The attack today has already resulted in Iraq issuing a warning. Ahmed Rasheed, Ahmed Aboulenein and Phil Stewart (REUTERS) reports, "The Iraqi military said on Saturday that neither the United States nor other foreign forces should use the latest attack as a pretext to take military action without Iraq's approval, and should instead hasten to implement a parliamentary resolution expelling them."
Luis Martinez and Elizabeth McLaughlin (ABC NEWS) remind, "A rocket attack in December that killed an American contractor triggered a series of events that almost led the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war." Ivana Kottasová, Kareem Khadder, Jonny Hallam and Barbara Starr (CNN) point out, "There have been multiple rocket attacks in Iraq in recent weeks."
Gunnery Sgt Diego D. Pongo and Capt Moises A. Navas were killed last Sunday, Wednesday saw the deaths of Army Specialist Juan Covarrubias and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal Roberts.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt noted:
Please join me in praying for the family of one of Oklahoma's finest. Staff Sgt. Marshal Roberts, , was killed Wednesday in a rocket attack while serving our nation in Iraq. Men and women like him, who defend our state and our nation, are the best Oklahoma has to offer.
Oklahoma US House Rep Kevin Hern and US Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01) expressed deep sadness over the loss of two American service members in Iraq on Wednesday, including Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts from the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, a unit of the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma National Guard.
“Wednesday’s news is a painful reminder that our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors are still fighting every day to protect us across the world,” said Lankford. “To lose a member of our military is never easy; to lose a neighbor is even harder. Cindy and I pray for the family of Oklahoma airman Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts in Iraq. As they walk through this incredibly hard time we will all walk with them. We also pray for the members who were injured in the attack, including another member of the 138th. We pray for their full recovery.”
“On Wednesday night, we lost an American hero: Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts of Owasso, Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “Kay and I are praying for his wife, Krissy, as well as his family, friends and the entire Oklahoma National Guard. It is a somber reminder that the enemy Sgt. Roberts fought against is real and seeks to harm our nation and people. I am humbled he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us back here at home. We will not forget it. We are also praying for the swift recovery of the service members injured in yesterday’s attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard.”
“I was heartbroken to hear that we lost an Oklahoman this week during an attack on an American base in Iraq,” said Rep. Hern. “Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts is remembered a hero and patriot, a man who chose to fight for the freedoms that we hold dear, who willingly walked into the path of danger so that Americans at home were safe. We can never repay that debt. His wife, Krissy, child, and loved ones, as well as the Oklahoma National Guard and our Tulsa community, are in my prayers as we mourn the loss of a father, husband, neighbor, and friend. In addition to the loss of Sergeant Marshall, many service members sustained injuries in the attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. I pray for their swift recoveries and offer my deepest gratitude for their service to our nation.”
TULSA WORLD notes, "Roberts enlisted in May 2014. He was the first Oklahoma Guardsman killed in action and the 20th Oklahoma Guardsman who has died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001, according to an Oklahoma Air National Guard news release."
Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias was from California and our governor, Gavin Newsom, issued the following statement:
SACRAMENTO – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom honor Army Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Partner extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
In memorial, Governor Newsom ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias’ family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.
Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, CA, died March 11, 2020, when his unit was engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Kamala Harris has Tweeted 16 times since the death of Juan and she's never mentioned him once. Nor has she issued a statement. Senator Kamala Harris shows her true nature to the country yet again. The last thing I-Voted-for-the-War Joe Biden needs as a running mate is an idiot who puts the wrong people in prison and doesn't have the common sense to realize it's her job to note when a Californian dies while serving overseas where their government sent them. Shame on you.
The only thing worse? Senator Dianne Feinstein who voted for the Iraq War (Barbara Boxer, on the same vote, voted against it). Despite voting for the war -- or maybe because she did, Dianne refuses to acknowledge Juan's passing. 22 Tweets since the death was announced and nothing. She's also refused to note him in a press release.
What's worse? US House Rep TJ Cox. He represented Juan in Congress but can't note Juan's passing. He's issued no press release. He has Tweeted 23 times since Juan's death was announced and, today, even made time to sport his stupidity with a "Happy Pi Day!" Tweet. Yes, he truly is that awful. Harris, Feinstein and Cox need to get their pathetic acts together.
Brian Johnson (KFSN) reports on Juan Covarrubias and notes:
Even though he was a member of the military, Monica Mendez says her oldest son fundamentally disagreed with the notion that war could solve the world's problems.
"He doesn't think that that is a solution to any dispute of the countries," said a family member who translated for Mendez. "They're not going to resolve anything if they go to war."
THE HANFORD SENTINAL quotes Lt Col Adam S. Camarano stating, "Specialist Mendez was a cherished signal support systems specialist in 1-227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. The regiment and his fellow Soldiers are grieving the loss of a true warrior. Command Sergeant Major Travis Eicher and I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Specialist Mendez Covarrubias. His loss is felt across the our formation and he will not be forgotten."
In other news, ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:
Pigeons are the only visitors to Erbil's citadel, normally buzzing with tourists, and security forces in masks and gloves have emptied cobblestone streets below as the Iraqi city goes into lockdown.
Overnight Friday to Saturday, Erbil and the city of Sulaimaniyah, both in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region, began a 48-hour curfew to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"Moving around is banned and people must stay home," the region's interior ministry said in a statement.
Iraq has registered at least 10 deaths and more than 90 cases of COVID-19. The first recorded fatality was a 70-year-old imam in Sulaimaniyah, and 28 others in the region are confirmed to have been infected.
Of the tenth death from the coronavirus, ANADOLU AGENCY notes:
In a statement, the health directorate in the southern Wasit province said an elderly man died of the virus and his wife had also tested positive for the virus in the town of Sheikh Saad after their recent trip to Iran.
The wife has been hospitalized for medical attention, the directorate said, without giving any more details.
Wasit police said the town has been locked down following the new death from the disease.
And the protests in Iraq continue.
Despite #COVIDー19, & the protesters certainty that Iraq does not have the health infrastructure or capacity to encounter it, they still protest. Q: Why are they risking their lives & the lives of their loved ones? A simple answer ,it is a matter of PRINCIPLE! #IraqiProtests
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