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      Iraq emerges from Chapter VII of the United Nations   12/09/2017

        Rmc10 Senior Member All Measures Imposed under Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme Implemented in Full, Security Council Concludes, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1958 (2017) REPORT from UN Security Council Published on 08 Dec 2017 —View Original SC/13109 SECURITY COUNCIL
      8126TH MEETING (AM) The Security Council concluded today that all the measures imposed in its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations in relation to the Iraq oil-for-food programme had been fully implemented. Unanimously adopting resolution 2390 (2017), the Council welcomed the fact that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to resolution 1958 (2010) had been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to resolution 2335 (2016). The Council acknowledged the Secretary-General’s final report on the matter (document S/2017/820), which stated, among other things, that the remaining $14,283,565 in the administrative escrow account had been transferred to Iraq. Following the adoption, Amy Noel Tachco (United States) applauded Iraq’s complete implementation of measures under the oil-for-food programme, although the country still faced many challenges. She looked forward to close cooperation internationally and bilaterally in support of Iraq as a federal, democratic and prosperous country. The meeting started at 9:45 a.m. and ended at 9:48 a.m. Resolution The full text of resolution 2390 (2017) reads as follows: “The Security Council, “Recalling its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016), “Acknowledging receipt of the final report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2335 (2016), S/2017/820, “1. Welcomes the implementing arrangements entered into by the Secretary-General and the Government of Iraq as requested in paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010); “2. Also welcomes that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to paragraphs 3–5 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010) have been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to Security Council resolution 2335 (2016); “3. Concludes that all the measures imposed by the Security Council in resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations have been fully implemented by the parties.” For information media. Not an official record.     DV LINK

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There's Starting To Become Less And Less Of Them To Kill ! :o 

 

:D  :D  :D 

 

 

Tens of IS leaders killed in military operations in western Anbar


by Nehal Mostafa - Oct 22, 2017, 11:30 pm

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Interior Ministry, along with air force, carried out military operations targeting eight of the Islamic State’s locations in western Anbar, killing many militants there.

A statement by the ministry’s Eagles Cell on Sunday said military operations were carried out targeting eight IS locations in Qaim, west of Anbar, along with the air force.

“Tens of IS leaders were killed, including abu Qaswarah, the emir of the security detachments, abu Suraqah, deputy chief of the so-called Baghdad State, Abu Azzam al-Ferensy, in charge of Tareq bin Ziyad brigade, and Abu Ibrahim, in charge of the immigrants,” the statement said.

The airstrikes, according to the statement, “destroyed four rest houses, a weapon stash and booby-trapping workshop.”

Earlier on the day, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said 25 IS militants were killed in western Anbar desert during search operations carried out near the Syrian borders.

Anbar’s western towns of Qaim and Rawa have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.

Iraqi army announced the total recapture of the town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area last month. Troops also liberated Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria.

Iraqi troops were able to return life back to normal in the biggest cities of Anbar including Fallujah, Ramadi and others after recapturing them in 2015 and 2016.

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Military Strikes Continue Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release 

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 23, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 25 strikes consisting of 28 engagements between Oct. 21-22, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

 

Operation Inherent resolve
Operation Inherent resolve

 

Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 10 engagements against ISIS targets.

-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, six strikes destroyed five defensive fighting positions, four ISIS lines of communication, a vehicle-borne-bomb factory and an ISIS headquarters.

On Oct. 21, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets.

-- Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb factory, an ISIS-held building and a unmanned aerial vehicle.

-- Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position.

Strikes in Iraq

Yesterday in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets.

-- Near Qaim, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an improvised explosive device factory and an ISIS-held building.

On Oct. 21, coalition military forces conducted 11 strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets.

-- Near Qaim, eight strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed six ISIS vehicles, three ISIS-held buildings, a vehicle-borne-bomb factory, a checkpoint and a petroleum, oil, and lubrication site.

-- Near Rawah, two strikes destroyed an ISIS-held building and a vehicle-borne-bomb factory.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed an ISIS tunnel.

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Officials Release Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release 

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 24, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting five strikes consisting of six engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today. 

 

Operation Inherent resolve

 

Officials reported details of yesterday's strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit in a single engagement.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Qaim, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb factory.

-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes damaged three ISIS supply routes.

Previous Strikes

Additionally, two strikes consisting of five engagements were conducted in Syria and Iraq on Oct. 22 that closed within the last 24 hours.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria a strike damaged two ISIS lines of communication.

-- Near Qaim, Iraq, a strike destroyed seven ISIS vehicles, a vehicle-borne bomb, two ISIS tractor trailers, two tractors, two water trucks, four pickup trucks, nine ISIS construction vehicles and an SUV.

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Mattis Says Operations Against ISIS Will Change in 2018

By Jim GaramoneDoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON — The destruction of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s physical caliphate will change the way the coalition will go after the terror group, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told Pentagon reporters here today.

Operations against the terror group dominated the informal press gaggle with the secretary.

“We sit here today at the end of 2017, the caliphate is on the run, we’re breaking them,” he said.

Some ISIS terrorists escaped the encirclement of Raqqa into the Middle Euphrates River Valley. “We are in the process of crushing the life out of the caliphate there while trying to keep the innocent people safe -- which is very hard with this group,” he said.

The demarcation line between the Assad regime and its ally Russia, and the Syrian Democratic Forces and the coalition, is the middle of the river in this area. Mattis said the line has held up well, and that communications between Russian and coalition forces continue.

ISIS Fighters ‘Will Have to be Hunted Down’

The ISIS fighters that escaped into the valley “will have to be hunted down,” Mattis said.

ISIS operatives who move into the region controlled by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Russians are another matter. The SDF and the coalition will not launch attacks past the demarcation line, Mattis said. Having the terrorists in their area is not in Assad’s or the Russian’s best interests. The United States tipping off Russia of a potential ISIS attack in St. Petersburg is an example of ways the countries can work together against the group.

Mattis stresses that the battle against ISIS is not over. While the group has been shattered, its survivors are looking for ways and places to reconstitute, he added.

“It’s only a safe haven if people give them one,” Mattis said.

In Iraq, the coalition will continue to work with the Iraqi government to train troops and police and develop the intelligence needed to find and take down terrorists trying to launch attacks.

“We need to drive this down to the point where it can be handled by local authorities -- police,” he said. “But right now, it is still very much a military intelligence type of operation as the police try to set up local operations. Eventually, it will be rule of law and local security forces.”

Hunting ISIS down is not over. “Am I worried about it? Not in the least,” Mattis said. “These guys have not proven they can stand against the Iraqi security forces [or] the SDF. They are best against unarmed men, women and children.”

Moving forward in Syria involves ensuring diplomats have what they need to solve this civil war.

ISIS ‘Brand’ Losing Luster

Looking to 2018, Mattis sees ISIS as being a “brand” for terrorists. “It can inspire lone wolf attacks; it can inspire other groups,” he said. “But it is less inspirational when they have lost their physical caliphate; it is less inspirational as the stories of what it was like living under their rule come out. I think it is a brand with a diminishing appeal, but the appeal is still there for those who go in for that philosophy.”

In both Iraq and Syria, U.S. troops will be shifting from an offensive terrain-seizing approach to a stabilizing effort focused on supporting the diplomatic approach, the secretary said. This will include clearing areas of improvised explosive devices, helping civil authorities set up water and electrical systems and helping reopen schools and working with police.

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Defeat-ISIS Coalition Reflects on 2017, Looks Forward to 2018

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

 

 

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 1, 2018 — Today, the 70 nations and four organizations that comprise the coalition that’s dedicated to the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria reflect on progress made in 2017 and look forward to 2018, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Members of the Iraqi security forces provide security during rural combat training at Camp Taji, Iraq, Nov. 18, 2017. Camp Taji is one of four Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve locations dedicated to training partner forces and enhancing their effectiveness on the battlefield. CJTF-OIR is the global coalition that’s dedicated to the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Army photo by Cpl. Rachel Diehm
Members of the Iraqi security forces provide security during rural combat training at Camp Taji, Iraq, Nov. 18, 2017. Camp Taji is one of four Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve locations dedicated to training partner forces and enhancing their effectiveness on the battlefield. CJTF-OIR is the global coalition that’s dedicated to the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Army photo by Cpl. Rachel Diehm

 

The defeat-ISIS campaign, which commenced in 2014, achieved its most significant progress in 2017 as key cities in Iraq and Syria, including Mosul, Hawijah, Qaim, Tal Afar, Raqqa and Tabqah, were systematically liberated from ISIS’ so-called caliphate, officials said.

During 2017, over 61,500 square kilometers of territory was liberated from ISIS across Iraq and Syria, meaning “more than 98 percent of the land once claimed by the terrorist group has been returned to the people,” said Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

Liberation of Millions

More than 4.5 million people were liberated from ISIS oppression in 2017, said Funk, who added this represents a “remarkable achievement by our partners leading to [the liberation of] a grand total of 7.7 million people over the three years of Operation Inherent Resolve.”

The coalition began 2017 with 67 member organizations, and concluded the year with 74, Funk said. This, he said, indicates the international resolve to defeat ISIS is “stronger than ever, and we will continue our efforts to prevent the resurgence of this perverse ideology.”

However, ISIS’ "repressive ideology continues,” the general said. And, he added, the conditions remain present for ISIS to return.

“Only through coalition and international efforts can the defeat [of ISIS] become permanent," Funk said.

Looking to Future Success

The coalition looks forward to further success in 2018, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the global effort to defeat ISIS in 2017 will be remembered, officials said. This includes hundreds of brave Iraqis and Syrians who gave their lives for their nations, service members from coalition nations and the many innocent Iraqis and Syrians who have died as a result of ISIS’ terrorism, officials said.

As 2018 begins, the Iraqi government looks forward to continuing to help its people rebuild after the nation’s complete liberation from ISIS, officials said. Syrian Democratic Forces remain engaged in the final phases of liberating the middle Euphrates River Valley, officials added.

Building on these accomplishments, the coalition’s efforts are refocusing on supporting the international community’s whole-of-government efforts to prevent the re-emergence of ideology-based terrorism and to assist partners in bolstering security that will enable stability in the region and around the world, officials said. The future success of non-military activity will be decisive in the defeat of ISIS, officials said.

Continued Training

The coalition’s contribution will be largely through continued training of Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, who will provide security for their people and their national borders, officials said. The coalition will build on the training that has already been delivered to over 126,500 Iraqis and more than 12,500 Syrians to date, officials added.

Support from the international community is vital to the defeat of ISIS and achievement of stability in the region,” said British army Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, deputy commander of strategy and support for CJTF-OIR.

Despite a string of successes by ISF and SDF, much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, officials said. The terrorist group is still attempting to establish regional networks and remains a regional and global threat through its ability to organize or inspire acts of violence against innocent people around the world, officials added.

Coalition officials urge international governments and nongovernmental organizations to answer the call of the Iraqi and Syrian people to build conditions that prevent the re-emergence of violent extremism, so that the people of Iraq and Syria can be permanently freed from the horrors of ISIS.

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Breaking News  Fox News  LINK

1 hour ago

Militants in army uniforms ambush Iraqi troops near Baghdad, 27 dead

Militants disguised as Iraqi soldiers ambushed paramilitary troops Monday north of Baghdad, leaving at least 27 dead, officials said. It is unclear who was behind the attack.

The attack comes days after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will expand its military training mission in Iraq and help the conflict-ravaged country develop new academies and schools for its armed forces.

NATO already has a small team of military and civilian personnel in Iraq and uses mobile teams to train national forces in de-mining, countering home-made bombs and dealing with explosives. The allies have also trained Iraqi troops in neighboring Jordan.

694940094001_5673520999001_5673523808001

(Video on the Link)

“We will scale up,” Stoltenberg said after talks with NATO defense ministers in Brussels, though he declined to say how many personnel the effort would involve or where it would operate. He said the mission would not be used for combat, but rather to train Iraqi officers so they in turn can train their own troops.

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1 hour ago, DinarThug said:

Breaking News  Fox News  LINK

1 hour ago

Militants in army uniforms ambush Iraqi troops near Baghdad, 27 dead

Militants disguised as Iraqi soldiers ambushed paramilitary troops Monday north of Baghdad, leaving at least 27 dead, officials said. It is unclear who was behind the attack.

The attack comes days after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will expand its military training mission in Iraq and help the conflict-ravaged country develop new academies and schools for its armed forces.

NATO already has a small team of military and civilian personnel in Iraq and uses mobile teams to train national forces in de-mining, countering home-made bombs and dealing with explosives. The allies have also trained Iraqi troops in neighboring Jordan.

694940094001_5673520999001_5673523808001

(Video on the Link)

“We will scale up,” Stoltenberg said after talks with NATO defense ministers in Brussels, though he declined to say how many personnel the effort would involve or where it would operate. He said the mission would not be used for combat, but rather to train Iraqi officers so they in turn can train their own troops.

 

7 minutes ago, Officiallytook said:

Must be true if coming from US mainstream media source LMFAO :facepalm2:sad but true

 

Fox News Isn’t A Part Of The Lamestream Media Like That Other Slanted CNN, C’BS’, MS’DNC’, Etc ...

 

:D  :D  :D 

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1 hour ago, DinarThug said:

 

 

Fox News Isn’t A Part Of The Lamestream Media Like That Other Slanted CNN, C’BS’, MS’DNC’, Etc ...

 

:D  :D  :D 

Only one i know not apart of the mainstream media (that all inhell should be) that keeps it real is the , Clown News Network, i mean really they got one host, one guy hes all over, and ill watch his informative posts days in and days out, same ******* guy truely lol... And its still the best news on the market...just completely underrated. Lol :bravo:

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US army steps up measures around military bases in Iraq

US army 

 

21st February, 2018
The US army has ushered in implementing tough measures around its military bases and amps in Iraq, sources said on Wednesday.  They added the measures come amid threats by IMIS militias against the US troops stationed there.

The sources quoted the Iraqi officials as saying that these measures include banning any presence for IMIS militias around these bases, keeping them at least 20 kilometers away.

Also, the joint army and police forces will be assigned to conducting missions in collaboration with the US forces in some bases such as Ain al-Assad in Anbar

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Al-Hadithi: All detainees on charges of terrorism from foreigners will be tried according to Iraqi law

image.php?token=001f602413bbeffbf4aa87f4a0b265ad&size= 

 

21st February, 2018
The spokesman for the Information Office of Prime Minister Saad al-Hadithi on Tuesday that all detainees on charges of 'terrorism' of foreigners, including women will be tried in accordance with Iraqi law. 

Al-Hadithi said in a press statement that 'all foreigners who committed crimes and violations against the Iraqi people directly or through support and support will be subject to Iraqi laws,' pointing out that this also applies to foreign women who committed their actions inside Iraqi territory. 
Al-Hadithi added that "the government will coordinate with the countries to which the detainees belong if they are not proven to have committed crimes or killings and bombings in Iraq in order to extradite them." 
Noting that 'the Iraqi authorities are holding dozens of women and children of different nationalities in specialized centers'. 
The Iraqi judiciary earlier issued a death sentence against a German citizen of Moroccan origin on charges of belonging to Daish in the first ruling of its kind issued against a European citizen.

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2 hours ago, DinarThug said:

The sources quoted the Iraqi officials as saying that these measures include banning any presence for IMIS militias around these bases, keeping them at least 20 kilometers away.

 

if abadi was wise he'd ban them (imis) from iraq and fast ...... cheers dv

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2018/02/22 (00:01 PM) - Number of readings: 24 - Number (4141)
 
 
The liberated provinces do not support the US withdrawal from their territory to prevent a resurgent return

 Baghdad / Range 

Sunni residents are anxiously watching the debate in Baghdad about the fate of US troops in Iraq. These cities are still worried about the future and see US troops as a necessity to protect them from future dangers. 
At the outskirts of Hit district, west of Anbar, Abdulhamid al-Nimrawi and an armed group of clan fighters under his command carry out night combing operations to protect the city from attempts by extremists to infiltrate and carry out terrorist operations. Although the combat unit has small US weapons, Nimrawi is not satisfied with its arming He is seeking more weapons. 
Last November, Iraqi security forces managed to regain control of all the towns occupied by al-Anbar in Anbar after more than two years of fighting, but the terrorists were still holed up in desert areas and trying to sneak into Anbar again across the Syrian border. 
"The government in Baghdad abandoned us after promising to arm us and provide salaries to our fighters," Nemrawi told Niqash. "We sent dozens of requests to Baghdad about our problems and the same answer every time. The government is facing a financial crisis. And arming us simply with the approval of the Iraqi government, and that is better than nothing. " 
"We were able to defeat the terrorists, but they will not give up so easily," says the tribal fighter who fought alongside the army in the battles to regain control of Anbar. Last month, an organization called for more than 10 attempts to break through Iraq's borders. Without the information provided by the International Alliance and US Starting from the base of Ain al-Assad when we discovered that and forced the extremists to return from where they came. " 
Maintaining security in Anbar is a difficult task and needs sophisticated military capabilities. Unfortunately, the Iraqi army lacks a lot. American forces that have aircraft, intelligence and combat aircraft to monitor the border can not be dispensed with as quickly. The concern is also, says Nimrawi. 
On May 27, US forces carried out a mistaken air strike in the town of al-Baghdadi in Anbar, killing eight members of the local security forces. Although the International Coalition said the raid was carried out under Iraqi security information, But the incident opened the door to heated debates among Iraqi politicians on the fate of US troops in the country after the end of the stage of a cheerful. 
The armed factions close to Iran took advantage of the Baghdadi incident to renew their demands for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. 
So far, the Iraqi government has been silent on this sensitive issue, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi resorts to a neutral language when talking about this so as not to provoke anger from Iran and its allies and avoid losing US-led international military support. 
But the Sunni provinces of Anbar, Salah al-Din and Nineveh, which are devastated and live in destroyed houses and displacement camps, have a different view. They see the presence of US forces as a neutral element for the non-return of terrorist organizations and prevent Shiite factions from spreading in Sunni cities, A senior local official in the Anbar provincial council said. 
"To speak frankly, the day the American troops leave our cities will be a joy day for the remnants of the Da'ash fighters, because they know very well the danger of the aircraft and the air raids of the international coalition," the official told Niqash, speaking on condition of anonymity. 
"The government in Baghdad knows very well that a supporter did not enter Anbar suddenly in 2014, but has sought to organize since the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, and when the US aircraft stopped monitoring the border with Syria began terrorists infiltrate the vast desert and take from The natural valleys are located without them being watched, until the opportunity came to attack Falluja and then the rest of the cities. " 
Shakir al-Dulaimi, an officer in the 7th Army Division, told Niqash that "Da'ash has experience in roads and caches between valleys in the large and small cities of Anbar. He also knows secret roads through natural and industrial land tunnels linking cities with each other. Tunnels linking Iraq with Syria under the control of a supporter. 
The problem is not only in the hideouts of the terrorists in the desert, but in the long border between Anbar and Syria. There are more than 600 kilometers of the border, a large distance that needs a full army to secure. These days, units of the army and the crowd Popular in the protection of borders and subjected to continuous attacks. " 
The fears in the Sunni cities are not limited to the return of terrorists, but also from the continued spread of Shiite factions in their cities under the pretext of maintaining security because there are no local forces able to manage the security file after the collapse of the police in the summer of 2015. 
The collapse of the local police force in the liberated cities was inevitable after the extremists took control. The government no longer trusted this apparatus for fear of infiltration by extremists, but the restoration of security in every street and area and the return to faith in the judicial system was linked to the presence of local forces rather than forces alien to the city's population. 
In Salah al-Din there are four heterogeneous security groups, the army, the local police, the Shiite factions and the tribal forces. Security affairs are conducted indiscriminately through uncoordinated individual decisions away from Iraqi government control. 
Two and a half years after the liberation of Tikrit, the center of the capital of Salah al-Din, but the provincial council failed to unify these forces and the restoration of security powers under the laws of local authorities in the country, and the weakness of local police, which is the main security arm of any local authority. 
"We have real fears that the popular mobilization forces will remain in our areas, and we fear the lack of confidence between the population and these forces if they continue to exist," a local council official told Niqash, who asked not to be named. "We hope that the international coalition, With the support of our local forces, and this takes months and perhaps years. " 
عن About: Niqash

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Russian-American cooperation to control Iraq's borders

22/2/2018 12:00 am 

 

Baghdad / Al-Sabah 

Iraq is cooperating with Russia and the United States to control and control the Iraqi-Syrian border, especially after terrorists try to infiltrate into our territory, Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Heydar Mansour Hadi said, adding that a Russian industrial trade delegation will visit Baghdad next month. 

Hadi said in a press statement that "until recently, there was no full control of the border, and we are working with the Syrians, Russians and Americans in order to impose full control of the border with Syria," noting that "Iraq currently controls the border completely, and there is security coordination At levels with the Syrians in this area. " 

"The importance of continuing the settlement efforts in Syria without interference from abroad and the need for Iraq to participate in all activities related to the Syrian settlement, as in the Syrian national dialogue conference in Sochi," the ambassador stressed. 

In addition, the Iraqi ambassador in Russia, that a delegation of industrial and trade Russia will visit Baghdad next month. 

The ambassador said that "a delegation of Russian businessmen headed by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia will visit Baghdad mid-next month," adding that "the delegation's visit comes to hold official meetings in Baghdad to introduce investment opportunities and possibilities to enter the market from Iraq." 

"The visit will be preceded by the seventh session of the Iraqi-Russian government committee to be held in Moscow next week," Hadi said, adding that "Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari will lead an Iraqi delegation to Moscow."

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Edited by DinarThug
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The war in Syria that began seven years ago is now on the brink of a new stage, as reflected in recent weeks by incidents on the various fronts. Inevitably, the complex fabric of interests among the many elements involved has resulted in conflicts and has renewed the sense of "all versus all." During the events between Israel, Syria, and Iran on February 10, 2018, Russia worked to stop the escalation from becoming a violent round of fighting. The United States seemed at once present but absent; its voice was not heard during the events, although in retrospect it backed Israel's use of force. However, it will be difficult to stabilize the situation in Syria on all fronts without deep and genuine coordination between the United States and Russia. For its part, Israel should continue its strategic dialogue with Russia. At the same time, it must promote a joint strategy with the United States to halt Iranian influence, including blocking the eastern border between Syria and Iraq, in an effort to stop the establishment of the Iranian corridor to Syria. Another goal is to deter Tehran from continuing its consolidation in Syria by increasing its fears that this will lead to clashes between Iran and American forces.

The war in Syria that began seven years ago is now on the brink of a new stage, as reflected in recent weeks by incidents on the various fronts: "the day of battle" between Israel, Syria, and Iran (the penetration of the Iranian drone that was shot down in Israeli territory, followed by the attack by the Israeli Air Force in Syrian territory, and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 warplane by the Syrian air defense system); the American attack in the Deir ez-Zor region that led to the deaths of over a hundred fighters linked to the Assad regime, including combat soldiers from a Russian mercenary unit; and Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in the Kurdish region of Afrin, which is intended to limit Kurdish influence in northern Syria. Against the background of these developments, the conduct of the war and the balance of forces to date should be reviewed in order to understand the implications of recent events.

 

From its earliest stages, the war in Syria became a local, regional, and global playing field. The weakness of the Assad regime and the large numbers of elements involved in the war provided fertile ground for foreign interests to further their agendas, in Syria in particular and in the Middle East in general. Iran and Hezbollah were the first to stand alongside the Assad regime in 2011 to help him survive first through Hezbollah and later through the Quds Forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Shiite militias, recruited in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. At various stages they joined in the fighting alongside the Assad regime against the different rebel organizations, which in turn received support from Sunni Arab states.

It soon became clear that the Sunni rebels had difficulty uniting around a common cause, and they split into dozens of sub-groups that were unable to form a critical mass against the Assad regime. These factions even fought with each other for local hegemony. The Islamic State (formerly ISIS) was the dominant element in the radical Sunni camp, and its expansion and consolidation in Iraq and Syria in 2014 was what led the United States (which had hitherto refrained from intervening) to take military action in the framework of an international coalition, and to attack Islamic State and al-Qaeda elements. In late 2015, when the survival of the Assad regime was at serious risk, Russia began its military intervention and formed a pro-Assad coalition with Iran and its proxies. Within a year, this action had clearly swung the balance in favor of Assad and severely weakened the rebel forces. The conquest of Aleppo in December 2016 was the decisive event that marked the change in the balance of forces.

The United States strategy of "Islamic State First" pushed other conflicts aside. In November 2017, the Islamic State was defeated following the conquest of its two centers of power, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Assad remained in power, controlling the large population centers, although not all of Syria. At the same time, Russia worked vigorously to launch a process of political settlement in Syria, taking account of the balance of powers in the area – and including the formation of "de-escalation zones" in enclaves that were not controlled by forces supporting Assad. It emerged that the main obstacle to a political settlement was the arbitrary and resolute nature of the conditions that had sparked the civil war in the first place and the enmities that perpetuated it, including the involvement of outside actors.

While the pro-Assad coalition tried to project the image of victory and the return of power to Assad, before moving to the next stage of political settlement under the auspices of Russia and Iran, violent incidents erupted throughout Syria. In the current situation, all parties with an interest in Syria, and particularly the external forces, are trying to maintain their assets and achieve more influence. These conflicting interests have renewed the sense of "all versus all" and a new stage in the Syrian civil war.

Before the Russian intervention, the United States provided financial and military support to "moderate" rebel groups, based on the presumption – which proved mistaken – that they would fight the Islamic State and be a secular, moderate alternative to the Assad regime. However, it emerged that among the range of rebel groups supported by the CIA, the Kurdish forces were the most committed and effective fighting force, and the cooperation with them was the best. Turkey, fearing the establishment of a broader Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria, which could affect the aspirations of Kurds in Turkey itself, took a stance against the Kurds and even supported the other rebel groups, including Salafi jihadist groups. The aim was to weaken the Kurdish fighters and damage the links between the Kurdish underground in Turkey (PKK) and the leading Kurdish group in Syria (YPG).

Inevitably, this complex fabric of interests resulted in conflicts. For example, the United States is supporting the Kurdish force in northeast Syria in order to clean up enclaves of Islamic State remnants and to prevent their recovery and renewed control of the territory, and also to block the Iranian land corridor to the Mediterranean. On the other hand, Turkey – a member of NATO and officially an ally of the United States – opposes any American move that strengthens the Kurds. Behind the scenes, Russia is stoking the fire, giving Turkey the green light to military action designed to take control of the Afrin region in north Syria, now under Kurdish control, while disregarding the Assad regime, which sees this as an attack on its sovereignty. In this way Russia is challenging Washington, which must choose between support for the Kurds and its relations with Turkey. At the same time, the US is trying to prevent the pro-Assad forces, and particularly the Iranian proxies, from taking over the territory north and east of the Euphrates River, which is under Kurdish control. For this reason, last week, the Americans were called on to assist the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), who were attacked by pro-Assad forces around Deir ez-Zor.

Perhaps most of all Russia represents the political-military juggling acts in Syria, maneuvering between pounding rebel targets from the air and promoting diplomatic and political moves to achieve a political settlement; and balancing between needing the Iranian proxies for ground fighting, and limiting Iran's future influence in Syria. All this is underway as Moscow forges double and triple alliances in the Syrian morass. Regarding Israel, on the one hand Moscow maintains a strategic dialogue with Israel and gives it room to operate in Syrian air space, which also serves Russian interests of limiting Iranian influence in Syria. At the same time, however, Russia turns a blind eye to the Iranian drones sent to penetrate Israeli airspace from the T-4 airfield deep in Syria, where there is a Russian military presence, which increases friction between Israel and Iran. Moreover, Russia provides close advice to the Syrian air defense system, which proved able bring down an Israeli aircraft operating in Syrian airspace, thus limiting Israel's operational freedom to maneuver.

This situation, where the interests of the various actors clash, ensures continued friction and hostilities. Assad is expected to continue working to extend his hold in the country, and in this framework the pro-Assad coalition is currently involved in a large scale military effort to take control of the suburbs of Damascus. Turkey will try to prevent the rise of an autonomous Kurdish region in its borders and establish a security zone under its control along its border with Syria; the Kurds will fight to defend the territory they gained through fierce fighting and heavy losses. For its part, Iran wants to reap the fruits of its investments in Syria and the Assad regime, and be the most important influence in Syria, which it sees as a protectorate. This means the establishment of Iranian weapon assembly infrastructures and the presence of local militias under Iranian influence. Israel is vehemently opposed to this and is working to prevent a permanent Iran and Hezbollah military presence along its northern border. The United States wants to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State in the power vacuum created in the areas that were formerly under its control. For that reason, the Pentagon believes that that they have no choice but to continue their military intervention and widen their control of the border between Syria and Iraq, and even set up a border guard force based on its local partners. Russia wants to preserve the existing regime and its growing influence in Syria, and thereby improve its standing in the Middle East and the international arena.

During the escalation between Israel, Syria, and Iran on February 10, 2018, following the events surrounding the Iranian drone incident and the downed Israeli plane, Russia worked to stop the incidents from becoming a violent round of fighting. The United States seemed at once present but absent; its voice was not heard during the events, although in retrospect it backed Israel's use of force. However, it will be difficult to stabilize the situation in Syria on all fronts without deep and genuine coordination between the United States and Russia. Therefore, Washington would do well to make it clear to Moscow that Iran set a trap for Russia by sending the drone into Israel from an airfield used by Russia, deep in Syria, and possibly also by launching the counter-attack against the military headquarters shared by the SDF and the American forces around Deir ez-Zor. In both incidents Iran crossed a red line and endangered Russian forces in Syria.

Implications for Israel

It is recommended that Israel continue its strategic dialogue with Russia, at least for damage control. At the same time, it must promote a joint strategy with the United States to halt Iranian influence, including blocking the eastern border between Syria and Iraq, in an effort to stop the establishment of the Iranian corridor to Syria. Another goal is to deter Tehran from continuing its consolidation in Syria by increasing its fears that this will lead to clashes between Iran and American forces.

After taking control of the Damascus suburbs, it appears that the next objective for the pro-Assad coalition will be southern Syria, starting with the opposition enclave in Dara'a. Therefore, there is a need for threefold operational cooperation between Jordan, Israel, and the United States, including a plan for re-arming and training rebel forces in southern Syria (particularly the Free Syrian Army), which the United States stopped supporting in spite of Jordanian reservations. This support must be renewed so that the rebels can serve as a wedge against the further spread of forces operated by Iran in the Dara'a-Quneitra space. At the same time, Israel can utilize its contacts with Russia and the United States to increase their cooperation and work toward a political settlement in Syria, in return for protecting the interests of Jordan and Israel, both United States allies.

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WASHINGTON — President Trump has all the legal authority he needs to keep U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq indefinitely, the Pentagon and State Department said in a pair of letters released on Thursday. The letters also warned that the United States reserves the right to take military action to defend its anti-ISIS allies in Syria, potentially setting the stage for new clashes with regime forces and their Russian partners.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., to whom the letters were addressed, sharply criticized the administration’s reasoning and said in a statement that Trump risks “acting like a king by unilaterally starting a war.”

Borrowing arguments first advanced by the Obama administration, the Pentagon and State Department argued that the undeclared war on ISIS — and the presence of some 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria and 5,200 more in Iraq — is legal under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 AUMF that set the stage for the invasion of Iraq. In late January, the Trump administration signaled that it would not seek a new vote to authorize the mission in Syria.

Like Obama, Trump contends that, because of its origins as an al-Qaida offshoot, the so-called Islamic State is covered by the 2001 legislation. The 2002 AUMF gave the president the power to use force to confront “the continuing threat posed by Iraq.”

“Now the Trump administration is going even further, claiming that the 2001 AUMF also allows the U.S. military to strike pro-Assad forces in areas devoid of ISIS to protect our Syrian partners who seek Assad’s overthrow,” Kaine said Thursday. “It is clear the Trump administration is crossing a constitutional line.”

While the U.S.-led coalition has routed ISIS and shattered its claims to a caliphate, the Pentagon said in its letter that the terrorist group has morphed into a dangerous “insurgency” and that U.S. forces need to remain in both countries to ensure its “permanent defeat.”

“Just as when we previously removed U.S. forces prematurely, the group will look to exploit any abatement in pressure to regenerate capabilities and reestablish local control of territory,” David Trachtenberg, the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, wrote to Kaine.

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Tim Kaine; Donald Trump. (Yahoo News photo illustration; photos: Susan Walsh/AP, Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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“The United States does not seek to fight the Government of Syria or Iran or Iranian-supported groups in Iraq or Syria,” Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Waters said in her letter to Kaine. “However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., Coalition, or partner forces engaged in operations to defeat ISIS and degrade al-Qa’ida.”

The United States struck forces loyal to Syrian strongman Bashar Assad several times in 2017, notably striking an airfield in April in what Washington described as a response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. More recently, a U.S. counterattack reportedly killed Syrian forces but also Russian mercenaries.

Kaine, who has tried for years to get his colleagues to debate and vote on authorizing the war against ISIS, warned in January that the U.S. mission in Syria was evolving and risked putting American forces on a collision course with regime troops and their Russian backers.

Kaine outlined his concerns a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out plans for an open-ended presence in Syria.

In remarks at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Tillerson said U.S. forces would stay in the war-racked nation to ensure ISIS does not reemerge, but also to set the stage for Assad’s removal from power through political means and to contain Iranian influence.

Iran has stepped up what America considers its destabilizing activities, including support for Assad and extremist groups, since the death of its archenemy Saddam Hussein and in the aftermath of the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran signed with great powers including the United States. The Trump administration has vowed to confront the Islamic Republic more forcefully.

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Pentagon: US forces will remain in Iraq for more than 20 years for this purpose and do not need to be authorized to stay

2018/02/26 09:42

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US forces will remain in Iraq for more than 20 years as expected and do not need a mandate from either side, the Pentagon said .

"The congressional mandate in 2001 to combat extremist terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda allows the United States to stay in Iraq and Syria for more than 20 years to deal with continuing militancy," Deputy Defense Minister David Trachtenberg was quoted as saying in Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

"The mandate to stay and withdraw prematurely would lead to a renewal of the capabilities of terrorist groups after the pressure has been relaxed and the land restored," Trachtenberg said.

Sen. Tim Cain sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Matisse asking for further clarification and information on the current efforts of the United States in Syria and Iraq. He expressed concern that the United States may lack internal or external legal status for its war in the two countries, To respond to the administration's response to congressional observations and its critical remarks on criticism.

Trump's administration has made clear its position on the lack of necessity for a new mandate. Tillerson and Matisse last October testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the aftermath of September 11 provided the legal basis for US forces to remain in Iraq. Syria and Iraq.

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Pentagon provides Iraq with a biometric system to identify the wanted

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 Translation: Hamid Ahmed

US Army technicians have equipped Iraq with a security system with remote fingerprint identification capabilities and eye recognitioncapabilities. 

The system was installed at an undisclosed location as part of an urgent joint operational requirementand will be evaluated over 30 days to determine whether the device can be used elsewhere. 

The system is designed to control the entry of people to sensitive areas. Associates with access cards can simply pass through the system at any checkpoint, but the technology provided in this system reads the information and biometric fingerprints of any individual and displays them on a screen in front of the operator.

Although one month may seem a short time to assess the device, William Graves, the chief engineer of the Pentagon's biomaterials project, says any problem will be quickly checked. "I will know within the first three to four days whether there is a problem with how operators deal with System. " 

The advantage of biometric information detection system is that it can detect any person required or suspected at checkpoints without obstructing the flow of traffic. 

"It's one of the next-generation technology systems that can verify a person's biometric information, such as fingerprints and a remote eye, without a person touching the device," said Alan Krizuki, the assembly unit laboratory technician, who showed the device to a group of reporters.

Krizuki added that the system can verify other information, such as someone on the wanted list of terrorists or other criminals, where explanatory information is displayed on the watch screen. 

"The screen monitor can also detect whether the person entering the site has a temporary secret entry permit while requiring a high-secret entry permit from the inside of the site, so that it can be easily neutralized, all of this information is being shown at the same time," Krizuki said. The device triggers an alert if the person trying to enter the site uses a stolen entry card, which will display biometric data that does not match the card. 

The lab's laboratory technician, Krizuki, said laboratory personnel were also seeking to provide Iraq with a sound detection and recognition system with a rapid ability to identify a person's DNA.

"The demand for these security intelligence services is growing rapidly within the Pentagon's foreign sales," said Col. Donald Hertz, director of the Pentagon's Project for Biomechanics Systems. "These systems are useful to NATO institutions and many other countries we deal with to provide them with biometric information detectors Sophisticated in its ability to process an information base stored in it. " 

عن About: Signal magazine
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DT Thanks,  This is excellent news and moving forward with Advanced Technology is definitely a Big Plus for the GOI....😊😊

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US, coalition want to shrink role in Iraq, but ISIS fighters linger in the desert

By: Kyle Rempfer    3 hours ago
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Members of a tactical air control party watch as an Iraqi C-130J Super Hercules flies over the drop zone at the Besmaya Range Complex, Iraq, Feb. 15. (Spc. Antonio Lewis/Army)

 

The coalition in Iraq is working to transition the U.S. Air Force into a less-kinetic role, but Islamic State holdouts across the still-fragile country demand attention.

"Actually, I think the situation has gotten a lot better since October," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, deputy commander for Air, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command, Operation Inherent Resolve.

“There are still remnants of ISIS in that Kirkuk to Makhmour area,” he said at a Pentagon press briefing Tuesday. “That's where we've done the last few operations with Iraqi security forces.”

Croft described a diagonal line where ISIS fragments still remain, stretching across the northern handle of Iraq and intersecting Kirkuk — where Iraqi security forces controversially crushed Kurdish separatists in October 2017.

Read more if you wish@ 

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/flashpoints/2018/03/27/us-coalition-want-to-shrink-role-in-iraq-but-isis-fighters-linger-in-the-desert/

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