themcglynn.com

05 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals

The war criminals, Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry.

We condemned children to death, some after many days of writhing in pain on bloodstained mats, without pain relievers. Some died quickly, wasted by missing arms and legs, crushed heads. As the fluids ran out of their bodies, they appeared like withered, spoiled fruits. They could have lived, certainly should have lived – and laughed and danced, and run and played- but instead they were brutally murdered. Yes, murdered!

The war ended for those children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

The McGlynn

War News

ALJ: Yemen ‘worst humanitarian crisis in the world’: EU

European Union condemns attacks on civilians after dozens killed and calls on combatants to commit to negotiations.

Yemen has become the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world”, the European Union said, demanding the protection of civilians who continue to die in the three-year-old conflict.

An EU statement on Saturday highlighted the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, which recently witnessed a bloody assault that killed at least 55 people and was blamed on air strikes by the Saudi-Emirati coalition fighting there. An alliance spokesman denied responsibility for the carnage.

“The consecutive air strikes in the city of Hodeidah have once again claimed dozens of lives with many people injured,” the EU statement said.

“This is a tragic reminder that in Yemen the international humanitarian law – in place to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in times of war – continues to be broken on a daily basis.”

Yemeni government forces – backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – launched a major operation to retake Hodeidah and its strategic seaport from Houthi rebels in June……………….With logistical support from the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have carried out attacks inside Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate the internationally recognised government of President Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The coalition has repeatedly accused regional rival Iran of arming the rebels, allegations the Houthis and Iran deny.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting and more than 22 million are in dire need of assistance.

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BBC: Yemen war: Deadly ‘air strike’ near hospital in rebel-held port

At least 20 people in the rebel-held Yemeni port city of Hudaydah have been killed in air strikes blamed on the Saudi-led coalition.

The strikes hit a fish market and the entrance to a nearby hospital, eyewitnesses and medics said.

However a Saudi spokesman said the coalition had not flown over Hudaydah, blaming the attack on rebels instead.

Six weeks ago, the Saudi-led coalition launched a major offensive to drive Houthi rebels out of the city.

Aid agencies have previously warned that any disruption to vital supplies coming through the key Red Sea port could affect millions of Yemenis, who rely on them to survive.

The Red Cross tweeted that it was sending medical supplies to help treat those severely wounded in Thursday’s attack.

Among those killed or injured in Thursday’s strikes were local fishermen who were attending the market on the sea front.

Eyewitnesses described seeing debris and two damaged ambulances close to a local hospital.

AP: A last showdown looms over Syrian opposition stronghold

BEIRUT (AP) — For nearly three years, green buses have filed into Syria’s Idlib province, bringing those evacuated from other opposition enclaves that fell to government forces — thousands of defeated rebel fighters, wanted activists and civilians who refused to go back under President Bashar Assad’s rule.

They now face what is likely to be the last showdown between Assad’s forces and the opposition. Assad has vowed to retake the province, and pro-government media promise the “mother of all battles.”

If it comes to an all-out assault, it could bring a humanitarian crisis. Filled with displaced from elsewhere, the province in Syria’s northwest corner is packed with some 3 million people, the most deeply irreconcilable with Assad’s government and including some of the world’s most radical militants. They have little option but to make a stand, with few good places to escape.

“Currently, all (opposition) from around Syria came to Idlib. The only solution is to fight. There is no alternative,” said Firas Barakat, an Idlib resident. The 28-year old said that for years he has dedicated himself to civilian opposition activities, but now he must take up arms.

The opposition capture of Idlib in 2015 signaled the low point for Assad’s government during the course of war that is now nearly 8 years old — a time when rebels controlled large parts of two main Syrian cities, major highways, border crossings, dams and oil resources.

Russian and Iranian backing enabled Assad’s military to claw back territory. Most recently, it scored a victory with heavy symbolic resonance in the south, recapturing Daraa, one of the first places to rise against Assad’s rule in 2011.

Around a third of the country still remains out of government hands in the north and east, most of it held by U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces that wrested it from the Islamic State group. But Idlib stands as the last significant enclave of the armed opposition that rose up dedicated to ousting Assad.

REU: Russia confirms proposed Syria cooperation with United States

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Defence Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it had proposed cooperating with the United States on Syrian refugees and de-mining in a letter sent to the top U.S. general in July.

The proposals on refugees concerned a refugee camp in Rukban, the ministry said in a statement.

In the letter, Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, said Moscow was ready to discuss with Damascus safety guarantees for refugees stranded at Rukban, as well as creating conditions for their return home.

Rukban lies within a 55 km so-called de-confliction zone set up by the United States to ensure the safety of its garrison close to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

“A proposal was also made to coordinate humanitarian de-mining, including in Raqqa, and other priority humanitarian issues,” the Russian ministry said.

Reuters reported the letter on Friday, citing a U.S. government memo.

NYT: Are ISIS Fighters Prisoners or Honored Guests of the Afghan Government?

SHEBERGHAN, Afghanistan — The top commander of the Islamic State in northern Afghanistan stood behind a lectern decorated with the shield of the Afghan government’s powerful intelligence agency.

On his left was the police general in charge of the province. Arrayed behind him was an assortment of other dignitaries: police, army, political figures. An attendant put a bottle of mineral water nearby, in case the intense heat made the commander thirsty.

This is how the Islamic State commander, Maulavi Habib ul-Rahman, began his “imprisonment” on Thursday. Along with 250 of his fighters, Mr. Rahman had surrendered the day before to the Afghan government in the northern province of Jowzjan, to avoid being captured by the Taliban.

He thanked his hosts and, in a scolding tone, warned them to stick to the deal they had just made. “Provide us with personal security as well as stay loyal to the commitments made between us so it prepares the ground for others who fight against the government to join the peace process,” Mr. Rahman demanded from the dais……………If they were prisoners, however, it was hard to tell. The government arranged for them to stay in a guesthouse in the provincial capital of Sheberghan. Guards were posted around it not to keep the insurgents in, but to keep their potential enemies out, according to the provincial governor. Although the fighters were disarmed, they were allowed to keep their cellphones and other personal possessions.

In the guesthouse, the Islamic State fighters celebrated their good fortune, hugging and slapping one another on the back. One of their commanders, Mufti Nemat, wearing a pink shalwar kameez and a knockoff of an Apple watch and holding a satellite phone, fielded calls steadily between giving interviews.

NYT: Suicide Bomber Kills 3 NATO Forces in Eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. military says a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan has killed three NATO forces.

It says a U.S. soldier and two Afghan troops were wounded in Sunday’s blast, which targeted a foot patrol. The statement did not specify the nationalities of the soldiers who were killed.

The Taliban claimed the attack.

Wahida Shahkar, the spokeswoman for the provincial governor in the Parwan province, said the attack took place near the provincial capital, Charakar.

NATO formally concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but thousands of forces are still providing support and training to Afghan troops, and carrying out counterterrorism missions.

NYT: Amnesty Possible for Islamic State Fighters Surrendering in North Afghanistan: Official

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Islamic State fighters who surrendered to Afghan forces this week in the northern province of Jawzjan may be granted amnesty despite accusations of atrocities including rape and murder, officials said.

Around 150 Islamic State fighters, including two senior commanders, gave themselves up after being driven from their strongholds in Jawzjan by the Taliban after weeks of fighting.

Thousands of civilians fled the area in the districts of Darzab and Qush Tepa and many accused Islamic State fighters of multiple atrocities, giving detailed accounts of women and young girls being taken from their families, raped and, in some cases, murdered.

However the spokesman for the Jawzjan provincial governor said the need to encourage militant fighters to surrender was likely to mean that they would not face charges……………..”Any adversary of the government that joins the peace process has to be given amnesty because if they are taken before the judges, other adversaries who have reached an agreement with the government will go cold on it,” Ghafouri said.

While pressure has been building for peace talks between the Western-backed government in Kabul and the Taliban, the local affiliate of Islamic State, which has gained an unmatched reputation for brutality, has shown no signs of joining.

Taliban’s shadow military chief, 2 suicide bombers killed in Helmand

The shadow district military commission chief of the Taliban and two suicide bombers were killed during an airstrike in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

According to the local officials, the top Taliban leader and two suicide bombers were killed in the vicinity of Greshk district.

A statement by the provincial government confirmed that an airstrike was carried out at around 2am local time on Saturday, leaving the Taliban leader and two suicide bombers dead.

The statement further added that the airstrike was carried out in Shoraki area of the district and the group’s shadow military commission chief killed during the raid has been identified as Mullah Shafiullah.

According to the provincial government, at least nine other militants were also killed during the airstrike.

Another airstrike was also carried out in Bandi Barq area of the district leaving at least six militants dead, the provincial government added.

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