Tag Archives: Iraq

Iran talks of new power equation to combat warmongering

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Moscow: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has drawn world attention to a new power equation by stating here on Monday that contrary to US, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are determined to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Referring to Iran-Russia-China joint military drills, Zarif said it indicates the significant role and efforts of all parties in establishing peace in the region. On December 27, Iran, Russia and China started staging a four-day trilateral naval exercise in the north Indian Ocean and Sea of Oman to share experiences in fight against terrorism and piracy.

IRNA (Islamic Republic New Agency) reports, Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Zarif arrived in Moscow late on Sunday to hold talks with top Russian officials including his counterpart Sergei Lavrov on wide range of issues.

Zarif said the relation between Iran and Russia is in its best historic situation and Iranian officials are determined to consider Russia as a big and important neighboring state acting as a great international power, he said.

“In contrast to those who promote warmongering in the region, Iran and Russia have presented initiatives which are similar to each other aiming to maintain peace in the region”, Zarif said.

IRNA further reports: Referring to US recent attack on Iraqi forces, Zarif said this was just one example of US behavior.

The Iranian foreign minister described Iran-Russia cooperation in Astana format as a successful example of joint cooperation for bringing back peace to Syria. He also expressed the hope for dialogue on regional and international issues linked to Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and went on to underscore that Russia follows peace initiative while Iran pursues Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) initiative.

It may be recalled, the Iranian president had presented the Hormuz Peace Endeavor HOPE initiative at the 74th UNGA session on 25 September 2019, calling for collective cooperation of the Persian Gulf coastal states to safeguard peace in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.

After that, the Iranian government had sent letters to the southern Arab states in the Persian Gulf to seize the opportunity to reduce tensions with Iran and provide free maritime navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.

The move shows how serious Iran is in ending differences with its neighbors, Zarif said, adding the presence of the US and its allies in the Middle East is the main source of tensions there like the events that are taking place in Iraq and Lebanon these days.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Javad Zarif will leave Moscow for Beijing in the second leg of his regional tour. In China, he will discuss bilateral issues including the July 2015 nuclear deal.

US airstrikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria

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Washington DC/Tehran/Moscow: In response to repeated Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, U.S. forces have conducted precision defensive strikes against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria to meet the objective of degrading KH’s ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces.

This was stated by Assistant to the US Secretary of Defense Jonathan Hoffman after Sunday’s attack on Iran backed militia controlled area in Iraq and Syria.

The five targets include three KH locations in Iraq and two in Syria. These locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on OIR coalition forces.

According to reports, at least 25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the airstrikes against the Kataib Hezbollah controlled territory in Iraq and Syria on Sunday.

Recent KH strikes included a 30-plus rocket attack on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk that resulted in the death of a U.S. citizen and injured four U.S. service members and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

US Defense Department has said that KH has a strong linkage with Iran’s Quds Force and has repeatedly received lethal aid and other support from Iran that it has used to attack OIR coalition forces.

The US has further stated that OIR coalition is in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS and provide advice and assistance to the ISF. It has been reiterated that the U.S. and its coalition partners fully respect Iraqi sovereignty, and support a strong and independent Iraq. The U.S., however, will not be deterred from exercising its right of self-defense.

What has also been underscored is that it is important to note that KH attacks have also injured multiple members of the ISF. The US Secretary Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper and Iraqui Prime Minister Mahdi have shared with each other their commitment to see these KH attacks on ISF and OIR forces cease once and for all.

The US in a terse message has said that Iran and their KH proxy forces must cease their attacks on U.S. and coalition forces, and respect Iraq’s sovereignty, to prevent additional defensive actions by U.S. forces.

Iran issues warning

After the airstrikes against the Iran-backed militia group, Iran has warned the US of “consequences”.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed US aggression on Iraqi soil and on Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shabi) as clear example of terrorism. Hash al-Shabi mobilization forces played major role in fighting ISIS on the ground.

Mousavi urged the US to respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and to stop intervention in the internal affairs of the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Meanwhile on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that contrary to US, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are determined to maintain peace and stability in the region and the relevant road map offered by both states proves this fact. He made this remark in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reports IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency

“Iraq has bravely fought and successfully liberated its territory from ISIS”

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The Government of Iraq is taking steps to match actions with words to demonstrate that Iraq is open for business, creating meaningful improvements to Iraq’s business environment and attracting much-needed investment for reconstruction projects across Iraq. The US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in Kuwait City, Kuwait

Kuwait City, Kuwait: The US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said here today that with the support of the United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Iraq has bravely fought and successfully liberated its territory from ISIS and four and a half million Iraqis have been freed from tyranny.

Tillerson was addressing the Iraqi Reconstruction Conference Session on Private Sector Engagement here on Tuesday (13 February, 2018). He said that over 3.2 million internally displaced Iraqis are now at home or on their way back home. And the Iraqi Government is reasserting control of the Iraq-Syria border. As we celebrate these victories over extremism and hatred, we know they were hard-won, and they came at a very high price. Much work remains to rebuild Iraq and modernize its economy. Helping Iraq create a government that is inclusive, accountable and transparent will build a society that can counter the extremist ideologies. This will deal ISIS its final blow and demonstrate its failed, violent ideology.

Click here for full text of Tillerson’s remarks

 

Iraq’s liberation from Daesh: Australia’s strike aircraft will begin returning home in January

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Canberra: Australia’s six F/A-18F Super Hornets will return home in January marking the end of Australia’s successful air strike operations in Iraq and Syria.

Australian Minister for Defence, Marise Payne

Australia’s Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, said Australia had reviewed our contribution with our Iraqi and Coalition partners following the announcement of Iraq’s liberation from Daesh by Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi earlier this month.

“The battlefield success against Daesh means our own Operation OKRA has now reached a natural transition point and our strike aircraft will begin returning home early in the New Year,” Minister Payne said.

“Since October 2014, our Hornet pilots and support personnel have made a significant contribution in support of the Iraqi Security Forces and I commend all the ADF personnel who have contributed over this period for their dedication, skill and professionalism.”

“Australia’s Air Task Group has made a valued contribution to coalition operations against Daesh that is highly regarded by the US, Iraq and coalition partners.”

The strike aircraft deployed as part of the Air Task Group conducted more than 2,700 sorties against Daesh targets in both Iraq and eastern Syria.

Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A refuelling aircraft will continue to support counter-Daesh coalition operations. Australia will also continue its training mission, which involves around 300 personnel at Task Group Taji and around 80 personnel in a Special Operations Task Group.

“Australia is committed to supporting the Iraqi Security Forces as it clears the remaining pockets of Daesh fighters in rural areas and ensuring the long-term stability of Iraq,” Minister Payne said.