Iraqi Prime Minister Backs Off Expelling US Troops

Iraqi Prime Minister Backs Off Expelling US Troops By Jason Ditz After repeated threats from President Trump to sanction Iraq, to seize its primary bank account, and cut all military aid, Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi has backed away from calls to expel US troops from Iraq. Iraq’s parliament voted 170-0 earlier this month on the ouster, though US officials have said they don’t intend to leave, and have denied actually being asked. Following the threats, Abdul-Mahdi now says he wants to leave the question up to the next government. That could…

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US Airstrike Failed to Kill an Iranian General in Yemen Last Week

US Airstrike Failed to Kill an Iranian General in Yemen Last Week By Jason Ditz On January 2, the US launched an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport, killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and multiple Iraqis. It turns out, that was not the only US assassination bid that day. US officials are now reporting that they also took a shot at Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Abdul Reza Shahlai, who was in Yemen at the time. They failed to kill him. Night Operation in #Sanaa #Yemen led to the killing of a…

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Leadership Strips Approved Antiwar Measures From NDAA

Leadership Strips Approved Antiwar Measures From NDAA By Jason Ditz The House version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) set aside an irresponsibly large amount of money for military spending, but it also added some antiwar amendments and other very basic limitations. The House and Senate versions have now been reconciled into a final bill, and materially all of the limitations that the House voted on and approved have been stripped away, in favor of a $738 billion bill that continues spending, but makes no attempt to rein…

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All US Troops Leaving Syria Will Head to Iraq

All US Troops Leaving Syria Will Head to Iraq By Jason Ditz According to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the current plan is that all US troops leaving Syria will be redeployed into western Iraq. The troops there will continue to engage in anti-ISIS operations. How that’s going to work isn’t entirely clear. After all, there aren’t really any ISIS fighters in western Iraq anymore. Though Esper suggested that the US wasn’t ruling out crossing into Syria for some operations, right now there aren’t many ISIS fighters there either. This will…

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Pentagon Deploys US Forces to Defend Saudi Oil

Pentagon Deploys US Forces to Defend Saudi Oil By Jason Ditz The latest US military buildup into the Middle East was announced today, fresh off the Trump Administration’s briefing on “options” for responding to Iran. The Pentagon is announcing they will be deploying more US forces in the area around Saudi oil facilities. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Trump has approved the deployment already, and that it will be focused primarily on air and missile defense systems, at the request of Saudi Arabia. This has been a major concern for…

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Pentagon Officials Eager to Present a Recovering ISIS, but Facts Don’t Support It

Pentagon Officials Eager to Present a Recovering ISIS, but Facts Don’t Support It By Jason Ditz Throughout August, one of the most persistent stories has been the claim that ISIS is making a substantial recovery in Iraq and Syria, a claim based on a single Pentagon report which implied only that this might potentially be the case. The Pentagon clearly wants this to be true, because they are using it to spin a US military withdrawal from Syria as dangerous. Even though that withdrawal never happened in the first place,…

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House Passes Amendments to End War Authorizations, Preemptively Defund Iran War

House Passes Amendments to End War Authorizations, Preemptively Defund Iran War By Jason Ditz The flurry of amendments to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) moving through the House of Representatives is finally wrapping up Friday, where a series of Thursday night debates gave way to key votes early Friday on some contentious issues. Major subjects of those debates included amendments that aim to end both the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The 2001 repeal passed 237-183, while the 2002 repeal passed even easier…

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Spain Says Iranian Oil Tanker Was Seized by Britain at US Request

Spain Says Iranian Oil Tanker Was Seized by Britain at US Request By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — In a move that threatens to hugely escalate tensions between Iran and the US, British Royal Marines raided and seized an Iranian oil tanker at Gibraltar on Thursday. The tanker was accused by British officials of heading to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed summoning the British Ambassador to express “very strong objection to the illegal and unacceptable seizure” of the ship. Analysts expressed surprise at the unusually aggressive move against a…

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British Marines Seize Oil Tanker Suspected of Bringing Iranian Oil to Syria

British Marines Seize Oil Tanker Suspected of Bringing Iranian Oil to Syria By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — British Royal Marines seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday. They suspected the tanker was headed to Syria, which would be a violation of US and EU sanctions. The Grace 1 oil tanker was believed to have started its journey in Iran. “That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria,” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said. “With my consent, our port and law enforcement agencies…

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US Military Intelligence Accuses Russia of Nuclear Testing, Provides No Evidence

US Military Intelligence Accuses Russia of Nuclear Testing, Provides No Evidence By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — US military intelligence agency the DIA has issued a new statement directly accusing the Russian government of conducting low-yield nuclear tests in the course of developing more advanced nuclear arms. This is the second time the DIA has suggested Russia was conducting nuclear tests in the past month. The statement today, as with the previous one, came with no evidence that any such testing ever took place. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the US allegations as a…

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