themcglynn.com

11 Feb

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

War News

NYT: U.N. Says Grain Stores in Yemen’s Hodeidah ‘at Risk of Rotting’

DUBAI — The U.N. special envoy to Yemen on Monday said the urgency of accessing grain stores trapped in a frontline position in the port city of Hodeidah was increasing as the food was “at risk of rotting”.

The World Food Programme grain stores at the Red Sea Mills are enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month and have been inaccessible for more than five months, Martin Griffiths said.

Yemen’s almost four-year war has killed tens of thousands of people, collapsed the economy and brought millions of people to the brink of famine.

The U.N. is pushing for the implementation of a ceasefire and troop withdrawal from Hodeidah, the main entry point for most of Yemen’s imports, agreed in December in Sweden.

Accessing the 51,000 tonnes of U.N. wheat and milling equipment at the frontline flashpoint is a key aim of ongoing peace talks.

Yemen’s conflict pits the Iran-aligned Houthi movement against a Saudi-backed coalition trying to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after it was ousted from power in Sanaa by the Houthis in 2014.

Negotiations between warring parties last week produced what the U.N. called a “preliminary compromise” on how to withdraw troops, although the deal has not yet been finally agreed.

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GUARD: ‘The fighting was intense’: witness tells of two-day attempt to kill Isis leader

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces surveys Isis positions in Baghouz on 10 February 2019. Photograph: Achilleas Zavallis/The Guardian

Fresh details have emerged of the coup attempt against Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with witnesses claiming foreign members of the terror group lost a two-day battle with his bodyguards before being rounded up and executed.

A witness who spoke to the Guardian after being smuggled from the last hamlet in eastern Syria held by Isis, said the clash took place in al Keshma, a village next to Baghouz in September, three months earlier than regional intelligence officials believed it had taken place.

“I saw him with my own eyes,” said Jumah Hamdi Hamdan, 53. “He was in Keshma and in September the Khawarij (infidels) tried to capture him.

“The fighting was very intense, they had tunnels between houses. They were mainly Tunisians and there were many people killed.”

Hamdan said Baghdadi then moved to Baghouz, from where he fled to the desert in early January. This account was supported by senior regional officials, who say he probably remains there, as the remnants of the so-called caliphate he built disintegrates nearby.

A senior military official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led force battling Isis, said other members of Isis’ foreign legion had joined the fight, including Algerians and Moroccans. “It was a really tough clash and they excommunicated the losers,” said an SDF commander at the Baghouz frontline, who uses the nom de guerre Adnan Afrini. “It started in mid-September and it was a very serious attempt to kill or capture him. We don’t think he is in the town now.”

Hamdan said Baghdadi and his guard force had been in the area for almost six months before fleeing. “He tried to keep a low profile and didn’t travel through town with them but we all knew where they were. He used an old red Opal car.”

Isis has placed a bounty on the head of the main plotter, Abu Muath al-Jazairi, who is believed to be a veteran foreign fighter.

Nemsha, along with much of Baghouz, stands in ruin as Kurdish forces and special forces from Britain, France and the US tighten the net on the last pocket the group holds – a small strip of land along the Euphrates river.

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REU: No consensus yet for Syria return: Arab League chief

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Arab League said on Monday there was no consensus yet among member states that may allow the reinstatement of Syria’s membership which was suspended in 2011 over its crackdown on protesters at the start of the civil war.

U.S.-allied Arab states including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backed the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad for years but Damascus was able to steadily crush rebel fighters with military backing from Russia and Iran.

In a big diplomatic boost for Assad, the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus in December, saying it aimed to normalize ties and curb risks of regional interference in “Arab, Syrian affairs” – an apparent reference to non-Arab Iran and Turkey.

But Arab League Secretary General and former Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, speaking during a visit to Beirut, said there was no consensus yet on Syria being allowed back into the League.

“I follow this subject very closely and I do not yet observe conclusions that lead to the consensus that we are talking about and that may lead to an (Arab) foreign ministers meeting in which they announce the end of the difference and therefore call for Syria to return to occupy the seat,” he said.

The Arab League is due to hold a summit meeting at the end of March in Tunisia.

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REU: Afghan president offers Taliban local office, but group wants Doha instead

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday offered the Taliban the possibility of opening an office in Afghanistan but the proposal was swiftly spurned by the group that is determined to keep his government out of accelerating peace talks.

Ghani has expressed alarm at the Taliban shutting his administration out of negotiations with the United States as well as recent Moscow talks with Afghan opposition politicians, and repeated earlier offers to give the group a secure official address to aid any future diplomacy between the two sides.

“If the Taliban want an office, I will give it to them in Kabul, Nangarhar or Kandahar by tomorrow,” Ghani said while visiting the province of Nangarhar, a hotbed of insurgent violence on the border with Pakistan.

“We will bring a lasting and honorable peace to the country,” he said.

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AP: Iraqi Christians fear returning home, wary of Shiite militia

BARTELLA, Iraq (AP) — In the main square in the northern Iraqi town of Bartella stands a large cross, one of the few overt signs the town was historically Christian.

Nearby, a massive billboard shows Shiite Muslim martyrs alongside a photo of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Posters of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen killed in fighting with the Islamic State group hang on streets all around the city, along with banners to revered historical Shiite saints.

Thirty years ago, Bartella’s population was entirely Christian. Demographic changes over the decades left the town split between Christians and an ethnic group known as Shabak, who are largely Shiites. When the Islamic State group overran the town and the rest of northern Iraq in 2014, Bartella’s entire population fled — since both communities were persecuted by the radicals.

But two years after Bartella was liberated from IS, fewer than a third of its 3,800 Christian families have come back. Most remain afraid, amid reports of intimidation and harassment by Shabak, who dominate the Shiite militias now controlling the town.

Catholic priest Behnam Benoka claimed that the Christian community is being pushed out by the Shabak. He also said multiple cases of sexual harassment have been reported to him and even one robbery of a little girl whose gold earrings were stolen. At one point, Shabak men fired guns in the air front of the town’s church for over an hour.

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AP: Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Pentagon’s top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban.

Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban’s list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.

Shanahan said he is encouraged that President Donald Trump’s administration is exploring all possibilities for ending a 17-year war, the longest in American history.

But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide. Thus far the Taliban have refused to negotiate with the government of President Ashraf Ghani, calling it illegitimate. Washington is trying to break that impasse.

“The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like. It’s not about the U.S., it’s about Afghanistan,” Shanahan told reporters traveling with him from Washington.

Later, Shanahan flew to a military base ringed by snow-capped hills where he met Afghan army commandos, who are regarded as the most capable element of the Afghan military. He told reporters the U.S.-trained commandos are increasingly on the offensive against the Taliban…………Shanahan’s views on the Afghan war are not widely known. He said he would use this week’s visit to inform his thinking and to report back to Trump.

In testimony before Congress last week, Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, offered a largely optimistic view of Afghanistan, saying the current maneuvering between U.S. and Taliban negotiators is “our first real opportunity for peace and reconciliation since the war began.”

Votel noted that the Taliban are still capable of inflicting significant casualties on Afghan government forces. Just last week the insurgents killed some two dozen Afghan troops in an attack on an army base in northern Kunduz province.

In addition to battling the Taliban, U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan are focused on an Islamic State affiliate known as ISIS-Khorasan, comprised of foreign fighters largely from Pakistan. “Left unchecked,” Votel said in his report to Congress, ISIS-Khorasan “will continue to grow as a threat to our homeland.”

In his remarks to reporters during his flight to Kabul, Shanahan said that although the Islamic State presence in Syria “has been decimated,” local Syrian security forces are needed to ensure stability. He said IS still has a global presence.

“If something hasn’t been completely eradicated, there is a risk of it returning,” he said.

Trump has taken an ambivalent approach to Afghanistan, saying his instinct upon entering office in 2017 was to withdraw. Yet he chose instead to add about 3,500 troops in 2017-2018 to bolster the U.S. effort to train and advise Afghan forces. After Mattis resigned in December, Trump insisted that he had been unhappy with how Mattis handled Afghanistan. Since then, the administration has said it achieved a tentative “framework” for fuller peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Read Full Article>>

Damn The War Criminals,

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

 

Afghan War Children

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.

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented;[1][2] 29,900 civilians have been wounded.[2] Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.[1] The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.[3] These numbers do not include those who have died in Pakistan.

The war, launched by the United States as “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[4] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years,[5] the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned foreign military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths.[6] The civilian losses are a continuation of the extremely high civilian losses experienced during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, and the three periods of civil war following it: 1989–1992, 1992–1996, and 1996–2001.

The McGlynn

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, 32, of Carrollton, Virginia, died Jan. 22, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of one soldier, one sailor and one DOD civilian who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

The deceased are:

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida. Farmer was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York. Kent was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri. Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist.

Farmer, Kent and Wirtz died Jan. 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Cameron A. Meddock, 26, of Spearman, Texas, died Jan. 17, 2019, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations on Jan. 13, 2019, in Jawand District, Badghis Province, Afghanistan.

Meddock was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

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

 

Pictures By Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>

Yemen War Children

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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