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Showing posts from December 13, 2015

Iraq turns to UN Security Council over Turkish incursion

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has instructed the foreign ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the UN Security Council over an incursion by Turkish troops in the north of the country.

In a statement on his website, Al Abadi asked that the Security Council order Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his country will not withdraw troops from a camp close to the Daesh-controlled city of Mosul, , despite strong objections from Baghdad.

The deployed soldiers are not combat troops, but have been sent to protect soldiers providing training to Iraqi and Kurdish forces, Erdogan told reporters at a news conference that was broadcast live by TRT. Turkey is “determined” to continue the training, he added.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office said on Friday that Turkey has decided in talks with Iraqi officials to “reorganise” its military personnel at the Bashiqa camp.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ferid…

Only 300 Daesh terrorists left in Iraq’s Ramadi

Civilians, raising white flags to approaching soldiers, have raced to safety under a hail of gunfire by Daesh fighters
Image Credit: AFP
A member of the Iraqi counter-terrorism forces carries a rocket, locally made from domestic gas canisters, from an arms depot that belonged to Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, in the al-Tameem district of Ramadi, a large city on the Euphrates 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad.

Baghdad: More than six months after falling to Daesh, the city center of Ramadi is under siege by Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters backed by US airpower. Commanders say that as few as 300 terrorists remain holed up inside, behind a defense of elaborate tunnels, booby-trapped buildings and roads laced with hidden bombs.

As Iraqi soldiers and tribal fighters have advanced on the city, clearing the outlying neighborhoods in preparation for what is expected to be a grueling and bloody fight for the center, they have discovered the things left behind by Daesh: lists…

Video Shows Israeli Commandos Rescuing Wounded Jihadists From Syria

Nearly every night, Israeli special ops forces secretly rescue wounded fighters in Syria, among them jihadists, as seen in dramatic footage the Daily Mail captured while embedded with the military force.

The Daily Mail reported that the secret nighttime missions have saved more than 2,000 people since 2013, some of them members of Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria.
The Daily Mail described the dramatic rescue scene:

Under cover of darkness, an Israeli armoured car advances down the potholed road that leads to Syria.

As it crests a small hill, the driver picks up the radio handset and tells his commanding officer that the border is in sight.

He kills the engine. Ten heavily-armed commandos jump out and take cover, watching for signs of ambush. Then five of them move up to the 12ft chainlink fence that marks the limit of Israeli-held territory.

On the other side, on the very edge of Syria, lies an unconscious man wrapped like a doll in a blood-drenched duvet. The commandos unlock the fence,…

Three House Panels to Investigate Whether ISIS Intelligence was Cooked

By Rebecca Kheel

 "The Hill" - Three House committees will jointly investigate allegations U.S. Central Command altered intelligence reports, their chairmen announced Friday.

“Today, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Appropriations Committee established a Joint Task Force to investigate allegations that senior U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) officials manipulated intelligence products,” Reps. David Nunes (R-Calif.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said in a joint statement.

Analysts at Centcom have alleged that senior officials altered their reports to paint a rosier picture of the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Pentagon’s inspector general is already conducting an investigation into the allegations.

Magazine Foreign Policy reported last month that the task force would be formed.

In their statement, Nunes, Thornberry and Frelinghuysen said the task force …

Crippled in Syria, Turkey Goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

By Pepe Escobar

Turkey’s “incursion” into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is – what else? – Divide and Rule.
Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan – which is part of the state of Iraq - no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a “training camp”- as Ankara is spinning. It’s a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about “training” Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the “4+1” alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In …