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December 11, 2015

Where's the Coverage? Iran Threatens U.S. Troops

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Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Iranian proxies have threatened to attack United States troops if the U.S. arms Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria—although you may not have seen it reported in major U.S. print news outlets.

On Dec. 9, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee passed bipartisan legislation that would authorize the military to arm and train Kurdish forces fighting ISIS.

Buried in the middle of an article on that legislation, The Hill (Dec. 10, “House panel votes to directly arm Kurdish forces against ISIS”) briefly notes the Iranian threats:

“Powerful Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq also oppose the U.S. directly arming the Kurds or the Sunnis, who are from a different Islamic sect, since it could also undermine their influence in Iraq. They have threatened to attack U.S. forces in Iraq in response to U.S. legislation that would grant those groups more autonomy.”

Current U.S. law requires all American military assistance to the Kurds to go through the central government in Baghdad, controlled by Shiites—many of whom have close ties to, and are even funded by Tehran.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Ca) told those at the committee hearing that “Kurdish forces in northern Iraq have been some of our closest partners in the fight against the ISIS.” Royce said the newly-passed legislation will remove “roadblocks” that have delayed providing Peshmerga with training and weapons, including anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles and long-range artillery. Kurds are currently using light weapons dating back to at least Saddam Hussein’s rule—with some World War II-era weaponry.

The Hill reports the bill “would authorize President Obama to provide equipment and training directly to Iraqi Kurds for three years, urges the president to continue consulting with the Iraqi government and requires that the weapons be used to meet the shared goal with the U.S. of defeating ISIS.”

This is not the first time that Iranian proxies have threatened to harm the United States in the event it arms Kurds fighting ISIS.

In April 2015, a proposed bill in the House Armed Services Committee that would have directly armed Peshmerga forces was opposed by the Obama administration, Shiite leaders in the Iraqi government, and Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is the head of the Mahdi Army militia responsible for killing and wounding numerous U.S. and coalition troops following the 2003 Second Iraq War. He has received extensive funding and material support from Tehran.

At the time, The Associated Press noted al-Sadr wrote on his website that “In the event of approving this bill by the U.S. Congress, we will find ourselves obliged to unfreeze the military wing and start targeting the American interests in Iraq—even abroad, which is doable (Breitbart, April 30, 2015, “Shiite Cleric Threatens U.S. Over GOP Proposal to Arm Kurds, Sunnis in Iraq”).”

As Politico reported in March 2015: “The allegiances of many Iraqi Shiite fighters are no secret. Some openly display posters of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei….the concern is that those fighters, under the direction of Suleimani [Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force], may again train their sights on American troops (March 25, 2015, “Iran might attack American troops in Iraq, U.S. officials fear”).”

Yet, fast forward more than half a year and according to a Lexis-Nexis search, not a single major U.S. print outlet reported that Iran is—through its proxies—threatening American troops if Washington arms an ally in the fight against the Islamic State.

Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SD at December 11, 2015 09:48 AM

Comments

One of the more influential expatriate Israelis whose distortions and outright falsehoods should be exposed on a regular basis.

Are there any (currently) US-based Israelis who know Alon ben Meir and have clear information about what motivates him ideologically and caused him to become yet another Israel-bashing Israeli?

Posted by: Paul at December 14, 2015 06:10 AM

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