23 August 2017
English Arabic
RAMADI, Iraq — As his armored vehicle bounced along a dirt track carved through the ruins of this recently reconquered city on Wednesday, Gen. Ali Jameel, an Iraqi counterterrorism officer, narrated the passing sites. Here were the carcasses of four tanks, charred by the jihadists of the Islamic State. Here, a police officer’s home that the jihadists had blown up. Here, a villa reduced to rubble by an airstrike. And another. And another. In one neighborhood, he stood before a…
American commanders have been hailing the advance of the retrained Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) on Ramadi, the key city where they were easily routed some 18 months ago by marauding fighters of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).   But what they aren’t saying—and are loath to concede, according to well-informed military sources in Washington—is that the security forces of the Iran-backed regime in Baghdad largely consist of Shiite fighters in league with murderous militias that have slaughtered innocent Sunnis after ousting ISIS militants from Tikrit…
As forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad regained control of a significant part of the city of Homs this week, it is important to remember how Syria has reached this point. Almost five years ago Syrians came out in their hundreds of thousands to demonstrate largely peacefully for the freedoms that others had mobilised for during the Arab spring. The dictator reacted by unleashing a brutal wave of violence against his own citizens, including Scud missiles, chemical weapons and…
With a 407-19 vote, bill intends to prevent foreign nationals who have visited Iraq, Syria and other countries in past five years from entering US without visa By an overwhelming bipartisan majority, the House of Representatives passed legislation intended to strengthen the visa waiver program in the aftermath of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. The legislation, which was approved by a vote of 407-19, would prevent any foreign national who has visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or the Sudan…

Getting Away With Murder Friday, 06 November 2015 19:40

The deaths of Middle Eastern refugees are becoming so commonplace they rarely make it on to the front pages in the United States. However, the deaths of 23 refugees in a rocket attack in Iraq on Oct. 29 should have been the exception. The U.S. has pledged to protect these particular refugees, yet has repeatedly failed to do so. The incident is one more example of the Obama administration's feckless foreign policy, especially when it comes to dealing with Iran.…
Clwyd West MP David Jones is alarmed by a rocket attack on Iraqi base of exiled opponents of the Iranian regime Former Welsh Secretary David Jones has raised strong concerns about the safety of exiled Iranian opposition members whose base at a former US outpost in Iraq has come under heavy attack. Amnesty International reported that at least 23 people were killed in the rocket attack on Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport. The base is home to around 2,250 people,…
Ministers instructed to destroy attorney general’s report that legality of war could be challenged, according to Mail on Sunday   Tony Blair has denied reports that ministers were instructed to ‘burn’ a report questioning the legality of the Iraq war less than three weeks before British forces invaded the country. The Mail on Sunday quotes an unnamed senior No 10 figure saying that the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, presented a 13-page legal opinion on 7 March 2003 that suggested…
President Obama’s former national security adviser warned Wednesday that Iranian leaders have effectively turned Iraq into a “client state” and are bent on exploiting the regional war against the Sunni Muslim Islamic State group to promote their own brand of Shiite extremism throughout the Middle East. “Iran’s grand strategy entails consolidating the hold it has gained in Iraq — a grip it seeks to tighten, directly and through proxies — and by stoking the sectarian fires,” said retired Marine Corps…

Iraq in Pieces Wednesday, 23 September 2015 20:57

American leaders contemplating Iraq have made a habit of substituting unpleasant realities with rosy assessments based on questionable assumptions. In 1991, after the Gulf War, the George H. W. Bush administration hoped that Iraqis would rise up against Saddam Hussein and encouraged them to do so, only to abandon them to the Republican Guard. In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, officially embracing regime change and transferring millions of dollars to an Iranian-backed convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi.…

Is Iran’s strategy in Iraq adrift? Wednesday, 23 September 2015 20:02

Russia may have thrown Iran a lifeline in Syria, but Putin’s aid only obscures larger problems for Tehran’s policies in the region. In particular, Iran’s policy in Iraq and its strategy against the Islamic State (ISIS) are under severe pressure. It is not clear the Islamic Republic has a good way forward. Tehran’s activities and policies in Iraq and the Levant remain largely under Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani’s direction. Soleimaini had been riding high ever…

Obama’s Messy Iraq Intelligence Scandal Friday, 18 September 2015 22:34

It’s happening again. A White House fumbling with the violent mess of Iraq finds itself surrounded by mounting accusations that it’s played dirty games with intelligence. A Pentagon facing charges that its analysts have skewed assessments on Iraq to tell top policymakers what they want to hear, rather than what is really happening in that troubled country. If this sounds terribly familiar, it should. Only a dozen years after the George W. Bush White House was buffeted by allegations that…

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