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Thread: Iraq Pullout

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    Default Iraq Pullout

    8 February 2012 Last updated at 08:32 ET US to cut Baghdad embassy staff

    The US will look into hiring more Iraqis at the embassy and using fewer contractors
    Continue reading the main story Related Stories




    The United States is looking to cut the size of its embassy in Iraq - the largest and most expensive US diplomatic mission, officials say.
    A state department spokeswoman said the objective was to reduce the cost of the embassy, which employs about 2,000 diplomats and 14,000 contractors.
    The New York Times quoted officials as saying that the US was preparing to cut the number of staff by up to a half.
    The US military left Iraq in December, eight years after the invasion.
    Iraq has experienced both a surge in violence and a political crisis since the withdrawal, with the country's most senior Sunni Arab politician, Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, wanted on terrorism charges.
    'Right-size' On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the US ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, and other senior state department officials were reconsidering the size and scope of the embassy in Baghdad.
    Continue reading the main story “Start Quote

    I think what we have here is an embassy structure that was built for a different time”
    Victoria Nuland US state department spokeswoman
    It was originally thought that the $750m embassy, which sits inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone, and the huge diplomatic operation, which reportedly costs $6bn a year, were necessary to establish normal relations and help ensure Iraq became a stable democracy.
    However, diplomats now believe that approach was ill-advised, with many complaining an inability to leave the embassy because of security concerns and Iraqi obstructionism, according to the New York Times.
    The Iraqi authorities have reportedly made it difficult for supplies to be delivered to the embassy compound and for diplomats to get visas, and have launched a crackdown on security contractors protecting diplomats.
    On Wednesday, state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment on the New York Times article, but confirmed that the US was looking to "right-size" the Baghdad embassy.
    "I think what we have here is an embassy structure that was built for a different time and that relied a lot on extensive contracting for a whole range of reasons - some of them historic, some of them security-related," she told reporters in Washington.
    "Our judgment now is that we can adapt that for today's Iraq, do our diplomatic business just as well and just as rigorously, but far more efficiently," she added.
    Ms Nuland said the US would look into hiring more Iraqis at the embassy and using fewer contractors, who can be "very expensive".
    The embassy of Turkey - Iraq's largest trading partner - is believed to employ only about 55 people, only a handful of whom are diplomats.
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Guess we need to change the name of this thread to "Iraq Put Back".

    Just announced... we're going back.

    At least with weapons and ammo, parts and likely some people to manage it.
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    US agrees to send new arms, artillery to Iraq to fight Al Qaeda
    Jennifer Griffin

    By Jennifer Griffin
    Published January 17, 2014
    FoxNews.com
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    The United States has agreed to send new arms to Iraq to thwart Al Qaeda-linked militants currently controlling Fallujah following a request by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, senior defense officials told Fox News.

    Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the Iraqi leader on Tuesday, although White House officials suggest the weapons – artillery and assault rifles – were not the primary thrust of the conversation. The United States is also in discussions with the Iraqis to send officials to Jordan to train Iraqi security forces.

    Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to detail the immediate status of those trainers, but did confirm Maliki’s request, adding that the United States will send “several thousand” M-16 and M-4 rifles, as well as ammunition. The new weapons have been “sourced,” Warren said, and should arrive in Iraq in weeks.

    Maliki also requested an additional 100 Hellfire missiles, a second U.S. defense official told Fox News. That request must be approved by Congress, however.

    The United States has delivered more than $14 billion in equipment, services and training to the Iraqi military and security forces since 2005, according to Department of Defense statistics. In the past year alone, the United States delivered six C-130J aircraft and a Rapid Avenger surface-to-air missile battery. Additionally, a total of 140 M1A1 tanks have been provided between 2010 and 2012.

    Earlier this month, Biden also spoke with Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni leader and frequent critic of Maliki's Shiite-led government. The two discussed ways to sustain cooperation between Sunni communities and the Shiite-led government, and al-Nujaifi said he was committed to fighting terrorism, The Associated Press reports.

    The Obama administration has been criticized recently by those who question whether Iraq would be better off today had the U.S. left a military presence in Iraq, as it is attempting to do in Afghanistan while it winds down its war there.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney has said such violence in Iraq took place even when there were 150,000 U.S. troops there. While the United States can aide Iraqis, the war-torn country must take the lead, Carney said.

    "If members (of Congress) were suggesting that there should be American troops fighting and dying in Fallujah today, they should say so," Carney said on Jan. 6. "The president doesn't believe that."

    Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). She joined FNC in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent. Her first years as a journalist were spent in South Africa.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...ight-al-qaeda/
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Companion Thread:Obama: President Pantywaist Restores The Satellite States To Their Former owner

    Didn't the Obama Administration arm Al qaeda rebels in Libya and Syria?

    What about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?


    • Iraqi Surrender
    • Al qaeda Surrender


    A few more come to mind...


    Barack Obama: President Pantywaist - new surrender monkey on the block


    Telegraph UK ^
    | Apr 10, 2009 | Gerald Warner

    Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009 9:54:13 AM by
    IrishMike

    President Obama has recently completed the most successful foreign policy tour since Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. You name it, he blew it. What was his big deal economic programme that he was determined to drive through the G20 summit? Another massive stimulus package, globally funded and co-ordinated. Did he achieve it? Not so as you'd notice.

    Barack is not the first New World ingenue to discover that European leaders will load him with praise, struggle sycophantically to be photographed with him and outdo him in Utopian rhetoric. But when it comes to the critical moment of opening their wallets - suddenly it is flag-day in Aberdeen. Okay, put the G20 down to inexperience, beginner's nerves, what you will.

    On to Nato and the next big objective: to persuade the same European evasion experts that America, Britain and Canada should no longer bear the brunt of the Afghan struggle virtually unassisted. The Old World sucked through its teeth, said that was asking a lot - but, seeing it was Barack, to whom they could refuse nothing, they would graciously accede to his wishes.

    So The One retired triumphant, having secured a massive contribution of 5,000 extra troops - all of them non-combatant, of course - which must really have put the wind up the Taliban, at the prospect of 5,000 more infidel cooks and bottle-washers swarming into the less hazardous regions of Afghanistan.

    Then came the dramatic bit, the authentic West Wing script, with the President wakened in the middle of the night in Prague to be told that Kim Jong-il had just launched a Taepodong-2 missile. America had Aegis destroyers tracking the missile and could have shot it down. But Uncle Sam had a sterner reprisal in store for l'il ole Kim : a multi-megaton strike of Obama hot air.

    Sarkozy calls Obama a cheese-eating surrender monkey


    September 26, 2009
    By wcvarones

    I never thought I’d see the day when an American President makes the French look hawkish.
    Canada’s National Post:
    Obama: “We must never stop until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth.”
    Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.”
    The rest of Sarkozy’s remarks were, well, remarkable:

    “President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

    “Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

    “I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,” he continued, referring to Israel.

    The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama’s resolution 1887 had used up valuable diplomatic energy.

    “If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons,” he said.

    Mr Sarkozy has previously called the US president’s disarmament crusade “naive.”
    You know what they say in France: going to war without Obama is like going deer hunting without an accordion!

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    The reason resources are being put into Iraq.


    Al-Qaeda-Linked Force Captures Fallujah Amid Rise In Violence In Iraq

    January 3, 2014

    A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago.

    The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war.

    Elsewhere in the province, local tribal militias claimed they were gaining ground against the al-Qaeda militants who surged into urban areas from their desert strongholds this week after clashes erupted between local residents and the Iraqi security forces.

    In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011.

    The upheaval also affirmed the soaring capabilities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the rebranded version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization that was formed a decade ago to confront U.S. troops and expanded into Syria last year while escalating its activities in Iraq. Roughly a third of the 4,486 U.S. troops killed in Iraq died in Anbar trying to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, nearly 100 of them in the November 2004 battle for control of Fallujah, the site of America’s bloodiest confrontation since the Vietnam War.

    Events Friday suggested the fight may have been in vain.

    “At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”

    At Friday prayers , held outdoors and attended by thousands of people, a masked ISIS fighter took the podium and addressed the crowd, declaring the establishment of an “Islamic emirate” in Fallujah and promising to help residents fight the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Iranian allies.

    “We don’t want to hurt you. We don’t want to take any of your possessions,” the man told the crowd, according to the journalist, who attended the prayers. “We want you to reopen the schools and institutions and return to your normal lives.”

    The extent of the militants’ control over the city was unclear, however. Some local tribes were challenging their presence, and there were scattered firefights, according to another Fallujah resident who also did not want to be named because he is afraid. The Iraqi army fired shells into Fallujah from bases outside the city, killing at least 17 people, and most residents spent the day hiding indoors, he said.

    In the provincial capital, Ramadi, tribal fighters have succeeded in ejecting al-Qaeda loyalists, according to Ahmed Abu Risha, a tribal leader who fought alongside U.S. troops against al-Qaeda in Iraq following the “surge” of U.S. troops in 2007.

    The tribesmen are cooperating with Iraqi police, Abu Risha said, and are receiving weapons and support from the Iraqi army. Among those killed in the fighting was Abu Abdul Rahman al-Baghdadi, the emir, or leader, of ISIS in Ramadi.

    “All the tribes of Anbar are fighting against al-Qaeda,” he said. “We are happy this fight is taking place. We will confront them face to face, and we will win this battle.”

    But it was unclear whether all the tribal fighters battling the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants were doing so in alliance with the Iraqi government. The current violence evolved from a year-long, largely peaceful Sunni revolt against Maliki’s Shiite-dominated government that drew inspiration from the Arab Spring demonstrations elsewhere in the region. But it was rooted in the sectarian disputes left unresolved when U.S. troops withdrew and inflamed by the escalating conflict in neighboring Syria.

    Those disputes include the exclusion of Sunnis from important decision-making positions in government and abuses committed against Sunnis in Iraq’s notoriously inequitable judicial system.

    When Maliki dispatched the Iraqi army to quell a protest in Ramadi this week, local tribes fought back. Maliki ordered the troops to withdraw, creating an opportunity for al-Qaeda fighters to surge into towns from their desert strongholds and triggering battles across the province.

    Though some tribes have turned against the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, others have not, said Kirk Sowell, a political risk analyst based in the Jordanian capital, Amman, who edits the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.

    “Basically, no one is in control,” he said. “The situation was really horrible anyway, and the operation against Ramadi made it worse.”

    A group representing the tribal fighters, calling itself the Military Council of the Anbar Rebels, posted a video on YouTube in which masked men declared their opposition to Maliki’s government but made no mention of al-Qaeda. The fighters called on local members of the Iraqi security forces to desert, hand over their weapons “and remember always that they are the sons of Iraq, not slaves of Maliki.”

    Whether or how the Iraqi security forces will be able to regain the initiative is unclear. ISIS fighters have steadily asserted their control over the province’s desert regions for months, buoyed by their consolidation of control over territory just across the border in Syria. They are more disciplined and better armed than the tribal fighters drawn into the fray over the past week, and the Iraqi security forces lack the equipment and technology that enabled U.S. troops to suppress the al-Qaeda challenge.

    In the past year, al-Qaeda has bounced back, launching a vicious campaign of bombings that killed more than 8,000 people in 2013, according to the United Nations. Sectarian tensions between Iraq’s Sunnis and the Shiite-led government have been further inflamed by the war in Syria, where the majority Sunni population has been engaged in a nearly three-year-old struggle to dislodge President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shiite Alawite minority.

    Al-Qaeda’s ascendant influence in Syria has given the militants control over the desert territories spanning both sides of the *Iraqi-Syrian border, enabling them to readily transfer weapons and fighters between the arenas.

    In Syria on Friday, there were demonstrations in several rebel-held towns against ISIS’s presence, and in at least one town ISIS fighters opened fire on protesters, echoing the suppression of anti-government demonstrations by Syria’s government in the early days of the revolt. Clashes also erupted between the al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters and Islamist fighters from the newly formed Islamist Front in the rebel-held north, in a sign of growing tensions between Syrians and foreign-influenced extremists.

    Most residents of Fallujah do not support the al-Qaeda fighters, the journalist there said, but they also lack the means to oppose them, and they also oppose the Iraqi government.

    “It is sad, because we are going back to the days of the past,” he said. “Everyone is remembering the battles of 2004 when the Marines came in, and now we are revisiting history.”



    All those lives and fortune lost essentially in vain.

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Yep, the Dems are culpable to allow this to happen with their eyes wide open.

    If FOX or other conservative media brought it up it would be unpopular because the MSM has grandstanded the difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan with the anti-war narrative and placed it around the Bush Admin's neck.

    If a conservative like Hannity, Rush or Palin become critical the way the Obama Administration are running the war in Afghanistan or Iraq they are labeled war mongers or racist to question the Obama Admin's decisions in being forced clean up what Republicans have made a mess of when it fact it is the exact opposite, like the Arab Spring and Benghazi. They have made the ME more dangerous under their watch and terror is now back on the rise.

    Under Obama the US Casualty Rate In Afghanistan Increases, Where's the Media?


    Listen to Biden defend thinning down the troops and having to rely more on Afghan forces for security that have been infiltrated by the Taliban causing the mortality rate go up many times under Obama vs Bush. The Obama Administration are directly responsible for more of our troops getting killed with their defeatist policies in both Afghanistan and Iraq.


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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Afghanistan gains being lost, Iraq gains being lost...

    All those American troops' lives wasted.



    Al-Qaeda Fighters Take Control Of Mosul In Northern Iraq

    Militants from the Sunni group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant linked to al-Qaeda took control of Mosul in northern Iraq, Al Arabiya TV channel reported.

    The clashes between armed extremists and Iraqi security forces in Mosul began on Tuesday morning. According to Sky News Arabia, the fighting took place near the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Nineveh province and the regional administration.

    The extremists managed to occupy the governor's office after guards had escaped. Then the militants moved to the southern outskirts of the city, where the military airfield, army base and security forces jail are located. Hundreds of the most dangerous prisoners escaped. Strategic objects came under the command of extremists. Arms dumps and guns, as well as the central bank, were seized by the militants.

    Iraqi police and army forces abandoned their posts in the city of Mosul, which shocked the locals, the governor said.

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout


    Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m From City's Central Bank To Make ISIS World's Richest Terror Force

    June 11, 2014

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) has become the richest terror group ever after looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars - the equivalent of $429m (£256m) - from Mosul's central bank, according to the regional governor.

    Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi confirmed Kurdish televison reports that Isis militants had stolen millions from numerous banks across Mosul. A large quantity of gold bullion is also believed to have been stolen.

    Following the siege of the country's second city, the bounty collected by the group has left it richer than al-Qaeda itself and as wealthy as small nations such as Tonga, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Falkland Islands.

    The financial assets that ISIS now possess are likely to worsen the Iraqi governement's struggle to defeat the insurgency, which is aimed at creating an Islamic state across the Syrian-Iraqi border.

    The Islamist militants took control of Mosul after hundreds of its fighters overwhelmed government military forces in a lightening attack on Monday, forcing up to 500,000 people to flee the city and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to call a national state of emergency.

    The militants freed up to 1,000 inmates from Mosul's central prison, according to senior police officials. They are also in control of Mosul airport and local television stations.




    They also seized considerable amounts of US-supplied military hardware. Photos have already emerged of ISIS parading captured Humvees in neighbouring Syria where they are also waging war against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.


    US-supplied Humvees captured by Islamic insurgents in the battle for Mosul

    In a televised news conference, Maliki said "Iraq is undergoing a difficult stage" and urged the public and government to unite "to confront this vicious attack, which will spare no Iraqi."




    The US State Department has released a statement saying that it is "deeply concerned" by the Islamist militants' siege of Mosul.

    "The situation remains extremely serious. Senior U.S. officials in both Washington and Baghdad are tracking events closely in coordination with the Government of Iraq," the statement read.

    "The United States stands with the Iraqi people," it continued.

    ISIS captured the city Falluja, 40 miles west of Baghdad, in January and currently controls large swathes of northern Iraq.

    The Iraqi government has launched a number of failed assaults on the city leaving hopes of retaking Mosul slim.

    An Iraqi army officer told the Independent: "We can't beat them."

    "They're trained in street fighting and we're not. We need a whole army to drive them out of Mosul. They're like ghosts; they appear to hit and disappear within seconds."

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout


    Fresh Off Mosul Victory, Militants In Iraq Wrest Control Of Tikrit

    June 11, 2014



    A day after taking over Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, militants gained nearly complete control of the northern city of Tikrit, witnesses in the city and police officials in neighboring Samarra told CNN.

    Heavy fighting erupted inside Tikrit -- the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein -- as the military tried to regain control, the sources and a police official in Baghdad said.

    According to the witnesses in Tikrit and the Samarra police officials, two police stations in Tikrit were on fire and a military base was taken over by militants, believed to be from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

    The governor of Salaheddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital, was missing, according to the sources.

    Suspected ISIS militants raided the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on Wednesday, capturing 48 people, including diplomats, and they also seized parts of Baiji, the site of Iraq's largest oil refinery, police officials in Tikrit told CNN.

    The devastating ISIS advance is proving an object lesson of much that is wrong in Iraq and the region -- with a festering civil war over the border in Syria adding fuel to the growing sectarian tensions at home.

    ISIS is exploiting this to expand its influence, from cities like Falluja and parts of Ramadi that it wrested from the government in Anbar early this year, and from Syrian towns like Raqqa it controls over the border.

    That it is capable of fighting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on one hand, its fellow radicals on another and the Iraqi government on top of that is an indication of the depth to which ISIS has established itself in the region.

    The group was an offshoot al Qaeda in Iraq, responsible for the deaths of many U.S. troops in western Iraq. With American help, Iraqi tribal militias put ISIS on the defensive.

    But when U.S. troops left the country, the extremist militants found new leadership, grew stronger while in Syria, and returned to Iraq, making military gains often off the backs of foreign fighters drawn to Syria's conflict.

    Half million civilians displaced

    The clashes across Iraq come on the heels of a sudden and danger-fraught exodus from the fighting in Mosul, which fell to militants Tuesday.

    More than 500,000 people have fled the fighting there, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday.

    The group said there were many civilian casualties. The city's four main hospitals are inaccessible because of fighting, and some mosques have been converted for use as clinics, the IOM said.

    Those fleeing the fighting -- some on foot, some bringing only what they can carry in plastic bags -- were heading to the city's east or seeking sanctuary elsewhere in Nineveh province or in Iraq's Kurdish region.

    The U.N. Refugee Agency said many people were traveling with no belongings and little or no money. That including one family of 12 people, including a 70-year-old grandmother, who had walked for two days from a farm near Mosul to a checkpoint. They had no idea what they were going to do next, and they had spent all their cash, the United Nations said.

    Mosul, a predominantly Sunni city with 1.6 million residents, collapsed swiftly. American-trained Iraqi forces ran in the face of the onslaught, leaving behind uniforms, weapons and armored vehicles.

    A U.S. Department of Defense official said Washington has provided $15 billion in training, weapons and equipment to the Iraqi government.

    The heavily armed radicals overran police stations, freed more than 1,000 prisoners from the city jail and took over the city's international airport.

    Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered that all military leaders who fled be court-martialed.

    The Defense Ministry said the air force killed a group of ISIS militants along a highway leading south toward Samarra. The ministry also said it would push back the militants.

    "This is not the end, we are very confident that we will be able to correct the path and to overcome mistakes," the ministry said on its website.

    The Interior Ministry said that military commanders have started deploying fighters from local Shiite militias on the western outskirts of al-Nasiriya to protect that city.

    Forces from the Kurdistan regional government took up positions in southwest Kirkuk after militants took over several villages and districts north and west of the city and the Iraqi army withdrew, police officials there told CNN.

    The Kurdish regional prime minister -- whose ethnic Kurdish forces reach the eastern outskirts of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province -- blamed Iraq's leadership for the city's collapse.

    "Over the last two days, we tried extremely hard to establish cooperation with the Iraqi Security Forces in order to protect the city of Mosul. Tragically, Baghdad adopted a position which has prevented the establishment of this cooperation," Nechirvan Barzani said in a statement Tuesday.

    Turkish consulate targeted

    Turkish special forces members, consulate workers and three children were among those detained and taken to the ISIS headquarters following a raid on the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on Wednesday morning, Turkish officials told CNN.

    "The condition of the Turkish citizens is fine, developments are being monitored," the officials said.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said consulate staff had been urged to leave this week, but the decision to evacuate was left up to individuals.

    "We were told that it would be more risky for our 48 people to go outside than to stay inside," Davutoglu said, speaking on Turkish television.

    "If any harm is done to any of our citizens, it will not go unanswered. No one should test Turkey."

    Oil town under attack

    Meanwhile, suspected ISIS militants seized parts of Baiji, a small Iraqi town in Salaheddin province about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, police officials in Tikrit told CNN.

    The Baiji oil refinery is still under the control of Iraqi security forces, officials said.

    The fact that ISIS forces are trying to take the town suggests a wider strategic aim besides oil. Baiji sits on the main highway north from Baghdad to Mosul that passes through rural areas in which ISIS has much influence.

    For the government to reinforce its troops in Mosul, it needs to drive them through Baiji. If ISIS controls the town, the government's task will be much harder.

    Explosions struck three Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing 25 people and injuring 56, police officials told CNN. The deadliest attack was in Sadr City, where a car bomb exploded near a funeral tent, killing 15 people, police said.

    Discontent feeds violence

    In his weekly address to the nation Wednesday, al-Maliki described the assault on Mosul as a "conspiracy" to destabilize the country and called on Iraqis to "stand as one united front."

    He also praised the people of Nineveh province for volunteering to take up arms against ISIS and promised to "cleanse Nineveh from these terrorists."

    Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said in a statement Wednesday that he is ready to form a "peace brigade" to work in coordination with the Iraqi government "to defend the holy places" of Muslims and Christians.

    But this brigade probably would be viewed by many as a resurgence of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, the powerful Shia militia that disbanded at the end of 2008.

    Its formation could risk worsening the country's underlying problem -- festering sectarian division.

    The country's minority Sunni population, which prospered under Hussein, feels shut out by al-Maliki's Shia majority-dominated government.

    A U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN that ISIS had been active in Nineveh province "for a long time and clearly sensed that Mosul was vulnerable now after engaging in sporadic attacks earlier this year.

    "Strategically, the group looks at Syria and Iraq as one interchangeable battlefield, and its ability to shift resources and personnel across the border has measurably strengthened its position in both theaters."

    However, the official said ISIS still "has shown little ability to govern effectively, is generally unpopular and has no sway outside the Sunni community in either Iraq or Syria."

    A spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the fall of Mosul and the situation in Tikrit validates neighboring Tehran's concerns.

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran had earlier warned that the danger of terrorism won't be limited to one region and will spread beyond countries. And unfortunately today we are witnessing this issue," Marziyeh Afkham told the semiofficial Fars news agency.

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Hardware captured by ISIS...










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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Here's what Obama had to say about this group after the fall of Falluja back in January...


    Obama Dismisses Al-Qaeda Resurgence: They’re JV

    January 20, 2014

    In a wide-ranging interview with the New Yorker, President Barack Obama compared Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq and Syria to junior varsity basketball players, downplaying their threat as small-league. He also shared what he thought were the chances of reaching Middle East peace agreements.

    New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out to the president that the Al Qaeda flag is now seen flying in Falluja in Iraq and in certain locations in Syria, and thus the terrorist group has not been “decimated” as Obama had said during his 2012 reelection campaign.

    “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told Remnick. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

    Remnick characterized Obama’s analogy as “uncharacteristically flip.”

    While the New Yorker referred to the initials for junior varsity as “jayvee,” it is more commonly written as “JV.”

    Obama detailed his thinking on key Middle East hotspots, telling the magazine that in the case of Iran, Israel and the Palestinians, and Syria, he believes that the odds of completing final peace treaties are less than fifty-fifty.

    “On the other hand,” he said, “in all three circumstances we may be able to push the boulder partway up the hill and maybe stabilize it so it doesn’t roll back on us. And all three are connected.”

    “I do believe that the region is going through rapid change and inexorable change. Some of it is demographics; some of it is technology; some of it is economics. And the old order, the old equilibrium, is no longer tenable. The question then becomes, What’s next?” Obama added.

    Obama’s acknowledgement of the low prospects he gives a peace settlement suggests a possible disconnect between his view and that of his Secretary of State John Kerry who has been laboring intensely to try to forge a deal.

    This raises the question: if Obama holds such a pessimistic view, why has Kerry traveled an average of once a month to the region since taking office to work on a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority?

    The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that Vice President Joe Biden last week passed a message from Obama to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which said that the president fully supports Kerry’s diplomatic initiative.

    An unnamed senior U.S. official told Haaretz that Biden “made it clear that the United States places extremely high value on reaching an agreement that produces two states living side by side in peace and security, but also just underscoring how important Israel’s security requirements are for us.”

    Obama further told the New Yorker that he is “haunted by what’s happened” in Syria.

    “I am not haunted by my decision not to engage in another Middle Eastern war,” he said, however.

    “And when I hear people suggesting that somehow if we had just financed and armed the opposition earlier, that somehow Assad would be gone by now and we’d have a peaceful transition, it’s magical thinking,” Obama added.

    On the interim agreement with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, members of Congress have threatened to further tighten sanctions. Obama appeared to hold Israel responsible at least in part for those threats.

    “Members of Congress are very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues,” Obama said. “I don’t think a new sanctions bill will reach my desk during this period, but, if it did, I would veto it and expect it to be sustained.”

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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post



    US-supplied Humvees captured by Islamic insurgents in the battle for Mosul
    I want a free Humvee.....
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Militants Vow to March on Baghdad After Taking Mosul, Tikrit


    The al Qaeda-inspired militants who overran two Iraqi cities in as many days apparently have new orders: march on Baghdad.
    An audio recording purportedly from the spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant - known as ISIS or ISIL - boasts of the group's recent successes and urges his fighters to advance on the Iraqi capital.



    Sign up for breaking news alerts from NBC News
    "Roll up your sleeves of seriousness. Do not give up one span of land that you have liberated," spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani says. "March to Baghdad... We have a score to settle."

    Militants target Baghdad

    TODAY







    The nearly 17-minute recording was flagged and translated by the Washington-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites. It was not immediately possible for NBC News to independently verify its authenticity.
    Its release came swiftly after militants from the al Qaeda splinter group seized control of Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein. Less than a day earlier, the insurgents had raised their black banners over Mosul - Iraq's second-largest city, triggering an exodus of nearly half a million people fleeing the violence.




    ISIL classified ads. A member of ISIL is looking for a few good pilots. To fly American helicopters seized in #mosul pic.twitter.com/u342T9zagC
    -Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) June 11, 2014
    The rapid advance of the Sunni fighters - who seek to establish an Islamic emirate stretching across the Iraq-Syria border - has ignited fears of a sectarian bloodbath, prompting the U.S. and United Nations to express grave concerns and urge unity from Iraq's leadership.
    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - who has been fiercely criticized for failing to stem a rising tide of violence and for implementing what are considered to be broadly sectarian policies under his Shiite-led government - has requested a state of emergency for the county.
    Lawmakers are expected to convene for an emergency session Thursday to consider that request, according to The Associated Press.
    Maliki's government also has asked the U.S. for assistance in combating the militants.

    Iraq asks US military for help

    TODAY










    The prime minister's leadership was mocked in the recording from ISIS, with Adnani slamming Maliki as a "liar" and nothing more than "an underwear salesman."
    "What have you done to your people," Adnani says. "What do you know about policy, leadership, and military command?"
    The White House has pledged to stand by Iraq's leaders, saying that the insurgents' actions in Mosul and its surrounding areas show "once again that these extremists seek nothing but death and destruction."
    The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a meeting for later Thursday for a briefing from its special representative for Iraq.
    Iraq's ambassador to France called on the U.N. Security Council to approve extra military aid for Baghdad, including air and drone support, when it meets, Reuters reported.
    "We need equipment, extra aviation and drones," Fareed Yasseen said, when asked on France Inter radio what Iraq wanted from the Council.
    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the upsurge in violence and urged the international community to unite in showing solidarity with Iraq in confronting the “serious security challenge.”



    “Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in undoing the path towards democracy in Iraq as determined by the will of the Iraqi people,” he said in a statement late Wednesday.

    Mosul Residents Flee Violence Take Refuge in Irbil

    NBC News







    Many in and outside of Iraq have expressed incredulity that Iraq’s security forces fled their posts in the face of the insurgents’ assault, littering the ground in Mosul with discarded uniforms and weapons as they abandoned their positions.
    Analysts say the million-strong U.S.-trained Iraqi army greatly outnumbers the militants, but has failed to put up any serious resistance to the insurgents’ drive and mostly evaporated amid incoming attacks.
    On Thursday, Iraqi Kurds seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk following clashes there that again forced a retreat by Baghdad’s security forces, according to Reuters.




    Civilians Flag Down Troops in Bid to Evacuate Iraq City

    NBC News







    "The whole of Kirkuk has fallen into the hands of peshmerga," Jabbar Yawar, a spokesmen for the fighters from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north told the news agency. "No Iraqi army remains in Kirkuk now."
    Kurdistan has largely escaped the violence that has convulsed Iraq since the U.S. invasion. In recent months, Less than three years after the U.S. troop withdrawal, violence in Iraq has reached levels not seen since before the invasion.
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    BREAKING NEWS (as if) SADDAM HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

    New York TIMES is putting this out.

    Pentagon is CONFIRMING.


    BUSH WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL!




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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    October 15, 2014
    NY Times admits Saddam had WMDs
    By David Paulin

    It's a stunning revelation: American soldiers in Iraq came across thousands of chemical weapons -- and a number of them suffered long-term injuries after being exposed to mustard and sarin gas.

    And today, ISIS controls the territory where these chemical weapons were found.

    These facts are laid bare by New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers in a long article, “The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons.” How ironic that the left-leaning Times is presenting facts that are at odds with a favorite narrative of the anti-war left -- namely, that the mendacious Bush administration had lied about the existence of WMDs in Iraq.

    Chivers, of course, can't very well say that Bush was right all along: His readers wouldn't stand for it. So he tosses a bone to them, claiming the Bush administration's goal in Iraq wasn't merely to disarm Saddam of his WMDs -- but to destroy “an active weapons of mass destruction program.” Instead he claims that American troops only found “remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West." Yet the fact remains that these chemical agents still had military value -- a fact that Chivers concedes. And while these chemical WMDs were not part of an "active" program, this does not refute the fact that Saddam was in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions requiring him to account for and destroy his WMDs.

    Looking past The Times' spin, the article nevertheless offers some disquieting revelations -- revolving around military and bureaucratic bungling, incompetence, and mistreatment of American troops who, thanks to the military's obsession with secrecy, were unnecessarily exposed to mustard and sarin gas when uncovering hidden arsenals of aging artillery shells and rockets.

    Elaborating on the magnitude of Saddam's WMD sites, Chivers writes:

    From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Despite suggesting that all those aging chemical weapons had no military value, Chivers goes into much detail about how American troops who handled them suffered skin blisters and respiratory problems. Some initially received poor medical care, a problem attributed to the military's climate of secrecy. It was a policy that apparently was formulated in part to save the Bush administration from embarrassment that no “active” WMD programs were found.

    In some cases, servicemen were denied Purple Hearts after suffering injuries from chemical stockpiles; and the military's secrecy regarding chemical WMDs contributed to military physicians initially misdiagnosing injuries they were seeing that had been inflicted by chemical agents. Or as Chivers writes:

    The New York Times found 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to nerve or mustard agents after 2003. American officials said that the actual tally of exposed troops was slightly higher, but that the government’s official count was classified.

    The secrecy fit a pattern. Since the outset of the war, the scale of the United States’ encounters with chemical weapons in Iraq was neither publicly shared nor widely circulated within the military. These encounters carry worrisome implications now that the Islamic State, a Qaeda splinter group, controls much of the territory where the weapons were found.

    The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds.

    There is much blame to go around here both for the Bush and Obama administrations. And while The Times doesn't say so, the Obama administration obviously knew of this problem -- yet did nothing to make sure that chemical-weapons sites weren't cleaned up.

    Obviously, the Obama administration was in an awkward spot, because to even have acknowledged the existence of these weapons would have given credence to the Bush administration's motives for invading Iraq. It is unclear why the Bush administration wouldn't have wanted discoveries of aging yet potent chemical weapons stockpiles to be publicized. How many of those chemical weapons were sent to Syria?

    Chivers notes that when U.S. troops left Iraq, old stocks of chemical weapons were “still circulating” and that “finding, safeguarding and destroying these weapons was to be the responsibility of Iraq’s government. Iraq took initial steps to fulfill its obligations.”

    Along these lines, three reporters from The Times visited a site last year named Al Muthanna, and they observed “a knot of Iraqi police officers and soldiers guarded the entrance” of two bunkers — one containing cyanide precursors and old sarin rockets."

    Whatever became of that site? Chivers writes: “The Iraqi troops who stood at that entrance are no longer there. The compound, never entombed, is now controlled by the Islamic State.

    It will be interesting to see how all this plays out during the next White House press conference.

    It will be hard to say it was all Bush's fault.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    US troops DID find chemical weapons in Iraq - but Pentagon kept it secret: Discovery of 5,000 warheads and shells 'was hushed up because they were not weapons of mass destruction'

    • An estimated 5,000 chemical weapons were found in Iraq between 2004 and 2011, it has been revealed
    • Pentagon chose not to release the information to the general public for several embarrassing reasons
    • The weapons did not meet George W. Bush's rationale that Saddam Hussein had a program of 'mass destruction'
    • Most had been developed by Saddam's forces during the 1980s and had been built in close collaboration with the West
    • At least 17 American military personnel were injured due to the mishandling of the weapons
    • George W Bush has described the 'intelligence failure' over Iraq as the greatest failure of his presidency

    By David Mccormack and Joel Christie for MailOnline
    Published: 01:21 EST, 15 October 2014 | Updated: 07:59 EST, 15 October 2014


    1.1k shares
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    About 5,000 chemical weapons were recovered or destroyed in Iraq following the 2003 invasion but the Pentagon chose to keep the findings top secret, it has emerged.
    An investigation by The New York Times has revealed that U.S. forces happened across the hidden caches of warheads, shells and aviation bombs between 2004 and 2011.
    But the information wasn't made public as embarrassingly the weapons, many of which had been built in close collaboration with the West, had been sitting dormant since the 1980s and so didn't support President George W. Bush's rationale for going to war.
    At least 17 American troops were also seriously injured discovering and attempting to destroy the deteriorating shells filled with nerve and mustard agents.
    Scroll down for video

    +7


    Cache: Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians prepare unexploded ordnance for demolition at a safe disposal area near Baghdad in 2003. 5,000 chemical weapons were found in Iraq but the public was never told


    +7


    Hidden: Between 2004 and 2011 soldiers found thousands of rusty chemical munitions throughout Iraq, most of them buried

    Prior to the 2003 invasion by coalition forces, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had said the mission was 'to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.'
    But all the weapons found had been developed before 1991. Most of them were mustard agents in 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets developed by Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war which raged between 1980 and 1988.
    RELATED ARTICLES








    Another reason for the cover-up, according to The Times, was that five of the six chemical weapons encounters involved weapons designed by the U.S.
    ''Nothing of significance' is what I was ordered to say,' said Jarrod Lampier, a now-retired Army major who was present when forces found 2,400 nerve agent rockets in 2006 - the largest chemical weapons discovery of the war.
    Bush and Blair give statement on weapons of mass destruction






    +7


    Secrets: In 2002 President George W. Bush said Hussein was developing a program of chemical weapons but no evidence of such weapons was ever found

    Soldiers were also loathe to report finding the caches as documenting chemical weapons added hours of extra work to their load.
    Chemical warfare specialists had to be called in, and waiting for them to arrive put coalition forces in dangerous positions.
    'I could wait all day for tech escort to show up and make a chem round disappear, or I could just make it disappear myself,' one ex-soldier told The Times.
    The mustard shells could be put in with other explosives that needed to be destructed and then detonated.
    However, handling chemical weapons lead to many injuries, which were not taken seriously by military doctors at the time.
    Many explosive ordnance disposal personnel were not aware that the shells they were handling contained chemicals, believing them to be regular old artillery.

    +7


    Weaponry: This file picture dated 31 December 2000 shows Iraqi President Saddam Hussein holding up his rifle during a military parade at Baghdad's Nasr square

    At least 17 American military personnel and seven Iraqi police were sickened by poisons - usually sarin and mustard gases.
    Many of the shells would leak liquid during transportation, exposing the soldiers to the potentially-lethal fumes.
    Symptoms ranged from disorientation and nausea to blindness and huge, seething blisters.
    Jarrod Taylor, a former Army sergeant on hand for the destruction of mustard shells that burned two soldiers in his infantry company, joked of 'wounds that never happened' from 'that stuff that didn't exist'.
    'I love it when I hear, ‘'Oh there weren't any chemical weapons in Iraq'',’ he said. 'There were plenty.'
    BUSH AND BLAIR'S 'INTELLIGENCE FAILURE' OVER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN IRAQ


    +7


    President Bush, together with strong support from then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, claimed that Sadam was in possession of weapons of mass destruction in 2003

    In March 2003, President Bush received a mandate from the U.S. Congress to lead an invasion of Iraq, asserting that Iraq was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
    With strong support from British P.M. Tony Blair, the Bush administration claimed that Sadam and his forces were in possession of weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to U.S. security and that of allies including the U.K. and Australia.
    After investigation following the invasion, the U.S. led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical and biological programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted.
    Although no active chemical weapons program was found, at least 17 U.S. troops and 7 Iraqi police officers were burned or wounded when chemical devices exploded.
    President Bush later said that the biggest regret of his presidency was 'the intelligence failure' in Iraq, while the Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2008 that his administration 'misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq'.
    The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011, during the ninth year of the war.
    The rise of ISIS means that the U.S. will send an army headquarters to Iraq for the first time in three years to assist local security forces struggling to resist advances by the fundamentalist group.



    +7


    A U.S. Army Third Infantry Division soldier loads materials discovered in an explosives laboratory hidden in a home April 15, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq


    +7


    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (centre) is greeted as he arrives at Vienna International Airport. He's in the country to discuss Iran's nuclear program
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  20. #20
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq Pullout

    Anyone reading these pages NOT know there were chemical weapons in Iraq? Anyone?

    I know that the left has already admitted Saddam had chemical weapons, but they diverted attention from it because they were "old stockpiles". I guess Chemical weapons are only dangerous when they are fresh out of the chemical lab.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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