BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian border guards have discovered 48 Iraqi citizens hidden away in a truck that officially was transporting boxes of chocolate.
Border police at the Danube port of Giurgiu on the Romanian-Bulgarian border said they discovered 22 men, 9 women and 17 minors including a young infant on Thursday evening after checks on the truck revealed a high level of carbon dioxide, a gas that humans exhale. Continue reading »
In a new book due to hit shelves later this month, John Nixon, a former CIA officer who was responsible for interrogating Saddam Hussein after he was captured in 2003, admits being convinced by the fallen dictator that he was best suited to rule Iraq. Per an excerpt published in Time Magazine, Nixon recalls an encounter with Hussein in which he warned that America would fail in Iraq because “you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”
When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.” When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: “You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”Continue reading »
Donald Trump’s reaction to news that some U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election on his behalf was to fire back: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
He might have had a point — were it not for the fact that he was being so obviously and ludicrously insincere. Case in point: Trump is said to be on the brink of appointing John Bolton as deputy secretary of state. He is arguably the man most responsible for hiding the truth about Iraq’s nonexistent WMDs.
The Bush administration, with Bolton as undersecretary of state for arms control, arrived in Washington, D.C., in 2001 with the goal of invading Iraq. They weren’t motivated by whatever WMDs Iraq might or might not have, but, as a senior administration official later explained, by the simple and highly galling fact of Saddam Hussein’s “defiance” of the U.S. Continue reading »
At least 90 Iraqi soldiers have lost their lives when fighter jets from the United States Air Force (USAF) mistakenly struck their position in Mosul as government forces and allied fighters are trying to flush Daesh terrorists out of the strategic northern city.
An Iraqi army source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Saturday that the airstrike had targeted soldiers from the 9th Armored Division of the Iraqi army the previous day, destroying eight infantry fighting vehicles as well as four Humvee military trucks. Some 100 soldiers were also wounded as a result of the attack. Continue reading »
5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord’s Eyewitness Story
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.
On November 4, Jordanian troops shot and killed three US special forces soldiers who were described as “military trainers” at the time. The troops were killed at a checkpoint at the al-Jafr Air Base, and Jordanian officials said they didn’t stop like they were supposed to.
The situation is looking a lot more complicated now, with officials conceding that the US troops killed in the incident were actually working with the CIA in a program to train “moderate” rebels. Jordan is still insisting it was a simple checkpoint shootout gone wrong, one of those things that just happens at checkpoints. Instead of claiming the US troops didn’t stop, they’re now claiming one of their guns went off by mistake, and the Jordanian troops killed them because of heightened security. Continue reading »
The number of civilians killed by U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is more than double the previous estimate, U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday, after reexamining its air campaign based on allegations from activist groups.
The announcement of 64 additional deaths brings the total civilian death toll in U.S. air attacks to 119 since the campaign against the Islamic State began in 2014, Centcom said. The command, responsible for U.S. military operations in the Middle East, is investigating other allegations.
In the latest provocation between Turkey and Iraq, the Turkish military begun deploying tanks and other armored vehicles to the town of Silopi near the Iraqi border, in a move the defense minister said on Tuesday was related to the fight against terrorism and developments across the border.
As a reminder, Iraq had previously slammed the presence of Turkish troops on its territory, when on October 5 Baghdad warned of “regional war” if Turkey does not withdraw its force.
That threat, however, was lost on the Turkish defense minister, Fikri Isik who said Turkey had “no obligation” to wait behind its borders and would do what was necessary if Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants took a foothold in northwest Iraq’s Sinjar region, around 115 km (71 miles) south of Silopi. “We will not allow the threat to Turkey to increase,” he told broadcaster A Haber in an interview. Continue reading »
A fire at a sulfur mine and processing facility near Mosul, Iraq is emitting tremendous quantities of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere for the sixth day in a row. If this fire was a volcano, it would already be among the largest eruptions of 2016.
NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites first detected the heat signature of the fire at Al-Mishraq facility on October 20, 2016.
By the next day, a plume of toxic white smoke was streaming from the facility, killing at least two Iraqi civilians and prompting nearly 1 000 to seek medical attention.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has abducted tens of thousands of men, women and children from around Mosul to use as human shields in the imminent battle for the city, the UN has said.
The militants forced more than 8,000 families to leave their homes before marching them into Iraq’s second city, which they are defending from advancing troops.
“Isil’s depraved, cowardly strategy is to attempt to use the presence of civilian hostages to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesman for the UN rights office.
Months before President George W. Bush’s speech on September 11, 2002, the New York Times reported at the time, White House officials confirmed the Bush administration had already been “[planning its Iraq strategy] long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas” in August of that same year.
The strategy was to persuade the public and Congress that the United States and its allies should confront the “threat from Saddam Hussein.”
The now infamous 9/11 anniversary speech — and the speech before the United Nations following the anniversary remarks — both stressed the importance of “[ridding] the world of terror.” But before speaking to the United Nations, Bush made the clearest case for war. Continue reading »
Over 60 civilians have been killed and at least 200 injured during three days of US-led coalition airstrikes on residential areas in Mosul, the Russian military reported.
“There were numerous attacks of the US-led coalition targeting residential areas, schools, and other civilian objects both in Mosul and in other parts of the Iraqi Nineveh Governorate,” Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, head of Operations in the Russian General Staff, told journalists on Tuesday.
“We are closely monitoring the situation around Mosul. So far we see no substantial progress in liberating this city from the terrorists of ISIS,” he added, referring to the terrorist organization Islamic State by its former name.
The United States will send around 600 new troops to Iraq to assist local forces in the battle to retake Mosul from Islamic State that is expected later this year, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.
The new deployment is the third such boost in U.S. troop levels in Iraq since April, underscoring the difficulties President Barack Obama has had in extracting the U.S. military from the country.Continue reading »
With much of the public’s attention in recent weeks focused on the escalation between the US and Russia over the nearly 6-year-old proxy war in Syria, a reminder that middle-east tensions include virtually all other neighboring countries, came from Iraq’s prime minister who on Wednesday warned Turkey that it risked triggering a regional war by keeping troops in his territory, as the neighboring states summoned each other’s ambassadors in a mounting diplomatic stand-off. Continue reading »
As reported on Saturday, a September 11 widow was the first American to take advantage of the recently passed Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA), aka the “Sept.11” bill courtesy of Congress which for the first time in Obama’s tenure overrode his veto, by suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Stephanie Ross DeSimone alleged the kingdom provided material support to al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden leading to the death of her husband, Navy Commander Patrick Dunn, who was killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2009, when Stephanie was two months pregnant at the time with the couple’s daughter. Her suit is also filed on behalf of the couple’s daughter. She sued for wrongful death and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Continue reading »
Just days after the news hit that ISIS’ main propaganda officer, Mohammad al-Adnani, one of the Islamic State’s most prominent leaders, the second in command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as the unofficial spokesman of the terrorist organization, was killed (with a scandal promptly erupting between the US and Russia over who had taken him out), the power vacuum that formed at the top of the Islamic State has been promptly filled, after former Tajik Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov became the top ISIS battlefield commander in Iraq, after defecting last year and swearing jihad against the West.
Khalimov is set to take the position vacated by Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, who was killed in the Iraqi city of Shirqat, south of Mosul. in early July and whom the Pentagon described as Islamic State’s “minister of war.”
What makes the ascent of Khalimov particularly embarrassing for the US is that The former paramilitary unit commander of the Tajikistan armed forces received his battlefield training from American advisors and even came to the United States on several occasions to receive special counterterrorism training through the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. Continue reading »
An Afghan Army soldier picks up his weapon at a training facility in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. Anja Niedringhaus/AP
The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence. Continue reading »
The Pentagon has records for fewer than half of the firearms the United States dispensed to partner forces in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the New York Timesreported Wednesday.
A compilation of Pentagon contract records related to the proliferation of rifles, pistols, machine guns, and associated attachments and ammunition found that the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq over a 14-year span. Those transfers were part of Defense Department small arms contracts totaling $4 billion. The Pentagon issued over $40 billion in total contracts, according to the report. Continue reading »
US Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein announced in a media release Tuesday that Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have completed airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in ten years.
He stated, “We got the B-52 back in the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq,” adding, “We have the B-52 contributing to a significant ground effort and employing weapons in close proximity of friendly troops who are under attack [and] who are preparing the battlefield in new ways. Continue reading »
Adding to the ever-growing number of US ground troops in the “no boots on the ground” war in Iraq, Army officials announced yet another significant deployment from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, from which some 400 troops will be sent to Qayara, just south of Mosul.
(MEE) Islamic State fighters may have captured up to 3,000 fleeing Iraqi villagers on Thursday and subsequently killed 12 of them, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has said.
The report followed a statement on Thursday from the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, which said about 1,900 civilians had been captured by an estimated 100-120 Islamic State fighters, who were using people as shields against attacks by Iraqi security forces. Tens of civilians had been executed, and six burnt, it said. Continue reading »