The Sunni Horn is Destroyed (Daniel 8)


Khamenei’s representative says Islamic state’s Baghdadi ‘definitely dead’: IRNA
A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Meda Website via Reuters TV
Iran’s state news agency quoted a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday as saying Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “definitely dead”.
“Terrorist Baghdadi is definitely dead,” IRNA quoted cleric Ali Shirazi, representative to the Quds Force, as saying, without elaborating. IRNA later updated the news item, omitting the quote on Baghdadi’s death.
The Quds Force is in charge of operations outside Iran’s borders by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian Foreign Ministry officials were not available to comment on the report of Baghdadi’s death.
The secretive Islamic State leader has frequently been reported killed or wounded since he declared a caliphate to rule over all Muslims from a mosque in Mosul in 2014, after his fighters seized large areas of northern Iraq.
Russia said on June 17 its forces might have killed Baghdadi in an air strike in Syria. Washington said on Thursday it had no information to corroborate such reports. Iraqi officials have also been skeptical in recent weeks.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Andrew Roche)

The Sunni and Shia Horns

The head of Iran’s atomic energy organisation, one of the architects of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, has warned the US to stop upsetting the regional balance of power by siding with Saudi Arabia.
Writing in the Guardian, Ali Akbar Salehi said “lavish arms purchases” by regional actors – a reference to the Saudi purchase of $100bn of US arms during Donald Trump’s recent visit to Riyadh – would be seen as provocative in Tehran and that it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to remain “indifferent”.

Salehi, an MIT graduate scientist who has also served as foreign minister, was the second most senior Iranian negotiator, dealing with technical aspects, during nearly two years of talks between Tehran and six of the world’s major powers that led to the final nuclear accord in Vienna in July 2015.
Although Trump has promised to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran”, he has not so far taken any concrete steps to scrap it. Last month, two days before Iran’s presidential election, his administration announced that it was continuing to waive nuclear-related sanctions under the agreement despite Washington toughening up its overall Iran policy.
Salehi said it was possible to rescue the deal’s engagement if it was met with reciprocal gestures. “Often following hard-won engagement, some western nations, whether distracted by short-sighted political motivations or the lucrative inducements of regional actors, walk away and allow the whole situation to return to the status quo ante,” wrote Salehi, who is also a vice-president of Iran.
Salehi warned of “chaotic behaviour” and “further tension and conflict” if the other side disregarded Iran’s security concerns, failed to adhere to its commitments and insisted on what he called alternative facts including ideas such as the “clash of civilisations”, “Sunni-Shia conflict”, “Persian-Arab enmity” and the “Arab-Israeli axis against Iran”.
His article comes at a time of simmering tensions in the Middle East, where relations between Tehran and Riyadh, which are on opposite sides of many regional conflicts such as the wars in Syria and Yemen, have deteriorated.
Trump’s first post-election foreign trip to Riyadh tilted the regional balance, and contributed in part to the diplomatic isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies, who have accused the tiny emirate of funding terrorists and appeasing Iran. Meanwhile, in Syria, Iran-backed militias and a coalition of forces led by Washington have collided a number of times in recent weeks while fighting Islamic State.
“Stoking Iranophobia” or failure to deliver on promises under the deal would jeopardise engagement, Salehi wrote. “We would all end up back at square one,” he cautioned. “Unfortunately, as things stand at the moment in the region, reaching a new state of equilibrium might simply be beyond reach for the foreseeable future.”
Salehi urged the outside world to take heed of the results of last month’s Iranian presidential election and the message Iranians sent, but he said “engagement is simply not a one-way street and we cannot go it alone”.

Iran Is Correct: We Created ISIS

isis-obama1 

Iran blames US for creating ISIS amid worsening Middle East tensions

Antichrist’s Men Trained By The First Horn (Daniel 8:3)

Hezbollah fighters train Iraqi Shiite militants near Mosul
Hezbollah A video surfaced this week which purports to show Lebanese Hezbollah fighters present on the outskirts of the Iraqi city of Mosul. The footage, published by Pan-Arab news site Al-Araby Al-Jaeed, was reportedly filmed in al-Zarka, approximately 30 miles southwest of Mosul, where thousands of Shiite militia fighters have assembled. Though the fighters, seen in the video training Iraqi Shiite militiamen to fire mortar shells, are not wearing their militia’s insignia, their distinct southern Lebanese accents betray their membership in the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy group.
According to the video’s accompanying report, an unnamed Iraqi Shiite militant said that the Hezbollah fighters arrived in the area days earlier to reinforce local Shiite fighters.
“[Hezbollah chief] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah sent them to support us, for Syria and Iraq are all on one side,” he said.
Hezbollah’s intervention in Iraq is not new, its fighters and advisors have been on the ground since the outset of the Iranian-led fight against the Islamic State. Hezbollah has been sending highly trained military experts to help in managing the battles against the extremist Sunni organization. Their presence was made known in late 2014, when Hezbollah commander Ibrahim al Hajj was killed fighting against the Islamic State in northern Iraq’s Tel Afar. Nasrallah himself finally acknowledged sending Hezbollah’s fighters to Iraq in a 2015 speech, describing the organization’s presence at the time as small and “in its earliest stages.” He also issued an invitation for volunteers to join them there to fight ISIS.
Since then, Hezbollah appears to have stepped up its involvement in Iraq. In late April, Hussein Yazadan, a Kurdish military official, alleged that the Shiite organization had deployed 1,000 fighters to the city of Kirkukon – approximately 100 miles southeast of Mosul – on Iranian orders and were concentrating in the nearby town of Taza Khurmatu. Led by an Islamic Revolution Guard Corps–Quds Force (IRGC-QF) commander, the Hezbollah guerillas arrived in the area to provide support for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighters as part of Iran’s attempt to solidify its control over both oil-rich cities of Kirkuk and Mosul, and establish a land-bridge to the Syrian border. Yazadan said that the Hezbollah fighters were wearing PMF uniforms in an effort to conceal their identity. At the time, Hezbollah denied having sent such a large contingent of fighters to Iraq, instead claiming it had sent the PMF dozens of military experts and trainers months prior to Yazadan’s warning.
Hezbollah’s Iraqi presence actually predates the rise of ISIS by a decade, going back to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Hezbollah developed its own insurgent capability in Iraq, engaging in assassinations, kidnappings and bombings. At Iran’s behest, Hezbollah also created Unit 3800, an external operations unit to train and assist Iraqi Shiite militias – known as the “Special Groups” – fighting against US and multinational forces. In fact, the group is even rumored to have sent its late legendary military commander Imad Mughniyeh to Iraq in early 2006 to help train members of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia led by Muqtada al-Sadr.
However, the key figure in this effort by Hezbollah was Ali Musa Daqdouq.
Daqdouq joined the Shiite organization in its early days in 1983 and quickly rose to commend its Special Operations Unit 2800, Unit 3800’s predecessor. In May 2006, Daqdouq was sent to Iran to coordinate the Special Groups’ training program with the IRGC-QF, and make periodic visits to Iraq. Daqdouq trained Iraqi militants in carrying out terrorist operations, including the IED attacks, especially using Explosively Formed Penetrators, which Hezbollah excelled at using against Israel during the IDF’s 15-year occupation of south Lebanon. He also trained them to use mortars, rockets and sniper rifles, as well as carrying out intelligence and kidnapping operations.
US forces finally captured Daqdouq in March 2007, along with the leader of the Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq Shiite militia, which carried out the Jan. 2007 attack on the Karbala Joint Provincial Coordination Center. Five US soldiers were captured during the attack and later executed.
Currently, Hezbollah’s activities in Iraq are being led by Muhammad Kawarithmi, who works on behalf of the group’s leadership to promote its interests in Iraq. Through Kawarithmi, the organization continues to provide training, funding, political and logistical support to Iraqi Shiite militant groups.
David Daoud is an Arabic-Language Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Sunni versus the Shia Horn

 
Imam Khamenei: Saudi Killing of Yemeni People Worst Type of Terrorism
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei says Saudi Arabia’s killing of Yemenis is “the worst type of terrorism.”
“Terrorism is not defined as terror acts committed by some groups only, but massacres at the hands of certain governments, such as the Saudi attack on people in a mourning procession in Yemen which left hundreds killed and injured, is the worst type of terrorism,” the Leader said in a meeting with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Tehran on Wednesday.
Ayatollah Khamenei also described terrorism as one of the “painful” sufferings gripping the human society, and called for a sincere fight against the scourge.
“Countering terrorism needs the serious resolve of all those who have an influence within global powers,” the Leader said, calling on world pundits and governments to take measures to deal with the phenomenon.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said the US and certain Western countries are not sincere in the fight against terrorism.
“These governments calculate all issues based on their own interests, and they do not think about eradicating the malady of terrorism in Iraq or Syria,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei further criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s failure to end and condemn the Saudi war on Yemen.
“The UN secretary general said explicitly that it is not possible for the body to condemn the killing of Yemeni children as the UN depends on the Saudi government’s money,” the Leader said, stressing this approach is indicative of the “wretched ethical status” of politicians at the helm of international organizations.
Source: Press TV

How Obama Created The Libyan Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8)

 FIVE YEARS LATER, KILL MUAMMAR GADDAFI WAS A MISTAKE
The country is still in chaos, five years after the fall of former Libyan dictator October 20, 2011.
This article appeared on Slate.fr October 24, 2011 . We are republishing this October 20 on the occasion of five years of the death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi .
***************
Yielding to a feeling of overwhelming helplessness and vague absurdity, I borrowed an iPad Thursday afternoon to send my very first message with this tool. It was addressed to one of these distinguished French who asked the most active on the international community to dislodge Muammar Gaddafi from his obscene toad position in which, for over forty years, it is spread over the life of the people Libyan. Please, I wrote, intercede with your friends from the National Transitional Council , as well as with any of the revolutionary tribunal to be constituted, to stop the killing of Gaddafi family and ensure a smooth transition to the bench defendants from the Hague to those already charged with crimes against humanity.
A implicitly desired removal
Rather simple? This is a moment that the International Criminal Court in The Hague announced that it was ready to take charge of affairs of Libya. But now Gaddafi is dead and, it seems, that one of his son, Mouatassim [confirmed information from the writing of this article, ndt], and not a word about the legality or propriety of all this case has yet been uttered. No Libyan spokesman has even referred to the court in the ads of the late dictator disgusting.
The president of the United States made a speech that suggested the possibility of an indictment had not even been mentioned. And it was in this perfectly followed by his secretary of state, returning from a trip to Libya, who settled for a few joyful projections, noting in particular that the transition would be facilitated if Gaddafi were to die . British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has yet found time to mention the victims of international terror years of Gaddafi , has also failed to mention the possibility of a lawsuit.
This tacit agreement, among others, convinces me that no sort of general instruction was ever given to the forces tightened their noose on Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte. No instructions like, kill it if absolutely necessary, but try to stop it and send it (along with others mentioned by name, be it family members or not) in the Netherlands. In any case, it seems certain that if an order of this style has been formulated, it has not been very strong.
Between revenge and healthy reconstruction
While ends obscene regime, which notably showed that he preferred to destroy society and the state, rather than give up power, it is very natural that people aspire to a kind of exorcism. It is satisfying to see the cadaver of the monster and make sure it will not come back. It is also reassuring to know that there is no leadership to which hate any kind of resistance “werewolf” could converge to perpetuate suffering and atrocities. But when he was killed, Gaddafi was wounded and out of harm’s way, and at the head of a small group of thugs terrified.
He was unable to resist in any way. And all positive results that I mentioned above could have been obtained by working simply to send it to the hospital and then in jail and from there to the airport. Indeed, a small living Gaddafi on the dock would surely have done much to enhance the positive impact, as the illusions of the poor misguided souls who were still trust him would not have survived shoplifting, even for a few hours , the mad ramblings of court.
And here is born the new Libya, including the birth is marked by a sordid lynching. Media correspondents did not hide a certain enthusiasm for the spirit of general tolerance shown by the rebels in the faithful location of Gaddafi and their property. This makes it even more regrettable that this principle could not be honored when it was most crucial. As I write this, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi , a son of Muammar, is still at large. This would be a real shame if he were also killed without any trial, or at least the NTC and the international community do not remind their soldiers he must be legally stopped.
My intention is not to show undue sympathy Saif or other wanted persons. But he, in particular, is the repository of a huge amount of potentially useful information about the nature of the fallen regime and perhaps even hiding concealing material strategic-not to mention the huge sums of money, property right of the Libyan people. It would be criminal in every sense, to participate in the destruction of evidence. And I have to clarify that Gaddafi grandfather utility in the still underdeveloped field of the study of megalomania had no price. Yet countless victims will have no other satisfaction than seeing a character wandering bloodied and treated with brutality and in full panic, whose sufferings were cut short by a shot that has absolutely nothing brought to safety from the country.
I was in Romania on the day that Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were hastily done , and Mosul yesterday from where Uday and Qusay Hussein were trapped, strafed and bombed fatally in a house without issue. In both cases, the relief felt by the population was palpable. There is no doubt that public disposal of old symbols of torture and fear has an emancipating effect, at least in the short term.
But I would say its profits decline rapidly, which became evident in Iraq when unpolished acolytes of Muqtada al-Sadr were instructed to drive the execution of Saddam Hussein . Sectarian scars of this sordid episode sloppy are still apparent, and I would be very surprised if the same kind of resentment was not born among many Libyans on Thursday. It is too late to repair. But it would be a shame that the Gaddafi family continues to be decimated, and insulting that the summons to the Hague remains ignored.
By Christopher Hitchens

ISIS Was Created By US

Sputnik
© 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson / dvidshub.net
War Crime? American Forces Caught Using White Phosphorus Munitions in Iraq
In an interview with Sputnik, filmmaker Jacques Charmelot said that the 2003 takeover of Iraq by the United States ultimately resulted in the emergence of the terrorist group currently known as Daesh, the self-proclaimed caliphate alternately known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
Charmelot, who worked as a journalist in the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa, is also known for directing the documentary ‚Irak, une veritable imposture‘ (Iraq, real imposture).
„The intervention was certainly a mistake for the Americans, who suffered losses in Iraq, but it was not a mistake for those who capitalized on the three or five trillion dollars that was spent [on the Iraq War],“ he said.
In this vein, he pointed the finger at the neo-conservatives, whom he described as „a group of ideologists who have been the pivot element of American power since the end of the Cold War.“
„They believe that the disappearance of (America’s) main rival meant that the US became the first and only world power and that [its might] should be used for effectively protecting American interests across the world,“ Charmelot said.
In his opinion, „the philosophy of dominance“ related to the US’s fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons which resulted in the protracted war.
„The US decided to fight countries that were involved with nuclear technology, in what would finally lead to a confrontation with Iraq or with Iran, which are seen as enemies. This fight against nuclear proliferation along with the US fight against terrorism which started in 2011 helped the neoconservatives to draw the country into a permanent war,“ according to him.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that Washington is deploying an additional 615 soldiers to allegedly support Iraq’s military in retaking the Daesh-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Six Years Later: Is Iraq Free From US Campaign of Endless War?
According to Carter, the soldiers in the new deployment will serve in roles the US Defense Department describes as advice, assist, logistics and intelligence.
In July, Carter sent 560 US soldiers, mostly engineers and support personnel, to rebuild Iraq’s al-Asad Airbase and the Qayyarah Airbase, which were heavily damaged by US-led coalition artillery and aircraft fire during operations to dislodge Daesh terrorists.
The United States currently has about 5,200 military personnel in Iraq.
Mosul, one of the largest cities in Iraq, along with a number of other northern and western Iraqi towns and cities, were seized in 2014 during a Daesh offensive which saw the execution of hundreds of captured Iraqi soldiers. Daesh has been condemned by Russia, the United States and other nations.

The Antichrist and Shiism (Revelation 13:18)


Iraq and the dead-end road to political resolution

Over the past two years the core foundation of the Iraqi Shiite camp was shaken more than once following the impact of events and alterations occurring in the political scene and balance of power among political players, diminishing the role of some and opening the door to newcomers to the scene. At the time, the results that granted the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki the parliamentary majority and the constitutional right to form the government were considered a victory for the new Shiite political forces in face of the traditional religious authorities.

However, the anti-coalition formed by the remaining political and religious parties and who pushed toward depriving al-Maliki from a third term, partly succeeded in its goals by excluding al-Maliki from the prime minister position, and thus re-shuffled the cards inside the Shiite camp, and sparked a crisis whose chapters continued to follow. Also, the representation of Shiite political forces inside the Iraqi parliament following that election established a situation of malfunction and imbalance in the political system, at least inside the Shiite camp, caused by the difference between the real weights of the political forces in the street and their representative quotas in the parliament. And perhaps, this introduction can play the role of a starting point to keep track of the political movement that stands behind the recent protests, in particular Moqtada al-Sadr and his followers.

The Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr declared himself after the election results the spearhead of the attack on al-Maliki, in a turn against the ambiguous alliance between them, whose signs started to show before the election. al-Sadr entering the line and fiercely taking the lead of the battle to exclude al-Maliki necessitated a quick Iranian intervention to contain the repercussions of the crisis and to prevent any further rifts inside the Shiite campaign, thus sacrificing the constitutional right that grants its first Iraqi ally Nouri al-Maliki the right to form a government, and declaring its support for the fragile coalition leading to the nomination of Haider al-Abadi, the nominee of the Islamic Da’wa party for the prime minister position. However the anti-Maliki Shiite coalition led by al-Sadr, considered that the priority was to dismantle the Pro-Maliki system from the Iraqi official bodies since it embodies the corruption and mismanagement in the state, a system which al-Maliki set and developed since he first became the Iraqi prime minister in 2006, by allocating position of power and privileges in different sections of the state apparatus for his allies and those close to him. Moreover, the significant decline in oil prices, that represents almost the only source of income in the country, the resulting aggravation of the economic problems, a budget deficit reaching 25%, and the fall of Mosul in the hand of the Islamic state in a shocking scene fanned the flame of the official and popular anger toward all what was happening, increased the tension among the different parties, and contributed to the charged atmosphere which led to the recent protests earlier this year. Before the February 2016 protests, the Prime-Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi adopted a neutral stance toward the polarized state between al-Maliki and his allies on one hand, and the opponents camp led by al-Sadr on the other. However, under the pretext of responding to the protests in the streets, his position became closer to that of al-Sadr camp, the thing that helped reaching consensus over the formation of a government of technocrats from the competent elite in charge of pulling the country out of the crisis.

Although this government received the support and the endorsement of several religious and political parties, most notably the Shiite Islamic Marja’ Ali al-Sistani, al-Maliki, and Moqtada al-Sadr, the Sadrist movement leader, who ended the two-weeks-strike carried by his supporters front of the gates of the Green Zone, however it has angered other parties of the front that backed al-Abadi for the Prime Minister position, especially the Islamic Supreme Council headed by Ammar al-Hakim, who own a large parliamentary bloc in the current Iraqi parliament.

The rift within the Shiite camp deepened after al-Abadi failed to pass the technocrat government, both in its first form or after the subsequent modifications which made it a multiparty technocrat government as an answer to al-Hakim demands. The religious authority in Najaf, in what many observers interpreted as a reflection of its frustration and a retreat from endorsing al-Abadi, announced that it will no longer give its weekly political statement regarding current affairs. Also, al-Abadi’s hesitation and his failed attempt to satisfy all parties has backfired.

As for al-Sadr, and in attempt to dominate the Shiite popular street and proclaiming himself its ultimate leader, he appeased the demands of the recent protest movement to the point of hyperbole populism and extremism which does not leave any space for political action, and it is impossible for al-Abadi to adopt or keep up with.

Moreover al-Sadr was able to attract a good portion of secular and nationalist Iraqis, now that his differences with Iran has surfaced, coupled with his history in resisting the American occupation, especially since he worked hard in the last two years on presenting himself as an Iraqi nationalist leader who went past the sectarian limits, In spite of all the show-off enormity in his quest to lead the protest movement. Besides, the course of events shows a possible imminent convergence between al-Maliki and al-Hakim, which could lead to an agreement pushing toward removing al-Abadi and replacing him with another candidates whose political problem is limited to the preparation for the 2018 elections, and so al-Abadi and his Allies’ struggling attempt, which many parties felt threaten by in the past two years, will be buried once and for all.

In addition to all this, the preparations for the liberation of Fallujah, which aimed to dismantle the most important stronghold of Sunni Jihadist in Iraq, has turned into a symbol for Shiite and national alignment, giving the new Shiite militias entering the Iraqi scene to reap more popularity and legitimacy for its political and military role, which means new Iranian power in the Iraqi scene due to this groups direct subordination to Iran, whether by strengthening the presence of these militias in the scene, or by Iranian pro-forces taking over various states agencies, especially since the Popular Mobilization Forces, which was formed from Shiite militant factions has been adopted as a reserve Military force under the government’s command.

The political Shiite class, in the first years that followed the US invasion of Iraq, took advantage of the international support it has gained, in addition to the financial receipts that flowed from Oil sales, and was able to provide through the new political system, mechanisms to contain and absorb wide Shiite social sectors, however, under the weight of international changes, new players storming the Iraqi scene, the escalating financial crisis, and the popular fidgetiness caused by the performance of this class. These mechanisms became weakened and unable to perform its previous role. Now, the new Iraqi generations which were not around in the years when the profits were distributed have stormed the squares, the streets and even the “Green Zone” in an effort to secure their own destinies in a country is begging for its own fate to be secured.

The Antichrist Appeals to the Iraqi Masses


Iraq rejects proposal to register Shia militia as party

Country’s official electoral commission rejects calls to allow Hashd al-Shaabi to register as party in advance of polls

By Ali Jawad
BAGHDAD

Iraq’s official electoral commission on Sunday rejected proposals to allow the Hashd al-Shaabi, an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias, to register itself as a political party in advance of elections slated for next year.

The decision came one day after prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr declared that the country’s next government would be a “government of militias” if the Hashd al-Shaabi were allowed to field candidates in provincial council and parliamentary polls slated for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
In a Sunday statement, the commission said it had based its decision on the fact that the Hashd al-Shaabi constituted a “military organization with links to the [Iraqi] security agencies”.

Iraq’s Political Parties Law, it went on to explain, which was ratified by parliament last year, prohibited the registration of “military or paramilitary organizations” as political parties.

On July 20, the electoral commission began the registration process for political parties that planned to participate in the upcoming elections.

According to Hashd al-Shaabi spokesman Karim al-Nouri, the militia group’s primary responsibility at present was to pursue the fight against the Daesh terrorist organization, which continues to hold large swathes of territory in war-torn Iraq.

“Our presence in the battlefield today is to confront Daesh,” al-Nouri told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

“We didn’t want to arm ourselves, but the country’s dire security situation forced us to go from a civilian organization to a military one,” he said.

He added: “Several Hashd al-Shaabi leaders, including Hadi al-Amiri [a former Iraqi transport minister and current commander of the Hashd-affiliated Al-Badr Organization] is basically a politician, not a military figure.”

“Our main concern now is pursuing the fight against Daesh,” al-Nouri asserted.

Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul along with vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
In recent months, the Iraqi army — backed by U.S.-led airstrikes and its allies on the ground, including the Hashd al-Shaabi — has since managed to retake much of the territory lost earlier to Daesh.

Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in firm control of several parts of the country, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

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Antichrist Ousts Defense Minister


Iraqi parliament dismisses defense minister

PressTV

The Iraqi parliament has dismissed Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi, who was recently embroiled in a corruption case.

Two unnamed lawmakers told AFP that the Iraqi parliamentarians voted on Thursday to withdraw their confidence from Obeidi by 142 votes to 102 in a secret ballot, while 18 abstained in the 328-seat legislature.

The no-confidence vote came weeks after a bitter feud that erupted between Obeidi and parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi over graft allegations.

On August 1, Obeidi went to the legislature to answer allegations of wasting billions of dollars in public funds and weakening the country’s armed forces in their fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

During the questioning, however, he accused Juburi and several lawmakers of corruption.

Obeidi insisted that he was being challenged in retribution for his rejection of corruption, accusing the parliamentarians of seeking to blackmail him in order to pass corrupt deals, including a $1-billion catering contract, a $2.8-billion accord for armored vehicles, and a $421-million pact for US military Humvee vehicles.

On August 9, the Iraqi judiciary closed a corruption case against Juburi, citing a lack of evidence to proceed further.

The developments come as Iraqi Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi has faced calls to reform the country’s political structure in a bid to tackle corruption.

Earlier this year, the parliament was deadlocked for weeks over the premier’s efforts to reshuffle the cabinet.

Iraqi citizens also held sit-ins, called by firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, inside Baghdad’s highly fortified Green Zone aimed at keeping up pressure on the government to change ministers.

This is while the Iraqi army troops and allied volunteer forces are conducting large-scale military operations against the Daesh militants, who have been controlling swathes of land in the northern and western parts of the country since 2014.

The Iraqi army is gearing up for a major offensive in late September to purge Daesh from Mosul, the country’s second city. Iraqi forces have managed to wrest control of several areas in the southern parts of the city, among them the town of Qayyarah.