17:22 GMT +319 February 2017
    Members of Iraq's elite counter-terrorism service stand on December 27, 2015 in the Hoz neighbourhood in central Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, about 110 kilometers west of Baghdad, during military operations conducted by Iraqi pro-government forces against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group

    Decisive Rebuff? Iraq Sends Military Forces to Border With Saudi Arabia

    Middle East
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    Saudi Arabia started large-scale military exercises close to the Iraqi border. The military training known under name "Northern Thunder" involves ground and air forces from Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and several other Arab and Islamic countries.

    Iraq has deployed "large" military forces at the border with Saudi Arabia to oversee the ongoing military training conducted by the kingdom, member of the parliamentary security and defense committee Adnan al-Asadi told the Iraqi news agency INA.

    The large-scale military exercises started on Tuesday, with the participation of ground forces from Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and several other Arab states, the members of the Riyadh's antiterrorist coalition.

    The exercise is expected to last 18 days and involves about 150 thousand soldiers.

    "Large military forces have been sent to observe the maneuvers at the Iraqi-Saudi border in coordination with the security authorities," al-Asadi stated.

    The official noted that a possible violation of Iraq's airspace will be regarded as a violation of the stated sovereignty and perpetrators will be held responsible.

    According to another Iraqi politician Iskander Vitvit, Iraqi authorities should abandon diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and strengthen cooperation with Russia.

    "These maneuvers are a part of the plan on Iraq's division, supported by Saudi Arabia and the United States, in coordination with Turkey. But they are well aware that Iraq is no longer the same as before and that it is ready to fight back," the politician said.


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    • avatar
      Of Course Iraq is not the same anymore and it will neve be
      Right now for the Iraqi Army is to move on in a step by step stategy get more weapons by
      Russia e.g Mobile Air Defense Systems and set them up towards Turkey and Bordering Saudi
      Arabia and in a worst-case scenario call the Iranian Forces to support the East-Flank / South Flank !
    • avatar
      Lol. The leaders of Saudi Arabia are cutting their own heads off. How hard would you fight as a Saudi for these butchers if you had to, not hard at ill I'm betting, you'd likely be more then willing to lose so change would come.
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      They'll fight back and they'll win!
    • avatar
      If these KSA coalition forces come across the Iraqi border, Russia just may decide to oblige Iraqi and provide some air support. This area is wide open desert, without any cover, ideal conditions for annihilation from above. While KSA and its dupes do have an air force, it is second rate.
    • avatar
      Interesting that Iraq would line up to oppose the the forces deployed for "Northern Thunder". This might throw a money wrench into any plans to use the Saudi forces to invade Syria, unless Iraq intended to join such an incursion?
    • avatar
      The official noted that a possible violation of Iraq's airspace will be regarded as a violation of the stated sovereignty and perpetrators will be held responsible.

    • avatar
      michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, yes there should be sign on the border: trespassers will be persecuted, survivors shot. It works in australia...:) but not against kangaroos...hmmm
    • avatar
      vendorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, these Iraqis make me laugh.
    • avatar
      Well, if nothing else at least these exercises will keep the Iranians and Iraqis planning together. The Iranians need to know just how much and what kind of Iraqi help to expect for when they have to get a few divisions to stop the KSA/Turks from carving out the sunnistan wedge state.
    • avatar
      I am still of the opinion that Raqqa should be attacked this week and with a major military might not so much because of ISIS and to make them run but to shut up every other player that may be thinking of getting their boots in.
    • avatar
      wendigoin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, exactly so. Do unto others first. Get as much ground as possible before either an adversarial invasion or a ceasefire, whichever comes first.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, yes, I'm with you there - keep the initiative!
    • Alabama Mothman
      The saudi and turkish army rolling in open terrain against the russian military.

      Good luck with that ...
    • Ann in reply togoaismine(Show commentHide comment)
      goaismine, I think all of those middle eastern countries are getting sick of being invaded at will by other countries - I hope Russia helps arm every one of them, so they can fight back on their own behalf.
    • Ann in reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, Iraqis are trying to crawl back from over a decade of constant western devastation, trying to walk upright like human beings again -- Why is that funny to you?
    • Ivan Buckeyein reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, That's a good question.
    • Ivan Buckeyein reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, true, and just what Russia has been doing in Syria shows other Arab countries that Russia can be trusted and if need be, Russia will assist. Sets better example of integrity.
    • avatar
      vendorin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, they are not because their government is US dominated and they do what the USA wants them to do.
    • Ann in reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, And because they are an occupied state, you think it's funny that they want to be free again? Or is it that you feel they no longer have a right to even try to act like free men again? Iraqis will be free again. It's only a matter of time. They can't keep them down forever....even prison inmates rebel and try to escape.
    • avatar
      vendorin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, I think it is hilarious that they claim the right to protect their sovereign state when they are ruled by others. Yeah, it can not be anything but funny. They are a gimp state no different to many other gimp states, and if that bothers you perhaps you should go over there and fight for the Iraqi freedom instead of cheering from your comfortable armchair. My comfortable armchair is where I want to be as I do not ever intend to cheer for any Arab country including Syria. Why am I on the Syrian side? Well, because I do not want to lean towards the other side and because I like seeing the other side pissed off by inability to have it their way. I could not care less about Iraq, Iran, KSA, or Syria as I never intend to go/live over there, never intend to have any Arab friends, or Israeli does not matter who it is from that region of the world. It is just not my world and I do not like to pretend that we are compatible. We are not. Iraq is going to be ruled by someone always. It is who they are. They weren't free before the American invasion, they are not free now so please if you are trying to be politically correct then get your facts straight :) These people have learned how to be submissive under someone's domination. They are submissive. If it is not the Americans then it is one of their own dictators or sultans or whatever you want to call it.

      You may disapprove but you can not disprove what I just said, your choice, and it does not bother me for a second nor I care. I know I would like to see the Americans lose this war not because I so like the Syrians but because I can not stand the American international and domestic politics. And why in hell would I like any of them when I am sure they do not like me or any of my Aussie people. I see them here, Turks, Lebos, Arabs of all sorts, they do not belong here let's not be cute about it and not because I say so. They will never integrate into this society and I do not support multiculturalism as it is a rotten idea that cannot work even though here it is still functioning, but for how long. In private discussions, I know what people think as it is being discussed from time to time, so - let's support the Iraqis as they will be free again - well, they won't, sorry to tell you that, mate.
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