Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Washington orders U.S. personnel out of Iraq amid war buildup against Iran

Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2019, 04:30

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, has said the other three showed damage as well. The U.S. Embassy called the measures "appropriate given the current security conditions", but did not name any specific threats.

In response to the oil pipeline attack, the coalition said it launched airstrikes on Houthi targets in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, killing at least six people, including four children. The US has for the past year pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, applying sanctions to force Tehran to moderate its aggressive behavior and come to the table for a new nuclear deal.

In the Netherlands, state broadcaster NOS said its 50-person military mission in Iraq was halted "until further orders", quoting a Defense Ministry spokesman as saying he couldn't elaborate on the threats.

A few days later, as U.S.

"There are only two reasons for ordering their departure: We have credible intelligence that our people are at risk or in preparation for military action in Iran".

Other officials have warned the U.S. against attacking Iran, predicting it would fail, while insisting their own country is not hostile.

Iran's armed forces chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri warned last month "other countries' oil will certainly not cross the strait" if Tehran's own exports are blocked.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019.

While the European powers-Germany, France and the UK-have formally declared their continued support for the nuclear accord, they have failed to mount any credible challenge to the United States sanctions regime, depriving Iran of the promised benefits of the deal in terms of normalization of trade and investment. "There is no infighting whatsoever", Trump said in the same series of tweets on Wednesday. "The Americans quit the (nuclear) treaty, the treaty is collapsing, European countries are unable to do anything to save it, can not really work with Iran to compensate its economic losses".

Sri Lanka extends nationwide curfew after anti-Muslim riots
A state of emergency has been in place since the bombings and security forces have been given sweeping powers to detain suspects. Muslims make up around 10 percent of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka's 21 million population and Christians about 7.6 percent.

Washington says it has received intelligence on possible attacks by Iranian or Iranian-backed forces, possibly targeting United States bases in Iraq or Syria.

Now, the claims are built around the idea that the Iraqi militias are moving rockets into areas where they'd be within range of U.S. military bases. If not, the United States would respond with force.

That "high level of alert" affects how USA troops operate, limiting the movement of non-essential service members and requiring them to bring full equipment "everywhere they go for protection and security", a US official said on Wednesday. His comments exposed global skepticism over the USA military buildup.

"Most importantly, these routes are away from the main markets in Asia", Harami told AFP.

The U.S. designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group, ramped up sanctions, commissioned plans for military action and sent a carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf region.

Last week, top officials in the Trump administration warned that Washington believed Iran was plotting some sort of attack in the Gulf region, perhaps targeting U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.

"Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended", the department said. "They know it will not be in their interest", Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday. The U.S. ought to do all it can to curb the influence of a rogue actor like the Iranian regime - but war isn't the answer.

Fears of an Iranian-run land corridor emerging from the fight against the Islamic State, in which Shia militia groups played a prominent role, have been central to concerns that postwar Iraq and Syria could be subverted by regional manoeuvrings.