[pjw] UPDATE: US troops not leaving Iraq :(

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Jan 19 15:26:26 EST 2020

Hi again

Remember when the Iraqi parliament said the US military would have to 
leave their country and the prime minister hinted he would follow through, 
and the US "accidentally" send a note initiating discussions on 

Well, it was too much to hope for, and a few days ago the US and Iraq 
announced continuing missions against "ISIS." Which is funny because one 
reason ISIS came to exist is to expel the US from Iraq. Well, not funny 

The below article from Kurdistan24 seems to be biased in favor of wanting 
the US to stay but it includes a sentence about the current Prime Minister 
leaving the decision about expelling US troops up to his successor.

Meanwhile, on this same note, Jan. 16 marked the 29th anniversary of the 
US attack on Iraq in 1991. The picket sign that used to be in the window 
of our office (the window that was busted out in late August) has been 
updated to reflect the new, ever-increasing, number of years we've been 
calling for an end to the war.


As you can see, the sign is well-worn.

While the impeachment has been the focus on capitol hill, the resolution 
to block President Trump from using military force without congressional 
approval is still awaiting a Senate vote.

Sen. Schumer told CNN a few days ago he thinks there are enough votes to 
pass it on the Senate side.


But, as discussed earlier, though this is not binding legislation, it is 
still important for Congress to send a message (rather than applaud or do 

OK, here's the article.
dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Joint US-Iraqi military operations against ISIS resume
    Laurie Mylroie

    WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) - The US military has resumed joint
    operations with Iraqi Security Forces against the so-called Islamic
    State, The New York Times reported late on Wednesday.

    It is also working to resume its training of Iraqi forces, the
    Associated Press added.

    The US suspended its military activities in Iraq on Jan. 5. The
    suspension followed escalating hostilities with Iran that began with
    attacks by Iranian-backed militias on Iraqi military bases hosting US
    troops, as well as on the US embassy in Baghdad.

    Those hostilities culminated in the Jan. 3 assassination of Qasim
    Soleimani, head of Iran's Quds Force, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,
    deputy chief of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). That prompted
    the US to suspend military operations to focus on force protection, in
    anticipation of major retaliation--which, indeed, came on Jan. 8 in the
    form of Iranian ballistic missile strikes, which primarily targeted
    Al-Assad airbase in western Iraq.

    Also on Wednesday, Iraqi media broadcast remarks made on Tuesday by
    caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, who informed his cabinet
    that he would not press to expel US troops--despite a parliamentary
    vote to that effect. Rather, he would leave the issue to his successor,
    who has yet to be named.

    Abdul Mahdi also warned the cabinet that the Islamic State "has begun
    to reorganize and plan invasions and attacks."

    The Re-emergence of the Islamic State

    On Monday, Jordan's King Hussein also warned of the terrorist
    organization's re-emergence, shortly before leaving for a trip to
    Europe. He, thus, joined Kurdish leaders, who have long made that very
    point, as they have called for continued military operations against
    the terrorist group.

    The US decision to resume operations against the Islamic State is
    driven by concern "to blunt any momentum the group might have and to
    stifle any propaganda victory it might claim" with the suspension of
    military activities, the Times reported.

    Indeed, the Islamic State seems to have already been emboldened by the
    recent tensions between the US and Iran. It has launched sporadic
    attacks in previously liberated areas and even in places it never

    Although US President Donald Trump would, almost certainly, welcome the
    opportunity to declare victory in Iraq and withdraw US forces, as he
    has done to a significant extent in Syria, the Iraqi military probably
    could not successfully fight the Islamic State on its own.

    Despite the Jan. 5 vote in Iraq's parliament to expel US forces, "some
    Iraqi security officials have opposed the idea, saying they were needed
    to help fight the remnants of the Islamic State and prevent its
    resurgence," the Times reported, "as well as to support coalition
    troops from other countries."

    Two days after the parliamentary vote, Masoud Barzani, head of the
    Kurdistan Democratic Party and formerly long-time president of the
    Kurdistan Region, warned that Iraq was "faced with a critical and risky
    situation," as he called on all sides to "seek a logical and rational
    approach to the issues at hand and not to base their decision on
    emotions and political opportunism."

    At its height, in the summer of 2014, the Islamic State controlled
    nearly one-third of Iraq, threatening even Baghdad.

    Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

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