PICTURED: Protestors gather outside the Baghdad Embassy Compound, Iraq.
Story at a glance…
4 days have passed of rocket and drone attacks on American personnel in Iraq
DoD officials blame Iran, not their bombings which killed 1 child.
Biden believes his enemy in Iraq is Iran, but evidence exists of someone else…Iraq.
BAGHDAD, Iraq. July 8th, 2021. Newsweek reported that remaining U.S. facilities in Iraq have just endured the fourth straight day of incoming rocket fire from enraged Shi’ite militias.
They landed in the Green Zone and around the U.S. military fortress/official embassy in Baghdad, with Al Jazeera reporting that the fortress’s anti-rocket defense system was activated and diverted at least one. No one was killed, but one American suffered a concussion, reports an anonymous source.
“We are aware of these reports,” the U.S.-led coalition told Newsweek. “As this is an ongoing situation, we have no further details at this time”.
Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesperson for the 2,500 man-strong U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve, i.e. the ISIS watchdog program, said that each one of these attacks “undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions […] and sovereignty,” but he was lying because it’s well-known the Iraqi government has already issued a 170-0 referendum in parliament to revoke the occupation of their country by the U.S., which was followed up by a legal challenge in the UN and elsewhere by the former prime minister.
On Wednesday, more than a dozen rockets struck the al-Assad airbase in western Iraq, causing two “minor injuries.
In unison, there were drone attacks at the al-Omar oil fields held illegally by nearby U.S. forces and Syrian-Kurdish SDF troops which shot down the drone before it could do any harm.
This latest spate of aggressions is in response to air strikes made by Biden two weeks ago, in retaliation for similar attacks weeks before, that killed four Iraqi militiamen and one civilian child.
WaL reported in late June on the Biden bombing that his “message” according to local news reports, struck the civilian neighborhood of al-Bukamal at 1AM local time, injuring three, and killing at least 1 child. The bombs were dropped allegedly on weapons storage sites. Between 4 and 7 Iraqi militiamen were killed depending on who’s reporting.
In retaliation, Iraqi militia groups declared “open war” on the U.S. occupiers. Reports came in from a U.S. base at the eastern Syria oil field al-Omar that waves of rocket fire struck the compound. Other reports from AP report the same.
These attacks were not condemned by the Iraqi military, who stated at the time they had “nothing to do with this escalation and will not be a part of it,” and then bizarrely added that they “would not criticize operations [against U.S. forces] and instead turn a blind eye to them”.
The multiple attacks have continued, with fortunately no casualties on the U.S. side, by a loose coalition of Shi’ite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. As WaL and others have reported, most of these militias, such as Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kataeb Hezbollah, were the principle ground forces which defeated ISIS, while the U.S. supplied them with arms and air support.
They were commanded by Iranian Maj. General Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi General Abu al-Muhandis, the two men Trump ordered assassinated in early 2020. The fact that Soleimani was their acting commander during the 2014-2017 war against ISIS have allowed DoD officials to bolt on the term “Iran-backed” or “Iran-aligned” to these Shi’ite militias, suggesting they answer to orders from Tehran, not from Baghdad.
However following their victory over ISIS, they were inducted officially as a unit in the Iraqi army. Being that they are militias and not solders, their loyalty lies with whichever faction in the government is most nationalistic, which for sometime was the army and prime minister, but when the current prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was elected, their support wavered, as efforts to expel American forces through legal means abated.
In justifying the attack against these militias, there was no notion that Biden believed he was doing anything other than killing men hired by the Iranian military. His “message” was clearly received: by the same Shi’ites that were the DoD’s allies during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that were their enemies in the post-2007 “redirection” as journalist Seymour Hersh described it, and that were their allies once again in the war against ISIS.
Their desire to expel the U.S. from their nearly 2-decade policing action has been roused, and while there’s every reason why Iran would send money and weapons to these militias, it’s clear they are the danger, not Iran.