Blinken arrived and left Baghdad… and no one knew

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani’s office released a photo of his meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the capital Baghdad.

Iraqi journalists were waiting for news of the minister’s plane landing and heard conflicting information about the time of his arrival and where he would hold meetings with Iraqi officials.

According to the only photo published so far, the minister, who today made a very quick tour of the region, met the prime minister only in Baghdad.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken meets Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani in Baghdad (AFP)

Subsequently, military and government sources released “confusing” data on the location of the meeting and presented perceptions about the possibility that it would be held at the US embassy in Baghdad, or at a military base inside the capital, and perhaps outside It.

Local media have reported several hypotheses about the visit, including that the minister could hold his meetings with Iraqi officials at the embassy, ​​or at an American base near Baghdad airport, or at the “Ain al-Assad” base. in the western part of the country.

The reason for this camouflage, which seemed intended for security reasons, is that the Iraqi authorities were worried about threats from armed factions if the visit took place.

The “Imam Ali Brigades” security official, known as “Abu Ali Al-Askari,” threatened unprecedented escalation if Secretary Blinken entered Iraq.

Al-Askari said, in a post on the “X” website: “The Phalange will close the American embassy in a non-peaceful way.”

Iraqi journalists said they checked available air navigation applications and did not detect any American flights landing at Baghdad airport, while government officials said “the security measures taken are normal, as if the visit did not take place.”

Government agencies appear to have adopted conservative media behavior, aiming to ensure a calm atmosphere for the short visit.

An Iraqi diplomat said the U.S. Embassy was part of the issue.

The minister, who quickly left Baghdad for Turkey, according to Iraqi sources, said he had had very good and frank talks with the Iraqi prime minister, but “warned the pro-Iranian militias against exploiting the Gaza war to attack his country’s bases in Turkey.” Iraq.”

Blinken said in press statements that they are “committed to reaching a humanitarian truce and providing humanitarian aid,” underlining “the difference of opinion between a humanitarian truce and a ceasefire.”

For his part, Al-Sudani stated, in a press release, that he “renews Iraq’s clear and principled position to repel Zionist aggression against Gaza, and the need for an immediate ceasefire and opening of the crossings to avoid the worsening of the humanitarian catastrophe, in which civilians, women and children, were victims”.

The Iraqi Prime Minister underlined “the need for the international community to take responsibility for the massacres committed daily by Israeli forces against innocent women and children, the attacks on hospitals and shelters and the continued approach of escalation and ethnic cleansing against the people Palestinian.”

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