U.S. evacuates Iraq embassy as bombs, fighting rock Iraq

BAGHDAD – Islamic militant insurgents captured the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar early Monday, its mayor and residents said, striking another blow to the nation’s Shiite-led government a week after it lost a vast swath of territory in the country’s north.

The town has a population of roughly 200,000 people, mostly ethnic Shiite and Sunni Turkomen, and was taken just before dawn, Mayor Abdulal Abdoul told the Associated Press.

A Tal Afar resident reached by phone confirmed the town’s fall and said militants in pickup trucks mounted with machineguns and flying black jihadi banners were roaming the streets as gunfire rang out.

The United States said Sunday it was evacuating some staff from its embassy and beefing up security as deadly explosions rocked the Iraqi capital and militants released graphic images appearing to show its fighters massacring captured Iraqi soldiers.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that an undisclosed number of staffers will be moved to Amman, Jordan, or U.S. consulates elsewhere in Iraq not immediately threatened by the insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

13 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • I Seigel says:

    Who was that idiot president that signed the Withdrawal of Forces Agreement because Iraq wouldn’t give our armed forces blanket immunity? Oh, it was in 2008. That was, um…. oh yeah, George W Bush.

    No WMD. No financing the war from Iraq oil. No seeds of democracy. Remind me again why we were there? Remind me again why we should care that Sunnis and Shiities are killing each other? Sounds like a good idea to me.

    1. rickouellette says:

      You have it partly correct . The SOFA signed by Bush in 2008, as with all agreements, left negotiating room so that the hands of a future president would not be tied due to changes in the situation at time of projected withdrawal. Obama did not press Maliki hard enough and did not offer enough residual force to make it acceptable to Maliki. For us to stay there, Maliki would have had to go against his voting bloc who wanted us out. According to three senators who went to Iraq and talked to Maliki the deal (residual force and blanket Immunity ) died because Obama only offered 3,000 troops as a residual force when the military commanders were recommending 20,000. (Senators Graham,McCain and Liebermann) . According to Graham a more solid number would have produced different results. ISIS just located those non-existent WMDs that Saddam did not have!!! . Maybe it was hair spray disguised as sarin gas !! We went there to get rid of Saddam and with view to creating a democracy in Iraq. We got rid of Saddam but failed to create a democracy. Hindsight however is always 20/20. Good Luck America !!!

      1. I Seigel says:

        You, also, have it partly correct. When the Obama administration started discussing a residual force, the military originally wanted 24,000 troops, which was unacceptable to Obama, who won an election promising withdrawal. So lesser numbers were formulated by the Pentagon, and the number that everyone settled on was 10,000 troops. THAT was the number that Obama presented to Maliki. But Maliki couldn’t get his Parliament to approve that number, or the promise of blanket immunity, which was the dealbreaker. And it was felt that Congress wouldn’t have approved funding troop levels at even that high a number without a huge budget fight, so an even smaller number, 5000, was later presented to Maliki. But at that point Maliki said he couldn’t make the deal with his Parliament. When it was agreed that there would be a total pullout, neither the American side nor the Iraqi side was too unhappy.

        1. rickouellette says:

          I have heard 3,000 but i accept your number of 5,000 which is miniscule as a force. Civilians send troops into a country to fight and they depend on military commanders to lead them. Once the war is won, they totally disregard the recommendations of military commanders who know best what the security situation is in the country and arm chair quarterbacks in Washington, D.C. then decide that we should pull out totally with total disregard for the lives lost and money spent to achieve a win. This happened In Korea and Vietnam and we have not learned anything from past mistakes. I recognize that Americans wanted us to come home as well If we cannot allow our troops to finish the job we should stay home to begin with. Good Luck America !!!

  • rivahmitch says:

    I’d prefer they leave the Obama-connected State Department droids there and get the American troops out. No excuse for leaving more American troops behind to defend an empty and worthless (though expensive) building. We won’t be needing a presence in Iraq once Obama’s muslim brothers take over. OTOH, the embassy might make a good and precise targeting point for a nuke once the muzzies own it.

  • Art Hock says:

    Gee! Last week Obummer said the world is safer than it has been for 10 years. And Hitlery said that her and Obama has raised the stature of America higher than it has been for many years. She does not see that destroying our embassies has a negative effect on our world standing or abandoning our friends in time of need.

    1. Bobnstuff says:

      Where in this article does it say that our embassy was destroyed. We withdrew our troops because the government of Iraq wanted it that way. And yes the rest of the world respects us for it. We shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Our friends asked us to leave. They have for help and we really have no place in this.

  • savage24 says:

    My first question is, who decided to build a Billiom Dollar embassy in Baghdad in the fist place?

    1. I Seigel says:

      It’s the largest embassy in the world, staffed by 5000 people.

    2. rickouellette says:

      We have embassies in most countries and they are designed to help keep the peace through diplomatic means. It does not always work as we are now witnessing. Good Luck America !!!

  • Joan Neighbors says:

    The military and contractors should leave immediately — AND NEVER RETURN! If our presence is required via drones, blast them out of existence. Let the Iraqi’s deal with the rabid terrorist animals.

  • Uncle Pat says:

    The simple solution: If asked by the Iraq government for help, a couple of F-22’s could rock and roll and sent the little pickup trucks with black flags back too whence they came.

    1. rickouellette says:

      The problem is the three factions in Iraq-kurds,Sunni and Shite. What if we bomb what we perceive to be ISIS but kill a large number of Sunni or civilians or both sunni and shite ? The Kurds are supposedly friendly to America . Apparently Maliki has purged the government of sunni so if we align with him are we then aligning with the shite against the other two factions? It is complicated at this point because we did not act fast enough. If we had been ready for air strikes when ISIS first left Syria we could have caught them out in the open before they reached the first town/city. Once they capture a town/city we cannot strike without extensive collateral damage which is a risky proposition. We cannot afford to be in the middle of a civil war but the administration must know something that we are not privy to otherwise they would have closed down the embassy and brought our people home. Let us hope they made the right call. Good Luck America !!!

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