16 Mar

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The dead & suffering children of Iraq.

Video From Ten Years Ago

The War Criminals

The war criminals of the Bush regime lied and fabricated evidence to go to war.

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Powell are war criminals and today they are enjoying freedom.

The thousands dead, the region in chaos, the creation of Islamic State and the trillions of dollars cost and for what? The worst of all is that they were so desperate for war that they had no plans for peace.

So where are the protests and demonstrations today in the US to bring Bush, Chaney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld to Justice? There are none. There has been none. And now the US people ask – why do we have so many enemies and why do peoples from other cultures hate us?

Shaima Naif’s daughter, Jannat, who was killed in Mosul

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 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.

The McGlynn

War News

NYT: Mattis: Don’t Restrict U.S. Support to Saudi-Led Forces in Yemen

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis defended U.S. military support to Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces in Yemen on Thursday as he explained a personal appeal to lawmakers who are considering whether to end Washington’s involvement in the devastating conflict.

The Trump administration has been warning Saudi Arabia since last year that concern in Congress over the humanitarian situation in Yemen, including civil casualties in the war, could constrain U.S. assistance.

Since it began in 2015, the conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven Yemen –already the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula – to the verge of widespread famine.

Mattis said the U.S. assistance, which includes limited intelligence support and refueling of coalition jets, was ultimately aimed at bringing the war toward a negotiated, U.N.-brokered resolution.

“We need to get this to a negotiated settlement, and we believe our policy right now is correct for doing this,” Mattis told reporters, as he flew back to Washington from the Middle East.

A bipartisan group of senators, Republican Mike Lee, independent Bernie Sanders and Democrat Chris Murphy, are attempting to take advantage of a provision in the 1973 war powers act that allows any senator to introduce a resolution on whether to withdraw U.S. armed forces from a conflict not authorized by Congress.

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BBC: You never get used to living like this’ Video 

Seven-year-old Rouaa has lived most of her life in a refugee camp and dreams of a better life.

The BBC’s Caroline Hawley has been following her story.

AP: 7 years on, Syrians despair over a country in pieces

BEIRUT (AP) — For Syrians marking seven years of war, their country has never looked as helpless or fragmented.

President Bashar Assad has decimated the rebellion, thanks to massive military aid from Russia and Iran, but foreign powers have carved out zones of influence across the country. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, and heavy fighting is underway in the suburbs of Damascus and in the north, where al-Qaida-linked militants are clashing with rival insurgents and Turkish troops are battling a Syrian Kurdish militia.

The violence has accelerated even as the United States, Russia, Iran and Turkey worked diplomatic tracks to broker local truces and freeze the lines of conflict over the last year. Those efforts now appear to have been aimed at mapping out areas of influence.

“I don’t even see Syria anymore,” said Zaina Erhaim, a Syrian journalist who left the country in 2016 and now lives in London.

“It’s called Syria on the map. But if you can think about an ordinary Syrian who wants to go from Daraa to Idlib, can you think about how many countries or nationalities he’s going to be passing to reach there?” she asked.

A short list would include the remnants of Syria’s Western-backed opposition, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and other Iran-backed Shiite fighters from as far away as Afghanistan, Syrian troops, Russian pilots, al-Qaida-linked jihadis, U.S.-allied Kurdish forces and Turkish tank crews………………..Until now, the various foreign powers have been content to leave the fighting to their local proxies, but the risk of a direct confrontation — between Iran and Israel, or even Russia and the United States — has steadily grown.

“Tensions are rising in ways where the trigger becomes much easier to happen,” said Maha Yahya, director of the Beirut-based Carnegie Middle East Center.

Syrians say their own country has become an afterthought.

“Syria has been swallowed up,” says Wannous, the novelist. “In Syria you feel you no longer have a place, you no longer have a country.”

Read full story »

AP: Thousands flee violence in mass exodus from Syrian towns

BEIRUT (AP) — Tens of thousands of terrified men, women and children streamed out on foot and in pick-up trucks Thursday from besieged enclaves on two fronts, fleeing bombings from the Syrian military near the capital, Damascus, and Turkish troops in the country’s north.

It was the largest single-day exodus of civilians from fighting in Syria’s civil war and a reminder of how the conflict that sparked the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe continues to hit new lows as it enters its eighth year.

The flight of an estimated 42,000 civilians came as their attackers— Syrian government troops, backed by Russian aircraft, and Turkish forces — pushed their way into civilian centers, in strategic military advances that could turn the page on some of the most volatile flashpoints of the conflict.

Near the capital, Damascus, the Syrian government is chipping away at one of the largest and most significant opposition bastions since the early days of the rebellion — communities where some 400,000 people are estimated to be holed up.

Since mid-February, Syrian troops have targeted the capital’s sprawling eastern Ghouta region with shells, airstrikes and, at times, even toxic gas, according to opposition medics. They are now in control of the majority of the enclave that had been in rebel hands since 2012.

Over the weekend, Syrian troops divided the enclave into three sectors, isolating the major urban centers and enabling a swift advance……………….Amid the chaos, airstrikes continued on eastern Ghouta.

The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense said its first responders have been unable to reach the wounded in several towns in eastern Ghouta because of the intensity of the government’s assault. It said one of its rescue workers was killed in an airstrike on the town of Hazeh.

“They are burning Ghouta to the ground,” said Anas al-Dimashqi, a media activist and resident of Kafr Batna, a town also targeted in intense airstrikes Thursday.

The Russian military, meanwhile, said it had extended a “humanitarian pause” to operations targeting Douma through Thursday and Friday.

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AP: Russia says cease-fire in Syria’s Ghouta will be extended


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Russian military and the Syrian government are extending a cease-fire in Damascus’ rebel-held suburbs as long as it takes to allow all the civilians to leave the area.

Lavrov spoke in Kazakhstan on Friday, saying the cease-fire will be extended “until all (civilians) leave” the enclave known as eastern Ghouta.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that 2,000 people had exited the rebel-held suburbs by early morning.

Thursday saw the largest single-day exodus of civilians in Syria’s civil war. Tens of thousands emerged from Hamouria and other opposition towns to escape the onslaught.

The civilians were fleeing as Syrian government troops, backed by Russian aircraft, pushed further into eastern Ghouta.

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REU: Hundreds of families flee Syrian town of Afrin: Observatory

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hundreds of families fled the Syrian town of Afrin towards nearby villages held by pro-Syrian government forces overnight as Turkish forces shelled the town, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

People sit in a truck with their belongings in the north east of Afrin, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Turkish forces and allied Syrian militias are targeting Afrin in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in northwestern Syria.

The Observatory said families left the town in buses and cars towards Nubl and al-Zahra, Shi’ite Muslim villages that are loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government has sided with the YPG against Turkey in Afrin.

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BBC: Syria war: Thousands flee twin offensives in Afrin and Ghouta

As many as 50,000 people have fled separate offensives against rebel forces in northern and southern Syria in recent days, activists say.

Civilians leave the Syrian city of Afrin, 15 March

Civilians took to the hilly roads around Afrin on Thursday

About 30,000 have left the northern town of Afrin as Turkish forces and their allies stepped up a siege.

In the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus, some 20,000 have left areas targeted by Syrian government forces.

The mass movements come seven years into a war which has driven nearly 12 million people from their homes.

At least 6.1 million are internally displaced while another 5.6 million have fled abroad.

More than 400,000 are believed to have been killed or are missing, presumed dead, since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

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REU: Turkish forces shell Syria’s Afrin, try to storm town from north: YPG

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkish forces shelled the Syrian town of Afrin heavily overnight and killed at least 18 people, and the Kurdish YPG fighters were waging battles with Turkish and allied forces trying to storm the town, a YPG spokesman said.

Brusk Hasakeh, the YPG spokesman in Afrin, said the Turkish forces and their Syrian militia allies were trying to storm Afrin from the north. “They are shelling in order to storm (Afrin),” Hasakeh said by phone. He said the YPG and its all-female affiliate, the YPJ, were waging battles with the attacking forces.

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GUARD: US military helicopter crashes in Iraq near Syrian border, fatalities feared

AHH-60 helicopter crashed near al-Qaim, a town in Anbar province, according to a US official

A US military aircraft carrying US service members crashed in western Iraq, US Central Command said in a statement late on Thursday.

“Rescue teams are responding to the scene of the downed aircraft at this time,” the statement said.

The aircraft is thought to be a HH-60 helicopter, which crashed near al-Qaim, a town in Anbar province close to the Syrian border, according to a US official citing initial reports.

The helicopter was carrying seven people and fatalities were “likely”, the official told Reuters.

The mayor of al-Qaim, Ahmed al-Mahlawi, also told Reuters there were seven people on board.

Further details of the incident were not yet known, but Central Command said an investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

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NYT: Timeline of the Syrian Conflict as It Enters 8th Year

Syria’s conflict enters its eighth year Thursday, with President Bashar Assad’s forces fighting to drive rebels from their last bastion near the capital, Damascus, and Turkish forces closing in on the northern Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin.

Assad remains firmly in power seven years after an Arab Spring-inspired uprising that began with peaceful protests but escalated into an armed rebellion following a brutal government crackdown. Russia and Iran have provided massive aid to Assad’s forces, allowing them to advance on a number of fronts in recent years.

The Islamic State group was able to exploit the chaos to seize up to a third of the country at one point, but its self-declared caliphate is now in ruins, with the militants largely confined to a remote area along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

An al-Qaida-linked group dominates the northern Idlib province, while U.S.-backed Kurdish forces hold around a quarter of the country in the northeast.

The fighting in Syria has killed an estimated 400,000 people since 2011 and driven half the population from their homes, with more than 5 million becoming refugees, mainly in neighboring countries. Several rounds of peace talks have done little to stem the bloodshed.

A timeline of key events in the Syria war:

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NYT: Blue Bus of Kabul Brings Joys of Reading to Afghan Children

KABUL, Afghanistan — The children of Kabul love the blue bus — they rush toward it every time it pulls into their street, eager to come onboard, their young eyes brimming with excitement.

But it’s no ordinary bus. Its name is Charmaghz, the Dari word for Walnut, and it’s a library on wheels — the first such enterprise in Afghanistan’s war-battered capital.

Inside the bus are rows of neatly stacked books for children, hundreds of them in both Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan. And small tables and stools for the kids to sit on as they discover the joys of reading.

From sunrise to sunset, the bus drives around Kabul’s neighborhoods, stopping in each place for a couple of hours at a time.

The library was the initiative of Freshta Karim; a 25-year-old who recently got her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Oxford, England. She wanted to give Kabul’s children something badly missing in her own childhood — the chance to widen one’s horizons, free of the shadow of war and poverty.

The idea came to her two years ago, Karim said, when she was hosting a small reading club for children at her home. She thought about ways to expand the project and bring reading opportunities to more children in the city.

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US airstrike leaves 4 ISIS militants dead in Kunar province of Afghanistan

At least four militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in the latest US airstrike in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan. The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said Thursday that the US military carried out airstrike on ISIS hideout in the past

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Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

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

Sgt. 1st Class Maitland Deweever Wilson, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, died March 7 in Landstuhl, Germany from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Wilson was assigned to the 831st Transportation Battalion, 595th Transportation Brigade, Manama, Bahrain.

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 ProgramLocator 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

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