Friday, December 18, 2015

UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Iraq

SPUTNIK reports the United Nations Security Council is set to meet today for an emergency meeting "regarding the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal said."  Turkish troops have been in Mosul for some time now.  REUTERS notes, "Turkey deployed around 150 troops in the Bashiqa area this month with the stated aim of training an Iraqi militia to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Iraqi government says they are not welcome and must withdraw."

Sunday, December 6th, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave Turkey 48 hours to remove their troops from Mosul.  Tuesday, December 8th saw Turkey's response: We'll stop sending new troops into Iraq . . . but we're leaving those already in Mosul.  Thursday, December 10th, REUTERS reported Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared, "Withdrawing our soldiers is out of the question for the moment."
Saturday,  AL ARABIYA reported, "Meanwhile, several thousand protesters, most of them members of Shiite paramilitary forces, gathered in central Baghdad on Saturday to demand the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Iraq."

Last week, State Dept spokesperson John Kirby verbally attacked RT correspondent Gayane Chichakyan in the midst of a press briefing because she dared to note that the Iraqi Parliament was among those calling for the Turkish forces -- all Turkish forces -- to leave Iraq.

For the full exchange, refer to last week's snapshot but here's what was asked that was so offensive to delicate flower John Kirby.

QUESTION: Thank you. Well, you were saying that it’s up to Turkey and Iraq to figure out the situation with the uninvited Turkish troops. But the U.S. does take upon itself to invite forces from other countries into Iraq and in Syria. Ash Carter was telling Congress yesterday that he personally reached out to 40 countries asking them to commit special ops for the fight and other support. The Iraqi parliament is concerned that their country is becoming this ground where different countries do what they want. The Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee is calling for the review or cancelation of the U.S. security agreement with Iraq. What does the U.S. do to address their concerns?

MR KIRBY: Address whose concerns?

QUESTION: The Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee that is now calling to review or cancel the agreement with the U.S.

MR KIRBY: I haven’t seen those reports, ma’am. We continue to work with the Iraqi Government. The troops that Secretary Carter referred to, that decision was done in full coordination and cooperation with the Iraqi Government. If you’re trying to suggest that somehow U.S. military assistance against ISIL is untoward or being done without full coordination with the Iraq Government, it’s just a completely baseless charge. And I don’t think it’s worth having any more discussions about it.

QUESTION: But you’re saying – are you saying that you’re not aware of the Iraqi parliament’s – this Security and Defense Committee’s initiative that they want to --

MR KIRBY: I haven’t seen that, no. I haven’t seen that.

QUESTION: Okay. What – the situation where the U.S. invites forces --

MR KIRBY: I’m going to give you just one more, honestly, and then that’s it. Okay?


MR KIRBY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: The situation where the U.S. invites forces to Iraq and the U.S. is leading this coalition, but when something goes wrong, the U.S. says it’s none of our business, like with the Turkish troops. Let – you have to figure it out between yourselves. Should it be of no concern to Iraq?

MR KIRBY: Should what be of no concern? I love these questions that are 10 minutes long then I’m supposed to get the grain of it out of there. Should what be of no concern?

QUESTION: The fact that when something – you have this cooperation, you have this agreement, but when something goes wrong, the U.S. says it’s none of our business, like with what’s happening with the Turkish troops.

As Trina observed of the news that US Vice President Joe Biden told the Turkish government on Thursday that they should respect the wishes of the Iraqi government, "Well he certainly took his sweet ass time, didn't he?"

In other news, Wednesday, 16 Qataris were kidnapped while hunting in Iraq's al-Muthana desert.  GULF NEWS reports today it was 26 Qataris and that at least 7 of them (possibly nine) and one Saudi and one Kuwaiti have managed to escape and cross the border into Kuwait.

As the never-ending Iraq War continues, some wonder why?

War is big business.

For example, notes, "General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) land systems business unit has secured a potential one-year, $72.5 million contract modification from the U.S. Army to provide training and logistics support for Iraq’s Abrams M1A1 battle tanks and M88 recovery vehicles."

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