Thursday, January 2, 2020

US Escalation in Iraq: Taking Kirkuk & Further Entrenching the US in the Region

Happy New Year to All !!
My crummy cold prevented me from extending well wishes and following up on my previous post.. Still under the weather, but, this report needs to be published

I’m going to hattip Scott at Nomadic Everyman for flipping the switch and helping to answer questions posed in the previous post.  Latest Report: Ambassador flees as Iraqis storm US embassy- 750 Troops Deploy Immediately With More To Come
What's going on? The US appears to be escalating something in Iraq??
Escalating in Kirkuk is what’s going on:

 Scott “As the original attack on the K-1 base near Kirkuk starts to look more and more suspect, Trump starts the process of sending an additional 4k troops to the region in order to combat Iran's influence on Iraq.”
Kirkuk Resource and Territory Grab

The reading I’ve done can be summed up something like this... the border strikes as the impetus for the protests. The protests then justifying a massive increase in US forces.  Questionable, to say the least.

The influx of troops is being done for another reason, having nothing to do with the protests. 

In my opinion, the protests at the Green Zone had to have been allowed and or encouraged.   Cause let’s face it readers, the Green Zone is very heavily fortified, well secured  - Given their locations, (Afghanistan and Iraq) both complexes require heavy security. But the US embassy in Baghdad is an entirely self-contained colony. Blast proof walls and all )and we shouldn’t forget that it’s just bursting at the seams with military and mercenaries... Therefore, a protest like the one that had occurred could only have taken place if it was condoned. Or desired.  With the possibility of provocateurs being present. That’s the only thing that really make sense.

Additionally: Leader of U.S. Embassy siege in Iraq was guest of Obama at White House
Hadi al- Amiri

One of the men identified by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a leader of the Iran-backed siege of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was welcomed to the White House in 2011 by President Barack Obama.
Hadi al-Amiri was photographed outside the U.S. Embassy during the siege and was singled out by Mr. Pompeo as an Iranian “proxy” abetting terrorists who stormed the embassy walls and set fires.
 An Iranian 'proxy'? An American 'proxy'? Cui Bono.
   In Scott’s video he mentioned the earlier attacks on the K-1 base in Kirkuk. Scott, in my opinion, correctly assesses we’re dealing with some serious water muddying. In all probability the “attack” on the K- 1 base was a false flag. And the protestors at the embassy are likely affiliated with the US already, or were heavily infiltrated with provocateurs. We’ve seen past protests at the Green Zone and they’ve generally served US interests.

US Troops will not be leaving Iraq- They never did previously. They won’t now:
Congressman Jason Chaffetz questioned the replacement of military forces with contractors, asking: "Are we just playing a little bit of a shell game here?" There is some irony in the fact that a decision by the Iraqi government to deny US soldiers immunity will result in an increase in the numbers of much hated and unaccountable security contractors.
The US never departed Iraq, they undertook creative bookkeeping is all.

US attack on Iraqi militia further entrenches US military in Middle East

Trump, Pence
"The Trump administration argues that these attacks were not only an appropriate response to the attack by the group, which the US contends is an Iranian proxy, on an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk that killed a US contractor and wounded four American troops and two Iraqis. Moreover, the US says, it will degrade the group's ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces in the region.

Even if one accepts the administration's rationale for the American response, the incident should raise a number of concerns. First, why does the US still have approximately 5,000 troops plus an unknown number of private contractors in Iraq nearly 17 years after our invasion?

If our attack in Iraq was a response to an assault on that country by a foreign power, why was the US attack on December 29, 2019, unanimously and publicly condemned by all the Iraqi leaders, including the president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, the Fatih Alliance - the second largest group in the Iraqi Parliament - and the top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani?

Iraqi President Barham Salih actually went so far as to call it an aggressive action and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of the attack ahead of time, the prime minister asked him to call it off, and then publicly condemned it, calling it an unspeakable, vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences. How can we claim to be in Iraq to protect their democracy when we are obviously violating their sovereignty?

Third, what comes next? The Pentagon claims that its precision defensive strikes will degrade the militia group's ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces, while Pompeo calls it a decisive response to Iran."
This is not about responding to a militia- and it’s not directly, though it will eventually get to   being more about a response to Iran. This is about Kirkuk. Control of territory. Control of resources. And most likely a challenge to Russia. As well as Turkey. 

  The very idea that one would send thousands of additional troops to respond to a militia,  into a nation that already has at least 5000 US troops, an unknown number of mercenaries along with other coalition forces present, is absurd. The existing force should make a firm response to the blamed militia, a cakewalk. That said, taking and holding additional territory would require more man power. And that is, in my opinion, what’s really going on.

Kirkuk, disputed and resource rich

I've talked the remake of the region for so long now... we're not getting into that in any detail, except to say it's factor in the taking of Kirkuk.

Let's go back to 2017 and reread some older material posted here at that time, shall we?

11/ 2017: The PMU(F) & Iraq’s Future: Deal With PKK in Kirkuk.

" Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in coordination with the Hashd al-Shaabi militia, deployed forces and arms in Daquq district, southern Kirkuk Province.

PKK has made an agreement with the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia Hashd al-Shaabi to deploy PKK forces along with the militia group in Daquq, a move similar to the one in Sinjar.

Hashd al-Shaabi has allowed PKK to deploy more troops and arms in the district, according to the agreement."
The Hashd al Shaabi is associated with Sadr. And his militia has worked hand in glove with the Kurds for some time now. (That's been covered more then once at the blog) At that time different militias backed by Iranian and Lebanese forces had TAKEN OVER DISPUTED TERRITORIES killing Kurdish forces and wounding others.
The Iraqi militias, backed by Iran’s Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah, took over the Kurdish disputed territories, killing around 60 Peshmerga troops and wounding 150 others. The invasion created a humanitarian crisis as nearly 200,000 people were forced to flee their homes and their properties were either looted or burned by the militias.
As had been explained, in the above linked posts there are different PMF's, as they are known in the region. Some, despite being Shia are already allied with the US. Some are not.
  • Understanding subgroups is pivotal. The PMF is not a monolithic 
The PMF's/PMU's are not a monolith. And Kirkuk is disputed territory. Which means the Kurds claim it as theirs. Iraq says it is not. There are resources and lots of them ready to be exploited and controlled.

Shortly after the Hashd al Shaabi allowed the PKK to move into the area there began to be terrorist attacks in the area. Shocking, right? (facetious)

12/2017: Attacking Kirkuk: Kurdish Militant Group Re-emerges in Iraq

The people and officials of the ethnically mixed Iraqi town of Tuz Khurmatu, 170 km north of Baghdad, talk about a new group that raises white flags decorated by the head of a lion drawn in black and carries out almost daily rocket attacks on the town, its surroundings and the suburbs of the nearby province of Kirkuk.
The group sometimes launches raids on the strategic road linking Baghdad to the northern oil city of Kirkuk, intercepting trucks, looting some and burning others, residents and local security officials told Arab News.
“They are Kurdish militants (and are) joined by Daesh militants who fled the neighboring areas,” Hussien said. “They are sleeper cells that were waiting for the right time and place to resume their activities.”
Cue the attack on the K-1 base- Would that be the "right time and place to resume activities"?
K1 Base right by Oil Facilities

Rocket attack by unknown gunmen on K1 base 
The K1 base is home to US and Iraqi troops and is 15 kilometers northwest of Kirkuk.
The base was established near the Kirkuk oil facility.
As Yaya mentioned there is likely a compete with Russia aspect to this whole scenario, she kindly left some supporting information.
Hi Penny: Happy New Year!

I wonder if the following two articles might contain some clues. Creating a fuss over the US Embassy would be a good excuse to send in more US troops.

The Future of Iraq’s Oil Is Russian
With ongoing protests making other investors nervous, Moscow is charging ahead.

JOHN KIRIAKOU: About Trump Wanting Iraq’s Oil Fields
October 29, 2019
What the president advocated was one of the most telling statements of his presidency. It amounted to an admission that he is perfectly willing to commit a war crime.
 So, let's go back to October 2017: Russia's Roseneft to Take Majority Share......
Russia’s state-controlled oil giant Rosneft said on Thursday that it had agreed with the Kurdistan Regional Government to take majority control in the operation of the oil pipeline in the Kurdish region, in an apparent push by Russia and Rosneft to achieve greater political and economic influence in the Middle East.

The Rosneft deal comes just days after Iraqi government forces seized control of all oil fields that Iraqi state-held North Oil Company operates in the oil-rich Kirkuk region from Kurdish forces.

Last week, Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luiebi ordered state-held oil and pipeline companies to begin restoring oil flows from Kirkuk to Ceyhan via a pipeline that bypasses Kurdistan, increasing pressure on the breakaway region that voted for independence last month in a referendum strongly opposed and deemed illegal and invalid by the federal government.
To conclude: The US is using the pretext of the protests, the likely false flag attack on the K1 base to bring in additional troops in order to take back the Kirkuk territory held by the Iraqi state government. That's how this all looks to me at this time. Where it goes...??

Additional Reading
The U.S. official, who provided unreleased details on condition of anonymity, said the full brigade of about 4,000 soldiers may deploy.

According to the U.S. Army's website, the 82nd Airborne Division is "a force prepared to respond to crisis contingencies anywhere in the world within 18 hours."

"This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today," Esper said in a written statement. "The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world."

The 750 soldiers deploying immediately are in addition to 14,000 U.S. troops who have deployed to the Gulf region since May in response to concerns about Iranian aggression, including its alleged sabotage of commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf
 The US has been preparing a regional escalation since May of 2019


  1. I've just updated the post with an additional link
    " Leader of U.S. Embassy siege in Iraq was guest of Obama at White House"

  2. In my December 30th post on this topic I surmised that the attack on the US K1 base was a false flag. Ultimately, IMO, this is a chess move between USrael and Russia.

    1. Remaking the region and all that it entails, is entirely a move against Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, as well as Syria, Libya etc.,

      Hope you enjoyed your bday?


    1. thanks wallflower- the US has clearly gone bigger. Assassinating an Iranian General... turn for the worse.