Tuesday, 31 December 2019

US Airstrikes Hit Iran-Backed Militias As Pentagon Warns More Military Action Coming

You have a choice. You can take Reuters as what is Right and Trueand just put all this into the back-and-beyond of your mind.


https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iraq-security-usa/iraq-condemns-u-s-air-strikes-as-unacceptable-and-dangerous-idUKKBN1YY0IE

...Or you can try to join the dots and although the particular details may be wrong the world has been on the verge of war for some time and it has to happen eventually bar some amazing intevention from we-no-not-where.


US Attacks Hezbollah in 

Iraq; Iran-Proxies fire 

Rockets at US Base in Iraq - 

Pompeo and Esper fly to Mar-

a-lago to Brief President 

"Time to hit Iran Directly"

30 December, 2019

URGENT UPDATE 4:39 PM EST SEE BOTTOM --

Multiple sources reporting that the base at Taji, Iraq, where US troops are located, came under rocket fire. This follows US strikes against Kataeb Hezbollah  (KH) an Iranian-proxy, earlier this evening.
The US Embassy civilian staff is reportedly being evacuated from Baghdad and US forces are under rocket attack by Iran-Backed proxies.
The Iraqi government is to hold emergency meeting of its National Security Council over this latest barrage.
- Ammar al-Hakim (Hikma) condemns the US airstrike on Hezbollah militia.
- Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in a statement asks security forces to expel the US from Iraq.
AMERICA STRIKES HEZBOLLAH
The death toll from the US raids on 5 bases of the Iraqi Hezbollah militia in Syria and Anbar has risen to 15.
The Pentagon announced that American aircraft launched raids on the headquarters of the Iraqi Hezbollah militia, which resulted in the death and injury of fighters, including the militia leader, Abu Ali Khazali. 
According to an American military source, the American F-15 fighters targeted 5 bases belonging to the Iraqi Hezbollah militia: 3 in Anbar and 2 in Syria.
Reporters in the area say strong explosions can be heard as Hezbollah Para-Military Units (PMU)  Attack the USA army site in Baghhad.

UPDATE 3:11 PM EST --
Reports now say that around 40 Iranian backed Hezbolla terrorists have been killed in today's US airstrikes in Syria and in Yemen, after they killed a US contractor with rocket fire a day or so ago.
 A large number of security & 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D) units entering U.S. Embassy to evacuate personnel.
 Col. Myles B. Caggins III @OIRSpox says:
“In response to repeated Kata'ib Hizbollah attacks on Iraqi bases that host CJTFOIR forces, U.S. forces conducted precision defensive strikes against 5 KH facilities in Iraq & Syria [to] degrade KH's ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces.”
Commander of Shiite militias Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis threatens:  "The blood of martyrs and wounded is not spilled in vain The response will come and it will be very difficult for the US military in Iraq."

UPDATE 3:20 PM EST --
The military commander of the Hezbollah brigades, Abu Ahmed Al-Basri: Our forces are ready to demolish the US bases and crush their rotten heads while we are awaiting the green light.

UPDATE 4:20 PM EST --
Iraq government DENYING rocket attacks took place against US Base near Baghdad.   Iraq Prime Minister says US did NOT have authorization to attack Hezbollah units inside Iraq and Syria.  Prime Minister also says "''The American military presence has become a burden for the State and a source of aggression against our forces and therefore it has become mandatory for all of us to expel them from Iraq.''
Iranian media: Abu Ali Khazali (commander of the 45h Brigade of the Popular Mobilization) who is close to IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, was killed in the American attacks on Iraqi Hezbollah camps
 Sputnik Arabic reports the death toll rises to 25 killed and 35 wounded after US airstrikes on 5 Iraqi Hezbollah bases in Iraq and Syria.

 *** BULLETIN ***
URGENT UPDATE 4:39 PM EST --
Esper (SECDEF) and Pompeo (SECSTATE) heading to Mar-a-Lago.  Insider info says they plan to tell President Trump Iran has crossed our "Red Line" and attacked US Forces after being warned not to.  Both Secretaries will  ALLEGEDLY tell the President, it is time for the United States to militarily strike Iran directly.
UPDATE 4:58 PM EST --
Special Air Mission SAM967 has just landed at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. It is speculated Pompeo and Esper are having an unscheduled national security meeting with President Trump due to developments in Iraq 
UPDATE 5:19 PM EST --
AlArabiya reports Iraqi Hezbollah bases hit in US airstrikes are still on fire.
UPDATE 5:48 PM EST --
Local sources claiming that there are SUDDEN, LARGE, military activities in western provinces of Iran (including Warplanes and choppers)
UPDATE 6:30 PM EST --
Reports from observers say at least six (6) U.S. F-15E fighter jets, fully armed, have taken off from Jordan's Al-Azraq Airbase, heading to Iraq. They may conduct more attacks on Iran-backed targets in Iraq, especially if rocket attacks were carried out against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.
UPDATE 6:40 PM EST --
USS Truman carrier strike force has moved into the Gulf region. US Navy anti-fastboat exercise just concluded, Lots of land-based assets in the region too. Locking & loading?
UPDATE 7:32 PM EST --
Trump briefed on ‘successful strikes & OTHER OPTIONS’ after US raid kills dozens of ‘Iran-backed’ militias in Iraq, Syria

Will It Be War? US Airstrikes Hit Iran-Backed Militias As Pentagon Warns More Military Action Coming


30 December, 2019
A lot of people seem to have forgotten that we were literally on the brink of war with Iran earlier this year. Back in June, President Trump cancelled a major U.S. bombing mission against Iran at the last minute, and things seemed to settle down quite a bit since that time. But now tensions are rising once again. On Sunday, U.S. airstrikes targeted Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria that U.S. officials believe have been behind recent rocket attacks against U.S. forces. Of course those Iranian-backed forces never would have launched such attacks in the first place if they did not have permission from Tehran itself.
The Iranians love to hide behind proxies, and for now the U.S. is only conducting airstrikes against those proxies. But at some point President Trump’s patience is likely to run out, and at that point we could start hitting Iran itself. Over the past six months, the U.S. has sent 14,000 more troops to the Middle East, and it is being reported that “the Pentagon is considering deploying additional forces to the region”. The drumbeats of war are starting to get louder again, and many believe that eventually one side is likely to push the other side a bit too far.






The attacks that we just witnessed were supposed to send a very strong message to Tehran. According to the Daily Mail, five separate targets were hit, and at least 19 people were killed…
US air strikes left 19 people dead in Iraq and Syria on Sunday in retaliation against an Iranian-backed militia group blamed for a rocket attack two days earlier that killed an American contractor.
F-15 Strike Eagles hit five targets associated with Kataib Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia group, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
These airstrikes were launched to directly retaliate for the casualties that U.S. forces suffered from a rocket attack on one of their bases in Iraq on Friday
Officials with the U.S.-led mission to defeat ISIS said Friday that a U.S. civilian contractor was killed and several American troops were wounded in a rocket attack targeting an Iraqi base in Kirkuk.
The attack, which occurred Friday around 7:20 p.m. local time in Iraq, also wounded several Iraqi personnel, officials with Operation Inherent Resolve told Military Times in an emailed statement.
But of course that attack was just the latest in a series of rocket attacks that have targeted U.S. forces lately
U.S. officials believe Iranian-backed militias are behind a recent spate of rocket attacks that have targeted U.S. bases and interests in Iraq over the last couple months.
A U.S. official told Military Times that Iran-backed militias are now using more lethal and longer range 122 mm rockets in their attacks.
Friday’s attack on Kirkuk is at least the eleventh rocket attack targeting an outpost housing American forces in the last two months.
I am certainly not a fan of military conflict, but if I am sitting in the White House and someone keeps lobbing rockets at my troops I wouldn’t wait two months to hit them back.
So why did President Trump wait so long?
As I noted earlier, these Iranian-backed militias wouldn’t be doing anything without approval from Tehran. If Trump really wants these rocket attacks to stop, Iranian leaders need to be sent a message that will be clear and unmistakable.
And it appears that U.S. officials may be starting to lean in that direction. In fact, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the press on Sunday that more military action “could be warranted”
Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared briefly in a club ballroom to comment on the airstrikes.
Esper termed the offensive “successful,” but said that Trump was informed that a further military response could be warranted.
Personally, I don’t know what the Iranians are thinking.
Perhaps they believe that if they use their proxies to make things uncomfortable enough for U.S. forces that Trump will eventually pull them out of the region.
But if that is what they are really thinking, they have badly miscalculated.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to get cozy with Russia and China. In fact, the three nations are currently conducting “their first-ever joint naval drills”
This weekend, China, Iran, and Russia began their first-ever joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. The training exercises were announced by China’s defense ministry on Thursday, as all three nations continue to have strained relations with the United States and its allies.
The Russians have developed a very strong military presence in the Middle East in recent years, and Russia and China have both warned about what a war between the U.S. and Iran would mean for the entire region.
A major war in the Middle East would have very serious implications for the entire globe, and it would risk sparking a much wider conflict.
Right now our relations with Russia are already the worst that they have been since the end of the Cold War, and they just continue to deteriorate.
Most Americans don’t spend too much time thinking about a potential war with Russia, but over in Russia there is lots of talk about a possible military confrontation. In fact, Russia’s top general recently warned that the western powers are preparing for a “large-scale military conflict”
Russia’s top general has warned a big war is coming in a chilling prediction amid ongoing tensions with NATO.
Valery Gerasimov, the chief Vladimir Putin’s general staff, has said he believes the West are preparing for a “large-scale military conflict”.
He was speaking at a senior briefing for the military – saying that the West has assigned “adversary status” to Russia.
Ultimately, one of the big reasons why Trump may have been so hesitant to be more aggressive with Iran is because he realizes that it could potentially spark World War 3.
Because once we go to war with Iran, the Iranians are going to start launching missiles directly at Israel, and Israel would undoubtedly strike back with overwhelming force.
Once the dominoes start falling, it could very easily set off a sequence of events that nobody is going to be able to control.
We definitely live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and peace could be taken from the Earth very easily.
So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.
But if the Iranians keep pushing their luck, it is only a matter of time before Trump gets fed up, and when he decides to hit them directly he is going to hit them exceedingly hard.

From Iran's Press TV

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has strongly condemned the United States’ latest military aggression against Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, saying Iraqis reserve the right to retaliate such a "crime."
The PMU on Sunday confirmed that US forces in Iraq have carried out an airstrike on a number of its facilities in the western Anbar Province, which led to the killing of nearly 30 people and injuring of over 50 others.
In a statement on Monday, the IRGC said, "The airstrikes by the American terrorists on Hashd al-Sha’abi bases … constitute a violation of the national sovereignty of this country (Iraq) and once again show that the US is the main factor behind insecurity, chaos, tension and warmongering in this region."
Iran's IRGC emphasized that no "free and independent nation" would tolerate that its youths become targets of foreign forces' aggression and lust for crime, adding, "Naturally, the brave people and heroic Hashd al-Sha'bi forces of Iraq reserve the right to retaliate and give [proportionate] response to the recent 'big crime of Americans according to international laws and conventions."
The US attack came after American officials said on Friday that a “US civilian contractor” had been killed in what they described as a rocket attack targeting an Iraqi military base housing US and Iraqi forces in the Arab country’s north.
Several US service members and Iraqi personnel were also wounded in the reported incident, Reuters added, citing a US-led military coalition, which has stationed itself in Iraq under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terror group of Daesh.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that the US airstrikes targeting the forces that have helped defeat Daesh in Iraq are a “clear example of terrorism."
"These attacks have once again proved America's false claims in fighting the Takfiri group of Daesh as the United States has targeted the positions of forces that over the years have inflicted heavy blows to Daesh terrorists," Mousavi said.
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