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Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Featured, International, Military, Terrorism, War | 8 comments

Iraq: While Our Troops Battle, Baghdad Bickers

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At a time when U.S. forces are risking life and limb to protect Iraqi citizens from being slaughtered by ISIL forces and to provide humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds fleeing the ISIL terrorists, over in Baghdad Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is more concerned about his political survival than about the survival of his people — perhaps even his nation.

As Iraq’s President Fuad Masum asked the deputy speaker of parliament, Haider al-Abadi, to form a new government, Maliki has made it clear that he is not about to give power quietly by maneuvering “elite military units in Baghdad overnight on August 10, cutting off entrances to the protected Green Zone, in an effort to secure power by use of force,” according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Guardian reports that political allies of Maliki are digging their heels in “with a televised address Monday in which Khalaf Abdul-Samad, a member of Maliki’s Dawa Party, said the nominee to replace Maliki has no legitimacy.”

In the meantime our military continue to conduct both air strikes against ISIL terrorists and airdrops of food and water for the thousands of Iraqis threatened by the terrorists on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Humanitarian airdrop mission over Iraq

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Leavindofske, left, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Babcock load bundles of halal meals onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014. Leavindofske, a ramp team chief, and Babcock, an air transportation journeyman, are assigned to the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron. Photo: DoD


From U.S. Central Command:

U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq yesterday, successfully conducting multiple airstrikes from a mix of fighters and remotely piloted vehicles to defend Kurdish forces near Erbil, where U.S. personnel and citizens are located:

— U.S. aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed truck that was firing on Kurdish forces in the approaches to Erbil. After the strike, U.S. forces monitored the movement of a second ISIL armed truck moving away from the vicinity of the strike, subsequently striking and destroying it.

— U.S aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, destroying it and damaging a nearby ISIL armed truck and later destroyed an ISIL armed truck.

— In another strike, U.S. aircraft damaged another armed ISIL vehicle.

All aircraft left the strike areas safely, officials said.

And:

The U.S. military conducted a fourth airdrop of food and water yesterday for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

This airdrop, conducted from multiple air bases in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, included one C-17 and three C-130 cargo aircraft that together dropped a total of 88 bundles of supplies. U.S. fighter aircraft in the area supported the mission.

The C-17 dropped 40 container delivery system bundles of fresh drinking water totaling 3,804 gallons. The three C-130s dropped 48 bundles totaling 22,488 packaged meals and 590 gallons of fresh drinking water.

To date, in coordination with the Iraqi government, U.S. military aircraft have delivered more than 74,000 meals and more than 15,000 gallons of fresh drinking water, to displaced Yezidis

For up-to-the minute information on the situation in Iraq — military, poltical and humanitarian — such as the chart below, please go to the Institute for the Study of War here.

ISW Aug 10 situation report

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  • slamfu

    Maliki is a cancer. We managed to install two of the most incompetent, greedy, and short sighted jackals we could in Afghanistan and Iraq. They both needed a George Washington, and we gave them a couple of Boss Tweeds. Add that to the tab of shame for our nation. However, at this point, Maliki just needs to go one way or the other. It must be freezing in hell right now, because I’m actually rooting for Iran to take some “proactive” measures about Maliki.

  • JSpencer

    All that BS in the past about winning hearts and minds still rankles, but humanitarian missions are the real deal when it comes to creating good will.

  • Marsman

    I don’t understand this post. Our troops are battling? Where? With whom?
    The US is bombing and airdropping some stuff, but surely that does not constitute ” troops battling.”
    There is a great tendency to hype things up, to yell at the top of the lungs about everything. I have said it before: Let’s step back, calm down, and carefully assess the situation. Our eagerness to see the maximum in every situation led to a war costing 4 000 American lives, more than 100 000 Iraqi lives, probably 25 000 seriously wounded Americans, millions of displaced Iraqi refugees, and 2-3 trillion dollars pissed away. End result is the current situation.
    Slow down, folks. Do not get your blood pressure up.

  • dduck

    Mars, agree with your first three sentences.

  • dduck

    Edit: make that four sentences.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    I don’t understand this post. Our troops are battling? Where? With whom?

    The US is bombing and airdropping some stuff, but surely that does not constitute ” troops battling.”

    @ Marsman,

    The “stuff” those pilots and crew members are dropping are bombs and missiles on ISIL terrorists. They are also dropping food and water for men, women and children who are dying of hunger and thirst.

    Of course it is your prerogative to not consider our men (and probably women) flying missions over hostile territory — both in attack mode and in humanitarian missions — risking at every moment of their mission being shot down by some missile or projectile, “risking life and limb,” to be in “battle.”

    But I suggest you ask the widows, sons and daughters of so many men and women we have lost in similar missions, whether they consider that their loved ones died “in battle.”

    Reporting on these missions is not “hyping.” I also have bemoaned and condemned that war “costing 4 000 American lives, more than 100 000 Iraqi lives, probably 25 000 seriously wounded Americans, millions of displaced Iraqi refugees, and 2-3 trillion dollars pissed away.”

    But that does not mean that I consider what our brave men and women are doing now to save hundreds of thousands of human beings from being slaughtered by the ISIL “hype.” Of course it is your prerogative to do so.

    And, yes, I have calmed down.

  • dduck

    When I was in the army, we called ourselves troops and the air force guys flyboys. Obviously the personnel in the air war (so far) and any observers or spotters are in danger.
    I was agreeing on the semantics (which may have changed in 50 years) so no one should misunderstand where I’m coming from.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    “Semantics”

    There are air battles: air-to-air, air-to-ground and ground-to-air battles,

    Certainly, dropping 500-pound laser-guided bombs and other missiles at ground artillery positions with the possibility of the enemy launching ground-to-air missiles and with the enemy firing at vulnerable, low flying aircraft and helicopters falls into a couple of those categories, in my humble opinion, but I could be wrong and could just be hyping things.

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