Esper Says Strikes in Syria and Iraq Successful, Officials Initially Discussed Options With Trump
03:29 30.12.2019(updated 05:29 30.12.2019)
Earlier on Sunday, US forces carried out strikes targeting five Kata’ib Hezbollah facilities in Syria and Iraq, including weapons storage locations and command and control bases. Esper said that Washington was ready for additional measures against Iran, if and when necessary.
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has said that the “defensive airstrikes” conducted on Sunday in Syria and Iraq were successful, adding that US officials had initially discussed other options with President Donald Trump, Reuters reported.
“The strikes were successful. The pilots and aircraft returned back to base safely. I would add that in our discussion today with the president, we discussed with him other options that are available. And I would note also that we will take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defence and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran”, Esper said.
He said the strikes had been carried out by F-15 Strike Eagles fighter aircraft against five targets associated with Kata’ib Hezbollah, including three targets in western Iraq and two targets in eastern Syria that were either command and control facilities or weapons caches of the militia.
Esper characterised them as “offensive actions against the Iran-sponsored group”, meaning Kata’ib Hezbollah.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the US officials had briefed Trump on the airstrikes that were conducted “in response to the threat against the American forces”.
“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy”, Pompeo told reporters after the briefing in Palm Beach, Florida.
The death toll from the drone attacks of the United States against the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia in Iraq stands at 25, with 51 people injured, the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, said in a statement.
The airstrikes follow a rocket attack on a base in northern Iraq on Friday which the US claims was likely carried out by an Iran-allied militia group.
Kata’ib Hezbollah, not to be confused with the Hezbollah group of Lebanon, is a Shia-based paramilitary force established in 2007 and operating under the Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella. Washington designates them as terrorists. LINK
Samson: 4 rockets hit military base housing US troops near Baghdad
Xinhua, December 30, 2019
Four Katyusha rockets hit Sunday a base that houses U.S. troops near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a Interior Ministry official said.
The incident took place in the evening when the rockets struck al-Taji military base, some 30 km north of Baghdad, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
There were no immediate reports about casualties, the official said.
The attack came a few hours after the U.S. forces attacked five bases of Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) in Iraq and Syria in response to repeated attacks by KH against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, according to a U.S. military statement.
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Samson: Sadr Warns Of Throwing Iraq Into The War Between Iran And America
30th December, 2019
Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr warned at dawn today, Monday, of the dangers of Iraq being plunged into a war between Iran and America.
“I am not with fueling the war between Iran and America, and I am not with Iraq plunging into this war and making it an arena for the Iran-US conflict, ” Sadr said in a tweet on the social networking site “Twitter” after the American aviation bombed sites of the popular crowd in the far western district of Iraq .
He continued, “We need a serious stand by the senior people to keep Iraq away from that ferocious war that will eat green and dry land and make it cumulus.”
The Shiite leader said, “We need the Iraqi people to raise their voices, condemning the war and bringing Iraq to war.”
He stressed, “If Iraq does not stand as one and serious stand, then this war will be the end of Iraq if it rested.” “We need peace and reconstruction … and Iraq is not qualified to enter the war, but does not want it, and any party that throws Iraq into war will be the enemy of the people,” Sadr added. LINK
Samson: Barham Salih: The American Bombing Is A Violation Of The Sovereignty Of Iraq And Contrary To The Agreements Between The Two Countries
29th December, 2019
President of the Republic Barham Salih stressed, on Sunday, that the US bombing of one of the crowd’s headquarters constitutes a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty”
Saleh said in a brief statement, that “the American bombing of one of the headquarters of the crowd is contrary to the agreements with America and harmful to Iraq,” stressing that it is “unacceptable.”
Saleh condemned the “American aggression”, describing it as a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”
It is noteworthy that the American forces carried out today, Sunday, three air strikes on the headquarters of the 45th Brigade of the Popular Mobilization, killing four fighters, including the brigade commander’s aide, and wounding 30 others, while a security source confirmed that the death toll had risen to 18. LINK
Don961: Urgent CNN: The US Secretary of Defense notified Abdul Mahdi by phone about half an hour before the bombing
Iraq News | 15 | 2:36 PM
The US news network CNN said that US Defense Secretary Mark Asper telephoned the head of the caretaker government, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and informed him of the air strike on the sites of the Hezbollah Brigades belonging to the Popular Mobilization, “half an hour before it was implemented.”
American F-15 aircraft bombed sites of the 45th and 46th brigades in the popular crowd (Hezbollah Brigades) in the district of Al-Qaim, west of Anbar Governorate and another in eastern Syria.
The attack on Qaim resulted in the death of 27 battalions and wounded more than 50 others, including critical cases.
For his part, US Defense Secretary Mike Asper said that his country “will take the additional measures that we deem necessary”, stressing that “our behavior was in self-defense.” LINK
Samson: Tribal and community figures flocked to the crowd headquarters in Diyala to reject the American attack
13:25 – 30/12/2019
Dozens of tribal and community figures in Diyala Governorate, on Monday, poured into the headquarters of the popular crowd to reject the brutal American aggression.
The head of the Security Committee in the Diyala Council, Sadiq Al-Husseini, said in a statement to “Information”, “Dozens of tribal, societal and religious figures poured into the headquarters of the popular crowd in all areas of Diyala to confirm their national position rejecting the brute American attack on the headquarters of the popular crowd in the far Anbar yesterday evening Which resulted in dozens of martyrs and wounded.
Al-Husseini added, “The American aggression is a clear message to all Iraqis that it declares war on the popular crowd that liberated the land and returned the displaced people and failed the plans to tear Iraq apart,” stressing that “all Iraqis are with the popular crowd.” up against America and its allies in the region.”
Dozens of the Popular Mobilization fighters were among the 45-46 brigades that fell between a martyr and an injured, with a brutal American bombing of their headquarters in Al-Anbar yesterday evening.
Samson: Collect 75 parliamentary signatures to include the American bombing against the crowd in today’s session’s agenda
14:57 – 30/12/2019
The MP from Al-Nasr Coalition, Nada Shaker, revealed on Monday that he collected more than 75 parliamentary signatures to include the American bombing against the crowd sites in Anbar province in the agenda of today’s session.
Shaker said in a statement to the “information”, that “more than 75 deputies signed a request directed to the Presidency of Parliament to discuss the American aggression with drones against popular crowd sites in the district of Al-Qa’im in Anbar province within the agenda of today’s session,” noting that “the Presidency of Parliament agreed in a way My principle is to include the offense clause.”
She added that “today’s session will discuss the details of the attack and the House of Representatives will take a deterrent decision against the American forces present in the country for violating Iraqi sovereignty.” And a high-level source in the local Anbar government revealed today, Monday, a new American plan aimed at destabilizing security.” And the stability of the western regions through new targeting operations of the Popular Mobilization Forces stationed in the western areas of Anbar. LINK
Samson: China comments on the US bombing of the crowd: the sovereignty and independence of Iraq must be respected
30th December, 2019
China, Monday, called on all countries to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, in a comment on the US bombing of bases of “Hezbollah Brigades” in Iraq and Syria.
“We are sure that everyone should abide by the United Nations Charter and basic international standards, and it is necessary to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gan Xuan.
The Chinese statement comes in response to the bombing of five sites belonging to the “Hezbollah Brigades” by the United States on Sunday evening, in both Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon said that this strike is a response to a missile strike targeting an American base in the Iraqi province of Kirkuk, which resulted in the death of an American contractor. It is known that the “Hezbollah Brigades” is an armed Iraqi organization that includes forces. LINK
Samson: Trump briefed on Anbar bombing, Washington “threatens more”
The American Secretary of Defense and Foreign Minister went to Florida, where President Donald Trump is, to brief him on the latest developments and US air strikes on sites said to be “Iran” in Iraq.
“We have come to inform the president about the events that occurred during the past 72 hours … We will not leave Iran to undertake actions that endanger American men and women,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference alongside Defense Secretary Mark Esper in the Mar Lago resort in Florida. Pompeo added that he would leave room for Minister Esper to talk about the military aspects, but he wanted to clarify US policy regarding Iran.
For his part, Esper said: “The Pentagon targeted five sites in Iraq and Syria in response to the attack by a militia supported by Iran on an Iraqi facility, which would endanger American forces.” The blows were successful and the pilots and planes returned to the base safely.
I would like to add that during our meeting today with the President, we discussed with him other options available. I would also point out that we will take the additional measures that we deem necessary, and confirm that our behavior was in self-defense and to deter more bad behavior by the militias or from Iran. ”He said.
The United States announced yesterday that American planes launched a march that bombed five sites of the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq and Syria. The popular crowd announced that the American bombing of the positions of the 45th and 46th brigades in the crowd in Al-Qa’im district, west of Anbar, has so far resulted in the death of 25 fighters and wounded 51, indicating that “the number of martyrs can be increased due to the presence of wounded in critical condition and severe injuries.” LINK