themcglynn.com

07 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

Taiz, Yemen Photo

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Men ride through streets wrecked by fighting in Taiz, Yemen in this Feb. 4, 2018, photo. The city gives the clearest example of the intertwining of al-Qaida with militias funded by the U.S.-backed coalition to fight the Houthi rebels. Al-Qaida militants are among the fiercest fighters in the city, driving the rebels out of some areas, and militia commanders have close ties to and recruit from the group. (AP Photo)

AP: ‘Unite with the devil’: Yemen war binds US, allies, al-Qaida

ATAQ, Yemen (AP) — Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

The deals uncovered by the AP reflect the contradictory interests of the two wars being waged simultaneously in this southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

In one conflict, the U.S. is working with its Arab allies — particularly the United Arab Emirates — with the aim of eliminating the branch of extremists known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. But the larger mission is to win the civil war against the Houthis, Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. And in that fight, al-Qaida militants are effectively on the same side as the Saudi-led coalition — and, by extension, the United States.

“Elements of the U.S. military are clearly aware that much of what the U.S. is doing in Yemen is aiding AQAP and there is much angst about that,” said Michael Horton, a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. analysis group that tracks terrorism.

“However, supporting the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against what the U.S. views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling AQAP and even stabilizing Yemen,” Horton said.

The AP’s findings are based on reporting in Yemen and interviews with two dozen officials, including Yemeni security officers, militia commanders, tribal mediators and four members of al-Qaida’s branch. All but a few of those sources spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals. Emirati-backed factions, like most armed groups in Yemen, have been accused of abducting or killing their critics…………“The United States is certainly in a bind in Yemen,” said Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “It doesn’t make sense that the United States has identified al-Qaida as a threat, but that we have common interests inside of Yemen and that, in some places, it looks like we’re looking the other way.”

Within this complicated conflict, al-Qaida says its numbers — which U.S. officials have estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 members — are rising.

Read full story »

REU: Renewed U.S. sanctions target Iran’s economy, Tehran cool on talks

WASHINGTON/ANKARA (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s top security adviser on Monday urged Iran to take up an offer of talks with the United States or suffer more pain from economic sanctions, but Iran’s president said Washington needed first to prove it can be trusted.

Hours before revived U.S. sanctions were due to kick in, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Iran should pay heed to Trump’s willingness to negotiate.

“They could take up the president’s offer to negotiate with them, to give up their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs fully and really verifiably,” Bolton told Fox News.

“If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down. The pressure will not relent while the negotiations go on,” said Bolton, one of the administration’s main hawks on Iran.

So-called snapback sanctions, due to come into force early on Tuesday, target Iranian purchases of U.S. dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.

Foes for decades, the United States and Iran have been increasingly at odds over Iran’s growing political and military influence in the Middle East since Trump took office in January 2017.

The renewed sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Trump abandoned the deal in May. Heavier U.S. sanctions, aimed at Iran’s oil sector, are due in November.

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AP: Amnesty urges US coalition to probe Syrian civilian deaths

BEIRUT (AP) — An international rights group is urging the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group to investigate airstrikes that killed civilians in the campaign to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Amnesty International says the coalition’s admission last month that it killed 78 more civilians than previously reported in the 2017 assault on Raqqa was just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Amnesty’s statement on Tuesday says the coalition’s admission should spark an investigation to understand why civilians were killed and who was responsible. It says civilians of Raqqa deserve justice and compensation.

The watchdog says it believes hundreds of civilians were killed in the Raqqa campaign and that the coalition is underreporting casualties.

IS has been mostly defeated in Iraq and Syria, though it still controls small pockets of territory.

REU: Iraq jails French and German citizens for life for joining Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – An Iraqi court sentenced a French man and a German woman to life in prison on Monday for belonging to Islamic State, forging ahead with the trial of hundreds of people – many foreigners – captured after the militant group’s defeat last year.

French citizen Lahcen Ammar Gueboudj, in his 50s, and the German, Nadia Rainer Hermann, 22, had both pleaded not guilty to joining the hardline Islamist group that captured a third of Iraq and swathes of Syria in 2014.

Though Gueboudj and Hermann were tried individually, they were brought out for sentencing with 13 others tried on Monday, crowding the small courtroom.

During Gueboudj’s roughly 30-minute trial, he said he had only come to the region to retrieve his son who had joined Islamic State and had been living in its de facto Syrian capital, Raqqa.

“I would never have left France if my son hadn’t been in Syria,” he told the judge, through a translator, in Baghdad’s Central Criminal Court.

“I know I’m crazy to have gone to Syria.”

Speaking to Reuters in French through the bars of a holding cell outside the courtroom before he was sentenced, a disheveled Gueboudj said he had signed papers he had not understood were a confession during the investigation.

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NYT: Afghan Officials: Taliban Attacks Across Country Kill 12

KABUL, Afghanistan — A string of Taliban attacks in western and eastern Afghanistan have left at least 12 people dead, including four women who died in the crossfire during a shootout between insurgents and the military, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

In western Farah province, the Taliban attacked a military checkpoint, killing four troops and wounding six, according to Mohammad Naser Mehri, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

The attack in Bala Buluk district started late on Monday night and lasted until around dawn on Tuesday. Mehri said the Afghan air force was called in and airstrikes later killed 19 Taliban fighters and wounded 30.

“The Taliban were pushed back and the situation is under control now,” he added.

In eastern Logar province, four women were killed and four children were wounded in the crossfire during a shootout between insurgents and the military.

Read full story »

Al-Qaeda’s senior leader killed with comrades in Helmand province

A senior leader of Al-Qaeda terrorist network has been killed during an operation of the Afghan Special Forces in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Special Forces Unity Ahamd Jawid Salim confirmed that the senior Al-Qaeda network leader Abdul Rahim Al-Mesri was killed in Garamser district.

Salim further added that Al-Mesri was killed together with his six comrades during the operations conducted in Khon Bibi village.

He aid at least two foreign nationals hailing from Pakistan were also arrested during the operation.

According to Salim, the Afghan forces also confiscated four Ak-47 rifles, a pistol, three sets of radio, 4 mobile phones, 8 laptop computers, 21 hard disc drives, some documents including passports were confiscated.

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51 militants killed, wounded in Bala Bolok clashes, claims Farah officials

The local officials in western Farah province are claiming that 51 Taliban militants were killed or wounded during the clashes in Bala Bolok district.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Nasir Mehri said the clashes took place late on Monday night after a large group of militants launched coordinated attacks on security posts.

Mehri further added that the Afghan forces responded to the attack by the Taliban militants, leaving at least 19 of them dead and 32 others wounded.

According to Mehri, the Afghan forces called in airstrikes during the attack which inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.

The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

Read full story »

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