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Friday, January 3, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs


Some Tweets On The Death Of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST











How Are Iraqis Responding To The Death Of Qassem Soleimani?

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST


WNU Editor: The above is just one tweet of Iraqis apparently cheering the death of Qassem Soleimani. Are they Sunni Iraqis? A general cross section of Iraqi society? Can't tell from this clip. But I think among many in Iraq's Shiite community there is going to be some anger on what happened. I am also predicting that the Iraqi government is going to find itself under enormous pressure to expel the U.S. out of Iraq.

Was Iranian General Qassim Soleimani Responsible For The Attack On The U.S. Embassy On Monday?

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 09:01 PM PST


WNU Editor: I would not be surprised that for some in Washington this was enough for them to make the determination that General Qassim Soleimani had to be taken out. That this embassy attack is what finally broke the "camel's back", and this graffiti implicated his role.

What Qassim Soleimani's Killing Means

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 08:47 PM PST



Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: What Qassim Soleimani's killing means

The U.S. killing of Qassim Soleimani In Baghdad on Thursday ends an enduring threat. At least in the short term, however, it will unleash Iranian retaliation. The leader of the external action arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Soleimani long led that regime's efforts to destroy its enemies and expand its revolution.

From an explosive campaign that killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, to supporting Bashar Assad's regime with legions of Shiite fighters and IRGC operatives, to conducting a campaign of bombings and assassinations and intimidation across the world, Soleimani was a master of his very dark arts. He was a serious and continuing threat to U.S. lives and interests. Indeed, Soleimani masterminded a failed 2011 plot to blow up the then-Saudi ambassador and dozens of diners in a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: First things first. I suspect that right now all US government agencies, embassies and military bases are on high alert. The Iranians are also going to retaliate. The when and where is still not known.

On a side note. This is what I wrote to a friend tonight on some of my thoughts on why this happened, and what is next.

The assassination of Soleimani is big.
This is going to rattle a lot of people.
The embassy attack crossed a red line.
The assassination of Soleimani crossed another.
I expect more red lines to be crossed in the coming days/weeks.
But President Trump has clearly sent a signal to the Iranian leadership that after the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil fields, Yemen, attacking ships in the Persian Gulf, attacking US bases in Iraq, etc. that enough was enough.
I now expect the Iranians are going to respond directly without using their proxies.
Everyone is now a target.
Do not surprise if insurance rates for shipping in the Gulf go up overnight, as well as the price for oil.

Details Emerging On The Air Strike That Killed Iranian General Qassim Soleimani

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 08:54 PM PST





FOX News: Trump orders attack that kills Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, other military officials in Baghdad, Pentagon says

President Trump ordered a game-changing U.S. military attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, among other military officials at Baghdad International Airport early Friday, the Pentagon confirmed.

Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In October, Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid on a compound in northwest Syria, seven months after the so-called ISIS "caliphate" crumbled as the terrorist group lost its final swath of Syrian territory in March.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Summarizing ....

- President Trump ordered this strike
- Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, arrived at the airport to meet General Qassim Soleimani
- Soleimani's plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria
- The airstrike occurred as soon as he descended from the plane to be greeted by Muhandis and his companions, killing them all.
- Three rockets were fired
- Soleimani's body was identified by the ring he wore
- Mehr News Agency has reported the the death of General Qassim Soleimani. the other Iranian news websites have not .... (Mehr News Agency) (Press TV) (Tasnim News Agency) (Tehran Times)

President Trump Reacts To The Death Of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 07:55 PM PST


WNU Editor: Everyone knows why he posted this tweet.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani Killed In U.S. Missile Strike At Baghdad Airport -- News Roundup January 2, 2020

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 07:17 PM PST



Daily Mail: BREAKING NEWS: Powerful leader of Iran's elite Quds Force military unit is killed in missile strike on Baghdad airport that left at least six others dead including top militiaman behind U.S. embassy attack

* Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, was killed Friday in Baghdad
* Missiles obliterated vehicles carrying Soleimani and Iraqi Shiite militiamen
* Pro-Iran militia Popular Mobilization Forces blames the US for the attack
* PMF deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was among those killed
* He was one of the leaders of the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad
* Five PMF officials and two 'guests' were killed in the strike, officials say
* Local security official describes the attack as a coordinated airstrike

Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran's elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport, Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials officials said Friday.

The officials said the strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were responsible for the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

An official with the PMF blamed the U.S. military for the strike. 'The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,' said Ahmed al-Assadi, a PMF spokesman.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran and the Pentagon are now both confirming that Qassem Soleimani is dead .... Iran, Pentagon Confirm Death of Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad Airport Attack (Sputnik).

More News On The Death Of Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani

Iran's Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport -- AP
Iran's Soleimani and Iraq's Muhandis killed in U.S. air strike: militia spokesman -- Reuters
Air strike at Baghdad airport kills Iranian major Qasem Soleimani and deputy head of Iraq's Hashed -- France 24
Qasem Soleimani: Iran Quds force leader killed, Iranian state TV reports -- BBC
Top Iranian general reportedly killed in Baghdad airstrike -- DW
Airstrike kills top Iran general Qassim Suleimani at Baghdad airport -- NBC
Baghdad airport attack: Iran general Qassem Suleimani killed amid US tensions -- The Guardian
Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran's Quds Force, killed in air strike on Baghdad airport -- ABC News Online
Baghdad rocket attack kills Iranian military leaders including Gen. Qassim Soleimani, reports say -- FOX News
Iran Quds Force chief and deputy head of Iraq paramilitary forces killed in Baghdad airport rocket attack, Iraqi TV reports -- CNN
Iran's Powerful Quds Force Chief Reportedly Killed In U.S. Air Strike In Iraq -- RFE
Iran's Qassem Soleimani killed in 'US raid' at Baghdad airport -- Al Jazeera
Qassem Soleimani of Iran's Quds Force killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport, say officials -- The Independent
Iranian Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani, PMF Deputy Leader Killed in Baghdad Airport Attack - Report -- Sputnik
Iran Quds Force commander killed in strike on convoy at Baghdad Airport -- RT

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 2, 2020

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 06:46 PM PST



Leela Jacinto, France 24: Between Ankara and Athens, the eastern Mediterranean is simmering with tensions

Turkey's parliament on Thursday approved troop deployments in Libya with an eye to Ankara's power projection in the eastern Mediterranean. It came on the day Ankara's arch rival Athens signed a gas pipeline deal that bypasses Turkey. Tensions are brewing in the hydrocarbon-rich water lapping the shores of Europe, Africa and the Middle East – and they could be difficult to douse.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 2, 2020

Iran is losing its grip on Iraq -- Ray Takeyh, The Hill

Donald Trump loses ground in fight to contain Iran as militias attack US embassy in Iraq -- Kathryn Diss, DW

Attack on US Embassy exposes widening US-Iraq divide on Iran -- Robert Burns, AP

Why Is Russia in Syria? -- Jakub Grygiel, American Interest

Australia braces for a wider conflagration -- Alan Boyd, Asia Times

Flexibility needed on North Korean sanctions in bid to end deadlock -- SCMP editorial

75% of young want to escape South Korean 'Hell' -- Andrew Salmon, Asia Times

Africa's young leaders face a testing 2020 -- Jason Burke, The Guardian

Latin America in 2020: Stories to watch -- Charlotte Mitchell, Al Jazeera

Can Merkel and Macron get Franco-German relations back on track? -- Jon Henley, The Guardian

Carlos Ghosn: How did the Nissan ex-boss flee from Japan? -- BBC

Russia Is Beefing Up Its Nuclear Arsenal. Here's What the U.S. Needs to Do. -- Eric Edelman and Franklin C. Miller, Politico

U.S. And Russia Have Just Over A Year To Deal With An Expiring Nuclear Treaty -- Franco Ordoñez, NPR

Why we must talk to Russia -- Samuel Charap and Jeremy Shapiro, Ukraine Council

What will the end of oil dependence mean for geopolitics? -- James Landale, BBC

World News Briefs -- January 2, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 06:31 PM PST

Combination photo of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (L) and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a commander in the Popular Mobilization Forces. REUTERS/Stringer/Thaier al-Sudani

Reuters: Iran's Soleimani and Iraq's Muhandis killed in U.S. air strike: militia spokesman

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed early on Friday in an air strike on their convoy at Baghdad airport, an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters.

"The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani," said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed militias.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Quds Force chief and deputy head of Iraq paramilitary forces killed in Baghdad airport rocket attack, Iraqi TV reports.

Iraq: Anti-government protesters denounce pro-Iran crowds.

Elite Iraqi troops secure US embassy after attack.

Erdogan says up to 250,000 Syrians flee toward Turkey as crisis worsens.

Trump, Erdogan agree on need for de-escalation in Idlib, Syria -White House.

Trump speaks with Erdoğan about Libya, Syria

Greece, Israel, Cyprus sign gas pipeline deal, angering Turkey.

Turkish parliament approves sending troops to Libya. Libya conflict: Turkish MPs approve bill to send troops.

Israel supreme court dismisses 'premature' Netanyahu petition .

ASIA

Australian authorities steer mass evacuation amid deadly blazes.

New Zealand glaciers turn brown from Australian bushfires' smoke, ash and dust.

Taiwan's highest-ranking general Shen Yi-ming among eight dead in helicopter crash.

U.S. defense secretary urges North Korea to negotiate on denuclearization.

Kim Jong Un walks in forefathers' footsteps in North Korea documentary.

China detains activists in year-end crackdown.

Dozens of people sick in China after mysterious pneumonia outbreak.

Jakarta residents inundated as severe flooding kills dozens of people in Indonesia.

Japan tries to solve the mystery of Carlos Ghosn's audacious escape.

AFRICA

Algeria appoints new government amid political crisis.

Climate change has brought parts of Zambia to the brink of famine.

Darfur ethnic violence endangers Sudan's peace plan.

Children among 18 killed in Sudan military plane crash: army.

UN concerned over Mali political delays, growing insecurity.

Prominent South Sudan economist, 30 others pardoned by President Kiir.

Algeria releases 76 protest detainees, prominent opposition critic.

Fleeing war, poverty, African migrants face racism in Egypt.

EUROPE

'We're calling on all the French to mobilise': Union leader calls for pension reform strikes to continue.

Austria's Conservatives and Greens agree on coalition government.

Spain coalition talks: Sanchez wins Catalan support to form government.

Belgium halts extradition of Catalan separatist Puigdemont to Spain.

Carlos Ghosn: Interpol issues 'red notice' for Nissan ex-boss's arrest.

Russian oil production hits new records despite OPEC+ deal.

Turkish Coast Guard prevents 238,000 illegal migrants from crossing into Europe.

AMERICAS

US Senate returns amid standoff over impeachment trial.

Pelosi faces decision on articles of impeachment.

Trump trounces Democratic rivals in election fundraising.

U.S. legislation on spread of cyber tools passes after Reuters investigation.

US expands scope of programme to return asylum seekers to Mexico.

U.S. slaps sanctions on Cuba defense minister over support for Venezuela's Maduro.

Maduro says Venezuela ready for talks with US.

Mexico says to stick by those it granted asylum in Bolivia.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Iraqi TV: Iran's Gen. Soleimani killed in Baghdad strike.

Somali mourners march against extremist blast that killed 79.

ISIS terror risk to rise in south Philippines.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street starts 2020 with new records on China stimulus, trade hopes.

A look at global investment juggernaut BlackRock.

Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, takes on Amazon with new online retail marketplace.

Breaking News: Gen Soleimani, The Head Of Iran's Elite Quds Force, Has Been Killed In An Airstrike

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 06:33 PM PST

WNU Editor: It is Iraqi TV that is making this announcement. This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information comes in.

Update 21:00 EST: A complete news roundup on this story will be done within the hour.

Update 20:33: According to Reuters. The U.S. has claimed responsibility for this strike.

Update 20:31: The international media is now on this story ....

Iraqi TV: Iran's Gen. Soleimani killed in Baghdad strike (AP)
Iran Quds Force commander killed in strike on convoy at Baghdad Airport – reports (RT)

Update 20:26: First pictures of this strike (some are saying that it was a drone strike) are being posted.

Update 20:22 EST: Apparently he was part of a convoy that was struck at Baghdad airport .... Rocket attack on Baghdad airport kills several Iraqi militia members (France 24).

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 2, 2020

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 04:26 PM PST



SCMP: Taiwan's top military leader among eight dead in Black Hawk chopper crash

* Chief of staff, two major generals and other senior military personnel killed
* Helicopter's last communication was less than 15 minutes after take-off

Taiwan's military chief of staff and seven others were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in a mountainous region in the northern part of the island on Thursday morning, officials said.

Taiwan's air force commander Hsiung Hou-chi confirmed the deaths of Chief of Staff Shen Yi-ming and seven others on Thursday afternoon, after the UH-60M craft carrying 13 military personnel force landed in New Taipei county's Wulai district earlier in the day.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 2, 2020

Taiwan army chief dead in helicopter crash -- BBC

Deadly Taiwan helicopter crash 'won't affect military operations or defence against Beijing' -- SCMP

US warns China against trying to 'coerce' Taiwan after Shandong aircraft carrier passes near island -- SCMP

The Army Now Has Enough Upgraded Abrams Tanks To Equip An Entire Brigade -- National Interest

Rethinking how the Army network can help with battlefield injuries -- C4ISRNet

U.S. Navy's 2nd Fleet reaches full operational capability -- UPI

The US military ran the largest stress test of its sealift fleet in years. It's in big trouble. -- Defense News

US Navy's Sealift Fleet in Dire Straits Following Largest-Ever Stress Test -- Sputnik

US Navy wants to teach robotic warships to TALK like human sailors in order to communicate with other ships -- Daily Mail

The Army Is Shooting Battery Prototypes to Make Sure They Don't Catch Fire -- Military.com

Army bans TikTok from being used on government-issued devices citing security risk -- The Hill

Ransomware attack takes US maritime base offline -- BBC

Behold The Cool Vertical Photograph Of The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Doing The Rose Bowl Game Flyover Yesterday -- The Aviationist

More than a test bed: How an experimental satellite will help the war fighter -- C4ISRNet

Inside the NSA's plan to lure cyber talent -- Federal Times

Our Government's Approach to Cybersecurity Is a Costly Mess. Here's What Would Fix the Problem -- Time

BAE's $10 billion howitzer project improves after years of flaws -- Stars and Stripes

Most German Military Helicopters Not Ready for Use - Report -- Sputnik

Britain's astonishing Tempest fighter jet doubles workforce to beat Euro plane to skies -- Express

Overweight, unfit or shy? The British army still wants you -- The Guardian

Russia's aerospace forces to receive about 100 planes and helicopters in 2020 -- TASS

Hypersonic Missiles Are a Game Changer -- The New York Times

Russia's Hypersonic ICBM Is Operational. So What? -- National Interest

Israel Unveils Unseen New Military Unit 'to Operate in All Fronts of the War' -- Sputnik

Uganda's army reels in the graduates -- DW

These 20 Companies Profit The Most From War

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 01:28 PM PST


USA Today/24/7 Wall Street: Lockheed Martin, Boeing among the 20 companies profiting the most from war

Global arms sales totaled $420 billion in 2018, up 4.6% from 2017, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). U.S.-based companies again dominate SIPRI's list of top global arms manufacturers and military services providers. With Congress passing its record high $738 billion defense spending bill this December, which includes military modernization and a new Space Force military branch, this trend is likely to continue.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data provided by SIPRI to identify the companies profiting most from war. Companies were ranked based on SIPRI's estimates of arms and military services sales in 2018. Chinese companies were not considered due to lack of sufficient data. Arms and military services sales figures came from SIPRI. Profits for the latest fiscal year came from financial reports and corporate press releases.

The United States is home to half of the world's 10 largest defense contractors and to 43 of the top 100 defense companies. These companies accounted for 59% of total arms sales by the world's 100 largest defense contractors in 2018 – an increase of 7.2%

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. Arms sales and profits will continue to increase in 2020.

Seventeen U.S. Service Members Died In Afghanistan In 2019

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 12:33 PM PST

U.S. deaths since 2001. Data sourced from iCasualties.org

The Hill: US combat deaths in Afghanistan highest in years

Seventeen service members died in Afghanistan in 2019, the highest number since 2015, according to a year-end tally compiled by the Department of Defense and reported by Army Times.

Fourteen of the fallen service members were from the Army, while three were Marines.

The soldiers killed included eight Green Berets, an Army Ranger and three paratroopers.

Last year's list of fatalities caused by hostile action surpassed the death tolls of 2018, when 13 service members died, and 2017, when 11 died.

In 2016 and 2015, the number of military fatalities resulting from hostile action was nine and 10, respectively.

Read more ....

Update #1: New in 2020: Army combat casualties trend upwards into 2020 (Army Times)
Update #2: Taliban 'smell blood in the water': US deaths in Afghanistan reach a five-year high in 2019 (Washington Examiner)

WNU Editor: For the Afghans themselves it has been a terrible year when it comes to casualties from this war .... Why 2019 was Afghanistan's best and worst year since US invasion (Al Jazeera). And when one looks at the decade .... UN: Afghan War Caused 100,000 Civilian Casualties Since 2009 (VOA).

The Proxy War Between The US And Iran Is Intensifying In Places Like Iraq

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 12:01 PM PST



Tim Lister, CNN: A proxy war between the US and Iran just moved a step closer

The angry demonstrations at the American embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday are just the latest installment in a deepening confrontation between the US and Iran for influence in Iraq.

It's a struggle that dates back to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the emergence of a Shia-dominated state in Iraq. But in light of the Trump administration's campaign of maximum economic pressure against Iran, it has reached a new and potentially dangerous pitch.

The President himself Tuesday accused Iran of "orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy," and the White House said he would decide "how and when we respond to their escalation."

The protests followed US airstrikes on Friday against a pro-Iranian militia in Iraq -- Kata'b Hezbollah -- that the US holds responsible for rocket attacks against US facilities in Iraq. More than twenty members of the militia were reported killed. The ability of the protestors to breach the outer walls of the embassy compound and set fires suggests a degree of acquiescence on the part of Iraqi security forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Truth be told. This "proxy war" between the U.S. and Iran has been ongoing for a very long time. What is different now is that US sanctions are currently crippling Iran's economy, and Iran is escalating its response against these sanctions via through its proxies. But this escalation is only laying bare that these "proxies" operate at the behest of Tehran, especially in places like Iraq.

U.S. Defense Secretary Esper Says Preemptive Strikes To Deter Iran In Iraq Are On The Table

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 11:49 AM PST



Politico: 'The game has changed': Defense secretary warns of preemptive strikes on Iranian group

Esper said Kataib Hezbollah would likely "regret" an attack.

The U.S. may conduct preemptive strikes against Iranian-backed militias, Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned on Thursday, adding that he expects those groups are planning further attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq.

"Do I think they might do something? Yes, and they will likely regret it," Esper said of Kataib Hezbollah, the militia group that attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad this week following U.S. airstrikes on the group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. conducted the strikes after the group struck a base in Iraq, killing a U.S. contractor.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joints Chief are issuing very clear threats on what will happen next if the crisis escalates. But are the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq as well as their backers in Tehran listening?

More News On US Defense Secretary Esper Warning Of Preemptive Strikes On Iranian Groups In Iraq

Pentagon: Preemptive strikes on table to deter Iran in Iraq -- Al-Monitor
Pentagon chief threatens Iran with 'pre-emptive action' if embassy attacks continue -- RT
'They will run into a buzz saw': America's top general warns against attacking US Embassy in Baghdad -- Washington Examiner
After violent protests, Pentagon says anyone who tries to overrun the US Embassy in Baghdad will 'run into a buzzsaw' -- Business Insider

The Pentagon Expects More Attacks On The U.S. Embassy In Baghdad By Iran-Backed Militias

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 11:21 AM PST

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Daily Mail: The Pentagon says it expects MORE attacks on Baghdad embassy by Iran-backed militias and warns the US is ready to take 'pre-emptive' action to defend itself as more troops deploy

* US embassy besieged Tuesday by thousands of pro-Iran demonstrators protesting US airstrikes that killed 25
* 'The provocative behavior has been out there for months... So do I think they may do something? Yes. And they will likely regret it,' Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, blaming Iran for their brazen attack
* It comes as elite Iraqi troops deployed to secure the embassy's 'Green Zone' today, a day after the pro-Iran mob ended its riot at the gates of the complex and Donald Trump dispatched 750 troops to Kuwait
* Pentagon said its USAF strikes on Sunday had been in retaliation for months of assaults against the US by Kataeb Hezbollah, which belongs to Iraq's government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)
* Ease with which commanders and supporters of the PMF breezed through the heavily-fortified Green Zone around embassy highlighted the precarious balance between Baghdad's allies in Washington and Tehran

The Pentagon says it expects more attacks on the Baghdad embassy by Iran-backed militias and has warned the US is ready to defend itself with more troops after 750 reinforcements were dispatched to Kuwait.

The US embassy was besieged on Tuesday by thousands of pro-Iran demonstrators and militants protesting airstrikes that killed 25 of their comrades on Sunday night.

'The provocative behavior has been out there for months... So do I think they may do something? Yes. And they will likely regret it,' Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday.

'We are prepared to exercise self-defense, and we are prepared to deter further bad behavior from these groups, all of which are sponsored, directed and resourced by Iran.'

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon Expecting More Attacks On The U.S. Embassy In Baghdad By Iran-Backed Militias

Esper says Iran may be planning more attacks on US interests -- AP
U.S. sees signs Iran or allies may be planning more attacks: Pentagon chief -- Reuters
Esper: More attacks from Iran-backed groups expected in Middle East, additional forces prepared to deploy -- Stars and Stripes
Defense Secretary Mark Esper: Iran may be planning more attacks -- NYPost

US State Department Blames Iraq For Failing To Protect U.S. Troops, Including The Attack That Prompted The U.S. To Launch Airstrikes

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 11:12 AM PST

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, center, a commander in the Popular Mobilization Forces, attends a funeral procession of Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) members, who were killed by U.S. airstrikes in Qaim district, in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2019.

Politico: State Department faults Iraq for failing to protect U.S. troops

The State Department is faulting the Iraqi government for allowing an Iranian-backed militia to attack U.S. outposts in Iraq, including one that prompted the Pentagon to respond with airstrikes Sunday.

"It's moments like this when you see people's true colors," a senior State Department official told reporters Monday, referring to Iraqi officials who condemned the U.S. airstrikes, yet have not similarly denounced the Kataib Hezbollah militia for the Friday rocket barrage that killed an American contractor and wounded several U.S. soldiers.

The militia rocket attack against an Iraqi airbase in Kirkuk that hosts U.S. troops was the latest in a string of similar incidents, although the other attacks didn't claim American lives.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iraqi government is in disarray right now. Protests throughout the country calling for a change in government have been ongoing for months. The Prime Minister has promised to resigned. And Iran is trying to maintain its influence while be confronted by Iraqi protesters. I am willing to bet that providing protection for US soldiers is probably at the bottom of Baghdad's priority list right now.

First Wave Of 750 US Paratroopers Leaves For The Middle East

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 10:58 AM PST

The first contingent of a paratroop infantry battalion from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division bound for Kuwait receive a briefing as they prepare to leave Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Wednesday

Daily Mail: First wave of 750 US paratroopers leaves for the Middle East in response to attack on the US embassy in Baghdad with thousands more set to deploy after Trump promised Iran will pay a 'big price'

* First wave of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division deployed from Fort Bragg to Kuwait on New Year's Day
* Paratroopers with the infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force will bolster US presence
* Comes in response to violent assault on the US embassy in Baghdad by mob of 6,000 pro-Iran militiamen
* Attack was repelled by rapid reaction force of 100 Marines and the militiamen withdrew from the area
* Deployment comes as US relations with Iran rapidly fray in a tit-for-tat escalation of violence

The first wave of hundreds of U.S. Army paratroopers from a rapid reaction force has deployed to Kuwait in response to the assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by pro-Iran militiamen, with thousands more soldiers on alert for snap deployment.

On Wednesday at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division boarded C-17 Globemaster aircraft transports bound for Kuwait.

The official account for the 82nd Airborne, America's Division tweeted on Wednesday: 'Early this morning more than 650 All American Paratroopers and equipment began their deployment to the @CENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) area of operations.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. These troops are going to be there for a while.

More News On The First Wave Of 750 US Paratroopers Leaving For The Middle East

U.S. bolstering Mideast military presence after protests at embassy in Baghdad -- CBS
US sends more troops to Middle East after siege of Baghdad embassy (Video) -- Today
U.S. Ready to Send More Force to Iraq Against Militia Threat -- Bloomberg
More US troops prepare to deploy to Iraq as top general warns anyone who attacks embassy will 'run into a buzz saw' -- Task & Purpose

Photos Reveal Damage To The Entrance Of The US Embassy In Baghdad

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 10:52 AM PST


VICE News: These Photos Show the Charred Remains of the U.S. Embassy Compound in Baghdad

The Iran-aligned Kataib Hezbollah militia finally relented on Wednesday.

Protesters who'd laid siege on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad left behind charred destruction after they relented Wednesday. The retreat provided relief for an incredibly tense situation — at least for now.

Images showed burned-out structures, destroyed by supporters of the Iran-aligned Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq who attacked the embassy on Tuesday. Soot covered the walls of a burned checkpoint building, its windows knocked out and debris scattered about the floor.

Read more ....

Update #1: Photos reveal extensive damage to US Embassy in Baghdad as American soldiers rush to region (USA Today)
Update #2: US Embassy in Baghdad fire damage seen in new photos following militants' attack (FOX News)

WNU Editor: The guard post and the entrance are definitely a write-off. The embassy is not going to accept visitors for a while.

Iran’s Republican Guards Commander: 'We Can Break America, But Won’t Lead Iran To War’

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 06:51 AM PST

TEHRAN, Jan. 02 (MNA) – Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) underlined the military power of the country, saying that although Iran does not seek conflicts, it is not afraid of war.

Daily Mail: 'We have the power to break them several times over': Iranian general warns he is not afraid of war after Donald Trump threatened to make Tehran pay a 'BIG PRICE' for embassy attack

* Trump said that he was holding Iran 'fully responsible' for Tuesday's carnage
* A pro-Iran mob besieged the US embassy in Baghdad and set it ablaze
* Islamic Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami said 'We are not afraid of any war and we tell America to speak correctly with the Iranian nation'
* Tuesday's protest came after US airstrikes on pro-Iran militia based in Iraq

An Iranian general declared today that Tehran was not afraid of war after Donald Trump threatened the country after the siege at the US embassy in Iraq.

President Trump said that he was holding Iran 'fully responsible' for Tuesday's carnage which saw the consulate in Baghdad besieged and set ablaze by a pro-Iran mob.

'We are not leading the country to war, but we are not afraid of any war and we tell America to speak correctly with the Iranian nation.' Islamic Revolutionary Guards Commander, Brigadier General Hossein Salami warned. 'We have the power to break them several times over and are not worried.'

Read more ....

More News On Iran's Republican Guards Commander Boasting That 'We Can Break America, But Won't Lead Iran To War'

Iran Not Afraid of War: IRGC Commander -- Tasnim News Agency
Iran not seeking war, but not afraid of one: General Salami -- MEHR News Agency
Iran not heading to war but not afraid of conflict: military commander -- Reuters
Iran's Republican Guards chief: We can 'break' US but are not heading for war -- Times of Israel
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British Army Unveils Latest 2020 Recruiting Campaign: ‘Army Confidence Lasts A Lifetime’

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 06:29 AM PST



Daily Mail: 'Snowflake' army ads were the most successful in a decade, top brass reveal as they now try to win recruits with the promise of a Love Island body

* The campaign claims that signing up provides 'confidence that lasts a lifetime'
* The posters warn that fake tan and make-up are only 'quick hits' of confidence
* The eight adverts, targeting those aged 18 to 24, aim to widen Britain's Army
* Numbers are at an all-time low due to failure to recruit enough in previous years

A controversial Army recruitment campaign aimed at 'snowflakes' was the most successful in a decade, it has been revealed.

Following the campaign, 90,000 people applied to join the Army, meaning it is 90 percent towards meeting its annual recruitment target, which runs until April.

Now Army chiefs hope to build on 2019's success with a campaign aiming to lure young adults who want 'Love Island-style' bodies.

Despite being widely mocked at the time, the 'Your Army Needs You' campaign took September's monthly total number of recruits starting basic training to the highest since 2009.

The impressive statistics were revealed ahead of the 2020 'Army confidence lasts a lifetime' campaign.

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WNU Editor: This is a weird ad campaign. Apparently if you fail the physical you get to go to boot camp for four weeks. The Army is not social work with guns and camouflage, but they are making it sound like that.

More News On The British Army Unveiling Its Latest 2020 Recruiting Campaign

Army Recruitment Campaign Highlights 'Lasting Confidence' Of Service Career -- Forces Network
Army urges under-confident young people to sign up -- BBC
Overweight, unfit or shy? The British army still wants you -- The Guardian
Army chiefs say controversial 'snowflake' recruitment campaign was most successful in a decade as new series is launched -- The Telegraph
British army battles for the hearts of snowflakes and bloggers to fill jobs gap in 2020 -- RT

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