Saturday, August 17, 2019

Iraqi air space

Ken Hanly (DIGITAL JOURNAL) reports, "The US-led coalition in Iraq has issued a statement indicating that they intend to comply with demands from the PM Adel AbdulMahdi respecting the use of Iraqi airspace for US warplanes."  Meghann Myers (MILITARY TIMES) explains:

 U.S. military officials in Iraq will now seek out Iraqi approval before launching any air operations, a move made a day after that nation’s prime minister announced a ban of unauthorized flights, including those involving coalition forces fighting ISIS.
Top leaders with Operation Inherent Resolve, the joint task force leading anti-ISIS efforts in the country, have met with Iraqi defense officials to discuss the mandate to have every helicopter, unmanned aerial vehicle and fighter aircraft launch pre-approved, according to a Friday release from the Pentagon.

“As guests within Iraq’s sovereign borders, CJTF-OIR complies with all Iraqi laws and direction from the Government of Iraq,” the release said. “The U.S.-led coalition immediately complied with all directions received from our Iraqi partners as they implemented the Prime Minister’s order.”

KURDISTAN 24 adds,"The orders came after rumors spread on the Iraqi social media networks with some activists claiming the explosion in the militia’s munitions warehouse was in the result of an air attack by an Israeli fighter jet. Multiple Iraqi officials made the same claim."  Israeli government sources (unnamed) have claimed to the Israeli press that the government was responsible for two bombings of Iraq awhile ago.  From the June 30th snapshot:

How is this not an act of war?

Israel has expanded its operations against Iranian targets to Iraq, where Air Force jets have struck twice in ten days, a report said Tuesday morning.
Israel commonly conducts strikes in Syrian territory, targeting Iranian missile shipments meant for Lebanese terror group Hezbollah to use against the Jewish state, but strikes in Iraq by Israel have not been reported since the 1981 bombing of a nuclear reactor.

That's from Michael Bachner's report for THE TIMES OF ISRAEL.

Repeating: How is this not an act of war? 

What if it was the US that was bombed?

Let's use Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an example because on his visit to the US he had his goons attack peaceful protesters -- and by the way, Barack Obama was president and refused to condemn that publicly.  But Recep decides peaceful protesters are terrorists so he decides to send Turkish war planes over Baltimore to bomb the city.

We would rightly see that as an act of war.

How is this any different?

Tzvi Joffre and Anna Ahronheim (THE JERUSALEM POST) add:

Israel used their F-35i stealth fighter jets to conduct attacks on Iranian targets to Iraq in the past month, hitting two Iraqi bases used by Iranian forces and proxies and storing Iranian ballistic missiles, the London-based Saudi daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reported on Tuesday.  
The first attack happened on July 19 at a base in Amreli in the Saladin province of Iraq. Iraqi and Iranian sources blamed Israel at the time, and Al Sharq Al Awsat reported that "diplomatic sources" confirmed this to be true, specifying that the attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35.

Al-Arabiya reported that Iranian-made ballistic missiles were transported to the base shortly before the attack via trucks used to transport refrigerated food. The identity of the aircraft which conducted the attack was unspecified at the time, and the US denied any involvement. Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah members were killed in the air strike, according to Al-Arabiya, however the Iranian-backed al-Hashd ash-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Forces - PMF) denied that any Iranians had been killed in the attack, according to Fars.

Again, if Turkey did that to the US, we would rightly see it as an act of war.  The only way we wouldn't see it as such would be if we learned that whomever our sitting president at the time was, that the sitting president had given an okay for the operation.

So that's really the first question to be asking right now.

Did the Iraqi government give permission?

We know the Parliament didn't.  Allowing Israel to drop bombs on Iraq would be a very unpopular position in Iraq.  Anyone known to have supported it would not only have trouble being re-elected, they might be targeted with violence.  More to the point, though, the body is too large to keep a secret so if the Parliament signed off on it, it would have been known before the attack took place.

So did the leadership sign off on the attack?  That would be the prime minister -- who has the actual power -- and the president.  The presidential post is supposed to be a ceremonial one with no real powers to speak of.  But Barham Salih has gone out of his way to grab powers and the US press, mirroring the US State Dept's position, has gone out of their way to treat him like a leader of the country.  Adil Abdul-Mahdi is the prime minister.  He's the only one who should have had the power for the okay (if Parliament's approval was not sought, he's the only one who could have given permission).

So the recent attack on the munitions warehouse is the third attack that the Israeli government is suspected of having carried out.

Will the government of Turkey abide by the new rules?  Probably not. Turkish war planes continue to terrorize Iraq.  Yesterday, RUDAW reported:

Farms and orchards went up in flames today as Turkish jets struck apparent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the Kurdistan Region’s border area.

“Turkish warplanes flew over the areas at 9:35 am and bombarded the villages of Qirnata and Pshtashan, as well as Bermta mountain,” Nahro Abdullah, administrator of Sangasar sub-district in the Sulaimani province, told Rudaw.

Meanwhile in the United States, Eliot Kleinberg (PALM BEACH POST) reports:

A CIA employee and Iraq War veteran has been arrested for violating conditions of his bond on a misdemeanor domestic battery and trespassing arrest, records show.
Trevor Becker, 33, of Tequesta, was booked Thursday at the Palm Beach County Jail on a warrant from St. Lucie County, and was transferred there at midday Friday, records show.
Becker originally was arrested Jan. 15 and charged with trespassing, and for grabbing his former wife and their daughter, at the ex-wife’s Fort Pierce home, in December 2018. The two had divorced in 2013.

The following sites updated: