Iraq May Seek "Direct Military Intervention From Russia" To Expel Turkish Troops

Tyler Durden's picture

Turkey just can’t seem to help itself when it comes to escalations in the Mid-East. 

First, Erdogan intentionally reignited the conflict between Ankara and the PKK in an effort to scare the public into nullifying a democratic election outcome. Then, the Turks shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Finally, in what very well might be an effort to protect Islamic State oil smuggling routes, Erdogan sent 150 troops and two dozen tanks to Bashiqa, just northeast of Mosul in a move that has infuriated Baghdad. 

We discussed the troop deployment at length on Saturday in “Did Turkey Just Invade Iraq To Protect Erdogan's ISIS Oil Smuggling Routes?,” and you’re encouraged to review the analysis in its entirety, but here was our conclusion:

The backlash underscores the fact that Iraq does not want help from NATO when it comes to fighting ISIS. Iraqis generally believe the US is in bed with Islamic State and you can bet that Russia and Iran will be keen on advising Baghdad to be exceptionally assertive when it comes to expelling a highly suspicious Turkish presence near Najma. 

You’re reminded that Iran wields considerable influence both politically and militarily in Iraq. The Iraqi military has proven largely ineffective at defending the country against the ISIS advance and so, the Quds-backed Shiite militias including the Badr Organisation, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah have stepped in to fill the void (see our full account here).

Of course that means that the Ayatollah looms large in Iraq and when it comes to loyalty, both the militias and a number of Iraqi lawmakers pledge allegiance to Tehran and more specifically to Qassem Soleimani. The point is this: Iran is not going to stand idly by and let America and Turkey put more boots on the ground in Iraq which is why just hours after Ash Carter announced that The Pentagon is set to send in more US SpecOps, Kataib Hezbollah threatened to hunt them down and kill them. Not coincidentally, PM Haider al-Abadi rejected a larger US troop presence just moments later. 

Now, Abadi has given Turkey 48 hours to get its troops out of Iraq or else.

Or else what?, you might ask. Well, or else Baghdad will appeal to the UN Security Council where Russia and China would likely support the Iraqi cause.

But that’s a little too meek of a solution for some Iraqi politicians including Hakim al-Zamili, the head of Iraq's parliamentary committee on security and defense who said on Sunday that Iraq “may soon ask Russia for direct military intervention in response to the Turkish invasion and the violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

"Iraq has the ability to repel these forces and drive them out of Iraqi territory. We could also request Russia to intervene militarily in Iraq in response to Turkish violation of Iraqi sovereignty," he told Al-Araby al-Jadeed. 

Well guess what? Hakim al-Zamili is a somebody.

He was arrested in 2007 by Iraqi and American troops while holding a high ranking office in the Health Ministry. Zamili was charged with sending millions of dollars to Shiite militants who subsequently kidnapped and killed Iraqi civilians. Sunni civilians. More specifically, the US suspected Zamili “of using his position to run a rogue unit of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia that claims loyalty to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr,” The New York Times reported at the time, adding that he was accused of “flooding the Health Ministry's payroll with militants, embezzling American money meant to pay for Iraq's overworked medical system and using Health Ministry 'facilities and services for sectarian kidnapping and murder.''

Here’s an interesting account from NPR ca. 2010, after parliamentary elections: 

At Friday prayers yesterday in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, one man in a gray suit seemed to attract as much attention as the preachers speaking over the P.A.


After a sermon that praised both armed and political resistance to the occupation of Iraq, many from the crowd of thousands rushed up to the front to congratulate Hakim al-Zamili, who appears to have won a resounding mandate as a member of parliament from Baghdad.


Though a celebrity here in Sadr City, many Iraqis call him a war criminal. Zamili was the deputy health minister during the ramp-up to Iraq's civil war, and he's accused of turning the ministry's guards into a Shia death squad, kidnapping and killing hundreds of Sunnis. Another ministry official who denounced Zamili disappeared and is presumed dead.


After being arrested and held over a year by the Americans, an Iraqi court acquitted Zamili after a brief trial.


“If I were really involved in those crimes, the courts would have convicted me,” Zamili said. 


Anyway, the point is that as we’ve been saying for months, Shiite politicians along with Iran-backed militias now control Iraq, which has essentially been reduced to a colony of Tehran.

There will be no unilateral decisions on the part of the US or Turkey to place troops in the country without pushback from Baghdad and everyone involved knows that when Baghdad pushes back, it means Iran disapproves.

As Zamili’s warning makes clear, Iraq (and thereby Iran) won’t be shy about calling in the big guns from Moscow when they feel the situation demands it - and the militas won't be shy about targeting the "invaders."

"Turkish interests in Iraq will now be a legitimate target because of Turkey's assault on Iraqi territories," Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, one of the Shia militias of the Popular Mobilisation said in a statement. Similarly, Harakat al-Nujaba called Turkey "a terrorist state." You're reminded that these groups have a reputation for fearing no one other that Khamenei himself. Not the US, not Turkey, not ISIS, no one:

We close with what Zamili said after the establishment of the Baghdad-based joint intelligence cell comprising officials from Iran, Russia, Syria, and Iraq: 

“The idea is to formalize the relationship with Iran, Russia and Syria. We wanted a full-blown military alliance.”

*  *  *

Bonus color from ISW:

The recent deployment into northern Iraq differs from past deployments in three ways. First, Turkey does not appear to have undertaken the action in order to contain the PKK directly, as there is no significant PKK activity in or around Bashiqa. The base is also located too far from other priority territory for the PKK, including Sinjar west of Mosul, to be used as an effective staging point for future operations against the PKK. Second, the Turkish battalion, deployed to an area within the Disputed Internal Boundaries (DIBs) – areas that have substantial Kurdish populations but remain outside of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey likely intends to support Barzani and the KDP in securing control over the DIBs while also positioning its own forces to better influence what forces participate in the future operation to recapture Mosul, formerly an ethnically diverse city including Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. Third, the Turkish deployment came only four days after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that additional U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) would deploy to Iraq to conduct raids and intelligence-gathering in Iraq and Syria, an announcement that generated denunciations from the Shi’a political parties and threats of no-confidence votes against the Prime Minister, forcing PM Abadi to reject publicly the presence of foreign ground troops in Iraq. The Turkish troops thus deployed at a particularly sensitive time. 

Turkey also maintains close connections with key players in northern Iraq. Turkey has cooperated with Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani since 2013, particularly over crude oil exports through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. Barzani and Turkey share a mutual distrust of the PKK, and the KDP currently competes with the PKK for control over Sinjar district. Turkey also possesses close relations with former Ninewa Province governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who maintains a camp of former local police and Arab fighters in Bashiqa called the “National Mobilization.” Turkish support was essential for Atheel al-Nujaifi’s elevation to the Ninewa governorship in 2009. Finally, Turkey has close relations Osama al-Nujaifi, Atheel’s brother and the leader of the Sunni Etihad bloc in the Council of Representatives (CoR). Turkey will likely leverage these connections in order to secure greater control over what armed and political actors participate in operations to recapture Mosul. In particular, Turkey will likely support the Nujaifis over Sunni Arabs with whom Turkey has not cultivated relations.

Turkey’s deployment of troops sparked strong rejection from the full spectrum of Iraqi political actors. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Iraqi President Fuad Masoum strongly condemned the deployment as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and demanded that Turkey conduct an immediate withdrawal. All major Shi’a parties denounced the deployment as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty, with a leading Sadrist official calling for Iraqi airstrikes on the Turkish force if it did not depart the country. Another pro-Maliki CoR member suggesting that “a Russian force” could intervene to expel the Turkish battalion.

The U.S. will not likely press Turkey on the issue, as anonymous U.S. defense sources merely indicated that the U.S. was "aware" of Turkey’s intentions. Iranian proxy militias, however, could challenge Turkey elsewhere in the country. Iran likely ordered Iranian proxy militias to kidnap 18 Turkish construction workers on September 2 in order to pressure Turkey into ordering Turkish-backed rebels to cooperate with a ceasefire around the besieged Shi’a majority towns of Fu’ah and Kifriya in northern Syria. The kidnappings provided sufficient leverage against Turkey and the kidnapped workers were released after Syrian rebels enacted a local ceasefire. Iran could pursue similar actions against Turkish assets in Baghdad or in southern Iraq.

This situation may escalate further if Iran views the deployment as threatening its vital strategic objectives in Iraq or Syria. Iran rejects any foreign forces other than their own on Iraqi soil and backs the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Barzani’s rival in Iraqi Kurdish politics trying to contest his control over the Kurdistan regional presidency. Iranian proxies also recently sparred violently with the Peshmerga in Tuz Khurmato in eastern Salah al-Din proxies on November 12.

Shi’a parties will use the episode to pressure PM Abadi to strongly reject foreign intervention, particularly if reports that Turkey and Barzani signed an agreement to establish a permanent Turkish base in Bashiqa are correct. These calls could complicate U.S. plans to additional Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Iraq to as a “specialized expeditionary targeting force” that will conduct raids and intelligence-gathering in Iraq and Syria.

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PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Dec 6, 2015 5:26 PM

Doesn't the US have a duty to protect the borders of Iraq or some shit like that?  Seems they suddenly remembered an old agreement when it came to Ukraine.  Strange that they have amnesia about an ongoing concern like Iraq.

Dumb ass Neo Cons, lol.  How can they finally be driven out of power?

Demdere's picture

By pounding the 9/11 drum.  That will result in dozens and dozens of them being hung, if it is ever investigated as it shuld have been.

9/11 was a False Flag operation by the Israeli-Neocons in the US Government

svayambhu108's picture

The problem with 911 is that they did it so big and monumental and they set the treshold where people will get too scared again too high. Only nukes on US soil might trigger a shock bigget and even that is not certain. They fucked up, they overreached.

NidStyles's picture

Russia should sign a contract for security with them and charge for it. 


This is how business should be done with these fuckers from now on. Oh you little Semitic fuckers want free protection, too bad, we want your oil. Let's see what you have to offer. 


Freedom isn't free, so you should start paying us for our lives being lost in your stupid wars. 

SMG's picture

The US is on the devil's side on all of this. All this is only going to eventually lead to a Satanic WWIII on the coming years if nothing changes


the phantom's picture

So Turkey pot shots a Russian bomber that alleged violated its airspace for 17 seconds, and the US backs the right to "defend its borders"... but when the turks send troops/tanks into Iraq and violate those borders for who knows how long... it's ok?


messystateofaffairs's picture

US hypocrisy has become so prevalent it is impossible to put a spin on it anymore. Not only is the emperor naked, he's walking around with shit hanging out of his ass. Embarrassing does not even begin to describe the US.

Occident Mortal's picture

A couple of Russian cruise missiles from the Caspian hitting targets inside Iraq under approval of the Iraqi government would be perfectly justified here.

See if Erdogan rushes out to cry foul when his invasion force is incinerated 100km inside Iraq.

Oh, you had military personnel in our territory? It seems they wandered into our live exercise and were duly killed. How unfortunate, we will deliver you their smouldering boots.

847328_3527's picture

The Russian news media can have a field day with this. For example:


"Erdogan, The Butcher from Turkey invades Iraq."

Bunghole's picture

The war drumming is in full force by the media.

The number of military and armed forces recruiting ads, the increase in the Hitler/Nazi "documentaries", the NFL and it's insistence on aligning with the neocons.

It's disgusting

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

What, the Iraqis are on the hunt for yet another foreign army to fight their wars for them? What a bunch of Shiite sissies. Wassa' matta', your Muslim buddy Obama bail on you boys?

jeff montanye's picture

they fought a rather bloody war with iran in recent memory.  apparently some have forgiven and forgotten.

in time, the russians, iran and hezbollah may do with the iraqi army what the u.s. was unable to, 

xavi1951's picture

AS AN ASIDE!  Hold on to your ammo!  I heard many references in the MSM about the 1,000 + rounds of ammo that the Muslim couple had.  California, and every other State run by Democrats, get ready for the AMMO LIMITS you can purchase, probably with some kind of recycle evidence that you are NOT hording same.

If they can't take your gun/rifle, they will take your ammo.  No Constitutional control on ammo!  Buy your reloading equip and supplies now!  Just sayin! 

MoneyThimbles's picture

That was Saddam's war, and Saddam was an ethnic Sunni.

Paveway IV's picture

Iraq May Seek "Direct Military Intervention From Russia" To Expel Turkish Troops

Geeze, Tyler. You make it sound like the Iraqis are REALLY pissed this time. This headline also suggests as much:

Iraq to Expel Foreign Troops, End Turkish Military Presence

Whoops! That's an article from October of 2012. I guess they were just kind of pissed that time. But wait, there's more:

GRAPHICS REQUEST - Turkish military bases in northern Iraq

Dated 2011-09-13 20:44:18

Hmmm... looks like the Stratfor guys knew about the permanent Turkish bases in Iraq a year befor that. Thanks, WikiLeaks.

But that's just the few thousand Turkish soldiers trying to establish their PKK-free Zone in Iraq. Which is nothing like the 22 battalions they sent into Iraq to chase the PKK in October of 2011: Turkey Crosses into Northern Iraq in Offensive Against Kurdish Rebels

See, the deal is that when you're a ZATO stooge country like Turkey, you can kill anyone fighting terrorists if they stray into Turkish territory. Turkey, on the other hand, is allowed to stray into Iraq with couple of dozen battalions in their heroic fight against Kurdish 'terrorists'.

Yen Cross's picture

What he said^

   I have a REAL problem with how the young can only learn how to grow in "controlled situations".

silvermail's picture

I took the "standard phrases" from our media and changed the name al-Assad in Syria on name Obama in the United States:

Obama Must Go! With Obama, America has no future! America and the Obama regime are incompatible! Obama is not legitimate because its military-police regime robs the US population and is constantly killing of US citizens! The majority of the US population does not support the bloody regime of Obama! Obama Must Go!

Uchtdorf's picture

It seems like only a few months ago (because it was) that Obama was telling the world what a great deal the nuclear treaty with Iran Iran has mellowed due to the sanctions we placed on them. That bit of failed foreign policy doesn't even get mentioned in Obummer's fawning press nowadays. Guess that gambit wasn't the easy cakewalk to Nobel Peace Prize #2 that he thought.

Doesn't really matter though. The world's elitedom is about ready to pull off the mask and kill a lot of us and make serfs out of the rest of us. Prepare accordingly.

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Uchtdorf Dec 6, 2015 6:11 PM

Kick all US troops out.  

August's picture

Any Turkish or AMERICAN military personnel who set foot in Iraq or Syria without the express permission of the Iraqi/Syrian government should 1) be politely asked to leave, and then 2) killed if they do not.

As I vaguely recall, such action is utterly conventional behavior when foreign miltary forces cross your borders uninvited. 

Socratic Dog's picture

Indeed, however, I'm not to sure about the "politely asked to leave" part.

jeff montanye's picture

i agree.   there have been numerous exceptions.

silvermail's picture

Russian troops in Syria - it is a legitimate military aid.
NATO troops in Syria - it is an illegal military occupation.


US and NATO do not have any legal right to decide who should be the leader of other sovereign countries and peoples.
Similarly, the United States and NATO did not have any legal right to decide who of the leader of other sovereign countries and peoples "must go".

US and NATO must go home from the Syria.

Johnny Horscaulk's picture
Johnny Horscaulk (not verified) Uchtdorf Dec 6, 2015 6:12 PM

what in the flying fuck are you talking about?  Just need to insert some zioganda against Iran, is it?


Uchtdorf's picture

You've misinterpreted my meaning, friend. I am tired of the endless pumping by the media for war. We're $19 Trillion in debt so we can't afford it anyway. I want all our military to leave that forsaken area and come home. It wouldn't hurt if we let the Japanese and Germans defend themselves either. Bring our soldiers home.

Turn all our drones into pizza delivery equipment and let peace break out all over.

Oldwood's picture

Surrender for the sake of peace. It worked for Japan. It worked for Germany. For a while. But I never seen a surrender without defeat first.

Socratic Dog's picture

Surrender?  Defeat?   Don't you know what "spin" means?  It's a victory!  Go USA!

DeadFred's picture

The debt bomb is imploding. They can't afford not to have war. That's why they are so hell-bent on starting one no matter what absurd measures it takes and why Russia has been so non-aggressive. Putin isn't someone I'd like to have dinner with but he's smart enough to know he just had to wait. Don't expect him to go against the Turks as much as they deserve it, a few more months and the Ponzi will die.

robertocarlos's picture

You're 19 trillion in debt? You can't afford not to go to war.

Oldwood's picture

Poor little innocent Iran.

We see so many deride those who differentiate left from right, yet no problem blinding themselves to virtually all things with the white light of hatred for Israel.

It is possible to have more than one enemy, one threat. If anything should be obvious at this point is how complex of a web has been woven. The one thing that American cannot do is claim any high moral ground at this point, so we best start worrying about surviving this mess, right wrong or otherwise. There is no 72 virgins waiting for "us" in heaven. Our battle is here and now.

August's picture

>>>we best start worrying about surviving this mess, right wrong or otherwise. There is no 72 virgins waiting for "us" in heaven. Our battle is here and now.

I indeed hope that the American people, military included, survive this mess. 

However, it would be a great and historic boon to all mankind if the American System fails, and fails badly... repudiated by it's own people.  One can still dream....

Oldwood's picture

Please explain how the "American System" differs all that much from any of the rest except for size and capability. There is no end to war or to corruption. There is only the hope that decentralization will keep both smaller and of less consequence. The only other hope is a world wide governance that rather than war simply relies on tyranny and oppression to maintain itself. That is our choice.

August's picture

I do not believe that the USA is uniquely evil, but (as you say) the sheer size, "wealth" and capability of the place make it uniquely dangerous to everyone else on the planet, specifically including any of its own people who don't drink the Koolaid of American Exceptionalism, and must submit to an increasingly unaccountable central government.

Decentralization is indeed the way to go, and I shudder at the idea of one world government.   FWIW I relocated from the US to New Zealand some 15 years ago and (again) the biggest difference between the places is really just the scale of the US:  big everything, including big hubris and big mistakes. 

In terms of the "American System" being somehow unique, I do believe the USD's reserve currency status has given the USA unique opportunities to exploit the remainder of the world, opportunities which both the USG and US corporate interests have quite aggressively pursued.   If China, Russia or Germany had achieved the same dominant position that the USA achieved, they likely would have behaved in a similar manner, or worse, and I'd want to see said "Chinese System" or "German System" broken up as well.

JohninMK's picture

Perhaps Iraq needs to do something about the airbase that Turkey has quietly built in Iraq? A real Trojan Horse.

Erdogan has established a fully-fledged air base and camp in Bamerme near Duhok at N Iraq. Been building it for years


Reichstag Fire Dept.'s picture

If I was Putin, I'd hit those take and Turk soldiers HARD...harder than hard...I'd make an example of them.

Flagit's picture

We have been living in this bizarro "do as i say and not as i do" universe for some time now.

It is what they say it is.

And it will be as long as they draw breath.

Emails don't work. Phone calls....don't work. Protesting......, zip, zero, zilch, notta, null set.

Sages wife's picture

Logic is petty and tedious.

two hoots's picture

"Turkey shelved military plans to send more troops to support allies in northern Iraq, after the government in Baghdad said it may appeal to the United Nations to secure the withdrawal of Turkish soldiers recently deployed in the country." (Bloomberg)

Does not say remove just "not more".  Something smells of oil trading protection/coverup here?  Wonder why they changed their minds? 



HowdyDoody's picture

One camp was very close to a Hunt Oil drilling site

It would be a shame if the Russians/whoever were to accidentally bomb it instead of the Turkish base nearby.

finametrics's picture

US bombs syrian army base. ISIS immediately mops up. wtf!?



Abitdodgie's picture

WW111 in the coming years , this shit is going to kick off in March/May time next year, all the players are in position .

Uchtdorf's picture

Tell us why you think it will be in the March to May timeframe. (I upvoted you for sticking your neck out and making the prediction.)

scintillator9's picture

Personally, I feel that things will start to get real around Christmas, due to how it took 30 days from the "Arch Duke moment" to WWI kicking off.

The Russian plane was shot down on 24 November, and right now pieces are moving across the chess board.

By 24 December, I fully expect a regional war to kick off, which will then consume the area, and may spread to every corner of the world due to how the supply lines are interconnected today, and everything is built on JIT logistics and global trade.

Hopefully, some of us are very wrong with what we see coming.

Flagit's picture

Write it up.

TV sucks ass, might as well listen to you ramble on.

The shelves go bare? $9/gal gas and/or milk? One government issued chicken in the pot and an MRAP on every block?

Gun confiscation?

Media blackout?

Gold confiscation?

Nuked US cities?

How in the world can they even attempt to $ell a war with Russia to the American People?

scintillator9's picture

I regret that "they" will not need to sell a war to anyone.

This may, regrettably, take on a life of its own, much like this.


hesk's picture

How will this effect my March Madness bracket????

Tyrone Shoelaces's picture

I think the same of ISIS/ISIL/DAESH or whatever their next name is - it seemed like a good idea for the US do do that but it got taken over by crazies (or maybe they were crazies all along?) but we still drop weapons and toyotas to them, so what gives, or is it just us vs Russia?

High stakes for a pissing game between superpower ego's IMO


Sanity Bear's picture

spamming the same shit on every thread in normal text is a slight improvement on spamming it on every thread in bold text


(I do give credit where it is due)

Johnny Horscaulk's picture
Johnny Horscaulk (not verified) Sanity Bear Dec 6, 2015 5:52 PM