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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: SailorJerry
Iraq wants us out, but there's a lot more to it than just leaving. It has to go through parliament, get signed, and then there's a year long waiting period before it becomes binding. So it's not like we have to rush to get everything out. Most of what's there will probably just go into storage in Kuwait or Qatar for when we have to go back.
The EAM is most likely just a systems check by one of the Mercury aircraft. They had a rough year and had several aircraft damaged, including two by on board fires. They have to check all the systems after putting them back together, including the TWA transmitter.
The U.S. has ended a planned exercise with the Moroccan military to send roughly 2,500 Marines into the Mediterranean Sea as tensions between the U.S. and Iran rise, a defense official confirmed on background to Marine Corps Times.
The risk of a new conflict between the U.S. and Iran increases in the fragile region, many experts say, after the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the revered leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force.
The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the amphibious assault ship Bataan, amphibious transport dock New York and the dock landing Ship Oak Hill, canceled its planned participation in Exercise African Sea Lion, the defense official confirmed.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”
He added that “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”
The U.S. is also building up a special operations capability in the region. According to Politico, a company of 150-200 U.S. Army Rangers is deploying to the region. This matches a series of flights observed on January 2, including two giant C-5M Super Galaxy and one C-17 Globemaster III transports taking off from Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.