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Keyword: leadingfrombehind

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  • Governor of Iraq Sunni heartland says U.S. to help against militants

    08/14/2014 8:25:53 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 14, 2014 | BY RAHEEM SALMAN
    The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland province of Anbar said he has secured a promise of U.S. support in a battle against the Islamic State, reviving an alliance that helped thwart an earlier Sunni militant threat, from al Qaeda. Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi told Reuters his request, made in meetings with U.S. diplomats and a senior military officer, included air support against the militants who have a tight grip on large parts of his desert province and northwestern Iraq. Dulaimi said the Americans had promised to help.
  • Iraq Crisis: US Sends 130 More Military Advisers

    08/12/2014 4:37:24 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 23 replies
    Sky News ^ | August 12, 2014
    The US has sent 130 more military advisers to northern Iraq to assess the scope of the humanitarian mission. The soldiers have been sent to northern Iraq to "develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current airdrop effort in support of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain". The announcement comes as a suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint near the Baghdad home of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi.
  • John Kerry insists any US moves in Iraq will not involve combat troops

    08/12/2014 5:20:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | August 12, 2014 | by Katharine Murphy
    US combat forces will not re-enter Iraq, John Kerry insists, but the US says it will explore more “political, economic and security options” as the country transitions out of political deadlock with a new prime minister. With a new “inclusive, participatory” government in Baghdad, the US would “absolutely look to provide additional options” to help stabilise the country. Kerry made it clear this did not mean a return of US combat troops. “There will be no reintroduction of American combat forces into Iraq,” he said. “Nobody, I think, is looking forwards to a return to the road that we’ve travelled....
  • US Military: Airstrikes 'Won't Stop ISIS'

    08/11/2014 2:59:24 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    Sky News ^ | August 11, 2014
    Islamic militants fighting in northern Iraq are unlikely to be stopped by targeted airstrikes, a US general has warned. Joint staff operations director Lieutenant General William Mayville told a news conference that 15 airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) positions were focused initially on protecting US facilities and citizens, as well as aiding the humanitarian mission. He said: "These airstrikes have helped check the advance of missile forces around Mount Sinjar and in the area west of Irbil. "We assess that US airstrikes in northern Iraq have slowed IS operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Irbil....
  • US slaps down Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki after he accuses president

    08/10/2014 7:20:28 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | August 10, 2014 | Agencies
    The United States has thrown its weight behind Iraqi president Fuad Masum after he was accused by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki of violating the constitution. US state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement: “The United States fully supports president Fuad Masum in his role as guarantor of the Iraqi constitution. “We reaffirm our support for a process to select a prime minister who can represent the aspirations of the Iraqi people by building a national consensus and governing in an inclusive manner,” she said, echoing an earlier comment made on Twitter by deputy assistant secretary of state for...
  • Iraqi PM to file complaint against new president

    08/10/2014 6:54:29 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 10, 2014 | Associated Press
    BAGHDAD — Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a surprise speech late Sunday, resisted calls for his resignation and accused the country’s new president of violating the constitution, plunging the government into a political crisis at a time it is battling advances by Islamic State militants. On Sunday night, in a nationally televised speech, al-Maliki declared he will file a legal complaint against the new president, Fouad Massoum, for committing “a clear constitutional violation". “This attitude represents a coup on the constitution and the political process in a country that is governed by a democratic and federal system,” al-Maliki...
  • Iraqi Militants Execute 500: Some Buried Alive

    08/10/2014 6:04:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    SKY News ^ | August 10, 2014
    Iraq militants have executed at least 500 Yazidi people, dumping their victims in mass graves across the north of the country, an official has said. There is "striking evidence" that Islamic State fighters, formerly known as ISIS, have buried some of their victims, including women and children, alive as they continue their bloody advance across Iraq, according to the human rights minister. The militants have driven as many as 150,000 Yazidis from their homes into the Sinjar mountains, where they are cut off from food and water and struggling to survive. Hundreds are already reported to have died. Yazidis flee...
  • Obama sets ambitious goals for Iraq intervention

    08/09/2014 9:46:33 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 26 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | August 9, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
    President Obama said Saturday that U.S. forces will seek to deny a safe haven to "barbaric terrorists" in Iraq and will help create a humanitarian corridor to rescue thousands of religious refugees trapped on a mountaintop, broadening his goals for the latest U.S. intervention in Iraq. Speaking on the White House South Lawn, the president also suggested that the airstrikes by U.S. Navy fighter jets and Predator drones against Islamist militants that began Friday near the major city of Irbil won't be a short-term operation. Obama also said he is confident that U.S. airstrikes and assistance to Iraqi forces can...
  • U.S. expands airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq

    08/09/2014 4:56:49 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 9, 2014 | By Liz Sly, Karen DeYoung and Loveday Morris
    The reaction in the Iraqi capital was muted on Saturday after American warplanes and drones struck Islamist militants in the country’s north a day earlier, putting the U.S. military back in action in the skies over Iraq less than three years after the troops withdrew and President Obama declared the war over. “America has abandoned us in our most difficult time,” said Firdous al-Awadi, a parliamentarian with Maliki’s political bloc. “This is too little, too late. We kept asking for airstrikes, but we got nothing. Now they are arming and protecting the Kurds, but the rest of Iraq gets no...
  • Analysis: Limited U.S. strikes in Iraq may not wor

    08/08/2014 8:05:05 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 25 replies
    USA Today | August 8, 2014 | By Jim Michaels
    LINK ONLY PER FR POSTING RULES: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/08/obama-iraq-isil-air-strikes-baghdad-irbil-terrorists/13783143/
  • US official: Iraq supplies Kurdish fighters with ammunition

    08/08/2014 7:56:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    WASHINGTON - The Iraqi government delivered a planeload of ammunition to Arbil, the capital of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region, on Friday in an unprecedented act of military cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi forces, a US official said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Iraqi security forces, under the command of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Arab, delivered the mostly small-arms ammunition in a C-130 cargo plane to resupply the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they fight militants from the Islamic State. The Obama administration is working with the Iraqi government to ensure that additional requests from the Kurdistan...
  • For Obama, Iraq Move Is a Policy Reversal

    08/08/2014 7:32:57 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | August 8, 2014 | By Carol E. Lee
    President Barack Obama stepped in front of the cameras on Thursday to utter words he hoped he would never say as commander in chief. "I've therefore authorized targeted airstrikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq," Mr. Obama said in a statement from the White House. "Today America is coming to help." The return to military engagement in Iraq is a reversal for Mr. Obama, whose early opposition to the war that toppled Saddam Hussein, and his promise to end it, fueled his long-shot campaign for the White House.
  • Obama authorizes Iraq strikes to protect Christians, prevent 'genocide'

    08/08/2014 6:56:56 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 35 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 8, 2014 | BY RAHEEM SALMAN
    U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on Iraq to protect Christians and prevent "genocide" of tens of thousands of members of an ancient sect sheltering on a desert mountaintop from Islamic State fighters threatening to exterminate them. The United States began to drop relief supplies to refugees from the ancient Yazidi sect, but there was no sign yet of air strikes, which Obama authorized for the first time since pulling troops out in 2011. ... U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron evacuated expatriate staff from Iraqi Kurdistan on Thursday, industry sources said. Smaller oil companies that operate in...
  • Obama Authorizes Limited Airstrikes in Iraq

    08/07/2014 7:13:13 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 73 replies
    New York Times ^ | 07 August 2014 | Helen Cooper, Mark Landler, Alissa J. Rubinaug
    President Obama said Thursday that United States military aircraft had dropped food and water to thousands of Iraqis besieged by Islamic militants on a mountaintop in northern Iraq. Speaking from the State Dining Room at the White House, the president said he had directed the United States military forces to conduct targeted airstrikes on the militants if they moved to take Erbil, threatening the American citizens and military personnel there.
  • Obama weighs Iraq crisis response; airdrops, airstrikes among options

    08/07/2014 4:33:54 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 17 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | August 7, 2014 | By Christie Parsons
    United States officials are “closely monitoring” a potential “humanitarian catastrophe” in northern Iraq but will not be sending combat troops back into the country, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday. Earnest said the United States would cooperate with Iraqi military and Kurdish authorities in the volatile region, but he declined to respond to several questions about whether the U.S. would consider any military action to protect refugees fleeing advancing Sunni militants. “I’m not in position to shed light on the president’s thinking” on the subject, Earnest said.
  • Someone Is Bombing ISIS in Iraq

    08/07/2014 4:04:57 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 73 replies
    New Yorker Magazine ^ | August 7, 2014
    The New York Times seemed to have caught the Pentagon by surprise this evening when it issued a breaking news alert about American forces bombing two targets in Iraq. The Pentagon firmly denied that American forces had begun a bombing campaign. But Pentagon officials said it was possible that allies of the United States, either the Iraqi or Turkish militaries, had conducted the bombing.
  • Israel ready to help Jordan fend off Iraq insurgents if asked

    07/04/2014 7:26:47 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | July 4, 2014
    Israel is ready to meet any Jordanian request to help fight off Islamist insurgents who have overrun part of neighboring Iraq, an Israeli official said on Friday, although he believed Jordan was capable of defending itself. Asked to elaborate on the statement, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said potential Israeli assistance could include sending troops or arms, though he saw that as unlikely. "We have an interest in ensuring that Jordan does not fall to, or be penetrated by, groups like al Qaeda or Hamas or ISIS," he told Reuters. "If, God forbid, there is a need, if such a...
  • Suspect in Benghazi Attacks Arrives at Federal Court in DC, Says Source

    06/28/2014 6:44:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 28, 2014 | By MIKE LEVINE and BEN CANDEA
    A man suspected in the attacks two years ago on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans arrived at federal court in Washington, D.C. today, a source told ABC News. Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured in Libya earlier this month. He's expected to be arraigned later today.
  • Armed U.S. Drones Flying Over Baghdad

    06/27/2014 8:48:10 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    TIME ^ | June 27, 2014 | by Mark Thompson
    Armed U.S. drones are flying over the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, an American official said Friday, primed to defend U.S. troops and diplomats on the ground—or to attack insurgents challenging the Iraqi government if President Barack Obama orders such strikes. “We have the necessary forces not only to protect our own forces, but to be prepared should the President make a decision to do something more,” a senior Pentagon official said Friday. “We’ve got both manned and unmanned over Iraq, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody that some of our drones have armaments.”
  • Obama’s Weakness, or Ours?

    06/25/2014 9:39:36 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 32 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By Nicolas Kristof
    The odds are that you think President Obama’s foreign policy is a failure. That’s the scathing consensus forming, with just 36 percent of Americans approving of Obama’s foreign policy in a New York Times/CBS News poll released this week. Foreign policy used to be a source of strength for the president, and now it’s dragging him down — and probably other Democrats with him. Blowing things up is often satisfying, and Obama’s penchant for muddling along instead, with restraint, is hurting him politically. But that’s our weakness more than his. Obama’s foreign policy is far more deft — and less...
  • Dissecting Obama's Iraq policies

    06/25/2014 8:53:13 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 1 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 25, 2014
    For more than eight years, US troops attempted to bring peace and democracy to a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. With the emergence of the Islamist extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), which continues to successfully seize Iraqi weapons, oil refineries and cities, critics are not only pointing fingers at the architects of the Iraq War, but at President Barack Obama, as well. "Sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama's Iraq policy has been a disaster," writes Peter Beinart for the Atlantic. "The White House has been so eager to put Iraq in...
  • Report: Diplomatic Facilities (Like in Benghazi) Suffer From Poor, Dated Standards

    06/25/2014 2:35:53 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    Roll Call ^ | June 25, 2014 | By Tim Starks
    A subset of diplomatic facilities similar to the one that came under attack in Benghazi, Libya, suffers from absent, outdated or inconsistent security standards, a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday determines. The public version of the “sensitive but unclassified” report doesn’t name which 10 high-risk, geographically diverse posts were part of its survey. Among the report’s findings were “some facility types for which standards were lacking or unclear, instances in which the standards were not updated in a timely manner, and inconsistencies within the standards.” For example, “State’s process for updating physical security standards is not timely. In some...
  • The United States Doesn't Know With Certainty Who Just Launched Airstrikes in Iraq

    06/25/2014 2:21:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 22 replies
    Slate ^ | 25 June 2014 | Ben Mathis-Lilley
    United States officials are not entirely confident they know who is behind the airstrikes being reported against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria forces in western Iraq. From ABC News: According to the U.S. official, the United States has “pretty good information that the Syrians are behind the fighter aircraft bombing in western Al Anbar,” a province in Iraq that includes the Syrian border. The official said the United States is still trying to gather more information that Syria was behind the strikes...A U.S. official also said it was not clear whether the Iraqi government requested or authorized Syrian air...
  • ISIS Fighters Advance Toward Large Iraqi Dam

    06/25/2014 10:14:31 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By ALISSA J. RUBIN and ROD NORDLAND
    Iraqi security officials said Wednesday that fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq. Worried that the insurgents would reach the dam on the Euphrates River, about 120 miles northwest of Baghdad, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so, an employee said. “This will lead to the flooding of the town and villages and will harm you also,” the dam employee said he told the army officer. This would not be the first time that...
  • Iran Secretly Sending Drones and Supplies into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say

    06/25/2014 8:18:42 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT
    BRUSSELS — Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed an intelligence unit there to intercept communications, the officials said. The secret Iranian programs are part of a broader effort by Tehran to gather intelligence and help Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government in its struggle against Sunni militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, has visited Iraq at least twice to help...
  • Obama's Disastrous Iraq Policy: An Autopsy

    06/24/2014 12:50:15 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | June 23, 2014 | by PETER BEINART
    Yes, the Iraq War was a disaster of historic proportions. Yes, seeing its architects return to prime time to smugly slam President Obama while taking no responsibility for their own, far greater, failures is infuriating. But sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama’s Iraq policy has been a disaster. Since Obama took office, Iraq watchers - including those within his own administration - have warned that unless the United States pushed hard for inclusive government, the country would slide back into civil war. Yet the White House has been so eager to put Iraq in America’s...
  • Obama Lining Up ISIS Targets and Keeps 'Prerogative' To Strike

    06/23/2014 3:01:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 23, 2014 | By ALI WEINBERG
    President Obama is lining up ISIS targets in Iraq and may launch an attack on the militant Islamic militia that is threatening Baghdad even if he does not get an agreement with the Iraqi regime, Secretary of State John Kerry said today. Speaking in Baghdad after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other political leaders, Kerry said Obama is “each day” gaining more certainty of the targets he would strike if the United States decided on its own to take military action. “He has reserved the right to himself, as he should, to make a decision at any...
  • Iraq militants take Syria-border post in drive for caliphate

    06/21/2014 7:31:26 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 21, 2014 | BY KAMAL NAMAA
    Sunni fighters seized a border post on the Iraq-Syria frontier, security sources said on Saturday, smashing a line drawn by colonial powers almost a century ago and potentially creating an Islamic Caliphate from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran. The militants, led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), first moved into the nearby town of al-Qaim on Friday, pushing out security forces, the sources said. Once border guards heard that al-Qaim had fallen, they left their posts and militants moved in, the sources said.
  • Obama: Iran Could Play Constructive Role in Iraq

    06/19/2014 11:10:04 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 19, 2014
    President Barack Obama says Iran can play a constructive role in Iraq if it sends a message that Iraq's government must be inclusive and respect the interests of Sunnis and Kurds. He says that's the same message the United States is sending. But Obama says if Iran comes into the conflict solely as an armed force backing the Shiite-led government, its involvement would probably worsen the situation.
  • Iraq crisis stirs fears Afghanistan could be next

    06/19/2014 10:35:44 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    Arab News ^ | June 19, 2014 | by DONNA CASSATA - AP
    The deteriorating situation in Iraq is giving Congress pause about President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. Lawmakers fear that the hard-fought gains in Afghanistan could be wiped out by a resurgent Taleban. Senior Obama administration officials insist Afghanistan is not Iraq. They say the population is far more receptive to a continued US presence, and a top American general says Afghans are better fighters. But the officials could offer no assurances that Afghanistan won’t devolve into chaos after Americans leave, as Iraq has.
  • Iraq crisis: US 'urging Maliki to resign'

    06/19/2014 6:21:16 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | June 19, 2014
    The US is reported to have demanded the resignation of Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki as a condition for US military intervention. The Wall Street Journal says the US has signalled its desire for unity government in Iraq without Maliki. Maliki's government has rejected calls for the prime minister to quit. His spokesman, Zuhair al-Nahar, said the west should focus instead on providing immediate military help to the Iraqi government.
  • Syria conflict: Toxic chemicals 'used systematically' in attacks

    06/19/2014 5:06:11 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 8 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 18, 2014
    A team from the world's chemical weapons watchdog believes toxic chemicals such as chlorine are being used in a "systematic manner" in Syria. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sent a fact-finding mission to the country's north last month to investigate several incidents. The inspectors' preliminary report says information was gathered that seemed to corroborate the testimony of medics. But an attack on their convoy prevented them presenting definitive conclusions.
  • Obama Faces Limited Options in Iraq

    06/18/2014 7:37:38 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Voice of America ^ | June 18, 2014 | by Meredith Buel
    U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a range of military options to help the Iraqi government break the momentum of Islamic militants determined to crush the government in Baghdad. President Obama says the fact the Iraqi military will not stand and fight reflects the fractured politics of the country. “There’s a problem with morale, there’s a problem in terms of commitment. And ultimately, that’s rooted in the political problems that have plagued the country for a very long time,” says Obama. Zalmay Khalilzad, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, says problems have been slowly fomenting. “And in recent times, especially...
  • Humiliation at rout hits Iraqi military hard

    06/17/2014 2:32:59 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    Washington Post ^ | June 17, 2014
    The Iraqi soldiers tell of how they can hardly live with the shame of their rout under the onslaught of the Islamic militants. Their commanders disappeared. Pleas for more ammunition went unanswered. Troops ran from post to post only to find them already taken by gunmen, forcing them to flee. “I see it in the eyes of my family, relatives and neighbors,” one lieutenant-colonel who escaped the militants’ sweep over the northern city of Mosul told The Associated Press. “I am as broken and ashamed as a bride who is not a virgin on her wedding night.”
  • Iraq's Maliki defies call to reach out, accuses Saudis of 'genocide'

    06/17/2014 1:42:12 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 18 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 17, 2014 | By Ned Parker
    Iraq's Shi'ite rulers defied Western calls on Tuesday to reach out to Sunnis to defuse the uprising in the north of the country, declaring a boycott of Iraq's main Sunni political bloc and accusing Sunni power Saudi Arabia of promoting "genocide". Maliki has blamed Saudi Arabia for supporting militants in the past, but the severe language was unprecedented. On Monday Riyadh blamed sectarianism in Baghdad for fuelling the violence.
  • Iraq conflict: PM fires senior officers over rebel advance

    06/17/2014 12:24:34 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 17, 2014
    Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has fired senior officers for failing to halt a sweeping advance by Sunni Islamist rebels. Four army commanders were dismissed for failing to perform "their national duty", a government statement said on Tuesday. Iraqi forces have been engaged in heavy clashes with the rebels who have seized several key cities in the past week.
  • Report Details Mistakes Made by U.S. in Improvement Projects for Iraq [FLASHBACK]

    06/17/2014 11:35:44 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer
    New York Times ^ | March 6, 2013 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON
    Before he left his Pentagon post, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta concluded that the inability of the Obama administration to complete an agreement providing for an American military presence in Iraq after 2011 had deprived the United States of important political leverage in Iraq. When the United States had troops in Iraq, the former defense secretary explained, the American commander and the ambassador in Baghdad “created a strong force” that could often dissuade the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, from making “bad decisions” and “going off a cliff.” But the withdrawal of the last complement of American forces in...
  • Kerry should be on a plane to Baghdad, ex-ambassador says

    06/17/2014 6:57:23 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    The Hill ^ | June 17, 2014 | By Rebecca Shabad
    Secretary of State John Kerry “should be on a plane right now for Baghdad,” former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said Tuesday. Crocker served as ambassador to Iraq under President George W. Bush from 2007 until 2009, and ambassador to Afghanistan under President Obama until July 2012. The Obama administration should have had more high-level diplomatic engagement with Iraq, he argued Tuesday, and emphasized the U.S. must now respond with urgency. “We are hard-wired into their political system. We helped create it. We can’t walk away from it,” Crocker said. “I would have preferred since 2011 to see us...
  • Iraq Travel Warning

    06/16/2014 12:12:20 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    US Embassy Baghdad ^ | June 16, 2014 | The Obama Administration
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation. On June 16, the Department of State began relocating some staff members from the Embassy to the Consulates General in Basrah and Erbil and Iraq Support Unit in Amman. The Embassy remains open and is operating. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 11, 2014, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to...
  • ISIS ADVANCES – BAGHDAD AIRPORT UNDER ASSAULT (Photos)

    06/15/2014 8:07:30 PM PDT · by blueyon · 78 replies
    Gateway Pundit ^ | 6/15/14 | Jim Hoft
    ISIS TERRORISTS BEGIN ASSAULT ON BAGHDAD— Baghdad International Airport under Assault– Here’s a new image reportedly of an explosion at the Baghdad airport. The Battle for Baghdad has begun…
  • Iraq Says It's Halted Militant Group's Advance On Baghdad

    06/15/2014 9:35:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 35 replies
    NPR ^ | June 15, 2014 | by EYDER PERALTA
    The Iraqi government says it has halted a militant group's advance on Baghdad. As The Telegraph reports, the Iraqi army started engaging the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, after it made a rapid advance in which it captured the key city of Mosul. "'Our security forces have regained the initiative,' said Maj Gen al-Moussawi, adding that the Iraqi army had won 'remarkable victories with the help of volunteers'. 'We will not stop at liberating Mosul from ISIS terrorists, but all other parts,' he continued."
  • ISIS butchers leave 'roads lined with decapitated police and soldiers'

    06/12/2014 4:32:51 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 81 replies
    The Guardian UK ^ | June 12, 2014 | By SAM GREENHILL and JILL REILLY and KIERAN CORCORAN
    The full horror of the jihadists’ savage victories in Iraq emerged yesterday as witnesses told of streets lined with decapitated soldiers and policemen. Blood-soaked bodies and blazing vehicles were left in the wake of the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS fanatics as they pushed the frontline towards Baghdad. They boasted about their triumphs in a propaganda video depicting appalling scenes including a businessman being dragged from his car and executed at the roadside with a pistol to the back of his head. In the swathe of captured territory across northern Iraq, ISIS declared hardline Sharia law, publishing rules ordering women not to...
  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guard deploys to Iraq to stop Sunni terror group

    06/12/2014 12:47:09 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | June 12, 2014 | By Douglas Ernst
    With U.S. forces out of Iraq and the nation spinning out of control, the nation has turned to someone else to help quell the violence: the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Two battalions of the Quds Forces have been sent to the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al Qaeda offshoot that took control of Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul and Tikrit in recent days. The influx of Quds Forces into Iraq comes less than a week after Qasem Sulaimani, the commander of the Quds Forces, arrived in Baghdad to assess the crisis, said a member of the...
  • Americans being evacuated from Iraqi air base

    06/12/2014 12:29:08 PM PDT · by Mount Athos · 24 replies
    Associated Press ^ | June 12, 2014
    Officials say three planeloads of Americans are being evacuated from a major Iraqi air base in Sunni territory north of Baghdad to escape potential threats from a fast-moving insurgency. Several hundred American contractors are still waiting to leave.
  • Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard (Senior U.S. Off.: Makes you want to kill yourself)

    06/12/2014 6:30:34 AM PDT · by kristinn · 132 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Thursday, June 12, 2014 | Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes
    At a closed-door gathering of Gulf states in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in May, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Arab counterparts all signaled agreement on one thing for the first time: Islamist forces seizing territory in Syria and Iraq had become a regionwide menace that can't be ignored. What they didn't agree on was what to do about it, U.S. officials said.The fall this week of the Iraqi cities Mosul and Tikrit to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham rebel group shows how the insurgent threat is outpacing the response and posing a challenge to President Barack Obama's approach...
  • The Fruit of Obama’s Abandonment of Iraq [January 2014]

    06/12/2014 6:04:33 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Frontpage Mag ^ | January 8, 2014 | by Bruce Thornton
    The debacle in Iraq, of course, has many causes. The dysfunctions of tribal cultures and Islam’s theology of violence––papered over by a national identity imposed from without and indifferent to the religious, regional, ethnic, and tribal fault lines of the region. Yet despite all that, in 2011 Iraq still had a chance to establish some sort of ordered government, as long as enough American forces were on hand to help keep order. And here is where the blame lands on Obama, for failing to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi government that would have left 10,000-15,000 American troops in...
  • Iraq Asked U.S. for Strikes, Officials Say

    06/11/2014 5:13:48 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 130 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 11, 2014 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT
    As the threat from Sunni militants in western Iraq escalated last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas, according to Iraqi and American officials. But Iraq’s appeals for military assistance have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was closed when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011. A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Bernadette Meehan, declined to comment on Mr. Maliki’s...
  • Iraqi insurgent commander is jihad's rising leader

    06/11/2014 4:36:43 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 11, 2014 | BY MARIAM KAROUNY
    The leader of radical Sunni fighters who have made rapid military advances in Iraq is the rising star of global jihad, driven, Islamist fighters say, by an unbending determination to fight for and establish a hardline Islamic state. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, commander of the ISIL, now controls large parts of eastern Syria and western Iraq, a vast cross-border haven for militants in the Sunni Muslim core of the Middle East. "For Sheikh Baghdadi, each religion has its state except Islam, and it should have a state and it should be imposed. It is very simple," said one of his non-Syrian...
  • Extremists in Iraq Continue March Toward Baghdad

    06/11/2014 3:22:33 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 54 replies
    TIME ^ | June 11, 2014 | by Karl Vick
    Militant Sunni forces are taking territory with lightning speed, moving toward the ultimate goal of establishing a new Islamic Caliphate. Hardened by years of battle in neighboring Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is routing the forces of a modern nation-state and gathering land with the ultimate goal of establishing an alternate form of governance, an Islamic Caliphate. “This is not a terrorism problem anymore,” says Jessica Lewis, an expert on ISIS at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank. “This is an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they...
  • Iraq crisis: Islamists force 150,000 to flee Mosul

    06/10/2014 3:54:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 10, 2014
    More than 150,000 people have been forced to flee Iraq's second city of Mosul after Islamist militants effectively took control of it. Troops were among those fleeing as hundreds of jihadists from the ISIS group overran it and much of the surrounding province of Nineveh. Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki responded by asking parliament to declare a state of emergency to grant him greater powers. The US said the development showed ISIS is a threat to the entire region.