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BREAKING: Iran attacks US forces in Iraq as the powers move closer to war

The Iranian military has attacked a US airforce base as the two powers move towards war.

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Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

This is a developing story and is being updated as information becomes available.

Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs has confirmed the attacks on U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq at approximately 3:30 p.m. (MST) on Tuesday (1:30 a.m. Baghdad local time).

“Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles… it is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad in Irbil (Erbil),” read a statement from Hoffman.

“We are working on initial battle damage assessments. In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners.”

“We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team,” said a statement from the White House.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Quds Force, the unit Qassem Soleimani commanded, is within the IRGC.

“Iran says it has launched “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq’s Ain Assad air base housing U.S. troops over the killing of Soleimani,” NBC News Tehran Bureau Chief Ali Arouzi wrote on Twitter.

“IRGC says this is sever(e) revenge for the killing of Soleimani. Iran says any countries that allow US attack(s) from their soil will also be attacked.”

CNN is reporting confirmed Iraqi casualties at the bases but there is no word yet on the status of American military.

5:43 p.m. (MST): IRGC reporting a second wave of missiles have been launched and that Ayatollah Khhamenei is in the “control centre coordinating attacks.” Iran has reportedly deployed its Air Force.

At this time two locations have been hit with rocket fire, Al-Asad and Erbil, confirmed by the Pentagon and also IRGC, who has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

6:00 p.m.: Reports surfacing that American airplanes have been deployed from their base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

6:10 p.m.: “Iran is warning that if there is retaliation for the two waves of attacks… their third wave will destroy Dubai and Haifa,” reports Aliz Arouzi on Twitter. Dubai is in the UAE and Haifa is in Isreal.

6:26 p.m.: “Iran is making threats of mass escalation; to attack more bases in Iraq. To unleash Hezbollah. To unleash Shiite militias in Iraq. To attack Isreal and Dubai.” Richard Engel, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent.

Reports that Iran has said they will escalate or de-escalate equal to the American response to the base attacks in Iraq.

6:40 p.m.: There have been NO American casualties in Iran’s attacks. President Trump will not be giving an address tonight.

6:47 p.m.: Arouzi reporting that Iraqi Shi’a militia under Iran patronage “have launched operations against U.S. presence in Iraq.”

Secretary Michael Pompeo visited Iraq in May 2019 to discuss the more than 60,000 fighters, Iran-backed members of ‘special groups’ (organized militias), in Iraq.

6:56 p.m.: The United States federal aviation administration has banned all U.S. civil aviation operators from operating over Iran, Iraq, the Persian gulf and the gulf of Oman.

Iranian state media says the Iran military is “fully battle-ready” and is arming their underground missile depots.

7:07 p.m.: Global news reports Canadian forces are present at bases targeted in Tuesday’s attacks. No reports so far of Canadian casualties.

General Jonathan Vance took to Twitter on Tuesday night to reassure families and friends of Canadian Air Force members in Iraq. “CAF families, I can assure you that all deployed CAF personnel are safe and accounted for following missile attacks in Iraq. We remain vigilant,” he wrote.

Canadian troops were beginning to move out of Iraq prior to the missile attacks.

Danish news reports 130 Danish soldiers were stationed at the Al-Asad air base and also that none were injured in the attacks.

The attack comes days after the U.S. used a drone strike to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who the U.S. has accused of organizing state-sanctioned terrorism and the recent attack on the American embassy in Baghdad.

Soleimani, whose funeral was held on Monday, was interred on Tuesday evening, after the attacks took place. Iranian state media claims the attacks were launched at “the same time as the missile that killed Soleimani”.

“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran Javad Zarif said.

7:45 p.m.: President Trump said the assessment of damages and casualties was ongoing and he would make a statement Wednesday morning. “All is well!” the President tweeted Tuesday evening.

More to come.

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Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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