Baghdad, Benghazi, or any other Middle Eastern city where the United States has a U.S. embassy, should be considered by those working there, as nothing more than death traps. Apparently the current cadre of terrorists in Washington, D.C. learned very little from the events of Benghazi. With Iraq in utter ruins, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad remains staffed, apparently waiting for more Americans to be slaughtered unnecessarily.
Of course this time around the Obama administration doesn’t want to wipe as much egg off its face after the fact, so they have elected to beef up security around the U.S. embassy complex, rather than pull our resources and assets out and ensure their safety without worry. Making matters quite a bit more curious, the Obama administration is also considering enlisting the help of what has always been a staunch American ally, in the form of Iran. (That’s a little sarcasm for those who may have missed their daily dose).
“One by one, Iraqi cities seem to be falling to a militant group bent on continuing its march forward.
What’s happening in Iraq now has all the makings of a civil war — and a full-blown foreign policy crisis. The United States is mulling direct talks with Iran while it boosts security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with military personnel.
Why Iran? In recent days, Iran has sent hundreds of troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Diyala province, a senior security official in Baghdad told CNN.
Clearly, the crisis in Iraq is spilling far beyond its borders. Here’s the latest:
After days of violent advances by the militant group ISIS, the Iraqi air force killed more than 200 militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Iraqi state TV reported Monday.
The air raids against ISIS took place in Saqlawiya, northwest of Falluja, according to state TV.
ISIS has been fighting to take control of Iraq, seizing cities across the country.
In recent days, Iran has sent about 500 of its Revolutionary Guard troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Iraq’s Diyala province, according to a senior security official in Baghdad who spoke to CNN on Friday.
But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denied reports that some of Iran’s elite forces are in Iraq to help bolster Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a fellow Shiite.
“If the Iraqi government wants us to help, we will consider it,” Rouhani said, according to an English translation of his remarks Saturday on state-run Press TV.
But “so far they have not asked specifically for help.” Rouhani added that Iran could give strategic guidance, if it’s requested.
The Obama administration is exploring possible direct talks with Iran over the deteriorating situation in Iraq, two senior U.S. officials told CNN.
Both officials ruled out any type of teaming up with Iran because the United States and Iran don’t have a lot of common interests — other than a stable Iraq.
The United States is wary of furthering Iran’s already considerable influence in Iraq. The Shiite Iranian regime is al-Malaki’s closest ally in the region. And the Obama administration is concerned that appearing to team up with Iran would both alienate Iraq’s Sunni minority and worry Sunni allies of the United States in the region.
ISIS apparently posted chilling photos on jihadi Internet forums that appear to show the executions of Iraqi security forces.
CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the images purportedly posted by ISIS. Terrain, building signs and the uniforms of the apparent victims in the images reviewed by CNN suggest the photos are legitimate.
A caption on some of the images reads: “apostates heading to their hole of doom.”
On Friday, a tweet on what was claimed to be an ISIS Twitter account claimed that its members killed at least 1,700 Shiites. CNN was unable to verify the authenticity of the account, which was apparently taken down Sunday.
ISIS, an al Qaeda splinter group, wants to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state, that would stretch from Iraq into northern Syria. The group has had substantial success in Syria battling President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces.
An amphibious assault vehicle with 550 Marines aboard was expected to enter the Persian Gulf on Monday, a U.S. defense official told CNN. The Marines and their V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft could help evacuate Americans from Iraq if necessary, the official said.
Between 50 and 100 U.S. Marines and U.S. Army personnel have already arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a U.S. official told CNN on Sunday.
In addition to adding security personnel, some embassy staffers were being moved to consular offices in Basra and Irbil or sent to Jordan, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sunday. Most will remain in Baghdad, however, she said.
The State Department is warning U.S. citizens against “all but essential travel to Iraq.” The official travel warning says U.S. citizens in Iraq “remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence.” (Emphasis added, recall if you will the prisoner/terrorist swap carried out by Obama, which enlightened all other terror cells of the rewards they could receive for kidnapping Americans).
The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. American military forces ended their withdrawal from the country in December 2011.
At the time of the U.S. drawdown, Iraq’s leadership had agreed that a residual U.S. military presence was desirable, but the talks broke down over the prickly issue of legal immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq.”