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02 Dec

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

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

.

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.

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!

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The McGlynn

War News

Photos

Smoke rises as people flee their homes during clashes between Iraqi security forces and members of the Islamic State group fleeing Mosul, Iraq.  (AP Photo)

Displaced men queue to receive food after arriving in the Hassan Sham camp, east of Mosul, Iraq. Heavy fighting erupted in the eastern neighborhoods of Mosul on Friday as Iraqi special forces launched an assault deeper into the urban areas of the city and swung round to attack Islamic State militants from a second entry point, to the northeast. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

NYT: A Generation of Widows, Raising Children Who Will Be Forged by Loss

Just months after her husband was killed, Rahila Shams was expecting another child and lay in the early stages of labor with their daughter, Sofia, center, in Kabul. Credit Kiana Hayeri for The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — As evening takes over Kabul, daylight fading to gray, 3-year-old Benyamin senses that his father should be coming home from work about now.

But it’s been months since a bombing killed his “Aba,” Sabawoon Kakar, and eight other Afghan journalists. Benyamin cries and nags his mother, Mashal Sadat Kakar: Where is Aba? When is Aba coming home?

How do you explain death to a 3-year-old? Mrs. Kakar, her baby, Sarfarz, in her arms, tries to distract him with toys. But when Benyamin keeps crying, she takes him to the balcony and points to the brightest star shining through Kabul’s polluted sky.

“Aba is there,” she says.

The war in Afghanistan is disproportionately killing young men, and it is leaving behind a generation defined by that loss. Children like Benyamin will have only early memories of their fathers, and the deaths will shape their lives even as true recollections fade. Babies like Sarfarz will have even less, with death taking fathers they will never know.

Carrying it all are the tens of thousands of widows the war has created since 2001. Like Mrs. Kakar, they are left to raise families in a country with a dearth of economic opportunity and plagued by a war that kills 50 people a day.

Fatana Taqebi, 23, was five months pregnant when her husband, a police officer, was killed in battle. Their daughter, Esra, was born in September. “When I hug her and close my eyes, I think my husband is still with us,” Ms. Taqebi said.CreditKiana Hayeri for The New York Times

And more, the women are made painfully aware that their society sees them as possessions. A new widow often must rely completely on her husband’s family, which is likely to demand that she marry the next available brother or cousin. The women usually have little say, though some try to resist.

Over months this year, as Afghanistan’s long war took an even deadlier turn, we followed several young women making the cruel transition to widowhood.

Overnight, their lives became a struggle that deprived them of even the chance to mourn. For a couple of them, including Mrs. Kakar, their grief was punctuated by the pain of childbirth, bringing babies into a world consumed by despair. Reminders of their lost loves became their anchors in a newly unstable world.

Read full story »

NYT: UN: Aid Mission Driver Wounded by Gunfire in Eastern Syria

BEIRUT — Gunmen opened fire at the convoy of a joint humanitarian assessment mission in eastern Syria, the United Nations said Saturday, wounding a local driver in one of the country’s most remote areas where fighting against Islamic State militants has displaced thousands.

The attack on Thursday complicated an already dire situation, where a lack of security in the area has made delivering assistance to at least 6,000 displaced people unsustainable.

Fadwa Baroud, of the Office of the U.N. resident coordinator, said the driver is recovering from gunshot wounds. Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at the clearly marked convoy about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where the U.S.-led coalition and local Syrian fighters are battling militants in their last pocket, in eastern Deir el-Zour province.

The convoy was dispatched to assess dire humanitarian conditions due to the escalation in fighting.

Baroud said 6,000 people have been displaced since October and an estimated 7,000-10,000 others remain in the IS-held Hajin enclave……………..The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens of families managed to escape Friday, using waterways across the river which were formed after heavy rains in recent days. The militants have previously executed people for attempting, or aided others, to escape.

The violence, including clashes between the SDF and the militants as well as coalition airstrikes, have left at least 51 civilians, including 19 children, killed in one week, the Observatory said. Airstrikes hit a makeshift prison and hospital in Shafaa and Kishmeh, two IS-controlled villages, late Tuesday, killing 38 including fighters and prisoners, the Observatory reported.

Read full story »

AP: Airstrike kills 10 civilians in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials say an airstrike has killed at least 10 civilians in the eastern Paktia province bordering Pakistan.

Shausta Jan Ahady, a former provincial council member, says women and children were among those killed late Saturday. He says local residents displayed the bodies and protested on Sunday. Provincial government spokesman Abdullah Hsrat says the airstrike killed four insurgents and that an investigation has been launched into the allegations of civilian casualties.

In a separate incident in the southern Helmand province, an airstrike killed the Taliban’s shadow governor and two of his guards, according to provincial government spokesman Omar Zwak.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban, who control nearly half the country and run a parallel administration.

It was not immediately clear who carried out either airstrike.

NYT: Senior Afghan Taliban Commander Killed in Air Strike, Officials Say

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — A top commander of the Taliban has been killed in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand in a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. Special Forces, Afghan officials and Taliban members said on Sunday.

Abdul Manan, who was in charge of Helmand province for the insurgent group, was killed along with 29 others by an air strike on Saturday while he was meeting local commanders and fighters in the Nawzad district, Helmand provincial governor Mohammad Yasin Khan said.

His death was confirmed by Taliban members in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar province but there was no initial confirmation from the U.S. military, which said it was looking into the incident.

The death of Mullah Manan, who commanded Taliban fighters as they steadily increased their control over Helmand in the years following the end of most international combat missions in 2014, was seen as a major success by Afghan officials.

“He was the most senior Taliban commander in the south and his death will have an overall impact on security,” one senior security official in Kabul said.

The report of Manan’s death comes as both the Western-backed security forces and the Taliban have pushed to gain the momentum at the same time as efforts have stepped up to find a peaceful settlement to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Although contacts have started between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives, there has been no let up in the fighting, with both sides aiming to build a favorable position in advance of any peace talks.

Read full story »

BBC: What are private security companies doing in Afghanistan?

The Taliban has said it carried out an attack in Afghanistan on the base of the British security firm G4S.

A British man was among five employees killed when gunmen stormed their compound.

G4S, one of the world’s largest security groups, helps guard the area around the British embassy in Kabul.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 contributed to a boom in the private security business.

In recent years, the presence of contractors has decreased, mirroring the withdrawal of foreign troops. However, insecurity in Afghanistan remains widespread, there are still thousands of Nato troops and the demand for armed security at foreign embassies, military bases, and for NGOs is still high.

So how many private security firms are operating in Afghanistan?

The Afghan interior ministry says the government-run Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) carries out most of the security tasks in Afghanistan today. Responsibilities include escorts for foreign troops and other security services for NGO, diplomatic or business clients.

The body was created by a presidential decree in 2010 that banned all private security companies after a series of scandals.

Up to that point a large number of foreign private security contractors had overseen most of the security jobs.

Read full story »

64 militants killed, wounded in Afghan, foreign forces operations in Ghazni

The Afghan Military in the Southeast claims that 64 militants have been killed during the operations of the Afghan and foreign forces in Ghazni province.

The 203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said the Afghan and coalition forces carried out airstrikes in Andaar, Deh Yak, Qarabagh, and Geru districts, leaving at least 35 militants dead.

The statement further added that at least 17 militants were also wounded during the same operations.

According to 203rd Thunder Corps, the military commission chief of the group for Deh Yak Hazrat Khalid and two other group leaders were among those killed.

In the meantime, a mini-van packed with explosives was destroyed in an airstrike of the coalition forces in Deh Yak district, the 203rd Thunder Corps said, adding that the Afghan forces also conducted operations first lane of Kabul-Kandahar highway in Qarabagh district, leaving at least 7 militants dead and 5 more wounded.

Read full story »

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers and one airman who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The service members died Nov. 27, 2018, from injuries sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The airman was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.

If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

Iraq War Children

Pictures by Corporal MIKE PRYSNER, US Military Iraq War Veteran

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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