Sunday, August 28, 2016


asks to replace its ambassador (file pic)

But why?

BBC NEWS stumbles and can only come up with this:

Shia Muslim politicians have been calling for Thamer al-Sabhan to be withdrawn. He has said Iranian-backed Shia militia are aggravating tensions with Sunni Muslims in Iraq.

REUTERS notes, "Iraq asked Saudi Arabia on Sunday to replace its ambassador in Baghdad after his comments about Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs and the alleged persecution of Sunni Muslims angered local Shi'ite Muslim politicians and militia leaders."  But goes on to explore additional angles including the death threats.

AP leads with the death threats, " Iraq's Foreign Ministry said the government on Sunday formally requested that the Saudi ambassador in Baghdad be replaced after he claimed that Iranian-backed Shiite militias are plotting to assassinate him."

Meanwhile entrenched politician Hoshyar Zebari may be in political trouble.

The long serving politician -- oft praised by Hillary Clinton -- is facing rumors of a no-confidence vote on Monday, RUDAW reports.

Were he to be voted out of office tomorrow, he would be the second cabinet minister in two weeks voted out -- last week the Minister of Defense was voted out of his post.

Hoshyar Zebari previously served as Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nouri al-Maliki's terms as prime minister but now serves as Minister of Finance.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Al Baghdadi, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit, and destroyed a fighting position and an ammunitions cache.

-- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, and destroyed a vehicle bomb factory, and a vehicle.

-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes engaged two separate ISIL tactical units, and destroyed an assembly area, a front-end loader, and denied access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position, a vehicle, six rocket systems, seven rocket rails, and suppressed a mortar position and denied access to terrain.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Let's note this Tweet.

Since 2003, many leaders have done more harm to than others. Nouri Al Maliki tops the list. A close 2nd is the current MoFA

That would be Hoshyar.

Though popular with Hillary Clinton, Hoshyar's never been popular with the Iraqi people.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4520 (including 20 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 3 Iraq War fatalities).

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