by Michael Knights – Politico – January 5, 2020
As Iraq signals its willingness to evict U.S. forces following the airstrike, the time has come for discipline and a focus on shared interests.
The targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s most senior militiamen, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, justified by their orchestration of the deaths of hundreds of Americans, has led to a widespread fear of an imminent war with Iran that could cause untold loss of life and further destabilize an already devastated region. How Iran might respond is impossible to know (much less how the U.S. would react in turn), but I see the potential for a success in Iraq—if the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi government can focus on their shared interests and continue to purge Iran’s malign influence.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS LATEST BAGHDAD : Rocket lands near U.S. embassy in Baghdad as Soleimani funeral kicks off
No casualties were reported, according to Iraqi police. Other reports claim that three people were injured.
By LEON SVERDLOV JANUARY 4, 2020 20:52 JERUSALEM POST
A siren sounded in the US embassy in Baghdad following a reported rocket attack on Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and foreign missions, Reuters reported Saturday evening. Two loud blasts were heard early Saturday evening shortly after IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani’s funeral kicked off, after having been assassinated during a US airstrike in Baghdad International Airport.
It was not immediately possible to confirm the causes or locations.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS OPINION : Donald Trump showed restraint, then resolve, in killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani
James S. Robbins Opinion columnist – USA TODAY – Published EST Jan 4, 2020
Qassem Soleimani was a violent man who lived a violent life. The Iranian major general lived by the sword and died by the drone. Soleimani’s death was a long time coming, and it is chiefly mourned by those who are seeking a similar end.
We can dispense with questions over whether the attack that killed Soleimani was an illegal assassination as opposed to a legitimate act in the war on terrorism. The United States has been conducting such strikes for years, and President Barack Obama faced no serious pushback for using drones to prosecute the conflict.
Iraqi oil sector holds fast amid storm of U.S.-Iran conflict -Production and exports so far unaffected as some foreign oil workers evacuate, following the U.S. assassination of Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis.
By Staff of Iraq Oil Report Published Friday, January 3rd, 2020
BASRA – Iraq’s oil sector is operating without disruption, despite the evacuation of some foreign oil workers in the aftermath of the U.S. assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis.
“The ministry confirms that the situation is normal at oil fields in Iraq, and production and exports have not been affected,” the Oil Ministry said in a statement Friday.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THAT’S THE QUESTION ! – How will Iran retaliate for the assassination of Qasem Suleimani?
JERUSALEM POST 3. Jan 2020 – “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Pentagon claimed, noting that the Iranian leader had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months, “including the attack on December 27th, cculminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.
“General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” the Pentagon added, clarifying that the strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.
“The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world,” the statement concluded.
Lindsey Graham✔ @LindseyGrahamSC 3 Jan 2019
- 7h Wow – the price of killing and injuring Americans has just gone up drastically. Major blow to Iranian regime that has American blood on its hands. Soleimani was one of the most ruthless and vicious members of the Ayatollah’s regime. He had American blood on his hands.
Lindsey Graham✔ @LindseyGrahamSC
I appreciate President @realDonaldTrump’s bold action against Iranian aggression. To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more.
Marco Rubio✔ @marcorubio
- 8h Facing repeated #IRGC attacks the U.S. & @potus exercised admirable restraint while setting clear red lines & the consequences for crossing them#Iran’s Quds Force chose the path of escalation
They are entirely to blame for bringing about the dangerous moment now before us.
Marco Rubio✔ @marcorubio
The defensive actions the U.S. has taken against #Iran & its proxies are consistent with clear warnings they have received
They chose to ignore these warnings because they believed @POTUS was constrained from acting by our domestic political divisions
They badly miscalculated
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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : DETAILED & COMPLET E NEWS SAMPLER / INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS ON QASSEM SOLEIMANI’S FAREWELL
Iran vows ‘retaliation’ after US kills top general in Iraq — live updates – 3Jan 2020
The US Department of State has urged Americans in Iraq to leave “immediately” after Tehran vowed to “retaliate” over a US airstrike in Baghdad that targeted the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani.
All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
09:38 The threats from Iran should be taken “deadly seriously,” said senior lawmaker for the Germany’s Green Party, Omid Nouripour. He called for immediate evacuation of German soldiers currently stationed in Iraq.
“When not even the US embassy can be protected, it shows that members of Bundeswehr must also be evacuated,” said the opposition lawmaker.
“Solving Iraq’s Federal Dilemma” by Samir Sumaidaie
Iraq’s federal government is facing several challenges as people start to grow uneasy about the imbalance between Iraqis and the Kurds. While the Kurdish representatives vote for issues within the Kurdistan region as well as all of Iraq, the Iraqi representatives only have a say in their perspective regions and do not have an influence in the Kurdistan region.
One proposed solution suggests that the provinces be divided in a way that allows Kurdish representatives to only weigh in on issues within their region. The Kurdistan Region will be enlarged and the rest of Iraq shall be placed into a single region. While all citizens will have the equal right to participate in the federal government, only those in their respective regions will be able to participate in those government structures.
The Arab Weekly (Washington, D.C.), December 27, 2019.
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“Barham Resignation Would Bring More Chaos to Iraq” by Dana Taib Menmy
On December 26, Iraqi President Barham Salih presented parliamentary speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi with a letter announcing his intention to resign, rather than nominate Asaad al-Eidani as prime minister. This announcement comes on the heels of President Salih’s refusal to approve the nominations of both Qusay al-Suhail and Mohammed Shia al-Sudani for the position of Minister of Higher Education.
Salih’s refusal resulted in a failure to form a new government within the 15-day constitutional deadline. Protesters have called for both Salih and Halbusi’s resignations, accusing them of failing to adhere to the constitutional deadlines and of being too ingrained within Iraqi political parties. Protesters demand that the new prime minister be independent of foreign intervention and political party pressure, meaning that Salih would be pushed out because of his deep ties to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the likelihood of his becoming the new head of the party. Unless an adequate candidate is found, both Salih and Halbusi may be forced to resign, and political protests will continue throughout the country.
al-Monitor (Sulaymaniyah), December 28, 2019.
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