By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/01/20 |
In October, protests against government corruption began in Iraq and have since swept across several provinces, even reaching Baghdad.
Not in any way helping the situation, on Sunday the US carried out a series of air strikes against several bases in Iraq belonging to the Iranian-backed paramilitary group Kata’ib Hezbollah.
“In response to repeated Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve coalition forces, U.S. forces have conducted precision defensive strikes against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH’s ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Sunday.–CNBC.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahd fuelled local anger by condemning the US air strikes, calling them “an unacceptable, vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences.”
The next day Iraqi protestors attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad while chanting “death to America!”
…hundreds of men spilled through checkpoints in the high-security Green Zone on Tuesday, demanding the removal of American troops from Iraq.
Signalling deteriorating relations between Iraq and America, Iraqi security forces made no attempt to stop the protestors from breaching the checkpoints, though Iraqi armoured vehicles were soon sent to the area to help defend the embassy while the prime minister released a statement saying the government “took seriously their responsibility…and would guarantee the safety and security of US personnel and property.”
Though US security forces wasted no time in launching tear gas and rubber bullets against the protestors, many managed to break through the gates and gain entry to parts of the embassy through windows they’d smashed out with stones.
Hundreds of protesters…smashed windows, set fire to outbuildings and overturned vehicles outside the US Embassy in Baghdad.–CNN.
Reuters reported that 12 militiamen were injured during the attack, which U.S. President Donald Trump blamed on Iran.–Radio Free Europe.
After the embassy was secured, President Trump, who has continuously stoked tensions between the two nations since he took office, took to Twitter and threatened the Iranian Government for the embassy attack by stating, “they will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”
Later, when asked by reporters about the prospect of war with Iran, Trump’s sentiments were quite the opposite of what he’d hinted at earlier with such saber-rattling bravado:
“No, I want to have peace. I like peace. And Iran should want to have peace more than anybody. So I don’t see that happening.”
Despite that statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw out the narrative that the embassy attack was “orchestrated by terrorists,” one of whom he named as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, while Secretary of Defense Mike Esper announced that the US will be sending at least 750 new troops to the Middle East. That’s likely an understatement.
Anonymous White House sources told the Associated Press that the plan is to send approximately 4,000 more troops:
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 750 troops would initially be based out of Kuwait. The officials said that as many as 4,000 troops could be sent to the region in the coming days if needed.–France24.
With there being 5,000 US troops already in Iraq, an Iranian-American proxy war in the region seems to be strongly in the works.
Since May 2019, Trump has sent over 14,000 troops to the Gulf region tasked with acting as direct opposition forces to Iran’s movements there.
There is no doubt that these events are dangerous escalations of an already overly tense situation. While positions of peace as well as threats of war have been coming from American officials with respect to an all out Iranian conflict, as in all situations, actions speak louder than words.
As independent media, continuation of this periodical is only possible through the kind support of our readers. Become a patron by donating here, and if you can’t donate, that’s okay! You can help out greatly by simply clicking one of the share buttons below. And, hey! Don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Republishing of this article is encouraged, so long as no edits are made, it is printed in its entirety, author credits are given, and links are provided back to the original article before the body text.