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A Chaldean Catholic priest who was kidnapped and tortured by Islamic militants a decade ago in Iraq said Tuesday in Washington that while the American invasion of his country in 2003 was a “big mistake,” President Obama’s decision to withdraw American troops in 2011 was “a bigger mistake.”
After Obama ignored his generals’ recommendations and pulled the last U.S. troops out of Iraq, the president boasted that “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq… This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.”
But Fr. Douglas Bazi, a priest at the Mar Elias Catholic Church in the Chaldean Diocese of Erbil, pointed out that the U.S. troop withdrawal was a catastrophe for the indigenous Christian population of Iraq, which numbered 2 million before 2003.
“Now there are less than 200,000,” he said. Continue reading
The U.S. military has ordered its nearly 3,500 troops stationed in Iraq to reacquaint themselves with their chemical weapons suits due to evidence that the Islamic State has obtained chemical weapons and used them on multiple occasions.
“It is a precautionary measure,” a defense official told Fox News, acknowledging the order. Continue reading
Germany removes the last restraints on its use of the armed forces, while its defense minister declares that there will be “no taboos”.
The year 1993 pivotal for the German military. Germany established its armed forces in 1956, but memories of two world wars meant that they were restricted to defensive operations within nato territory.
In 1991, this slowly began to change. Thirty German soldiers deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, to help with airlift operations. The same year, 150 medics were sent with a United Nations mission to Cambodia.
The first substantial foreign mission came in 1993, with over 2,000 military personnel deploying to Somalia as UN peacekeepers. The same year, German soldiers joined in aerial operations over Yugoslavia.
The world had no problems with these operations. In fact, the UN and United States desperately wanted the German army to do more, but to many Germans, this was too much. Germany’s main left-wing party, the Social Democratic Party (spd), and the free market Free Democratic Party (fdp) complained to the German Constitutional Court that these deployments violated Germany’s Basic Law—its constitution. Continue reading
ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) – Western interventions and the expansionist interests of NATO ally Turkey are responsible for the dramatic situation in the northern Syrian city of Kobane. The conquest of the city appears immanent, in spite of the desperate defensive battle against the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist organization that was still being waged on Tuesday evening. There are already countless casualties. Western interventions in the Middle East are ultimately responsible for strengthening the IS, which is on the verge of conquering Kobane. Iraqi Kurdish militia – unlike the Syrian Kurds combating IS – are getting support, also from the Bundeswehr, thanks to Turkey’s expansionist concepts. According to these concepts, which are being greeted with sympathy in the West, a “Kurdistan” state could be pried away from Iraq and linked to – or even integrated into – Turkey, in the hopes of weakening the area’s pro-Iranian forces and pit Sunni forces against Iran. These strategic macro plans, which are in Western interests, have led to the terrible situation in Kobane. Continue reading