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12 Jun

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

War News

Yemeni rebels said they fired a cruise missile at a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia, an attack Riyadh said hit the arrivals hall and wounded 26 people.

The attack is part of an increasingly sophisticated Houthi campaign targeting Saudi sites and is certain to lead to the Saudis launching severe reprisals in Yemen, and possibly against Iran, which is allied to the Houthis.

Diplomats have long feared that the Yemen civil war, now into its fifth year, could spill over into the wider Iran-Saudi conflict with Riyadh accusing Tehran of providing logistical and technical support for the Houthi attacks.

No fatalities were reported in the airport attack, but the number of civilians wounded was the largest in any attack by Houthi rebels in Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis’ al-Masirah satellite news channel said the missile hit its intended target, Abha airport, near the Yemen border, disrupting flights. The Houthis have also been carrying out drone strikes on Saudi oil installations and may have been responsible for recent attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

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GUARD: Boris Johnson allowed arms sales to Saudis after Yemen bombing

Defence and security editor

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson recommended the sale for approval in August 2016. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images

Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson recommended that the UK allow Saudi Arabia to buy British bomb parts expected to be deployed in Yemen, days after an airstrike on a potato factory in the country had killed 14 people in 2016.

Campaigners accused the then foreign secretary of showing a “total disregard” for Yemeni civilians by allowing the sales, revealed for the first time in emails disclosed via a freedom of information request.

A day after the sale was recommended for approval by Johnson in August 2016, a village school in Yemen was hit by another deadly airstrike, prompting further complaints that the UK is complicit in breaches of international humanitarian law.

UK arms controls mean that the foreign secretary has to be consulted on whether the Department for International Trade should licence “precision guided weapons systems and munitions that are likely to be used by the Saudi Royal Air Force in Yemen”.

An email dated 12 August 2016 to the Export Control Joint Unit, responsible for licensing UK arms deals, says that Johnson “was content” to advise that the licensing of components for Paveway bombs should go ahead.

A few days earlier, on 9 August, the Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes on Sana’a at the end of a ceasefire that had held since April. Reports at the time said that more than half of those killed in the strike were women.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade accused the Conservative MP of showing a lack of compassion: “For Boris Johnson to approve a missile sale the day after a food factory was destroyed shows the total disregard that he and his colleagues hold for the rights and lives of Yemeni people.”

A day after the approval email was sent, on 13 August, a village school in the Sa’ada province was hit by an airstrike, which killed 10 children and injured 20.

The then cabinet minister has previously defended the arms sales during his time in office, saying in September 2016 that Saudi-led bombing campaign is not “in clear breach” of international humanitarian law.

Previously disclosures show that Johnson also assented to arms sales to Saudi Arabia in November 2016, the month after a funeral was bombed in Sana’a and dozens killed.

The UK is estimated to have licensed the sale of over £4.7bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since bombing began in March 2015. The Gulf nation has been the largest buyer of British-made arms for decades.

The correspondence shows that the Foreign Office’s Arms Policy Export Team has a duty to advise whether “there is a clear risk that these exports might be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

Officials in the export team concluded that “this clear risk test has not been met” in an email dated 10 August.

In another email, dated 27 July, the Export Team declare: “We have increased confidence in the Saudi pre-planned and dynamic targeting processes.”

That was criticised by the academic who originally obtained the emails, following a 20-month battle, Dr Anna Stavrianakis, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex.

The academic said: “Coming days after an attack on a food factory, this information that suggests ‘increased confidence’ in Saudi processes is at odds with events on the ground.”

The court of appeal is deciding on a claim brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade against the legality of the export of UK arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen. The high court had determined such sales were legal in July 2017, but two judges said that could be challenged in the higher court.

The Saudi-led coalition has been repeatedly accused of bombing indiscriminately during the Yemeni civil war, which is targeting Houthis and allied rebel groups backing the former president of Yemen, the late Ali Abdullah Saleh. Peace talks have led to a partial ceasefire.

Jeremy Hunt, who took over as foreign secretary in July 2018, and another Tory leadership contender, has defended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, arguing that halting them would be “morally bankrupt” because the UK would “surrender our influence”.

Johnson was approached for comment but has not responded.

AP: Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to U.S. and Afghan security officials.

Nearly two decades after the U.S.-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which have also clashed with IS, as a potential partner in containing it.

A U.S. intelligence official based in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is “practice runs” for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States.

Noor Mohammad fled his village in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province in late April as the Islamic State group swept through the area. He had already lost a son who had died as a soldier fighting the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“This group is the most near-term threat to our homelands from Afghanistan,” the official said on condition of anonymity to preserve his operational security. “The IS core mandate is: You will conduct external attacks” in the U.S. and Europe. “That is their goal. It’s just a matter of time,” he said. “It is very scary.”

Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, sees Afghanistan as a possible new base for IS now that it has been driven from Iraq and Syria. “ISIS has invested a disproportionate amount of attention and resources in Afghanistan,” he said, pointing to “huge arms stockpiling” in the east.

A ‘PROVINCE’ OF THE CALIPHATE

The Islamic State affiliate appeared in Afghanistan shortly after the group’s core fighters swept across Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014, carving out a self-styled caliphate, or Islamic empire, in around a third of both countries. The Afghanistan affiliate refers to itself as the Khorasan Province, a name applied to parts of Afghanistan, Iran and central Asia in the Middle Ages.

The IS affiliate initially numbered just a few dozen fighters, mainly Pakistani Taliban driven from their bases across the border and disgruntled Afghan Taliban attracted to IS’ more extreme ideology. While the Taliban have confined their struggle to Afghanistan, the IS militants pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of the group in the Middle East, and embraced his call for a worldwide jihad against non-Muslims. Within Afghanistan, IS launched large-scale attacks on minority Shiites, who it views as apostates deserving of death

Farmanullah Shirzad’s family fled their village in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province in late April as Islamic State fighters moved in to find shelter in the city of Jalalabad, east of Kabul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)>

The group suffered some early stumbles as its leaders were picked off by U.S. airstrikes. But it received a major boost when the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan joined its ranks in 2015. Today it counts thousands of fighters, many from central Asia but also from Arab countries, Chechnya, India and Bangladesh, as well as ethnic Uighurs from China.

The group has long been based in the eastern Nangarhar province, a rugged region along the border with Pakistan, but has a strong presence in northern Afghanistan and of late has expanded into neighboring Kunar province, where it could prove even harder to dislodge. The mountainous province provided shelter for Osama bin Laden for nearly a year after the Taliban’s ouster, and U.S. forces struggled for years to capture and hold high-altitude outposts there, eventually all but surrendering the region to the Taliban.

The area comprising the provinces of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman was so dangerous that the U.S.-led coalition assigned an acronym to it in the years after the invasion, referring to it as N2KL. Militants launching shoulder-fired rockets from Kunar’s peaks downed a U.S. Chinook helicopter in 2005, killing 16 Navy SEALs and special operations forces in one of the deadliest single attacks of the war.

Ajmal Omar, a member of the Nangarhar provincial council, says IS now has a presence in all four provinces.

Farmanullah Shirzad recounts how his family fled their village in Nangarhar province as Islamic State fighters moved in to seize territory. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“Right now in Kunar, the right side of the road is Taliban, the left side is Daesh and the government is in the middle,” he said, referring to the group by its Arabic acronym. Speaking inside his heavily fortified home in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, he said neighboring Kunar would soon replace the Middle East as the IS group’s center of gravit

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AP: Roadside bomb kills 6 civilians in southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says six people were killed when a civilian vehicle struck a roadside bomb in southern Kandahar province.

Provincial councilman Yousof Younosi says all the victims were from a single family — two children, two women and two men. The attack took place on Tuesday in Dand district.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Younosi blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and regularly stage attacks against Afghan forces and government officials.

Meanwhile, Jawad Hajri, spokesman for the governor in northeastern Takhar province, said security forces repelled Taliban attacks on checkpoints in Khoja Ghor district on Tuesday.

He says three pro-government fighters were killed as well as 15 insurgents. The Taliban claimed their fighters had overrun the Khoja Ghor district headquarters.

AP: Afghan forces rescue 34 people form Taliban-run prison

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Interior Ministry says Afghan special forces have rescued 34 people from a Taliban-run prison in northern Baghlan province.

Tuesday’s statement from the ministry says 17 civilians and 17 members of the security forces — seven soldiers, seven policemen and three intelligence agents — were freed during the operation, which took place on Monday.

The Taliban haven’t commented yet on the raid in Baghlan.

Last month, the U.N. expressed concerns, saying that Afghan captives held by the Taliban have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture.

The U.N. mission made its assessment after interviewing 13 detainees from a group of 53 rescued in April by Afghan forces form a Taliban prison in southern Uruzgan province. Afghan forces, civilians and government officials were among the rescued.

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection

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Save The Children Organization

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

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Afghan War Children

Please Never Forget.

 

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