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WAR 05-11-2019-to-05-17-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
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  1. #41
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    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    9m9 minutes ago

    Aurora Intel Retweeted سكاي نيوز عربية-عاجل

    US military statement: Coalition forces raise alert due to imminent threats against #US forces in #Iraq.


    #Iran #MiddleEast


    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    7m7 minutes ago

    Aurora Intel Retweeted Elizabeth McLaughlin

    CENTOM is now refuting comments from a British General that said "There has been no increased threat from #Iran|ian backed forces in #Iraq and #Syria".


    #CENTCOM says comments "run counter to identified credible threats available to intelligence from #US and allies."

    Aurora Intel added,
    Elizabeth McLaughlin
    Verified account @Elizabeth_McLau
    CENTCOM is pushing back on a statement made by a senior British general that "there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq & Syria."…

    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    6m6 minutes ago

    "@CENTCOM in coordination with @CJTFOIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in #Iraq & #Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible & possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq"
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  2. #42
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    Elizabeth McLaughlin
    ‏Verified account @Elizabeth_McLau
    40m40 minutes ago

    CENTCOM is pushing back on a statement made by a senior British general that "there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq & Syria."

    CENTCOM says comments "run counter to the identified
    credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies..."



    CENTCOM Statement on recent comments from OIR's Deputy Commander

    U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

    MacDill AFB, Fl., May 14, 2019 —

    Recent comments from OIR's Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region. U.S. Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq.



    - Capt. Bill Urban, USN, lead spokesman U.S. Central Command

    https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/STATEM...uty-commander/
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  3. #43
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/ar...taiwan-strait/

    May 12, 2019

    Can the PLA get across the Taiwan Strait?

    While the Pentagon appears to be skeptical, the facts and the numbers tell a different story

    By Grant Newsham

    The Pentagon’s recently released 2019 China Military Power Report says PLA forces cannot conduct a full-scale amphibious assault on Taiwan – and are “less likely” planning for one.

    The report claims the PLA does not have enough amphibious ships – and isn’t building enough of them either. In military jargon, the PLA lacks “lift.”

    In terms of the newest modern amphibious ships, it’s true China has only five large Type 071 amphibious transport docks. However, three more are in the works or outfitting, and the bigger Type 075 helicopter carrier is reportedly now in production.

    But here’s what matters most: an amphibious ship needn’t be the newest model or, as the Americans seem to think, cost $1 billion each. The PLA Navy already has about 50 older amphibious ships that are more than capable of making the trip across the Taiwan Strait and disgorging PLA Marines, and by 2030 it will have more than 70 amphibious ships in total.

    The US Marines have been complaining for years that they only have “thirty-some” amphibious ships to handle their worldwide requirements – and this is not enough. The Chinese have more ships than that – and need not cover the globe. Instead, they can concentrate on the 90-mile wide Taiwan Strait.

    Additionally, China has a boatload, to use the precise term, of commercial ferries, roll-on-roll-off ships and other ad hoc amphibious vessels, including barges, that would serve the purpose of moving troops and equipment across the Strait. And the PLA Navy has experience incorporating civilian vessels into military exercises.

    Tens of thousands

    To suggest that because the PLA Navy only has a few of the most modern amphibious ships they don’t have the “lift” to get enough troops and equipment ashore on Taiwan is missing the bigger picture. With the right weather and sea conditions, and with proper “cover,” the Chinese could get at least a few tens of thousand troops ashore in a day.

    The PLA Marine Corps is scheduled to expand from its current 20,000 to upwards of 30,000 Marines – and quite possibly a lot more. This will take some time, although with the Chinese it’s usually less time than Western experts predict.

    And often overlooked is the fact the PLA already has 50,000-60,000 amphibiously trained mechanized infantry. These army “marines” are intended as follow-on forces after the Marines seize a beachhead – but potentially can serve as the first wave, even now.

    Just as importantly, the Chinese are doing the necessary training and planning needed to master amphibious operations. President Xi Jinping told the PLA to prepare to take on Taiwan by 2020, and it is doing so.

    The Pentagon report points out that Chinese Marines aren’t yet fully trained and the PLA is not fully capable of the large-scale joint operations that characterize major amphibious assaults. Maybe so. But sometimes a force just has to be “good enough” to do a certain thing at a certain time in a certain place – rather than being and acting like a carbon copy of the USN/USMC amphibious force.

    One also gets a whiff in the Pentagon report that amphibious operations are just so complex that the Chinese will never quite master them adequately to have a proper go at Taiwan.

    But consider how well the PLA has done with aircraft carrier operations, which much of the Western defense commentariat and even many American military officers said would take years, if not decades. Amphibious operations are no harder than carrier operations.
    Multipronged effort

    Another point to consider is that an amphibious assault on Taiwan would only be one part of a multipronged effort, including missile assaults, special forces operations and possibly an airborne assault, paralyzing cyber-attacks, subversion and efforts to cut communications and satellite links.

    The PLA Air Force would swarm and eventually render Taiwan’s air force extinct, in addition to hammering Taiwanese military and civilian targets.

    PLA Navy submarines and surface combatants would also be out in force, dominating the Taiwan Strait and maybe the east side of Formosa too. Slipping in the amphibious assault force in this environment is feasible – assuming Chinese leaders are willing to accept the attendant casualties.

    And that is a reasonable assumption given the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and its past behavior.

    Of course, rather than invading, China prefers to economically and politically strangle Taiwan until it submits. But preferring not to do something doesn’t mean it cannot be done.
    Ripple effects

    So in purely military terms, and without considering the political and economic damage to the PRC from such an attack, and the possibility of US and Japanese forces stepping in, a Chinese amphibious assault is already feasible.

    Still, an amphibious assault on Taiwan won’t be cheap and might even fail. And the ripple effects in China, the region and beyond are frightening. Indeed, the possibility of a broader war and the cessation of China’s international trade, for starters, are perhaps more of a restraint on Beijing attacking Taiwan than are the PLA’s current military shortcomings.

    In fairness, the Pentagon report is informative and generally well done, but in places – such as a Chinese amphibious assault on Taiwan – it reminds some readers that a couple of generations of US defense analysts and China experts – both civilian and military – have consistently downplayed risks from Chinese military development.

    Despite a military build-up that has come farther and faster than any country in history, and despite the PRC having no enemies, we often heard, and sometimes still do: ‘China has no global ambitions,’ ‘they only want to protect their coastal waters,’ ‘all great powers need a great military to defend their interests,’ ‘we’re way ahead of them,’ ‘we spend three times more than them,’ ‘they haven’t fought a war since 1979,’ etc.

    And if there was anything to worry about it was, and often still is: “Maybe 10 years from now.” Those who argued otherwise were ridiculed and ostracized.

    But Beijing, even before Xi Xinping, has always been clear about what it has in mind for Taiwan – if it can get away with it.

    One wonders if the Pentagon is equally clear on the matter.

  4. #44
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://freebeacon.com/national-secu...-nuclear-wall/

    China’s Great Nuclear Wall

    Essay: Beijing's opaque approach to arms control obscures the growing threat of its nuclear arsenal

    Visitors walk past China's second nuclear missile on display as they visit the Military Museum in Beijing / Getty

    BY: Aaron Kliegman Follow @Aaron_Kliegman
    May 12, 2019 5:00 am

    When it comes to nuclear arms control, China is great at playing hard to get. Beijing is the elusive beauty, a difficult but attractive target for those who seek nuclear disarmament. Powerful yet mysterious, shrouding its nuclear program in a haze of opacity, the Chinese government never actually gives its pursuers what they want. And China knows that only makes them more interested. Indeed, Beijing leads on its suitors with seductive promises of reducing its arsenal of nuclear weapons, only to demand more in return from other states before taking any steps. And then the cycle begins anew, with no fewer nuclear weapons in China.

    To illustrate the point, go back to June 1982, when the United Nations General Assembly held a second special session on disarmament. At the gathering, the late Huang Hua, then China's foreign minister, presented a concrete proposal: if the United States and the Soviet Union halted the testing, improving, or manufacturing of nuclear weapons and reduced their arsenals by 50 percent, the Chinese government would be ready "to join all other nuclear states in undertaking to stop the development and production of nuclear weapons, and to further reduce and ultimately destroy them altogether." Just six years later, however, as the United States and the Soviet Union were drafting the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, which significantly reduced each country's nuclear arsenal, China changed its standard for joining arms-control talks. The 50-percent threshold was just a start; Moscow and Washington also had to make further "drastic reductions" in their arsenals. Then, in 1995, after Moscow and Washington signed START I and START II, Beijing changed its standard yet again. China would not, according to nuclear expert Brad Roberts, consider disarmament until the Americans and Russians "reduced their arsenals far beyond START II numbers, abandoned tactical nuclear weapons, abandoned ballistic missile defense, and agreed to joint no-first-use pledge," under which they would vow never to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. No matter the circumstance, China was simply not interested in nuclear arms control.

    This trend continued throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, with the United States continuously trying—and failing—to foster dialogue with China over nuclear weapons. China has also refused to be transparent about its nuclear capabilities, seeing opacity as key to Chinese deterrence. If the United States is unsure of what China can and cannot do, China's thinking goes, then Washington will be much more wary of taking aggressive actions against Beijing. Here the Obama and Trump administrations have at least one thing in common: recognizing China's lack of transparency in the nuclear realm as problematic. The Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, states that "the lack of transparency surrounding [Chinese] nuclear programs—their pace and scope, as well as the strategy and doctrine that guides them—raises questions about China's future strategic intentions." The Trump administration's NPR echoes the same point, arguing that, "while China's declaratory policy and doctrine have not changed, its lack of transparency regarding the scope and scale of its nuclear modernization program raises questions regarding its future intent." China has, in effect, built a different kind of great wall around its nuclear arsenal, preventing others from even discussing what is behind it.

    So it should not be surprising that, this week, China quickly dismissed a suggestion that it would talk with the United States and Russia about a new deal limiting nuclear arms. "China opposes any country talking out of turn about China on the issue of arms control, and will not take part in any trilateral negotiations on a nuclear disarmament agreement," Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Monday. "[China's] nuclear force is always kept at the minimum level required by national security, with an order-of-magnitude difference from that of the United States and Russia, which puts things in a completely different light." The spokesman added—and this may sound familiar—that "the pressing task at present" is for the United States and Russia, which have the world's two largest nuclear arsenals, "to adhere to the consensus reached by the international community to earnestly fulfill their special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament." Only then, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, will other countries be able to participate in nuclear disarmament. China's response came days after news reports said that President Trump ordered his administration to prepare to push new arms-control agreements with both China and Russia.

    In the United States, when pundits and politicians discuss nuclear weapons, they tend to focus exclusively on Russia. Watch a congressional hearing on nuclear policy and see what percentage of the questions is about Russia, and what percentage is about China. In some ways, it makes sense why the difference is so large: China has about 280 nuclear warheads, while Russia has, under the New START Treaty, 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads (in addition to thousands more stored and retired). Moreover, China advertises its nuclear strategy as one of "minimal deterrence," while Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly touts his country's nuclear strength with belligerent statements.

    Another reason why observers too often ignore China is because of the legacy of the Cold War, which for so many Americans puts Russia at the forefront of any discussion concerning nuclear weapons. Yet America's extensive history with Russia's arsenal is precisely why Washington should be so concerned about China. At least the United States has a well-established line of communication with Russia regarding nuclear weapons going back decades. And they negotiated an arms-control agreement as recently as 2010. Each side understands the other pretty well, and if there ever is a nuclear crisis between the two countries, there is a wealth of experience that leaders can use to help navigate through the situation. When it comes to China, however, there is no such experience, nor any line of communication. In a Sino-American nuclear crisis, no one would have a "number to call" the other side. China's unwillingness to engage on this issue in any meaningful way makes the prospect of reaching a resolution that much more of an unknown. The United States has no idea how China would react. At least it has some idea of how to deal with Russia.

    Realistically, the prospects of the United States, or any country, making progress with China on arms control are remote—although such efforts are still worthwhile. Still, the United States should be very concerned about the Chinese arsenal. China may have fewer nuclear weapons and a seemingly less aggressive nuclear strategy, but that shows, perhaps counter intuitively, why China is a more dangerous adversary than Russia. China is smarter and more patient, looking to the long term. Beijing sees Chinese power on the rise and American power on the decline. There is no need to sound belligerent and risk conflict like the Russians. China can build up its economic and military might without provoking so much international condemnation. And then one day, when no one is ready, it may decide the time is right to seize Taiwan.

    Over the long term, China sees itself supplanting the United States as the dominant power in East Asia and, eventually, in the world. Russia, meanwhile, is a fundamentally weak country with lots of nuclear weapons. Putin is certainly dangerous, but he lashes out in part because of that weakness—his country is on the path toward economic irrelevance, along with a demographic nightmare. In other words, China is the more mature adversary, the quiet yet observant mastermind plotting its grand scheme rather than the loud, obnoxious goon drunkenly challenging everyone to a fight.

    The late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping once outlined the following strategy for China: "Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities; bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; never claim leadership." Today, many observers argue that Chinese President Xi Jinping has gone away from that model, and that is true to some extent. But China is still patiently biding its time, working to supplant the United States with a sophisticated strategy that involves all aspects of state power, from development to military modernization. That strategy includes maintaining a potent nuclear arsenal, which China hopes to use to get others to disarm, without having to do so itself.
    This entry was posted in National Security and tagged China, Nuclear Weapons, Xi Jinping. Bookmark the permalink.
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    Aaron Kliegman

    Aaron Kliegman Email | Full Bio | RSS
    Aaron Kliegman is the news editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Aaron worked as a research associate at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and as the deputy field director on Micah Edmond's campaign for U.S. Congress. In December 2016, he received his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Studies Program in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in strategic studies. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2014 and lives in Leesburg, Virginia. His Twitter handle is @Aaron_Kliegman. He can be reached at kliegman@freebeacon.com.
    Follow @Aaron_Kliegman

  5. #45
    ELINT News
    @ELINTNews
    ·
    5m
    #BREAKING: Trump Administration Prepares Multiple Options For Iran, Including Airstrikes And Setting Up Ground Invasion (if necessary)
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  6. #46
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    Iran
    ‏ @Iran
    2h2 hours ago

    Iranian National Oil Company opens office in Iraq

    #Iran #Iraq #NIOC @VezaratNaft
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  7. #47
    As tensions increase, Trump warns that Iran will ‘suffer greatly’ if ‘they do anything’



    (May 13, 2019 / JNS) Amid increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that Tehran will “suffer greatly” if “they do anything.”

    “We’ll see what happens with Iran. … If they do anything, they will suffer greatly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office in response to reports that two oil tankers owned by Saudi Arabia and two others, one owned by the United Arab Emirates and another by Norway, were sabotaged, possibly by Tehran.

    “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens. I can tell you that,” said Trump. “They’re not going to be happy. They’re not going to be happy people.”

    The president did not elaborate on the threat, saying, “You can figure it out yourself. They know what I mean by it.”

    Trump’s warning came as the Washington has increased pressure on Tehran over the past week with new sanctions and deploying two warships with fighter jets, in addition to a Patriot missile battery, to the Gulf in response to Pentagon reports that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was planning an attack on U.S. forces or interests in the region—moves that have caused European foreign ministers to call for de-escalation.

    Read More: Jewish News Syndicate

    https://www.cufi.org/as-tensions-inc...y-do-anything/
    https://safeg.net/home A Safe Alternative to Harmful 5G Wireless

    Psalm 94:1 O Lord, the God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth! 2 Arise, O Judge of the earth. Give the proud what they deserve. 3 How long, O Lord? How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?

  8. #48
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    TankerTrackers.com
    ⚓️
    🛢
    ‏ @TankerTrackers
    1d1 day ago

    Over the past week, the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) has shrunk by 1.7 million barrels to 646 million as inventory was transferred to commercial entities as to finance the SPR modernization program. This is equivalent to 243K barrels per day. #OOTT #EIAReport
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  9. #49
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    Guy Elster
    ‏Verified account @guyelster
    25m25 minutes ago

    #Iran has officially stopped some commitments under nuclear deal: ISNA
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Guy Elster
    ‏Verified account @guyelster
    25m25 minutes ago

    #Iran has officially stopped some commitments under nuclear deal: ISNA

    Amichai Stein
    ‏Verified account @AmichaiStein1
    40m40 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: Iran has officially stopped some commitments under nuclear deal after an order from Iranian national security council - ISNA
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    2h2 hours ago

    #UPDATE: Trump denied this New York Times report, saying "I think it's fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that".#Iran
    POTUS does have a point about how many troops we'd need to send if we were to do it right...

  12. #52
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    Reuters Iran
    ‏Verified account @ReutersIran
    20m20 minutes ago

    STATE DEPARTMENT ORDERS DEPARTURE OF 'NON-EMERGENCY U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' FROM IRAQ -STATEMENT
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  13. #53
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    Louisa Loveluck
    ‏Verified account @leloveluck
    22m22 minutes ago

    US State Department notice that it is pulling non-emergency staff from Baghdad & Erbil. Statement comes against background of soaring tensions between US & Iran, ambiguous US claims that Iranian proxies planning to target US interests somewhere in region:

    pic of statement
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D6l8KCJWsAExtt4.jpg
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  14. #54
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    Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
    Home | News & Events | Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq

    Location: Nationwide

    Event: The U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees from Iraq, both at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil. Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq.

    Actions to Take:

    Depart Iraq by commercial transportation as soon as possible
    Avoid U.S. facilities within Iraq
    Monitor local media for updates
    Review personal security plans
    Remain aware of surroundings
    Review the complete Travel Advisory for Iraq
    Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

    Assistance:

    U.S. Embassy Baghdad
    Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
    Telephone (during business hours)

    From Iraq: 0760-030-3000;

    From the United States: 301-985-8841
    U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

    From Iraq: 0760-030-3000;

    From the United States: 301-985-8841

    E-mail: BaghdadACS@state.gov
    Website: https://iq.usembassy.gov/

    U.S. Consulate General Erbil
    413 Ishtar, Ankawa Erbil, Iraq
    Telephone (during business hours)

    From Iraq: 0760-030-3227;

    From the United States: 240-264-3467 extension 4554
    U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

    From Iraq: 066-211-4554;

    From the United States: 240-264-3467

    E-mail: ErbilACS@state.gov
    Website: https://iq.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/erbil/

    State Department – Consular Affairs
    888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

    Iraq Country Information
    Iraq Travel Advisory
    Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security updates.
    Follow us on Twitterand Facebook.

    By U.S. Embassy in Baghdad | 15 May, 2019 | Topics: Alert


    https://iq.usembassy.gov/security-al...aghdad-iraq-2/
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  15. #55
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    IntelSky
    ��

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    34m34 minutes ago

    Two ���� ✈ #USN United States Navy Grumman C-2A Greyhound #GR01 & GR02 reg: 16-2143 & 16-2165 departed Bahrain ���� towards USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf of Oman
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  16. #56
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    The National

    May 15, 2019

    US State Department orders all non-essential government personnel to leave Iraq


    The statement said it could not provide emergency services and visa services would be suspended

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with Charge D'affaires at the US Embassy in Baghdad after he arrived in Iraq. AP


    The US State Department has ordered all "non-emergency US government employees" to leave Iraq, the US embassy in Iraq said on Wednesday.

    In a statement, it said it has limited emergency services ability and normal visa services at its offices in Baghdad and Erbil will be suspended.

    Referring to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil, it said "normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq".

    It called on US personnel to "depart Iraq by commercial transportation as soon as possible" and to "avoid US facilities within Iraq". It advised those affected by the advisory to "review personal security plans" and to "remain aware" of their surroundings.

    @StateDept has ordered the departure of non-emergency USG employees from Iraq, both at the Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil. Additional information on this alert can be found on the U.S. Embassy website at U.S. Citizen Services. https://t.co/iX96dAkyhT
    — U.S. Embassy Baghdad (@USEmbBaghdad) May 15, 2019

    On Monday, the US Embassy in Iraq advised citizens against all travel to the country, telling citizens to "remain vigilant" and to "keep a low profile."
    Read More

    US Embassy in Iraq advises citizens against all travel amid tensions with Iran

    US 'considers plan to deploy 120,000 troops in event of Iran clash'

    Iran officially stops some of its nuclear deal commitments

    The United States has escalated its rhetoric against Iran in recent weeks, moving the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Arabian Gulf.

    The Pentagon has also made plans to move 120,000 troops to the area if Iran attacks US forces or advances their nuclear weapons program, according to a report in the New York Times on Monday.

    US Central Command said on Tuesday that there is an increased risk to US forces and allies from Iranian-back militias in the region, rebuking a senior British general in the US-led mission to defeat ISIS who suggested there was no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces.

    "US Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria," the statement attributed to Captain Bill Urban, the lead spokesman US Central Command said.

    "As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq."

    Major General Chris Ghika, a Deputy Commander in Operation Inherent Resolve, earlier said he had not seen an increased threat from proxy forces supported by Iran.

    "No, there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria," the general said from the coalition's headquarters in Baghdad.

    Updated: May 15, 2019 12:32 PM

    https://www.thenational.ae/world/men...-iraq-1.861730
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  17. #57
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    Somewhere on tb2k, the missile info has already been posted (on this thread I think?)

    ELINT News
    ‏ @ELINTNews
    20m20 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: Iraqi Former Vice President Iyad Allawi: US official informed me that the Israeli intelligence has satellite images of Iranian ballistic missile platforms in Basra city directed towards the Gulf, this is why Mike Pompeo suddenly visited Iraq last week- @Mustafa_Habib33
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  18. #58
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    INTELLIPUS
    ‏ @intellipus
    6m6 minutes ago

    Have been hearing murmurs of #Iran moving missiles to #Iraq and that was why @SecPompeo visited Iraq. Missile types floating around the rumor mill include the Zolfaqar (RED) and Fateh-110/Khalij Fars (BLUE) and a possible deployment to Basrah. Here's how those ranges look mapped

    map
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D6mV6TeWAAAbN2s.jpg
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  19. #59
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    IntelSky
    📡

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    1m1 minute ago

    Update:
    Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 crown prince #MBS Mohammed Bin Salman's ✈ arrived at William P Hobby (HOU) at 01:10PM EEST from Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (CLE) after 2:22 en route
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  20. #60
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    Steve Herman
    ‏Verified account @W7VOA
    9m9 minutes ago

    Steve Herman Retweeted FOCUS Online

    #Germany armed forces suspend training operations in #Iraq.

    Steve Herman added,
    FOCUS Online
    Verified account @focusonline
    +++ Wegen Spannungen in der Region: Bundeswehr setzt Ausbildung im Irak aus +++ https://www.focus.de/10713658
    \
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  21. #61
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    World News Tonight
    ‏Verified account @ABCWorldNews
    21m21 minutes ago

    JUST IN: U.S. flights to Venezuela are being suspended due to safety and security concerns, officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security say.


    ABC News
    ‏Verified account @ABC
    2m2 minutes ago

    NEW: Pres. Trump to travel to South Korea and meet with Pres. Moon Jae-in in conjunction with G-20 visit, White House says. https://abcn.ws/2VFc5k2
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  22. #62
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    IntelSky
    📡

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    6m6 minutes ago

    US ships sailed out of the Persian Gulf!
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  23. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    IntelSky
    📡

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    6m6 minutes ago

    US ships sailed out of the Persian Gulf!

    how many had actually entered? To me, it looks like they stopped short of entering. ??


    IntelSky
    ��

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    2h2 hours ago

    The American Naval Group: USS Abraham Lincoln, the Leyte Gulf cruiser and destroyers Bainbridge, Mason and Nitze have stopped sailing at the Gulf of Oman.
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  24. #64
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    Lucas Tomlinson
    ‏Verified account @LucasFoxNews
    46m46 minutes ago

    Lucas Tomlinson Retweeted Romain Caillet

    Iraq’s highest-ranking Shia religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, calls on Iraqi government to remain neutral in any potential conflict between Iran and U.S.

    Lucas Tomlinson added,
    Romain Caillet
    Verified account @RomainCaillet
    #Irak : l'Ayatollah Sistani appelle le gouvernement irakien à rester neutre en cas de conflit opposant l'#Iran aux #USA https://twitter.com/AlArabiya_Brk/st...51784921260033
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  25. #65
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    Zach Basu
    ‏Verified account @zacharybasu
    35m35 minutes ago

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting with top intelligence and military brass that Israel would make every effort not to get dragged into the escalation in the Gulf, @BarakRavid reports.
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  26. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    how many had actually entered? To me, it looks like they stopped short of entering. ??


    IntelSky
    ��

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    2h2 hours ago

    The American Naval Group: USS Abraham Lincoln, the Leyte Gulf cruiser and destroyers Bainbridge, Mason and Nitze have stopped sailing at the Gulf of Oman.
    Below makes much more sense



    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    14m14 minutes ago

    doge Retweeted IntelSky
    ��



    Last update on the Carrier Strike Group location and the location of the ships it was with has the ship stopped in the Gulf of Oman region, the ship and it's escorts never entered into the Persian Gulf.


    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    13m13 minutes ago

    Nor would the ships need to enter the Persian Gulf to be effective in a combat scenario.



    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    11m11 minutes ago

    Perhaps OP is referring to USS Kearsarge
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  27. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    IntelSky
    📡

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    1m1 minute ago

    Update:
    Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 crown prince #MBS Mohammed Bin Salman's ✈ arrived at William P Hobby (HOU) at 01:10PM EEST from Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (CLE) after 2:22 en route
    so, MBS needed a quick stop with his doc at the Clinic??
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  28. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Below makes much more sense



    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    14m14 minutes ago

    doge Retweeted IntelSky
    ��



    Last update on the Carrier Strike Group location and the location of the ships it was with has the ship stopped in the Gulf of Oman region, the ship and it's escorts never entered into the Persian Gulf.


    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    13m13 minutes ago

    Nor would the ships need to enter the Persian Gulf to be effective in a combat scenario.



    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    11m11 minutes ago

    Perhaps OP is referring to USS Kearsarge
    Smart move why put the ship's at risk

  29. #69
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    Michelle Kosinski
    ‏Verified account @MichLKosinski
    3h3 hours ago

    So is the threat, now, somewhat diminished? State Dept: "We're now in a good position to defend ourselves." The message is sent that escalation is not in Iran's interest.

    ^^^ seriously? It means we got stuff moved into position and most people moved out of harms way


    Brett McGurk
    ‏Verified account @brett_mcgurk
    1h1 hour ago

    Until this morning, however, I am not aware of an "ordered departure" EVER being issued for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or Consulate in Erbil. Even when ISIS was bearing down on Baghdad in 2014, the U.S. did not trigger ordered departure in light of its serious repercussions.


    ^^^ I thought it had been before
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  30. #70
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    Joyce Karam
    ‏Verified account @Joyce_Karam
    28m28 minutes ago

    A BBC arabic report by @alihashem_tv said Pompeo handed Iraqis a USB of evidence of Iranian plans, and asked to pass message to Iran to come to table.

    Iraq PM in Turkey today. Iraq FM called UAE.
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  31. #71
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    Mikhail D.
    ‏ @Eire_QC
    1h1 hour ago

    #MIDDLE_EAST: Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79 are deployed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (CSG), currently deployed to the 5th fleet area of operations. Here's their mission. #Iran

    31 sec clip at link
    https://twitter.com/Eire_QC/status/1128782380213448704
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  32. #72
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    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    2m2 minutes ago

    doge Retweeted AFP news agency

    Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran claims the country is showing “maximum restraint” and that escalation from the United States is “unacceptable”

    doge added,
    AFP news agency
    Verified account @AFP
    #BREAKING Iran showing 'maximum restraint,' US escalation 'unacceptable': Zarif
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  33. #73
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    they usually don't amount to anything, but this one was interesting


    Numbers Stations
    ‏ @Spy_Stations
    11m11 minutes ago

    Skyking message:

    Skyking Do Not Answer
    Poison Time 34 Auth: PF

    Original
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  34. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Mikhail D.
    ‏ @Eire_QC
    1h1 hour ago

    #MIDDLE_EAST: Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79 are deployed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (CSG), currently deployed to the 5th fleet area of operations. Here's their mission. #Iran

    31 sec clip at link
    https://twitter.com/Eire_QC/status/1128782380213448704
    That unit does both surface warfare (i.e. anti-surface vessel) and anti-submarine warfare missions along with anything else a naval helo might be called upon to do.

  35. #75
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    That was pretty much a given possibility and should have been at the top of the list


    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    19m19 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: Riyadh accuses Tehran of ordering #Yemen rebel pipeline attack
    #Iran #Saudi

    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    19m19 minutes ago

    Via AFP
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  36. #76
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    AFP news agency
    ‏Verified account @AFP
    2m2 minutes ago

    #BREAKING EU fines five major banks 1 bn euros for currency collusion
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  37. #77
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    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    18m18 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: Britain has raised the threat level for UK forces and diplomats in Iraq because of what sources say is a heightened security risk from Iran. (Sky News)
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  38. #78
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    ELINT News
    ‏ @ELINTNews
    5m5 minutes ago

    #UPDATE: Contingency plans in case the UK decides it has to remove personnel from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Qatar have begun to be activated, though this is only at a very early stage and is currently precautionary in case the crisis escalates- Via @haynesdeborah


    ELINT News
    ‏ @ELINTNews
    4m4 minutes ago

    #UPDATE: Intel source reports UK believes there is an increased likelihood that Iran or its proxies take action against UK, US or other allied interests in region in a way that can be plausibly denied in order to avoid triggering an all-out war- via @haynesdeborah


    ELINT News
    ‏ @ELINTNews
    52s53 seconds ago

    #UPDATE: UK Foreign Office Iran unit is in "full crisis mode" because of what is seen as increased threat from Iran, as well as the US response with the movement of aircraft carrier strike group, B-52 bombers & a Patriot missile defence system to the Gulf- via @haynesdeborah
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  39. #79
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    David Alexander
    ‏Verified account @davidalexander5
    1h1 hour ago

    Hardliners target Iran's president as U.S. pressure grows


    May 16, 2019 / 1:19 AM / Updated an hour ago
    Hardliners target Iran's president as U.S. pressure grows
    Babak Dehghanpisheh

    7 Min Read

    GENEVA (Reuters) - Growing U.S. pressure on Iran has weakened pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani and made his hardline rivals more assertive at home and abroad, recent developments show.
    FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the ceremony of the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran April 18, 2019. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY - /File Photo

    When he succeeded firebrand leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2013, Rouhani was seen as an establishment figure who would do little to end Iran’s long standoff with the West. Two years later, his administration signed the nuclear deal with six world powers that spurred hopes for wider political change.

    Rouhani’s authority is now waning: his brother, a key adviser on the 2015 deal, has been sentenced to jail on unspecified corruption charges, a hardline rival heads the judiciary and his government is under fire for responding too softly to U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions squeeze.

    Trump has said lifting sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program did not stop Tehran meddling in neighboring states or developing ballistic missile capabilities and Rouhani’s outreach to the West was a fig leaf.

    Yet the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal a year ago and subsequent attempts to end Iran’s oil exports have led to a sharp increase in regional tension: the U.S. military said on Tuesday it was braced for “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces” from Iran-backed forces in neighboring Iraq.

    Rouhani has urged opposing factions to work together and noted limits on his power in a country where an elected government operates under clerical rule and alongside powerful security forces and an influential judiciary.

    “How much authority the government has in the areas that are being questioned must be examined,” the presidency’s website quoted Rouhani as saying on Saturday, an apparent attempt to fend off public anger at plummeting living standards.

    Ebrahim Raisi, who became head of the judiciary in March and is a contender to succeed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, retorted that all branches of government had sufficient authority to carry out their duties.

    Local media interpreted the statement as a direct rebuke from Raisi, who ran against Rouhani in the 2017 presidential election.

    On May 4, Rouhani’s brother Hossein Fereydoun was sentenced to prison. The judiciary has not given details of the charges against him and attempts by Reuters to seek comment were unsuccessful. The judiciary has said it has no political motivation for the cases it tries.
    “OFFENSIVENESS AND ARROGANCE”

    Rouhani has two years until his term ends, but if he is seen by Iranians as responsible for their problems, his successor is more likely to take a hard line with the West, some analysts say.

    “[Hardliners] couldn’t ask for a better ally than the Trump administration,” said Ali Vaez, director of the Iran project at the Crisis Group.

    When Rouhani announced last week that Iran would roll back some of its commitments under the international nuclear deal a year after Trump withdrew, the hardline daily Kayhan newspaper called the move “late and minimal”.

    “If Mr. Rouhani’s government had reacted reciprocally from the beginning to the broken promises of America and Europe, they (the Americans and Europeans) would not have reached this level of offensiveness and arrogance,” an article in the newspaper said on Thursday.

    Restrictions on social media, championed by hardline officials and clerics, are putting further political pressure on Rouhani, who promised in his 2017 and 2013 election campaigns to lift such curbs.

    Telegram, a messaging app popular in Iran, was banned last year. Twitter is also banned and hardliners have set their sights on Instagram, used by some 24 million Iranians.

    In his comments on Saturday, Rouhani said the government does not have full authority over the cyberspace, underlining the limits to his powers.

    He and other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have active Twitter accounts despite the ban.

    Last month, Instagram shut down several accounts under the names of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the country’s most powerful military and economic force, after Washington declared the Guards a foreign terrorist organization.

    Some lawmakers are now seeking a complete ban on Instagram, one of the few social media platforms yet to be blocked.

    Javad Javidnia, the deputy in charge of cyberspace affairs at the prosecutor general’s office in Tehran, said last month Instagram would be blocked unless the government found an effective way to monitor its content, Fars news agency said.
    FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks in Rovaniemi, Finland, May 6, 2019. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

    Telecoms Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi told Reuters in an interview last month that he used social media actively, including Twitter, and wanted fewer restrictions. But he said filtering usually takes place with a judicial decree.

    “Ayatollah Raisi has recently started his work in this area and we will have to see what his view will be,” he said.
    “FILL THE EMPTY SPOT”

    The Guards have used authorities response to heavy flooding in March to criticize the government and promote their effectiveness.

    A video of the head of the Guards’ ground forces lambasting the government after visiting a flood-stricken area in western Iran in early April was widely circulated on social media.

    “There are a lot of problems. There is no management. No government official has the courage to go there,” Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said in the video. “It’s horrible.”

    Hardline news sites posted pictures of members of the Guards helping remote villages, with their uniforms covered in mud.

    Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, a Rouhani ally who has tried to attract investment, has been accused by hardline politicians of giving away the nation’s wealth and criticized for not doing more to bypass sanctions.

    The Guards have developed expertise in bypassing sanctions through years of experience and are now eyeing opportunities arising from the new U.S. economic restrictions.

    Khatam al Anbia, the Guards’ huge engineering and construction arm controls over 800 affiliated companies worth billions of dollars. Its head, Saeed Mohammad, said at an oil and gas exhibition in Tehran on May 2 that the firm has the ability to develop a phase of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

    “Our goal is to fill the empty spot left by foreign companies,” he said.

    Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva; additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharefedin in London and the Dubai newsroom; editing by Philippa Fletcher

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...-idUSKCN1SM0HL
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  40. #80
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    The ship "leaving the Gulf" was probably the Kearsarge, as she's a pocket carrier.

    She likely took a 2 day troll through the area.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

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