Ep 208: NATO Escalates in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

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Guest: Elijah Magnier. We talk about the the three attacks in one week on US bases in Iraq following an announcement that the US will escalate the operation in Iraq. US and NATO troops will no longer be withdrawn from Iraq but instead the escalate and expand the mission substantially. We also talk about Syria, the axis of resistance and the broader region. When we recorded this interview a few days ago the media was reporting that the Biden administration is taking a calm approach, investigating the source of the attacks and not overreacting. All of that changed just a couple of days later when Biden launched an retaliatory attack on “infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.” Reports on the multiple-target attack are still varying at the moment but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that 22 people were killed. The strikes happened in al Bukamal near the border with Iraq and the “Iranian-backed militant groups” that the Pentagon spokesman referred to are Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) fighters. The PMF is sponsored by the Iraqi government and was reorganized around 2014 to fight against ISIS, something that Elijah has explained in previous interviews on this podcast. No evidence from the alleged investigation that the media claimed the Biden administration was conducting before any response has been reported. The Pentagon frames it as a defensive strike and also claims that this was an attempt to “de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”

There is also a bonus question for patrons about US support for Saudi operations in Yemen and an increase in deployment of US troops in Saudi Arabia and why the American people don’t elect leaders who can end the forever wars.

FOLLOW Elijah on Twitter @ejmalrai. Find and support his work at ejmagnier.com where you can subscribe to his articles and donate.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com.

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on February 23, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

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