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Podcast: The Central Details of the Assassination of Soleimani

Iran responds by a missile attack on an Iraqi base

On FPF #440, I cover all the breaking news from Iraq, including Iran’s missile attack on the al-Asad Airbase in Iraq. The attack was a response to the US assassination of Soleimani. The assassination has provoked moves by several actors. US and allies are moving troops in and out of Iraq. The Iraqi government voted to kick Americans out of Iraq. Trump took to Twitter to make several threats of what would happen if Iran responded by harming American interests. 

Links

Around the Empire – Elijah Magnier

Soleimani Update

  • Trump said Soleimani was killed because he had killed Americans and planned to kill more. After the killing of Soleimani, Secretary of State Pompeo said the US carried out the attack to prevent an inanimate attack that endangered 100s of US soldiers. Pompeo said the US  is committed to de-escalation. [Link]
  • Daniel Larison explains the Trump admin’s intelligence that Soleimani presented an imminent threat to Americans. The legal authority for the strike is very thin. [Link]
  • The Department of Homeland Security says there are no credible threats to the US homeland. [Link]
  • Iran says Soleimani was in Iraq to give a message to Saudi Arabia. Saudi and Iran have been working through Iraqi back channels to reduce tensions. [Link]
  • Iran names the Quds Force deputy Esmail Ghaani to replace Soleimani as the head of the Quds force. [Link]
  • Iran said it will retaliate against the US for the killing of Soleimani. [Link]
  • Iran says it will no longer abide by the limits set in the Nuclear Deal. The US withdrew from the deal in May of 2018, and at the time, Iran was still complying with the deal. After the US left the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Iran has stepped back from its commitments to the deal. Iran will continue to allow IAEA inspections of its facilities. [Link]
  • The US urges all citizens to leave Iraq. [Link]
  • US oil workers in southern Iraq are leaving the country following the US assassination of Soleimani. [Link]
  • The US will deploy about 3,500 paratroopers to the Middle East. [Link] The US will also deploy a task force of Army Rangers. [Link]
  • The US deploys six B-52 bombers to Deigo Garcia. The US deployed B-52s to May and those returned to the US a few months after. [Link]
  • Germany is moving 30 of its 120 soldiers deployed to Iraq to Jordan or Kuwait. [Link]
  • The US will designate the Iraqi Shia militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq a terror group. [Link]
  • The US-led coalition fighting the US says its new mission is to protest coalition forces. [Link] The coalition has also paused the training of Iraqi forces. [Link]
  • Trump threatens to strike 52 Iranian targets if Iran responds to the American assassination of Soleimani. [Link]
  • Secretary of Defense Esper suggests the Pentagon may not follow Trump’s order to commit war crimes and target Iranian cultural sites. [Link]
  • Trump ‘informs’ Congress through Twitter that if Iran targets Americans he will strike back, even with disproportionate force. [Link]
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit Trump’s war-making abilities against Iran. [Link]
  • Trump gives a report to Congress on the operation and decision to assassinate Soleimani. The entire document is classified. [Link] NATO suspended the training of Iraqi forces. [Link]
  • Americans respond to the assassination with protests in cities across the country. [Link]
  • On Saturday, several reports of rockets hitting Iraqi bases and various sites around Baghdad. [Link]
  • Three Rockets hit Baghdad on Sunday. [Link]
  • Iraq’s prime minister – along with most other high rankings and influential Shia Iraqis – condemn the assassination of Soleimani. [Link]
  • Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution that calls for working to have the withdrawal of all foreign forces. The resolution targets the US. Iraq’s Prime Minister – who is in a caretaker’s role – said he is working on a plan to expel all foreign troops. [Link] In response to the resolution, Trump says the US will not leave Iraq until Iraq pay the US for military infrastructure the US built. Trump says he can force the Iraqis to pay through sanctions. [Link]
  • A leaked Department of Defense memo to Iraq appeared to suggest the US was withdrawing from Iraq. Esper said the memo was poorly worded and incorrect. The memo was informing the Iraqi government of increased US troop movements in Iraq. [Link]

Kenya

  • Al-Shabaab carries out an attack on a Kenyan military base that houses US forces. [Link]
  • One US soldier and two Department of Defense contractors were killed in the attack. [Link]
  • The US has deployed additional forces to Kenya to increase security. Al-Shabaab carried out an attack on a telecommunications mast. Four civilians were killed in the attack. [Link]

Libya

  • Turkey will begin deploying forces to support Libya’s UN-recognized government, the Government of National Accord. The government’s military was attacked by the Libyan National Army on Saturday, killing 33. [Link]
  • The Libyan National Army is advancing on the city of Sirte. The Government of National Accord has held Sirte since it was liberated from the Islamic State with the help of US airpower in 2016. The LNA claims to control the city. [Link]

Sahel

  • Fourteen people died when a bus of students hit an explosive device in Burkina Faso It is unclear who planted the explosive device. [Link]
  • At least 30 people were killed when a bomb exploded on a bridge in Nigeria. [Link]
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