Wednesday, 1 January 2020

US Embassy in Baghdad Evacuated!

US Embassy in Baghdad Evacuated Due to Seige

Press TV, via Veterans Today,
31 December, 2019
Iraqi protesters set ablaze a sentry box in front of the US Embassy building in the capital Baghdad to protest against the weekend’s air strikes by US planes on several bases belonging to Hashd al-Sha’abi, December 31, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
The United States’ Embassy in Baghdad has been evacuated after thousands of angry Iraqi demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the compound to condemn Washington’s fatal military aggression that targeted Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
Also on Tuesday, Iraqis held a massive funeral procession in the capital Baghdad for the victims of the US air raids, which killed at least 31 PMU fighters from the Kata’ib Hezbollah faction and injured dozens of others in near the Syrian border in Anbar Province.
Caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has announced three days of public mourning.
Thousands of angry protests managed to reach the US diplomatic mission which is located in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, chanting ‘Death to America’ and burning US flags.
Protesters gather to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Sha’abi outside the main gate of the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)
The protesters further held up signs calling for the US mission to be shut down and for the parliament to order US forces to leave Iraq.
“Parliament should oust US troops, or else we will,” one poster read.
Reuters cited two Iraqi Foreign Ministry sources as saying that the US ambassador and other staff were evacuated from the embassy out of security concerns as protests raged outside.
Only a few embassy protection staff were left behind, according to the Reuters.
American forces deployed inside the compound have fired tear gas, flash bangs and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
The protesters have breached the outer wall of the high-security compound. They have sprayed the words “Closed in the name of the people” on the gates of the American mission, throwing bricks and stones at the surveillance cameras around the building.
Outside the mission, Iraqi security forces fired teargas and stun grenades as they tried to prevent the protesters from making their way into the diplomatic compound. At least 12 people were wounded in the clashes.
Iraqi protesters holding up a red placard with a slogan in yellow Arabic letters that reads: “Death to America, Death to Israel” pose for a picture after breaching the outer wall of the US Embassy in Baghdad during an angry demonstration on December 31, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
Only a small amount of teargas was used and the PMU members taking part in the rallies, using loud speakers, urged the crowd to disperse, a Reuters witness said.
The Iraqi caretaker premier called on the protesters to “immediately” leave the compound.
“We recall that any aggression or harassment of foreign embassies will be firmly prohibited by the security forces,” Abdel Mahdi’s office said.
The protester remained defiant, with a group of them storming and burning a security post at the entrance of the embassy.
US sending additional troops to Baghdad embassy
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that the United States was sending additional forces to its embassy in Baghdad, and called on the Iraqi government to help protect American personnel.
“We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in country, and to ensure our right of self-defense,” Esper said in a statement.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held phone conversations with the caretaker premier and President Barham Salih, warning that Washington will “defend its people,” according to a State Department statement.
The two Iraqi leaders also assured Pompeo “that they took seriously their responsibility for and would guarantee the safety and security of US personnel and property.”
‘US unwanted in Iraq’
Hashd al-Shabi commander Faleh al-Fayyadh and Kata’ib Hezbollah commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes along with other senior Hashd leaders were among the protesters.
Speaking to Reuters, Qais al-Khazali, the head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq — another PMU faction — said “Americans are unwanted in Iraq. They are a source of evil and we want them to leave.”
Many protesters have set up tents, announcing plans for an indefinite sit-in until the embassy is closed and the ambassador expelled from the country.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi lawmakers chanted anti-US slogans during a parliamentary session.
Trump blames Iran
Reacting to the developments in Iraq, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that Iran was to blame and would be held “fully responsible.”
Donald J. Trump
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
45K people are talking about this
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” Trump tweeted. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq.”
Those casualties came in what the US described as a rocket attack targeting a military base located near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday.
Washington pointed the finger at Iran for that attack, an allegation vehemently rejected by Tehran.
In response to the incident, the US military launched the deadly air raids on Iraq’s PMU, which Washington and its allies claim is an ally of the Islamic Republic.

By Gordon Duff

The attack Trump claims to be retaliating against was against an Iraqi base, not an American base, an attack by ISIS where an American oil worker was killed on an Exxon oil facility…where oil has been stolen from Iraq for years.

By the term “contractor,” the US is careful not to identify who he actually worked for and there is absolutely no reason for any Americans to be in Kirkuk. Iraq seized the K1 base which was taken from ISIS and their Kurdish allies in 2017. The Kurds have, since that time, threaten the base and were most likely complicit in staging the recent attack. 

 From the BBC

Here, the BBC admits that the K1 base housed PMU militias who were there to protect K1 from the Kurds…and ISIS.

It is also more than possible that, if ISIS and Kurdish forces attacked K1, they were aided by Israeli commandos who are now training Kurdish troops and who have largely replaced the US as the force backing the Erbil government.

From the Times of Israel, 2019:

Israel has been providing aid to the Kurds in northern Syria since the US withdrawal from the area, a senior Israeli politician said Wednesday, warning that their defeat would allow Iran to further entrench itself in the area.
Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hatovely told the Knesset Wednesday in remarks reported by 
the Reuters news agency ‘We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels.'”

The KI base, held by the Iraqi military and representative groups of both Sunni and Shia militias, is tasked with keeping Kurd in check. However, the Israeli website, Debka Files, has published articles and maps carefully citing the US domination of Kirkuk through K1, something sources on the ground find quite astounding.

We haven’t seen an American in months.”

When ISIS hit Iraq in early 2014, the Kurds joined with ISIS against Baghdad and seized oil fields around Kirkuk and began shipping oil into Turkey, not by truck but by pipeline.

To provide cover, Turkey claimed the pipeline had been destroyed in an explosion but in reality, Turkey, working with Azerbaijan, used “pigs” that identified the stolen oil as Azerbaijani while the money went to Erdogan family members, Kurdish leaders and ISIS with key American political leaders, neocons, getting a cut of the action.

The base which was attacked housed not just Iraqi regulars but PMU units, who were also attacked, the same units Trump says staged the attack….on themselves.

This wasn’t a military base….but rather in Kirkuk, at Iraq’s oil fields, hundreds of miles from any US military facility and hundreds of miles from the facilities Trump ordered attacked.

Macgregor says Trump was misinformed, we say it is worse, so much worse. This is the US retaliating against Iraq for an ISIS attack where an American oil worker was killed.

The attack was using a Romanian built 122mm rocket, one supplied to ISIS by the US. All nations use similar launchers but most are supplied through Turkey and Ukraine by US allied fake NGO’s to terrorist groups in both Syria and Iraq.

Iran builds its own missiles, and doesn’t buy them from Romania. The US, however, does.

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