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So Much for ‘Restoring Deterrence’: Rockets Slam US Base After ‘Retaliatory’ Strikes, 2 US Wounded

US supposedly in Iraq to combat ISIS on behalf of Iraqi state, now in a war of exhaustion with part of the Iraqi state

Iraqi Hezbollah PMUs with their US-supplied transportation, 2016

After a rocket artillery attack killed 2 US soldiers in an Iraq base Wednesday the US (with the full support of Britain which sustained 1 KIA) carried out half a dozen “defensive” aerial attacks on Iraqi PMU (Popular Mobilization Units) guards across Iraq Thursday, killing an unknown number, including regular army soldiers, civilan and police.

Suppose this was done to “restore deterrence” as Pompeo claimed had been accomplished with the US-Iraq/Iran War of December 29 to January 8th.

As CENTCOM commander, general McKenzie elaborated:

We believe that this is going to have an effect on deterring — on deterring future strikes of this nature. We’ve seen in the past what happens when you don’t respond.  Now people know that we’re not going to — we’re not going to tolerate these direct attacks on American or coalition service members, and we’re willing and able to respond.

All the good that it did them; hours ago “Coalition” spokesman in Baghdad had to confirm another attack with the same 107mm rockets on the same base wounded 3 foreign troops, presumably Americans.

Hilariously the Pentagon speaks of bombing “non-compliant militias” as if the US was the authority Iraqi PMUs must comply with.

The Pentagon release tries to confuse the issue further by inventing the term “SMG” or “Shia Militia Groups” they are supposedly at war with, to confuse the issue these are regularized formations of the Iraqi armed forces.

In fact, these are the very militias the US (along with Iran) was helping against ISIS 2014-2017 (after the US created the conditions for ISIS to succeed by fanning the flames of jihad in Syria).

So, the US entered Iraq in 2014 under the pretext of fighting ISIS to stabilize the Iraqi state but is now involved in a war with parts of the Iraqi state (such as it is).

The US also takes it as its right to kill a certain number of Iraqi civilians in prosecuting this war, McKenzie:

The second point is, when we look at sites, often, they’re co-mingled with civilian activities and there’s a very high probability of civilian damage if we strike those sites.  The United States is not going to do that. If we strike a site, we’re going to find a site that provides collateral damage consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict and our values.

Imagine a foreign military power in your country that was asked to leave, didn’t want to, and took it as its right — not only to stay, not only to combat your state, but — to kill a certain number of your civilians. 

Currently, Iraq is without even a caretaker Prime Minister. The previous caretaker who told the US to pack its bags only to be met with a US refusal to even talk withdrawal has since resigned even as the new PM-appointee withdrew candidacy.

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