Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers "Complete Support" To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago, before it was formalized that the US tacitly, if not explicitly, now supports the removal of the Iraqi Prime Minister whom it itself had helped elect, we summarized the geopolitical tensions and "national interests" in Iraq, which is shaping up to be a proxy war that makes last year's Syrian escapade pale by comparison, as follows:

The situation in Iraq, already a jumble of domestic sectarian violence, is now pitting virtually all major (and regional) international players against each other as well. There is:

  • US which tacitly supports Iran intervention in the region, but may have suddenly cooled in its support of Maliki despite sending naval and troop forces in the country after partially evacuating its embassy
  • Saudi Arabia which wants to remain friendly with the US but is antagonistic to the Iraq regime, is potentially aiding the ISIS forces, and clearly refuses to allow Iran entrance in Iraq
  • Iran, which has suddenly become America's best friend in the region, which is willing to enter Iraq and protect its holy sites
  • Syria, whose president is sitting back amused at last year's failed campaign by the US to remove him from power, and whose army is at a stalemate with the local US-armed and funded rebels
  • Qatar, which is supporting the Syrian rebels, but so far has not made its stance clear on Iraq. Like Saudi, it too may be indirectly backing ISIS
  • Jordan, which is a close friend the US, and which may have hosted ISIS in a secret base on its territory with the US instructing the jihadist group according to an unconfirmed report
  • Turkey, which is on constant alert to Kurdish escalation across the border, the same Kurds which now have far more leverage courtesy of ISIS crushing the Iraq army in the north and handing over Kurds access to oil fields in the north.
  • And of course Russia: because while Putin clearly benefits from rising crude prices, it is his Lukoil that is developing (and investing vast amounts of money in) the vast Iraqi West Qurna-2 oil field. It is not clear how he would feel about it falling into ISIS hands.

It was the bolded text that was of biggest interest because as we noted the next day, when discussing the next steps for ISIS, we said that "One wonders how long until the mercenary force finds its latest major backer, because for all the western, US-led intervention, both Russia and China are oddly missing from the scene. We expect that to change soon."

Because clearly one can't have a global proxy war without China, and certainly without Russia.

Well, we said we expected Russia's conspicuous absence to "change soon", and so it did: within just 24 hours. Because apparently all Putin was waiting for was for Obama to pick sides (i.e., not Maliki) before the Russian leader made it clear whom he sides with. US, helpfully obliged yesterday morning when we also reported that "US Slams Its Former Iraq Puppet: "The Maliki Government, Candidly, Has Got To Go"."

So what does Putin - who as a reminder is heavily invested in Iraq' massive West Qurna-2 oil field via Lukoil - do? Why announce his undying support for Maliki, of course, and as AP reported, the former KGB spy offered Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki Russia's total backing for the fight against fighters who have swept across the country, as well as his full support for the embattled prime minister.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, expressing Moscow’s support for his action against the militant offensive.


The Kremlin said in a statement that al-Maliki informed Putin on Friday about his government’s steps to combat the “terrorist groups in the north of the country.” It added that the insurgency threatens security of the entire region.


Putin confirmed Russia’s “full support for the Iraqi government’s action to quickly free the territory of the republic from terrorists,” the Kremlin said, adding that Putin and al-Maliki also discussed bilateral cooperation.


Putin’s expression of support for the embattled Iraqi prime minister comes as al-Maliki’s rivals have mounted a campaign to force him out of office, with some angling for support from Western backers and regional heavyweights.

And just like in Syria from 2012 to 2013, the chessboard is once again set, with a regional middle-east conflict, this time in Iraq, merely serving as the proxy staging ground in which the Iraqi PM, once an obedient US puppet but now an enemy of Saudi Arabia and thus the US, "simply has to go" in the words of Dianne Feinstein, has suddenly become the fulcrum issue behind yet another soon to escalate conflict between Russia and the US.

One thing is certain: the more the US (and Saudi Arabia, and Qatar) pushes for Maliki's ouster, the more involved Russia will become with its offers of support and bilateral cooperation. And if the Syrian fiasco (for John Kerry) is any indication, Russia is about to expand its "national interest" sphere of influence by one more country.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
StacksOnStacks's picture

I don't see how this is good for Putin and Russia?  Becoming friends with a slap-dick?  I understand that slap to the face that Putin is delivering to the U.S. but this just seems more of something Obama would do.

Newsboy's picture

You prefer Putin or Obama in your corner?

Flakmeister's picture

I'd take the US in a heartbeat...

When Russia is actually capable of projecting power outside of the former USSR then I will take notice...

COSMOS's picture

Syria not good enough for you.  How about the Arctic.  How about Europe, why are USA fighter jets flying all over the skies of the Europoops. How bout those Russian bombers fifty miles from USA coastline.  Keep your flakjacket on and dont get too comfortable lol.

Flakmeister's picture

Clearly you have a very poor understanding of "project power"...

Jack Napier's picture

Military might is last century's power horse. This time it's all about resources and economics. Putin can crush the US without getting off his futon, since we've put ourselves in such a precarious position. Of course he won't do so, because he is simply an actor just like the rest. The transition of power from West to East needs to happen incrementally so people can get used to the idea. Heaven forbid anyone gets jolted out of their complacency.

ZerOhead's picture

"A study by the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker III Institute at Rice University claimed that Iraq has 220 bbl of undiscovered oil; and another study by the Center for Global Energy Studies and Petrolog & Associates offered an even more optimistic estimate of 300 bbl—a number that would give Iraq reserves greater even than those of Saudi Arabia. In a Guardian interview before the war, Taha Hmud Moussa, Saddam's deputy oil minister, said that all of Iraq's oil reserves "will exceed 300bbl when all Iraq's regions are explored

If true, this would mean that Iraq has roughly a quarter of all of the world's oil."


And that ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, is what everything that now follows is all about.


McMolotov's picture

No way! It's about freedumb and stuff.

SimplePrinciple's picture

It's also about gas pipelines to Europe through Syria.  Do NOT forget the pipelines.

Old Earth Chaos's picture

Anyone else see this turning into a Cold War II repeat of Cold War I's Afghanistan?

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

The Cold War was about two large powers jockeying for power. This is a cluster-fuck brought on by the decline of the USSA and the power vacuum it creates. Cluster-fucks end in World Wars I think.

zerozulu's picture

America needs to change her mindset. Now, there are two other super powers in town.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"I will fundamentally transform America"

Sounds like a mindset change to me. How is that working out?

svayambhu108's picture

Saudi killed Russia once with 10$ a barrel tried twice with Ukraine...

BOPOH's picture

Me think it is time for US army forces to pick a side: are their with the people or with Wshington DC?

Not Too Important's picture

Obama flushed the ranks of anyone that made the 'wrong' choice. What every dictator in history has ever done.

There is no help coming from the military.

hobopants's picture

The problem is people are still thinking in nationalistic terms.

This isn't team sports. Team USA, Team Russia, Team China... fucking irrelevant. You have a failing nuclear super power and two rising nuclear powers, that is all you need to know. This ends very badly for everyone.

Oh, and the Global elite are not holding hands and ushering in collapse in order to rule, they aren't the kind of people who share power.

These are different factions of one percenters who are fighting for power against each other and using nations as chess pieces.

These are the kind of people who would rather see the world burn than lose. World War Three is coming to town.

Not Too Important's picture

Everyone loses. That's why it's such a bad game.

Manthong's picture


Y’know when you are stopped near the checkpoint and stuff starts blowing up all around you?

I hate when that happens .

F.U. Noodleman.


Manthong's picture

I am starting to get pissed.

You do not want to see me pissed.

Hallow To Our Men's picture



"what game shall we play today ?"


Look around you my people
If you look then you will see
How to love
Life is paradise
All together
What game shall we play today ?

Man just wants to be happy
Cast off things that shouldn't be
Set him free
Life is paradise
All together
What game shall we play today ?

There's a way you can find it
It's within you, can't you see
Find the truth - it's not impossible
All together
What game shall we play today ?

Here we are all together
Free to have and do and be
What we see - for the first time
All together
What game shall we play today ?"

Hallow To Our Men's picture



"have you got enough time ?"


"What's gonna happen when the sky goes black?
What will you do when the sea comes back?
What if there's no way you're moving back?
What when your face falls apart?

Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?

You're drifting out like a child who's lost
Who's looking for a better way
You're moving like a coin in the air
What when your face falls apart?

Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?

You're maybe looking for a sign of life
You hope it's gonna save your life
What will you do to restore your sight?
What when your face falls apart?

Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?

Morse Code :

... --- ... .-.-.- /  - .... .. ... /  .. ... /  .--. .-.. .- -. . - /  . .- .-. - .... .-.-.- /  .-- . /  .- .-. . /  ..-. ..- -.-. -.- . -.. .-.-.- /  .--. .-.. . .- ... . /  .- -.. ...- .. ... . .-.-.-

('SOS. This is planet Earth. We are fucked. Please advise'.)

Have you got enough time?
Have you got enough time?

(repeat x times)"

MeBizarro's picture

Not really.  European had a bunch of national wars between vested parties between 1815 (Congress of Vienna) and the start of WWI in 1914 but no large-continental wide conflicts except the Crimean War.  

McMolotov's picture

Better hope to Allah there aren't any desert tortoises in the path of those pipelines. That could ruin the whole plan.

Not Too Important's picture

Or the endangered camel spotted owl.

tonyw's picture

meanwhile back in ukraine the army continues to shell towns

footage of ATO artillery at work on Slavyansk. Filming of this is banned by the Ukrainian Military. No journalists are allowed on site. Occurred 20th June.

thecoloredsky's picture

Actually this one was posted June 17th. Same video.

pods's picture

If people eat EACH OTHER over there I am pretty sure the camels have eaten the fuck outta the turtles.



BurningFuld's picture

This is too funny. Putin must be a Republican....or he is getting paid by them.

Manthong's picture

I think Vlad’s auntie was related to Reagan.

john39's picture

another piece of the puzzle just falls into place.  israel takes first shipment of crude from Iraqi Kurdistan:

now, remind me... who was again that probably benefits from a fragmented Iraq?

ZerOhead's picture



That ship was stranded and going nowhere. Even Glencore wouldn't touch it because of all the sanctions in play. Of course the Israelis have trained the Kurd defence forces and probably gave them advanced intelligence about ISIS to allow them to quickly take Kirkuk.

As the readers may know the Kurds tried to pull a fast one on the Iraqi government by attempting to sell their crude directly rather than through the Iraq oil ministry.

Also remember that 2 days after that attempt failed the ISIS attack on Iraq started.

john39's picture

its all coming out in the open now.  strap in, could get rough.

ZerOhead's picture

You can lead the sheeple to water but you can't make them think...

sushi's picture

ISIS occupation of Northern Iraq also gives Israel a clear undefended flight path to targets in Iran.

Given that it was the Sunni officers that ran away and resulted in the fall of Mosul and that the intent is now to reward those same Sunni's with increased control of Iraq this is beginning to sound as simple as the fall of the towers on 9/11. Probably same folks running both shows.

john39's picture

more on this, Rothschild just invested in Kurdish oil fields:

what can you say about the Rothschilds, they are what they are. why humanity tolerates this can be a mystery.

Not Too Important's picture

'Hayward and Rothschild complete $2 billion Iraqi Kurdistan deal, shares fall'

Champagne and Crude in Kurdistan Iraq


Paveway IV's picture

U.S. oil companies knew about the 'undiscovered' oil in northern Iraq since before the invasion. They seemed to do unusually poorly in all the bidding for south Iraqi leases after the war. How is that possible? Exxon Mobil is actually bailing out of South Iraq's giant Quarna field in favor of North Ira... ur, Kurdistan, where they get much better (profitable) deals. They did this on the sly over the last decade by setting up little oil explorers in the North so as not to attract attention. Now they're buying them up as fast as possible. Total and BP have been dog-piling in as well. Hell, even the state-owned Turkish Energy Company has been making deals.

Russia and China will be happy to take the leftovers in the south, but they won't be happy about being left out of the raping of Iraq scheme. In the mean time, Israel will soon be awash in cheap oil and gas.

Guess the conspiracy nutters were right all along! 

Raging Debate's picture

John39 - Consider this. Henry Ford one of the most revered industrialist and bright man on earth told the American people if they ever knew how the banking system works there would be a revolution tomorrow. But did they listen? NO!!!

People will wise up eventually, create a better model but not before a lot of pain. Learning via pain is (unfortunately) the biggest catalyst of evolution. It is as simple as that. But ask yourself where are the Pharoah's today? Absolute brilliant civilization but they succumbed to the same fallacies as this group will. It is inevitable even attempting to game it out with supercomputers a few moves in advance. None can escape the process of evolution, fighting it only delays it, Soros had that right in Reflexivity theory. The good news is we are evolving.

A82EBA's picture

even today 90% of US doesn't understand our monetary system and will never be convinced hyperinflation (which is the only thing they'll see) was caused by the banking industry.