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.

Damn The WarCriminals,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 McGlynn

Photo

Iraq War Child Photo credit: Stopwar.org.uk

AP: Yazidi mothers of children by IS face heartbreaking choices

Baby girls stand up in their cribs at Salhiya Orphanage, which now hosts foreign and Iraqi children of Islamic State militants, in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Maya)

DAHUK, Iraq (AP) — The 26-year-old Yazidi mother faces a heartbreaking choice.

Her family is preparing to emigrate from Iraq to Australia and start a new life after the suffering the Islamic State group wreaked on their small religious minority. She is desperate to go with them, but there is also someone she can’t bear to leave behind: Her 2-year-old daughter, Maria, fathered by the IS fighter who enslaved her.

She knows her family will never allow her to bring Maria. They don’t even know the girl exists. The only relative who knows is an uncle who took the girl from her mother and put her in an orphanage in Baghdad after they were freed from captivity last year.

“My heart bursts from my chest every time I think of leaving her. She is a piece of me, but I don’t know what to do,” she said, speaking to The Associated Press at a camp in northern Iraq for displaced Yazidis.

The woman spoke on condition she be identified only as Umm Maria, or “mother of Maria,” for fear her family and community would find out.

Umm Maria’s torment points to the gaping wounds suffered by Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority at the hands of the Islamic State group. When the militants overran the Yazidis’ northern Iraqi heartland of Sinjar in 2014, they inflicted on the community an almost medieval fate. Hundreds of Yazidi men and boys were massacred, tens of thousands fled their homes, and the militants took thousands of women and girls as sex slaves, viewing them as heretics worthy of subjugation and rape.

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GUARD: Syria summit: call for ‘lasting ceasefire’ at last rebel-held stronghold, Idlib

Joint statement from Russia, Germany, France and Turkey followed summit on war-torn country

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and France’s president Emmanuel Macron at the summit on Syria in Istanbul.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and France’s president Emmanuel Macron at the summit on Syria in Istanbul. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/TASS

The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany on Saturday called for a ceasefire around the last major rebel-held bastion of Idlib in Syria to be preserved.

The four nations “stressed the importance of a lasting ceasefire” according to a statement read by Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, at the end of a major summit in Istanbul.

Erdo?an, along with Russian president Vladimir Putin, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel met to try to find a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict, in which more than 360,000 people have been killed since 2011.

After a joint press conference, Macron urged Russia, which supports the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, to exercise “very clear pressure” on Damascus for a “stable and lasting ceasefire in Idlib”.

Last month Turkey, which backs the rebels, agreed with Russia to create a buffer zone around Idlib amid fears of an impending assault on the northwestern province, which many feared would lead to a humanitarian disaster.

However clashes have continued in Idlib since. On Friday seven civilians were killed by Syrian regime artillery fire, the highest death toll since the ceasefire was reached.

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REU: U.S.-backed Syria group says 14 of its fighters killed in clashes with Islamic State

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Fourteen fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were killed east of the Euphrates river in Syria in a battle with Islamic state militants, an SDF spokesman said on Saturday.

“Daesh terrorists continue to launch counter attacks, taking advantage of the bad weather conditions…. Due to fierce clashes 14 of our fighters were martyred,” Kino Gibrail, the spokesman said in a statement. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Several other SDF fighters were wounded in the clashes which began on Friday and were still ongoing on Saturday evening, the statement added. It said U.S-led coalition forces had supported the SDF in fending off the Islamic State attack, and heavy losses were inflicted on the Islamists.

The SDF, which is led by Kurdish militia, is the main ally on the ground of the United States and its coalition partners. Over the past two years, the SDF has helped drive Islamic State fighters from nearly all cities and towns the militants controlled in their self-declared caliphate in Syria.

The SDF now controls a swathe of territory in the north and east of Syria, the largest part of the country outside government control, while largely avoiding direct confrontation with Damascus in the multi-sided war.

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AP: IS gunmen kill 40 US-backed fighters in eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group killed at least 40 U.S.-backed Syrian fighters, captured several alive and regained areas they lost earlier this month in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border in some of the most intense fighting in weeks, a war monitor and an agency linked to IS said Saturday.

Members of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have been on the offensive since early September under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition to capture the last pocket held by IS in Syria.

Friday’s fighting that lasted until the early hours of Saturday began when IS, taking advantage of a sandstorm, launched a counteroffensive against SDF positions east of the Euphrates river in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour that borders Iraq, activists said.

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said they have no confirmation of exact figures “as both sides are taking casualties.” He called it a “difficult fight.”

“The sandstorm allowed an ISIS counterattack, which was surprising given the conditions, but now the air is clear and the Coalition will continue to increase air and fire support to assist our partners,” Ryan said using a term to refer to IS.

Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that since Friday IS has killed more than 60 SDF fighters, wounded others and captured at least 20. He added that some 100 SDF fighters have fled the battlefield as the extremist group has carried out suicide car bomb attacks.

The Observatory and the Deir Ezzor 24 activist collective said IS fighters captured the village of Sousa that they had lost control of earlier this week.

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NYT: Suicide Bombing Kills Five, Wounds 15 in Central Afghanistan

KABUL — At least five people were killed and 15 more wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives outside a police compound in central Afghan province of Wardak on Saturday, a police spokesman said.

The early morning bombing in Maidan Shahr, the main city of the province, some 35km (22) miles southwest of the capital Kabul, happened as policemen and civilians were going inside the base, said Hekmat Durrani, a spokesman for the police chief.

Three civilians and two policemen were among the dead, Durrani said, adding that the casualty figure could rise as policemen and first responders were busy recovering the wounded and bodies from collapsed walls and debris.

No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack but the Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow the Western-back Kabul government has carried out some of the deadliest bombings against government installations in past years.

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U.S. drones target Taliban vehicle in Paktia leaving 5 militants dead

At least five militants were killed after the U.S. drones targeted a vehicle of the Taliban militants in southeastern Paktia province of Afghanistan.

The 203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said the drone strike was carried out in the vicinity of Zurmat district.

The statement further added that a vehicle which was carrying Taliban militants was targeted in Yamnai Khel area of the district, leaving five militants dead.

The 203rd Thunder Corps also added that the vehicle was also destroyed during the same airstrike.

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

Paktia has been among the relatively calm provinces in Southeast of Afghanistan but the security situation of the province has deteriorated comparatively during the recent years.

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Explosion foiled in Kabul city

The Afghan National Police Forces have thwarted a plot by the anti-government armed militants to detonate a magnetic bomb in Kabul city.

The Kabul Police Commandment in a statement said late on Saturday evening that a magnetic Improvised Explosive Device was discovered and defused before the militants manage to detonate it in the 5th police district of the city.

The statement further added that the mine was planted on a roadside in Niaz Bek area in the 5th police district of Kabul.

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

However, the Kabul Police Commandment blamed the enemies of the country for planting the mine with an aim to shed the blood of the innocent civilians.

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NDS Special Forces storm a key hideout of the Taliban in Nangarhar province

The Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), have stormed a key hideout of the Taliban group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office in a statement said at least four Taliban militants were killed in the raid and depot containing weapons and explosives was destroyed.

The statement further added that the operation was conducted at 12am local time on Friday in Khalaqdad area of Khogyani district which continued until 3am in the morning, leaving four militants dead.

Another Taliban Hamidullah who was expert in producing improvised explosive devices was arrested along with seven others during the same operation, the statement said.

The Afghan forces also confiscated some suicide bombing vests, weapons, munitions, mines, and other explosives during the operation which were later destroyed, the provincial government said, adding that the NDS forces and local residents did not suffer casualties during the operation.

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