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Monday, January 6, 2020

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

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


Crude Oil Prices Conitnue To Rise As Tensions Escalate Between The United States And Iran

Posted: 06 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST



CNN: Crude oil tops $70 as US-Iran tensions escalate

Oil prices continued to rise Monday as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.

Futures for Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained 2.4% to reach $70.24 per barrel — the first time prices have hit that amount in more than six months.

US oil futures advanced 2.1% to reach $64.36 per barrel.

Oil prices rose more than 3% on Friday after Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian commander, was killed in a US strike ordered by President Donald Trump. The killing risks further escalating tensions in the Middle East, which is home to major oil producing countries and key energy supply routes.

Read more ....

Update: Oil prices jump 2% in early trading as tensions in the Middle East mount, Brent crude tops $70 (CNBC)

WNU Editor: These prices will be cheap if Iran blocks the gulf.

US Department of Homeland Security Sends Out A New Terrorism Threat Bulletin

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:00 PM PST



CNN: DHS warns of potential Iranian attacks, updates terror advisory

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday updated its terrorism threat advisory system following the US airstrike targeting a top Iranian general and is warning of the potential for Iranian cyber attacks.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin in the wake of the drone attack, which killed the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force Qasem Soleimani.

The bulletin details the attack and potential Iranian threat, including previous plots against US infrastructure and cyber targets.

Read more ....

More News On US Department of Homeland Security Sending Out A New Terrorism Threat Bulletin

Department of Homeland Security sends out new terrorism threat bulletin in wake of Soleimani killing -- USA Today
DHS issues terror bulletin amid Iran tension, warning of lone wolf terrorism, cyberattacks -- Washington Times
Homeland Security Issues Terrorism Alert After Soleimani Strike -- Washington Free Beacon
DHS Issues Security Bulletin Outlining Possible Domestic Threats From Iran -- Sputnik

Tweets For Today

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST











Iranian Spy Cables Give A Different Portrait Of Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani

Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept: Portrait of a General: Secret Iranian Spy Cables Show How Qassim Suleimani Wielded His Enormous Power in Iraq

In the four decades since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, few Iranian leaders have achieved the global profile attained by Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the military commander killed in an American airstrike on Thursday. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Suleimani emerged as the United States's most capable adversary in that country. His American counterpart at a key point during the occupation, Gen. David Petraeus, described Suleimani as "a truly evil figure" in a letter to Robert Gates, then the U.S. defense secretary. Over the years, Suleimani gained a reputation as a fearsome military leader who controlled a network of ideologically driven militia proxies across the Middle East.

A more nuanced portrait of Suleimani emerges from a leaked archive of secret Iranian spy cables obtained by The Intercept. The documents were generated by officers from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, or MOIS, stationed in Iraq between 2013 and 2015, when the Iranian war against the Islamic State was at its height, and Suleimani was running the show.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  Aside from the few million in Iran who showed up for his funeral today, there are also many who are applauding his death. The above post gives a sobering explanation on why.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

Mourners carrying the coffin of Qassem Soleimani. Later chants of 'death to America' could be heard from the crowd

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Qassem Soleimani's body is flown in the cabin of a passenger jet to Tehran where supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei will pray over his body today at a huge ceremony before his burial in hometown tomorrow (Daily Mail).

Leaders Of Germany, France And Britain Urge Iran To Continue To Abide With The 2015 Nuclear Deal

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 09:00 PM PST

Leaders of Germany, France and Britain. AFP

France 24: Merkel, Macron, Johnson urge Iran not to flout nuclear deal

The leaders of Germany, France and Britain on Sunday urged Iran to drop measures that go against the 2015 nuclear deal, after Tehran announced it would no longer abide by a limit on enrichment.

"We call on Iran to withdraw all measures that are not in line with the nuclear agreement," German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British PM Boris Johnson said in a joint statement.

The 2015 agreement negotiated between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members -- Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany offered Tehran relief from stinging sanctions in return for curbs to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons.

Read more ....

Update #1: Merkel, Macron, Johnson urge Iran not to flout nuclear deal (Times of Israel)
Update #2: Merkel, Macron, Johnson Ask Iran to Refrain From Actions Violating Nuclear Deal (Sputnik)

WNU editor: Someone should tell these leaders that this train left the station a long time ago.

U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee Accuses President Trump Of Being A Dictator

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 08:00 PM PST


Politico: Trump spars with House panel, threatens Iraq and Iran

Democratic lawmakers have expressed frustration with the Trump administration's secrecy in striking Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.

President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted that his social media posts "serve as notification" to Congress that the U.S. will retaliate against any attack from Iran — and the House Foreign Affairs Committee wasn't having it.

"These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner," Trump wrote. "Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!"

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is chaired by New York Democrat Eliot Engel, responded on Twitter: "This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you're not a dictator."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is what I was afraid about. The Democrat controlled House of Representatives impeached President Trump a few weeks ago, even calling President Trump a threat to national security who should be removed from office immediately. In such a partisan environment it is hard to see how both branches of government can now cooperate when there is no longer any trust between the two, especially on the issue of Iran. And speaking of Iran. The Democrats and the Washington foreign policy establishment have always believed in President Obama's Middle East strategy that sought to realign American interests with those of Iran. A part of me wonders if the White House delayed telling these committees what they decided to do because they felt that some of the members would have moved heaven and earth to make sure that Qassem Soleimani was untouched, knowing too well that his death would have put an end to this policy. This is all speculation on my part, but it explains the overwhelming negative reaction this weekend from these same politicians and foreign policy pundits on the death of Iranian General Soleimani. Even calling President Trump a dictator.

President Trump Threatens Iraq With Sanctions If They Expel US Troops

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 07:00 PM PST


U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 10, 2019. (Photo credit: REUTERS//TOM BRENNER)

CNBC: Trump threatens to slap sanctions on Iraq 'like they've never seen before'

* Tensions in the Middle East spiraled last week after Trump called for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.
* "If they do ask us to leave, if we don't do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before ever," Trump said on Air Force One. "It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."

President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to slap sanctions on Iraq after its parliament passed a resolution calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country.

Tensions in the Middle East spiraled last week after Trump called for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: "If they do ask us to leave, if we don't do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."

Read more ....

More News On President Trump Threatening Iraq With Sanctions If They Expel US Troops

Donald Trump threatens Iraq with sanctions, says US won't leave unless 'they pay us back' for air base -- USA Today
Trump says he'll sanction Iraq if US troops forced to leave -- The Hill
Trump threatens sanctions 'like they've never seen before' if Iraq expels intl troops -- France 24
Trump Vows Sanctions on Ally Iraq, Toughens Rhetoric on Iran -- Bloomberg
Trump warns he may hit Iraq with sanctions, doubles down on Iran threat -- Axios

Thousands Of North Koreans 'Attend Mass Rally' In Pyongyang To Support Kim Jong Un

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 06:00 PM PST



Daily Mail: Thousands of North Koreans 'attend mass rally' in Pyongyang to support Kim Jong Un after his threats to create 'new strategic weapon' in anger over stalled nuclear talks with US

* Crowds gathered on streets and bridge near the square amid police presence
* During rally the local cellphone network is understood to have been switched off
* Comes as Kim Jong Un said country would soon reveal new 'strategic weapon'

Thousands of North Koreans gathered in a mass rally on Sunday morning expressing support for leader Kim Jong Un after his threats to create a 'new strategic weapon' over anger at stalled nuclear talks with the US.

Crowds gathered on the streets and the bridge near Kim Il Sung square amid a heavy police presence in Pyongyang, as reported by NK News.

During the rally the local cellphone network is understood to have been switched off, and a number of senior party figures are said to have attended.

It is not absolutely clear what the rally is for, but suggestions are that it was a political rally to express support for Kim Jong Un's comments last week where he expressed frustration over stalled nuclear talks.

Read more ....

Update #1: At mass rally, North Koreans pledge support for country's new "offensive" line -- NK News
Update #2: Thousands gathered in Kim Il Sung square on Sunday, cellphone network disrupted -- NK News

WNU Editor: This was/is one of those events where attendance was required.

Turkish President Erdogan Has Ordered The Immediate Deployment Of Soldiers To Libya

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 05:00 PM PST

Erdogan said Turkey's objective was to support the government in Tripoli. (Reuters)


The Guardian: Turkish troops deploy to Libya to prop up embattled government

Move follows deadly air strikes in Tripoli by war lord in bid to oust UN-backed government

Turkish troops have begun deploying to Libya in a bid to prop up the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has announced.

The move followed a vote in the Turkish parliament backing deployment and further deadly attacks in Tripoli by an airforce under the control of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the warlord who has been trying to oust the government since April.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is probably the reason why Turkish President Erdogan is deploying soldiers to Libya .... Turkey's operation in Libya: Targeting gas reserves (Daniel Bellut, DW).

More News On Turkish President Erdogan Ordering The Immediate Deployment Of Soldiers To Libya

Turkish military units moving to Libya, Erdogan says -- Reuters
Erdogan: Turkish military units have started deploying to Libya -- Arab News/AFP
Libya conflict: Turkey sends troops to shore up UN-backed government -- BBC
Turkey begins deploying troops to Libya, says Erdogan -- DW
Turkey begins deploying military units to Libya: Erdoğan -- The Hill
Turkish military units moving to Libya, says Erdogan -- TRT World
Turkish troops start moving toward Libya – Erdogan -- RT

Venezuelan Security Forces Block Opposition Leader Juan Guaido And His Supporters From Entering Congress

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 04:12 PM PST





Daily Mail: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters are blocked from country's congress building as President Maduro backs bid to axe him as Speaker amid accusations of 'parliamentary coup'

* Juan Guaido had been expected to be re-elected parliament speaker in a vote
* However, police blocked him and his allies from attending the vote on Sunday
* Guaido attempted to climb a fence to get access to Congress but was denied
* US and Colombia have both slammed Sunday's vote against Guaido as a farce

Venezuela's opposition denounced a 'parliamentary coup' on Sunday after its leader Juan Guaido was prevented from entering the National Assembly by police while a rival tried to take his role as speaker.

Guaido led a small group of lawmakers trying to access the palace where the opposition-controlled National Assembly was set to elect a new speaker, when they were pushed back by national guardsmen wielding heavy riot shields.

He had been expected to be re-elected as speaker in a vote on Sunday but only regime lawmakers and opposition deputies critical of Guaido were allowed to enter the building.

As scuffles broke out, the US-backed leader tried to mount an iron fence surrounding the legislature, only to be repelled again.

Read more ....

More News On The Unrest In Venezuela

Guaido blocked from Venezuela's congress as impasse deepens -- AP
Venezuela Socialists snatch congress from Guaido, opposition denounces coup -- Reuters
Venezuelan opposition denounces 'parliamentary coup' as Guaido rival names himself speaker -- France 24
Venezuela crisis: Juan Guaidó rival declares himself new Speaker -- BBC
Venezuela opposition denounces 'parliamentary coup' -- DW
Venezuela's Guaido blocked from Congress in crucial vote -- Al Jazeera
Venezuela opposition legislators re-elect Guaido as congress chief -- Reuters
Venezuela's Maduro says congress has elected new leadership -- Reuters

Soleimani Funeral Procession Eulogist Puts An $80 Million Bounty On President Trump

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 03:34 PM PST



Al Arabiya: Soleimani funeral procession eulogist puts prize on Trump's head

The eulogist at the funeral procession of prominent Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iran put an 80-million-dollar prize on US President Donald Trump's head on live state TV.

"We are 80 million Iranians, if each one of us puts aside one American dollar, we will have 80 million American dollars, and we will reward anyone who brings us [Trump]'s head with that amount," he said, addressing a large crowd in Iran's north-eastern city of Mashhad.

The funeral procession was being broadcast live on Iran's Channel One as the eulogist made his proposal.

Read more ....

Update #1: Iran Eulogist Puts $80 Million Bounty on Trump's Head: Reports (Heavy)
Update #2: Propaganda on Iranian TV: $ 80 million bounty on Donald Trump – politics abroad (EN24)

WNU Editor: There are unfortunately many lunatics out there who may feel inspired to take up this offer.

Another Rocket Attack On The Green Zone In Baghdad

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 02:41 PM PST


Daily Mail: Three rockets are fired at US embassy in Baghdad and 'hit an apartment complex killing civilians' on second night of attacks in Green Zone following killing of Qassem Soleimani

* Six people were wounded with one rocket thought to have hit a family home
* Iraq's military said in a statement three Katyusha rockets had fallen in Baghdad
* It is the second day in a row that the embassy has been targeted by an attack

Multiple rockets have been launched at the US embassy in Baghdad.

They are believed to have missed the embassy, with local reports suggesting they hit an apartment complex instead and killed civilians.

It is the second night in a row that the embassy has been attacked and comes after the US killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Iraq's military said in a statement on Sunday that three Katyusha rockets had fallen in Baghdad; two inside the heavily fortified Green Zone and one in the nearby Jadriya area.

Read more ....

More News On Another Rocket Attack On The Green Zone In Baghdad

Six rockets fall in Baghdad, including three in Green Zone: military-- Reuters
4 mortar rounds hit Green Zone in Iraq's Baghdad -- Xinhuanet
Rockets target Baghdad's Green Zone for second successive night -- Al Jazeera
Three rockets fall near US Embassy in Baghdad -- Washington Examiner

Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 01:51 PM PST





CNBC: Iran will no longer abide by uranium enrichment limits under 2015 nuclear deal

* Less than a week after Iran's top military commander was killed by U.S. drone strike, the regime said Sunday that it would further scale back compliance with an international nuclear pact.
* Iran will not respect any limits established in the 2015 nuclear deal on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges, according to a state-run television broadcast.
* While the other signatories of the nuclear deal ⁠— France, Germany, the U.K., Russia and China ⁠— have tried to keep the agreement alive, Tehran said its steps could be reversed if Washington lifted sanctions.

WASHINGTON — Less than a week after Iran's top military commander was killed by U.S. drone strike, the regime said Sunday that it would further scale back compliance with an international nuclear pact.

Iran will not respect any limits established in the 2015 nuclear deal on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges, according to a state-run television broadcast. Therefore, Iran would have no limit on its enrichment capacity, the level to which uranium could be enriched, or Iran's nuclear research and development.

Read more ....

More News On Iran Abandoning The Nuclear Deal

US-Iran escalation looms after Soleimani killing: Latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Blowback: Iran abandons nuclear limits after US killing -- AP
Iran says no limits on enrichment, stepping further from 2015 deal: TV -- Reuters
Iran rolls back nuclear deal commitments -- BBC
Iran abandons nuclear deal -- The Hill
Soleimani killing: Iran abandons nuclear deal limits -- Al Jazeera
Iran ends nuclear deal commitments as fallout from Suleimani killing spreads -- The Guardian
Iran is withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal after Trump ordered deadly strike on its top general -- Business Insider
Iran abandons commitments to nuclear deal after Gen. Qasem Soleimani killing -- USA Today
Iran steps back further from nuclear deal, says no limits on enrichment -- RTE
Iran to confirm next steps in withdrawal from nuclear deal -- France 24
Iran announces it will no longer adhere to 2015 nuclear deal limits -- VOX
Enrichment based on technical needs: Iran rolls back on 2015 nuclear deal -- RT

Breaking News: One US Soldier, And Two Contractors Killed In Al-Shabaab Attack In Kenya

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 12:18 PM PST

WNU Editor: This is a breaking news story. Updates will be posted when more news becomes available.

Civilian Casualties Reported In Baghdad US Embassy Rocket Attack

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 02:21 PM PST


WNU Editor: No confirmation yet from official sources.

U.S. Goverment Website Attacked By Iranian Hackers

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 12:03 PM PST

The hackers in their message made reference to the death of Qassem Soleimani, and depicted President Donald Trump being beaten by a fist with the Revolutionary Guard insignia

Daily Mail: 'Iranian hackers' breach US government website operated by the Federal Depository Library Program in retaliation for airstrike

* Fdlp.gov website was defaced by hackers and taken offline on Saturday
* Site is run by the little-known Federal Depository Library Program
* The FDLP makes government publications available to the public for free
* Follows defacement of websites for several obscure non-government entities
* Iran has vowed 'harsh revenge' for the US killing of a high-level military leader

A website operated by the U.S. government has been hacked by a group claiming to represent the government of Iran.

The website operated by the little-known Federal Depository Library Program, fdlp.gov, was hacked and defaced on Saturday, and has been taken offline.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran has always had cyber threat capabilities. This is nothing new.

More News On One U.S. Goverment Website Being Attacked By Iranian Hackers

US government agency website hacked by group claiming to be from Iran -- Guardian/AFP
'Iran Cyber Security Group' hacks US government agency as chilling image put on website -- Express
DHS monitoring apparent hack of government library program website -- CNN
Iran has the capability to launch cyber attacks on very short notice, expert says -- Yahoo News

Has Tehran Misjudged And Miscalculated U.S. Reaction In This Crisis? And Are They Still Misjudging And Miscalculating?

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:59 AM PST

WNU Editor: Both analysis are true.

Democrats Brand President Trump A 'Monster' For Plotting 'War Crimes' Against Iran

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:58 AM PST



Daily Mail: Elizabeth Warren says Donald Trump ordered strikes on Iran to distract from his impeachment trial as Democrats brand the president a 'monster' for plotting 'war crimes'

* Speaking on Meet the Press Sunday morning, Elizabeth Warren said Trump may be pushing the US into a war in a rage over his impending impeachment trial
* 'Look at what he's doing now. He is taking us to the edge of war,' she said
* Warren slammed Trump for his Saturday tweet threatening to hit Iranian cultural sites saying: 'You are threatening to commit war crimes'
* 'The more the walls close in on this guy, the more irrational he becomes,' Biden said in response to Trump's tweet
* AOC branded the president as a monster for his threat
* Trump's incendiary tweet warned Iran that Washington would target 52 Iranian sites 'some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture'
* The attack would occur if Iran hit an Americans or American sites
* Geneva Convention bans striking 'monuments, works of art or places of worship'

Elizabeth Warren has accused President Donald Trump of ordering strikes on Iran and taking the country to the edge of war to distract from his impeachment trial, as Democrats slam the president as a 'monster' for threatening to commit potential war crimes against the Middle Eastern country.

Speaking on Meet the Press Sunday morning, Warren alluded that Trump may be charging the US into a war in a rage over his impending impeachment trial.

'We know Donald Trump is very upset about this upcoming impeachment trial. But look at what he's doing now. He is taking us to the edge of war,' the Democratic hopeful said.

'We've been at year for 20 years in the Middle East and now he's talking about expanding that war. This has been something that has cost thousands of American lives...The job of the president is to keep us safer. The job of the president is not to move us to the edge of war,' she added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Democrats and their supporters in the media are overplaying their reaction and condemnation big time on this one.

More News On Democrats Condemning President Trump's Actions Against Iran

Biden: Trump is 'incredibly dangerous and irresponsible' as the 'walls close in' -- Politico
Biden Pushes Trump to Justify Iran Threats: Campaign Update -- Bloomberg
Warren: 'Reasonable to ask' about timing of Soleimani strike ahead of impeachment trial -- The Hill
Pelosi says Trump's decision to strike Iraq 'provocative,' puts Americans in danger -- CGTN
Buttigieg: No one believes Trump considered all 'consequences' of strike -- The Hill
Donald Trump's Twitter threat to hit 'high level Iranian culture targets' draws accusations that he is plotting WAR CRIMES -- Daily Mail
Schiff: I haven't seen intelligence that 'taking out' Soleimani would 'stop the plotting' -- The Hill

U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Defends The Decision To Launch A Drone Strike That Killed Iranian Quds General Soleimani

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:27 AM PST





CNBC: Pompeo says intelligence was clear on Soleimani in response to skepticism about drone strike rationale

* Pompeo's comments in an interview on ABC's "This Week" follow reports that some senior White House officials were skeptical about the rationale for the drone strike.
* "The intelligence assessment made clear that no action -- allowing Soleimani to continue his plotting and his planning, his terror campaign -- created more risk than taking the action that we took last week," Pompeo said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the U.S. air strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani has made the world safer, and that taking no action would have created more risk.

Pompeo's comments in an interview on ABC's "This Week" follow reports that some senior White House officials were skeptical about the rationale for the drone strike, which they viewed as the most extreme and improbable option in response to Iranian-led violence in Iraq.

"The intelligence assessment made clear that no action - allowing Soleimani to continue his plotting and his planning, his terror campaign - created more risk than taking the action that we took last week," Pompeo told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Read more ....

More News On U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Defending The Decision To Launch A Drone Strike That Killed Iranian Quds General Soleimani

Sunday shows - Pompeo makes rounds in defense of Soleimani strike -- The Hill
Pompeo: 'We are confident that the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there' -- The Hill
Pompeo defends Soleimani strike as critics question intel, timing -- Politico
Mike Pompeo defends Trump claim that killing Suleimani will save US lives -- The Guardian
Pompeo sticks up for U.S. presence as Iraq votes to eject foreign troops -- Politico
Pompeo defends presence in Iraq as its parliament moves to oust U.S. troops -- Politico
US to hit 'actual decision makers' behind attacks on American targets with 'lawful strikes' – Pompeo -- RT

New York Times: President Trump Chose The 'Most Extreme Action' Against Iran

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:24 AM PST


New York Times: As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure

While senior officials argue the drone strike was warranted to prevent future attacks, some in the administration remain skeptical about the rationale for the attack.

WASHINGTON — In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran's most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.

They didn't think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.

After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shia militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.

By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.

Mr. Trump made the decision, senior officials said on Saturday, despite disputes in the administration about the significance of what some officials said was a new stream of intelligence that warned of threats to American embassies, consulates and military personnel in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. General Suleimani had just completed a tour of his forces in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and was planning an "imminent" attack that could claim hundreds of lives, those officials said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Leaks from the US intelligence community to the New York Times continues. The problem I have with these leaks is that they have a history of being wrong. And while I will always post them, everyone must remember who the source of these leaks are coming from.

More News On The New York Times Claiming that President Trump Chose The 'Most Extreme Action' Against Iran

Skepticism mounts over evidence of 'imminent' threat that Trump says justified Soleimani killing -- CNN
Pentagon Officials Reportedly "Stunned" by Trump's Decision to Kill Soleimani -- Slate
Trump chose 'the most extreme' action against Iran — after watching TV during Mar-a-Lago vacation: NYT -- Raw Story

Iraq's Parliament Passes Resolution To Expel US-Led Coalition Troops From The Country. Vote Was Split Along Sectarian Lines With Sunni And Kurds Representatives Voting Against

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 11:51 AM PST





Reuters: Iraqi parliament passes resolution to end foreign troop presence

BAGHDAD, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament passed on Sunday a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq and ensure they not use its land, air, and waters for any reason.

"The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory," the resolution read.

"The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The vote in the Iraqi parliament was split along sectarian lines (see below):

The Iraqi government will now need to approve it, but that is not going to happen right now .... U.S. Troops Unlikely to Be Forced Out of Iraq Despite Calls for Their Expulsion, Analysts Say (Newsweek). The current Prime Minister is in a care-taker role, and the Sunni-Kurd opposition do not favour this move. Iraq is now deeply split not only along sectarian lines, but many within Iraq's Shiite community have been leading the protest movement against the Iranian influence in the country, and the corruption that they have spawned.

More News On Iraq's Parliament Passing A Resolution To Expel US-Led Coalition Troops From The Country

Iraq's Parliament calls for expulsion of U.S. troops -- AP
Iraq parliament passes resolution to expel US-led coalition troops from country -- France 24
Iraqi Parliament Votes To Expel U.S. Troops From Country In Wake Of Soleimani Strike -- NPR
Iraqi Lawmakers Vote to Expel U.S. Troops as Iran Mourns a Slain General -- The New York Times
Iraqi parliament passes resolution calling on government to end US troop presence -- CNBC
Iraq votes to expel U.S. troops after Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani's killing -- USA Today
Iraqi Parliament Votes in Favor of Expelling U.S. Troops -- Wall Street Journal
Iraqi parliament passes resolution asking government to cancel request for assistance from US-led coalition -- RT
U.S. Troops Unlikely to Be Forced Out of Iraq Despite Calls for Their Expulsion, Analysts Say -- Newsweek

Where U.S. Troops Are In The Middle East And Afghanistan

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 09:20 AM PST


WNU Editor: The above map is from this Washington Post story .... Where U.S. troops are in the Middle East and Afghanistan, visualized (The Washington Post).

Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Calls For Revenge Attacks Against The U.S. For The Death Of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 09:19 AM PST



France 24: Hezbollah leader vows bloody retaliation for US killing of Iranian general

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday the US military in the Middle East would pay the price for killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, which he said marked 'the start of a new phase' for the region.

Nasrallah, speaking in a televised address marking Soleimani's death in a targeted US air strike, said responding to the killing was not only Iran's responsibility but the responsibility of its allies in the region too.

As thousands listened at a rally in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Hezbollah leader said the US killing of Soleimani marked "the start of a new phase and new history not just for Iran or Iraq but the whole region". He called the killing a "clear, blatant crime" that will transform the Middle East.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is milking this as much as he can .... Photos Show Martyr General Suelimani with Sayyed Nasrallah (Al Manar).

More News On Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Calling For Revenge Attacks Against The U.S. For The Death Of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani

Hezbollah vows to end US military presence in region -- AP
Hezbollah chief: U.S. will 'pay the price' for Soleimani's killing -- Politico
Just response to Soleimani's death will target U.S. military in region: Nasrallah -- Daily Star
Nasrallah Calls for Expulsion Of American Military From The Region -- Radio Farda
Nasrallah Threatens U.S.: American Soldiers Will Return Home in Coffins -- Haaretz/Reuters/AP
Nasrallah: Trump has started a new type of war in the region -- Jerusalem Post
Photos Show Martyr General Suelimani with Sayyed Nasrallah -- Al Manar

More Reaction From Iran On The Death Of Quds Commander Soleimani Via Twitter

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 08:57 AM PST