Tag Archives: Iraq

On Saturday.

Vice-president of the US Mike Pence, on his way to the US, posed for photographs with US soldiers at Shannon Airport where they made a refuelling stop before their onward journey to Iraq.


In Baghdad, Iraq last Friday…

The New York Times reported…

Throngs of Iraqis gathered on the streets of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday to protest the United States military presence at the behest of a leading populist cleric and armed forces with ties to Iran.

The demonstration came three weeks after the United States launched a drone strike in capital that killed the Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and a prominent member of the Iraqi government, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with close ties to the Popular Mobilization Forces, some of whom are close to Iran.

Days later, at the urging of the Iraqi prime minister, the Parliament endorsed a measure demanding the expulsion of foreign forces from Iraq, which in the minds of most Iraqis meant American troops.

The protest on Friday was the first designed specifically to denounce the American presence in Iraq since the parliamentary measure.

Protesters Mass in Baghdad, Demanding U.S. Leave Iraq (New York Times)

Tens of Thousands of Iraqis mass in Baghdad to Demand Expulsion of US Troops, Hang Trump in Effigy (Juan Cole, Informed Comment)

Rockets ‘hit US embassy’ in Iraq capital amid anti-gov’t protests (Aljazeera)

Mick Wallace MEP in the European Parliament

In the last few minutes.

At the European Parliament in Strasbourg during a debate about the situation in Iran and Iraq…

MEP Mick Wallace told the parliament:

“The crazy decision of the US to carry out the illegal assassination of [Qasem] Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and others is just the most recent testament to the fact that US is the most reckless, destabilising and dangerous political and military force on the planet at the moment.

“The US and their allies claim to be fighting a war on terror whenever they drop bombs and kill people.

“And here they’ve taken out some of the people who’ve done more to fight Isis than anyone else that we know.

“They’ve been asked to get out of Iraq. Are they going to get out of it? Are they going to recognise the democratic decision?

“They claim they have brought the democracy to Iraq. Are they going to respect it now?

“Commissioner, do you not agree that this region will be a safer place when the Americans are not in it?

“You talk about Iran not respecting the nuclear agreements. Do youse ever ask any questions of Israel?

“What in God’s name? Why won’t Europe show a bit of courage and stand up to the terrorism of America?”

Watch back in full here

Previously: Go And Shiite

US military planes at Shannon Airport

Further to the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani by a US drone at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, last Friday…

This morning on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke, presented by Cormac Ó hEadhra, Dublin MEP Clare Daly referred to the killing as a “catastrophic breach of all norms and the crossing of a red line”.

She went on to say Ireland is “culpable or complicit” when it comes to the actions of the US military, given its use of Shannon Airport.

Ms Daly added diplomatic assurances that there are no weapons onboard the planes are not good enough and that is why she and and fellow MEP Mick Wallace attempted to search a US military plane for weapons in Shannon Airport in 2014, They were subsequently arrested.

She said:

“We know from Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers, the US Army veterans who were in Ireland for most of last year, that they transited when they were in the US Army through Shannon and that they had weaponry on them.

“So there’s no doubt about it. Why else would they be passing through to the Middle East? Thousands of troops are not going on their holidays.

“Clearly they’re engaged in military action and the monitoring of that aircraft by local groups on the ground, Shannonwatch, Shannon Radar, would vindicate that…”

She also said that she believed Tánaiste Simon Coveney should strongly condemn the “unlawful, illegal action of the United States government”.

She added:

“I think, in response he [Coveney] should say that all permission of the US military, to transit through Shannon [Airport] is being halted until the matter is investigated further.”


On Thursday, at 7pm, outside the US embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance will hold a protest against a war on Iran.

They write:

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance along with a broad alliance of people from human rights to climate change activists and anti-war groups is calling for your support for this vigil outside the US Embassy in Dublin this Thursday.

Listen back in full here

“I’ll See What I Can Do”

Iraqi forces surround The US Embassy compound in Baghdad on January 1

This morning.

Further to the deaths of  Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike….



U.S. embassy urges citizens to depart Iraq immediately: statement (Reuters)

Earlier: A Limerick A Day



John Reilly writes:

I’m RTÉ Radio One staff. I’ve been in Iraq for the past couple of weeks and shot the short video at the first large food and water aid delivery into central and western Mosul since “Liberation” from Isis earlier this month.

As you will see the security situation remains extremely volatile especially as gathering crowds queuing for aid become soft targets for suicide bombers. Thus, larger NGOs are staying away, and people are dying from food shortages and drinking contaminated and poisoned water.

The video was shot in western Mosul last Friday, July 21, and the aid was delivered by local Iraqi groups Bridge, Iraqi builders and independents Dylan Longman and John Reilly.


Kurdish Peshmerga display antique weapons used against well-equipped Isis fighters on the Bashiq frontline, approximately 18km from Mosul


Kurdish Peshmerga Forces on the Bashiq frontline


A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds what he claims is a German Luger from World War 2


A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier standing on the Bashiq frontline against Isis, with Mosul on the horizon


A 63-year-old Peshmerga figher Mamuri Purida at a Kurdish frontline post near Makhmur, 3km from Isis-held territory


Mamuri Purida points to a picture of President Masoud Barzani beside a map of greater Kurdistan at a frontline post near Makhmur


Kurdish Peshmerga driving between outposts on Bashiq frontline


The Isis-held town of Bashiq, northern Iraq, seen from the Kurdish Peshmerga frontline with Mosul on the far horizon


A ruined bus stop on the road to Qayyarah with burning oil wells in the distance


Qayyarah, a town of 15,000 people engulfed in smoke from burning oil wells lit by retreating Isis fighters in August

Photographs from Dublin journalist Ruaidhrí Giblin, who has recently returned from Iraq.

Ruaidhrí spent six weeks reporting on the build-up to the military offensive by Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi special forces towards Mosul which is seen as the de-facto capital of Isis.

He toured several frontlines with the Kurds and Iraqi forces.

On Sunday, he will broadcast a report on the Kurdish Peshmerga on RTÉ’s World Report.

Ahead of this, Ruaidhrí writes:

Iraqi Kurds don’t have a country, they have a Regional Government. They don’t have a regular army, they have an irregular militia, whose name the ‘Peshmerga’ literally means those that face death.

They don’t have modern weapons, advanced technology or heavy artillery and often appear in button down shirts and traditional Kurdish trousers.

They’ve gone months without being paid because Iraqi Kurdistan is overwhelmed with two million refugees from Syria and other parts of Iraq.

Yet, they, along with their Syrian counterparts, are the most effective fighting force against Isis since the terror group emerged on their doorstep in 2014.

All they want, they say, is recognition from the world – to be able to put their flag on the international mapThe story of the Kurds deserves attention.

World Report is on Sunday at 8am on RTÉ Radio One.


Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi special forces have advanced to within around six miles of the city of Mosul, after launching a major three-pronged attack early on Thursday against dug-in Islamic State militants.

Hundreds of armoured vehicles including tanks and humvees began a large-scale offensive at around 6am local time, the Kurdish peshmerga general command said in a statement. Their target was a series of villages to the north and north-east of Mosul held by Isis fighters.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in on Mosul after making quick gains (The Guardian)

Photographs: Ruaidhrí Giblin