Tag Archives: Iraq

Column of US Troops Heads BACK to Syria

The development comes after Washington decided to withdraw US troops from northeastern Syria following the start of a Turkish military operation against Kurdish forces on October 9.

A column of US troops has returned to northeastern Syria’s al-Hasakah Province from Iraq, Syria TV reports.

The news outlet claimed that “the column of American occupation forces entered […] the province through the illegal al-Walid border crossing” and that the column, which includes “dozens of soldiers and military hardware” is covered by US combat helicopters.

This comes a day after US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said that the US would maintain a “reduced presence” in Syria, citing concerns about Daesh terrorists taking control of nearby oil fields.

Almost two weeks ago, Esper pledged that the US would withdraw all of its force of 1,000 soldiers from northeastern Syria, after Turkey launched its military operation in the area to drive Kurdish militias and remaining Daesh militants away from the border.

Russia Concerned Over US Military Returning to Northern Syria

Commenting on Esper’s statement that some US troops will remain in north-eastern Syria, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the statement did not come as a surprise.

“What Washington does now – the capture and holding under its armed control of oil fields in Eastern Syria is, simply speaking, international state banditism,” he stressed, adding that Syrian oil reserves and other mineral resources belong solely to the Syrian Arab Republic, not to Daesh or to “American protectors from Daesh terrorists”.

He also said that “neither international law, nor the American legislation itself can justify the US troops’ goal to guard Syrian hydrocarbon reserves from Syria itself and its people.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested that the fresh contradictory signals the US has sent regarding Syria may indicate Washington’s desire to maintain conditions that allow for continued pressure on Damascus.

“We are very definitely worried that the signals from the White House may reflect the same attitude: to preserve the conditions for continuing multi-component pressure on the legitimate authorities in Damascus”, he pointed out, adding that “this is the moment we don’t agree and we can’t agree with the United States on the situation.”

He said that Moscow “would not like new complications” on the Syria issue, touting the work that “has been done at the level of the leadership of Russia and Turkey in recent days.”

“The results of the negotiations in Sochi should not tempt anyone to reformat or change something again,” Ryabkov emphasised. From Sputnik

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From i24 News – US, Iranian officials held secret talks in Iraq last week

125 Iranian officials were said to be arrested, charged with espionage in an attempt to neutralize them

Secret meetings between US government officials and Iranian officials took place last week at a hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq, sources informed i24NEWS, as the Iranian regime shows signs of a nascent upheaval.

The Iranian delegation, which has at times been at odds with government policy, was headed by the grandson of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, Hassan Khomeini, and also included two officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as well as Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s special envoy to Iraq.

Iran has reportedly been contacting Kurdish opposition parties based in Iraq, but the talks remained “useless,” according to internal Iranian sources who informed i24NEWS’ senior political correspondent Christian Malard.

“The Iranian Communist Party”, one of the Kurdish opposition parties, announced that some of the major Kurdish parties have been secretly meeting with the Iranian officials for the past two years under the monitoring of a Norwegian NGO, which identity the party refused to reveal.

Sources suggest that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, especially its Basij forces — one of the five forces of the IRGC — have experienced division, suggesting Iran’s leadership is working to counter a budding soft coup.

125 Iranian officials were said to be arrested recently and charged with espionage in an attempt to neutralize them for purportedly turning their backs on the regime.

Many others have been removed from their official posts or simply disappeared from the public eye without any explanation, such as Gen. Ali Nasiri, who has likely been detained, according to sources, while others were killed in assassination plots that include fatal medical injections and car “accidents”.

During the secret talks, American officials stayed at the same hotel in Erbil as Saudi officials who were later relocated away from the negotiation venue.

Back in May, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said he would send delegations to both Washington and Tehran in order to calm tensions.

In March, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani made his first official visit to Iraq, despite pressure from Washington for Baghdad to limit ties with its neighbor.

Read more at i24