, to Libya, to Obama’s proxy war in Syria, and now the bombing of ISIL in Iraq again.”
Barack Obama has authorised airstrikes over Iraq in order to prevent "genocide” from being carried out by Islamic State jihadists. ● The US president confirmed in a late-night address that US military planes had already dropped aid to the 40,000 Yazidi religious minority who have been trapped for days on Mount Sinjar, in the Kurdish northern region, after being driven out of their homes by Islamic State fighters. In a move which would see the US return to a military role in the country's long sectarian war, Mr Obama announced in a televised statement from the White House that he would approve targeted strikes on the fighters should they advance south towards the city of Erbil. "Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, there is no one coming to help. Well, today America is coming to help," Mr Obama said.
Itar-Tass: US Air Force strikes at militants positions in Iraq — Pentagon
RT.com: Two US fighter jets strike ISIS artillery in Iraq's Kurdistan - Pentagon
Zero Hedge: Markets Turmoil As President Obama Authorizes Air Strikes On Iraq "To Prevent Genocide"
The Telegraph: Shares fall, gold and oil rise on Iraq airstrike fears
Peter Symonds ■ Obama authorises a new air war in Iraq
Sunni militants from the Islamic State have ordered all girls and women aged 11 to 46 in and around the city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the UN reported. The potential number of victims is estimated at 4 million. The shocking news, adding to an already long list of crimes reportedly committed by the militants since the takeover of northern Iraq last month, was broken by UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock. "
This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," she told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil on Thursday. "
This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.
Recommended reading: Nahida Izzat ■ Who are the Warmongers?
This series is based on an article by Jeff Gates, who is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, merchant banker, educator and consultant to governments worldwide, who served for seven years as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He is the author of Guilt by Association, Democracy At Risk and The Ownership Solution.
The State Department has told lawmakers informally that the Obama administration wants to sell Iraq more than 4,000 additional Hellfire missiles for the government's fight against Islamic insurgents, according to people familiar with the plan. Sale of the laser-guided missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp. would be in addition to 500 previously purchased, of which about 400 have been delivered.
While continuing to insist they are trying to keep their involvement limited to “advisory” operations, the Pentagon continues to pour military equipment into Iraq, with US combat troops on the ground to carry out this new Iraq War. Today, the Pentagon is rushing Apache attack helicopters to Baghdad, along with more Shadow drones, couching it as a move to prepare for a possible evacuation of the US Embassy. Yet far from being focused on the embassy itself, officials say the US ground troops will be operating the helicopter gunships to “protect US interests” in and around Baghdad.
Another 300 US troops arrived in Baghdad Sunday, swelling the reinforcements rushed to Iraq to nearly 800 in the three weeks since the fall of Mosul, the country's third-largest city, to Sunni Islamist forces. President Obama formally notified Congress of the additional troop movement in a letter Monday. ● A Pentagon spokesman said the latest contingent of US troops would be equipped for combat and deployed mainly to secure Baghdad International Airport, a critical lifeline for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Together with the soldiers, the US military is dispatching helicopter gunships and reconnaissance drones. Two previous increments of US troops included 275 to provide security at the huge US embassy in Baghdad and 300 special forces soldiers to coordinate tactical operations by the Iraqi army and collect targeting information for future US bomb and missile attacks on fighters of Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the main Sunni Islamist group spearheading attacks on the Maliki regime. Three special forces teams have deployed north of the capital in the last few days, into the area of the heaviest fighting.
Blackwater’s top manager issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to U.S. State Department reports. ● Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports. ● American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports. ● After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”
ISIS jihadists have declared the captured territories from Iraq's Diyala province to Syria's Aleppo a new Islamic State - a ‘caliphate.' They removed 'Iraq and the Levant' from their name and urged other radical Sunni groups to pledge their allegiance. ● ISIS announced that it should now be called 'The Islamic State' and declared its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as "the caliph" of the new state and "leader for Muslims everywhere," the radical Sunni militant group said in an audio recording distributed online on Sunday. This is the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 that a Caliph – which means a political successor to Prophet Muhammad – has been declared. The decision was made following the group’s Shura Council meeting on Sunday, according to ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. The new Islamic State has marked its borders, spanning the territory captured by the group in a bloody rampage, from Iraq's volatile Diyala province to Syria's war-torn Aleppo. The jihadist group has also claimed that they are now a legitimate state.
Oded Yinon ■ A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties || Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization. [Additional links here and here]
Nearly seven years later, four former mercenaries of Blackwater Worldwide are on trial in US court on charges stemming from a September 2007 attack that left 14 Iraqis dead and wounded 18 others in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. ● In the trial that began June 11 in US District Court in Washington, DC, Nicholas Slatten is accused of first-degree murder, and Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough are on trial for voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges. If convicted, Slatten could be sentenced to life in prison, while the other defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if convicted of the gun charge and at least one other charge. The former Blackwater guards have pled not guilty to all charges. The US Justice Department dropped charges against a fifth guard and a sixth reached a plea deal.
Analysis of photographs and satellite imagery strongly indicates that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) conducted mass executions in Tikrit after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014. The analysis suggests that ISIS killed between 160 and 190 men in at least two locations between June 11 and 14. The number of victims may well be much higher, but the difficulty of locating bodies and accessing the area has prevented a full investigation, Human Rights Watch said. On June 12, ISIS claimed to have executed 1,700 “Shi’a members of the army” in Tikrit. Two days later, it posted to a website photographs with groups of apparently executed men. On June 22, Iraq’s human rights minister announced that ISIS had executed 175 Iraqi Air Force recruits in Tikrit. “The photos and satellite images from Tikrit provide strong evidence of a horrible war crime that needs further investigation,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director. “ISIS apparently executed at the very least 160 people in Tikrit.”
It is going from bad to worse for the Iraqi government, whose armed forces according to at least one unconfirmed media report, have suffered major losses. Perhaps confirming this, is the report from Reuters that overnight ISIS continued it southern creep toward Baghdad, and has now reached a town that is just an hour from Baghdad which is home to four natural gas fields on Thursday, "another gain by Sunni insurgents who have swiftly taken large areas to the north and west of the Iraqi capital."
1 - A decade of war and occupation has not defeated the will of the Iraqi people to regain their national independence. The US attempt to conquer Iraq has failed, due to the continued resistance of the Iraqis and their refusal to allow themselves to be subjugated. The political process imposed by the occupation has resulted in a sectarian and ethnic divide, the result of a conscious policy to weaken and indeed to destroy the national identity of what was once the most developed country in the Arab world. Even as US policy to reconstruct the Middle East after its own designs has failed, it continues to speak of dividing the country into three as a last resort to guarantee control over the oil resources of the area.
2 - The Al-Maliki regime, left behind as the guardian of US interests under the imposed conditions of the Bremer decrees and constitution, has proved itself incapable of realizing the aspirations and hopes of the Iraqi people for peace and self-determination. Large segments of the population remain subjected to oppression or imprisonment as well as excluded from the political participation in the destiny of their country. The corrupt politicians and the so-called parliament in the green zone have continued to serve the interests of foreign powers rather than those of the Iraqi people. They have no role to play in the fight to bring peace and reconciliation to Iraq.
Professor Noam Chomsky, Sir Richard Dalton, Caroline Lucas, Ken Livingstone and others argue that the former UK prime minister is tainted by the war in Iraq. ● This Friday, 27 June, will mark the seven-year anniversary of Tony Blair's appointment as the Quartet representative to the Middle East. We, the undersigned, urge you to remove him with immediate effect as a result of his poor performance in the role, and his legacy in the region as a whole. We, like many, are appalled by Iraq's descent into a sectarian conflict that threatens its very existence as a nation, as well as the security of its neighbours. We are also dismayed, however, at Tony Blair's recent attempts to absolve himself of any responsibility for the current crisis by isolating it from the legacy of the Iraq war. In reality, the invasion and occupation of Iraq had been a disaster long before the recent gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The sectarian conflict responsible for much of the war's reprehensible human cost was caused in part by the occupying forces' division of the country's political system along sectarian lines. In order to justify the invasion, Tony Blair misled the British people by claiming that Saddam Hussein had links to al-Qaida. In the wake of recent events it is a cruel irony for the people of Iraq that perhaps the invasion's most enduring legacy has been the rise of fundamentalist terrorism in a land where none existed previously. We believe that Mr Blair, as a vociferous advocate of the invasion, must accept a degree of responsibility for its consequences.
Where is the USS New York? At 684 feet long and displacing over 24,900 tons, the Mayport, Fla.-based San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock is no smart car of the seas. Yet the vessel has gone “dark” for more than a week now. ● The low profile might have something to do with the fact that the New York is currently home to the recently captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, one of the accused ringleaders of the Sept. 11-12, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attacks that left four Americans dead. While any ship’s location is supposed to be a well-guarded secret when deployed, the New York is in a unique position, because instead of threading its way through the Suez Canal or dodging a Chinese destroyer, it’s believed to be steaming toward the East Coast: Abu Khattala is expected to be arraigned soon in Washington.
xymphora ■ Whitney and Engdahl on the oddities of ISIS; Madsen on the situation in Ukraine. ● There are parallels. Both operations have deep roots. American destabilizing operations in Eastern Europe have been going on since the Soviet days, and more recently have been quietly chugging along, more of a gnat-like nuisance to people like Putin than anything serious. Part of the ISIS team was trained by Americans in Jordan, and the ISIS leadership is very suspicious. ● The oddities need an explanation, but the explanation is obviously not an American government conspiracy at the Obama-Kerry level. The American response in each case is simply too off-the-cuff and weak. Kerry is in the middle of one of the most embarrassing foreign tours of an American Secretary of State ever (the sentencing of the journalists in Egypt was Sisi spitting in Kerry's huge face), and Obama has nothing constructive to offer (an empire that has no answers is no longer an empire). Meanwhile, Putin is using the opening caused by American clumsiness, looking east, south and west, to build a New World Empire. ● In both Ukraine and Iraq, a quiet operation that wasn't going anywhere was turned around in a hurry by operatives working below the highest levels, in both cases against real American interests, in both cases leaving the high-level American response flat-footed and embarrassingly ineffectual, and in both cases working for the interests of the Zionist Empire. There is only one explanation for the lack of information at the top. Treason.
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