themcglynn.com

16 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The dead & suffering children of Iraq.

Iraq Children by The McGlynn

Published 11 years ago

War News

GUARD: UK receives report documenting Saudi cover-up of unlawful Yemen airstrikes

Comprehensive independent analysis will add pressure after June ruling that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful

The aftermath of a Saudi-led airstrike on Houthi positions in Yemen in November 2017.

The aftermath of a Saudi-led airstrike on Houthi positions in Yemen in November 2017. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

An international law group has submitted new evidence to the UK government alleging that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has covered up evidence of its unlawful airstrikes on civilian targets.

The allegations will put pressure on the UK government as it prepares its response to a court order directing it to reconsider all existing British government licences to export arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.

In June the UK court of appeal said the previous method of granting new licences, largely depending on assurances from the Saudi government, was inadequate. The government is expected to provide its response next month in a move with big ramifications for future UK-Saudi relations.

A 288-page report submitted to the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, by the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and UK law firm Bindmans contains witness testimony as well as crater and bomb-fragment analysis from scores of strikes carried out by the coalition. It is the most comprehensive independent analysis of the Saudi bombing campaign compiled so far.

The report says the attacks appear to violate international humanitarian law by “targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure”.

The evidence was largely compiled by Mwatana, an independent Yemeni human rights group. In many cases, its evidence, gathered very soon after Saudi bomb strikes, directly contradicts the post-strike investigations conducted by the Saudi-led coalition.

Mwatana, seen as impartial by the UN, has field researchers operating in 21 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates.

Saudi-led airstrikes on Houthi positions in Sana’a in September 2016.

Saudi-led airstrikes on Houthi positions in Sana’a in September 2016. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

The evidence collated in the report was obtained by Arron Merat, a journalist and Commons researcher. It is also being submitted to the Commons committee on arms export controls.

“This evidence shows not only that Riyadh is targeting Yemeni civilians but that it is covering them up with whitewash ‘investigations’,” Merat said.

“What’s worse is that the British government says that it bases its decisions on whether or not to approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia on information provided to it by Saudi Arabia.”

The appeal court ruling on 20 June requires the Department for International Trade to review all existing export licences for arms that could be used in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition, checking against past allegations of civilian attacks.

The appeal court ruled the government had unlawfully approved weapons transfers to the coalition by not formally assessing the record of alleged violations of international humanitarian law.

Under British law, it is illegal for the government to licence arms exports if there is a “clear risk” that they might be used to deliberately or recklessly kill civilians.

UK ministers have admitted in court filings they did not undertake any independent analysis, but had relied upon the ad hoc reports from the coalition’s own Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT).

Mwatana looked at more than 400 bombing incidents, and the GLAN/Bindmans report highlights 16 documented instances where evidence of an attack compiled by Mwatana was denied. In a further four instances, the report says JIAT claimed the attacks were justifiable assaults on military targets where on-the-ground evidence suggested otherwise.

The report says JIAT falsely denies responsibility for many attacks, including a 21 September 2016 attack on a funeral in Hodeidah city, which killed 23 people, including five children. The report includes photographs of the tail fins from guided missiles and a missile fragment which has been identified as coming from a US-made GBU-16 bomb. Only the coalition has the capacity to deliver such munitions.

“The explosion was powerful, and we were shaken around as if we were dummies,” a witness to the attack told Mwatana. “I had never imagined that our neighbourhood would be bombed.”

Similarly, JIAT also denied an attack on a market at the al-Khoukha roundabout in Hodeidah governorate on 10 March 2017, which killed 21 civilians including three children. A witness interviewed by Mwatana said that the market was “full of people” and that nobody was afraid when the bombing of the nearby military camp (about 200 metres away) started, because it was so frequently bombed.

Yemenis stand over the rubble of houses destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike on Sana’a, Yemen, in September 2015.

Yemenis stand over the rubble of houses destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike on Sana’a, Yemen, in September 2015. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

JIAT also concluded no airstrike took place on in the Unesco-protected al-Feleihi district of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, on 18 September 2015. New evidence filed by Bindmans and Mwatana includes pieces of bomb fragmentation that have been identified as coming from an air-delivered explosive.

GLAN’s director Gearóid Ó Cuinn said: “The UK government can either rely on discredited Saudi assurances or listen to those who have documented painstakingly the constant civilian deaths caused by coalition airstrikes.”

Saudi Arabia has accused the Houthi rebels it has been fighting in Yemen of using civilian buildings to hide from airstrikes, but even if this were correct international law requires such strikes to be proportionate and justified by the high military value of the identified target.

Radhya Almutawakel, the chair of Mwatana for Human Rights, said: “The UK should have stopped selling arms to the Saudi coalition a long time ago. We hope this evidence helps them finally make the right decision.”

Further evidence of alleged violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition are expected to be published later this month by the open-source investigators Bellingcat.

AP: Iraq takes security measures following mysterious blasts

In this Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 photo, plumes of smoke rise after an explosion at a military base southwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq is ordering all military camps and munitions warehouses to be moved outside Iraqi cities following a massive explosion Monday at an ammunition depot that killed one civilian and wounded 13. (AP Photo/Loay Hameed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq on Thursday banned unauthorized flights and ordered all military camps and munitions warehouses to be moved outside Iraqi cities following a massive explosion at a munitions depot southwest of Baghdad that killed one civilian and wounded 13 earlier this week.

The exact cause of Monday night’s explosion at the al-Saqr military base is still unknown. The blast shook the Iraqi capital and sent explosives and mortar shells shooting into the sky, damaging nearby homes and terrifying residents who ran into the streets with their cellphones. Black smoke billowed over the city for hours afterward.

The federal police base houses a weapons depot belonging to a militia group under the umbrella of the mainly Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. The state-sanctioned PMF militias have fought alongside Iraq’s regular armed forces against the Islamic State group.

Some officials blamed the explosion at the base, also known as Falcon Camp, on faulty storage that caused overheating amid typically high temperatures in Baghdad. But the blast has also given rise to a host of theories, including that Israel may have conducted an airstrike.

Israel has struck Iranian bases in neighboring Syria on numerous occasions, and there has been speculation that it might be expanding its campaign to target Iranian bases to Iraq. However, neither the Iraqi government nor Israel have addressed the reports.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi ordered a “thorough investigation” into the incident, ordering the investigation be concluded within a week.

In a statement issued Thursday following a national security meeting, Abdul-Mahdi ordered the cancellation of all aviation approvals for flights throughout the country, unless authorized by the commander of the armed forces. The statement did not specify military or civilian flights but specifically cited reconnaissance, fighter jets and helicopters and drones of all kinds.

It said the directives applied to “Iraqi and non-Iraqi parties.” Iraq hosts American troops and forces belonging to the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which sometimes conduct operations and airstrikes in the country.

The statement urged all parties to abide by the directives, stating that any other flight activity “will be considered (an) enemy flight and dealt with from our air defenses immediately.”

The statement called for the transfer of warehouses and camps belonging to the defense and interior ministries and the PMF and other factions that participated in fighting IS to be moved outside the cities. It said violators will be “considered an irregular presence and dealt with in accordance with the law and order.”

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

Leading To War – The Complete Film

Damn The War Criminals,

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

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Gunnery Sergeant Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, died August 10, 2019, after being engaged by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations. This incident is under investigation.

Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

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

Both soldiers died July 29, 2019, in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:
Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio.
Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, Illinois.

Both soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sgt. William Edward Friese, 30, from Rockport, West Virginia, died July 18, 2019 in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Friese was assigned to 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd, Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade, Summersville, West Virginia.

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

Sgt. Maj. James G. Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, died July 13, 2019, in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations. This incident is under investigation.

Sartor was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.

War Casualties By Name

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.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Syria War Child

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