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Tue May 14, 2019, 02:26 PM

No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Source: The Guardian

No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Deputy commander of anti-Isis coalition rebuts White House justification for sending troops

Julian Borger in Washington
Tue 14 May 2019 18.32 BST Last modified on Tue 14 May 2019 19.16 BST

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region.

Maj Gen Christopher Ghika, who is a deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition conducting counter-terrorist operations against Isis in Iraq and Syria, was repeatedly questioned by reporters about the threat from Shia militias in Syria and Iraq, cited by US officials over the past week as justification for speeding up the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Gulf and for sending B-52 Stratofortress bombers and an anti-aircraft battery to the region.

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Ghika said in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”

The general’s comments are likely to heighten concerns that fabricated or exaggerated intelligence may be being used by administration hawks led by the national security adviser, John Bolton, to further the case for war against Iran, in a manner reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraq invasion.

The New York Times reported on Monday night that the acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, had presented the White House with a plan that involved sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of an Iranian attack or departure from the constraints of the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abrogated a year ago.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/14/no-iran-threat-in-syria-or-iraq-says-top-british-officer-in-defiance-of-us

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Reply No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US (Original post)
Eugene May 2019 OP
lunasun May 2019 #1
GemDigger May 2019 #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:41 PM

1. Kick

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 03:30 PM

2. If ever there was a reason for the R side of Congress to pay close attention

it would be now. We are very, very close to the point of no return.

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