(TMU) — Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi revealed on January 5 that the late General Qassem Soleimani was in Baghdad on request from Iraq in order to respond to Saudi Arabia regarding de-escalation proposals, in what can be considered a peace mission rather than one aimed at planning attacks on Americans, as U.S. media and government sources have continued to repeat.
Abdul-Mahdi was scheduled to meet with Soleimani on Friday, the same day he and six others were killed at the Baghdad airport.
According to the Iraqi Prime Minister, U.S. President Donald Trump was aware of and supported the idea of Iraq facilitating the transfer of information—with the goal of easing tensions in the region—between the Saudis and Iran in Iraq during a phone conversation with Abdul-Mahdi days prior to Soleimani’s assassination.
During that conversation, Trump asked Abdul-Mahdi to “play the mediator’s role.”
#Iran #IRGC commander #QassemSoleimani managed to reach with his death what he couldn't reach when he was alive. That is his last spectacular act for Iran and for the "Axis of the Resistance": legislation forcing the US to withdraw and cease all kind of collaboration.
— Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) January 5, 2020
Abdul-Mahdi was quoted saying:
“I was scheduled to meet martyr Soleimani at 8:30 in the morning.
He was killed because he was set to deliver a response from Iranians to a Saudi message, which was delivered to the Iranians to reach an important breakthrough in the situation in Iraq and the region.”
Abdul-Mahdi disclosed the information while addressing Parliament with a recommendation that Iraq withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq.
Breaking: #Iraqi parliament votes for the withdrawal of all U.S forces and the "Global Coalition" from the country, & submit a complaint to the United Nations against the U.S for violating the sovereignty of Iraq. pic.twitter.com/Sb4oq4Zr81
— Mustafa Habib (@Mustafa_Habib33) January 5, 2020
Parliament voted on Sunday in favor of expelling all U.S. troops in addition to filing a United Nations complaint against the U.S. for violating the country’s sovereignty.
-A complaint to UN for #US target assassinations in #Iraq
-Impose on the gov to terminate the request of support from the interntnll coalition (all countries)
-End presence of ALL foreign forces and to prevent any country from using Iraq against another country pic.twitter.com/r5OTtZUs6d
— Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) January 5, 2020
It should be noted that, while Parliament’s vote to expel U.S. troops has been widely reported in U.S. media, Abdul-Mahdi’s most damning disclosure during the same session indicated that Soleimani was potentially set up by the U.S. government, has not.
The revelation from Abdul-Mahdi is leading some to accuse the U.S. government of setting a trap for Soleimani that resulted in his assassination. In fact, months ago U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pitched the idea of murdering Soleimani to Trump months ago.
Of Soleimani’s assassination, Pompeo told CNN:
The New York Times reports that the Pentagon offered Trump a series of responses to the increasing tensions between the two countries that came to a head after an Iranian-backed militia coordinated strikes on a U.S. base in Kirkuk, Iraq. Included in the potential responses was killing General Soleimani “mainly to make other options seem reasonable.”
Trump chose to strike back in what became a tit-for-tat series of attacks but, as a result, angry Iraqis stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in protest against those deadly air strikes. According to the Times, Trump “became increasingly angry” and then “stunned” officials when he chose the option of killing Soleimani. Pentagon officials were left “flabbergasted” and “alarmed about the prospect of Iranian retaliatory strikes on American troops in the region.”
The Washington Post also reports that the “decision to target Soleimani came as a surprise and a shock to some officials briefed on his decision, given the Pentagon’s long-standing concerns about escalation and the president’s aversion to using military force against Iran.”
If the latest developments that the U.S. knew Soleimani was traveling to Iraq on a de-escalation mission prove true, they completely shatter the Pentagon’s version of events that lead up to General Soleimani’s death.
Trump said on Friday that Soleimani was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” on Americans, including diplomats and military personnel. According to Trump, the U.S. “took action to stop a war.” However, that narrative is quickly falling apart as new details emerge from Iraq.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people in the United States rallied against U.S. troop presence in Iraq and aggression on Iran.
On Sunday and Monday, hundreds of thousands of people filled Iran’s streets, mourning Soleimani’s death.
What appears to be millions attending Soleimani’s funeral procession in Ahvaz, an Iranian city usually described by mainstream media as “restive”, and hence hardly a Soleimani stronghold. Trump doesn’t know what is awaiting him across the Middle East pic.twitter.com/axTonhi13n
— Amal Saad (@amalsaad_lb) January 5, 2020
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.