24 Mar

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The War Criminals

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. (A year ago Mr. Bush was on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” dancing and talking about his paintings.) The war criminals, Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Powell who sold us the war still go on doing what they do.

 Iraq is now far worse than it was during Saddam’s reign. And that is what America’s war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis.

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

GUARD: Ceasefire deal agreed in Syria’s eastern Ghouta

A ceasefire has been reached in the Syrian enclave of eastern Ghouta.

A ceasefire has been reached in the Syrian enclave of eastern Ghouta. Photograph: Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images

A ceasefire deal that will allow the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and fighters under Russian guarantees has been reached in the besieged Syrian enclave of eastern Ghouta.

The agreement, which was confirmed by the spokesman of the second-largest rebel group in the area, will allow civilians and fighters to either leave for northern Syria or remain in their homes and reconcile with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, with guarantees from Moscow that they will not be prosecuted for opposition activities.

In effect, the deal will displace thousands of civilians to the northern province of Idlib, which is under partial control by al-Qaida-linked militants, as few are likely to trust guarantees by a Russian government whose fighter jets participated in the month-long bombardment of eastern Ghouta.

“Due to the major escalation with internationally banned weapons accompanied by international silence and inaction, and the intensification of the mass killing by Russia and the militias of Assad and Iran … an agreement has been reached after direct negotiations with the Russians,” said Waiel Olwan, a spokesman for the rebel group Faylaq al-Rahman.

The deal affects four major towns in Ghouta – Arbin, Zamalka, Ain Terma and Jobar, which are under Faylaq al-Rahman’s control.

The besieged region has suffered a five-year blockade, chemical weapons attacks and over 1,500 have died in a month of relentless bombardment. The deal leaves one city, Douma, still under opposition control, with an estimated 150,000 civilians believed to be living there.

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REU: Syrian army celebrates as rebels quit most of their Ghouta stronghold

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels left one besieged enclave on Friday and agreed to abandon another, leaving only the city of Douma still in insurgent hands in eastern Ghouta after a month-long army assault to drive them from the stronghold near Damascus.

A girl looks at the camera during evacuations from the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

It brings President Bashar al-Assad to the cusp of his biggest victory over the rebels since driving them from Aleppo in December 2016, though they remain entrenched in areas of northwestern and southwestern Syria.

The offensive to capture the towns and villages on the outskirts of the capital, which began on Feb. 18 with a massive bombardment, has brought 90 percent of eastern Ghouta back under government control. More than 1,600 people have been killed, a war monitor said.

Syrian army soldiers fired tracer bullets into the night air in celebration on Friday as the last groups of rebels in the town of Harasta boarded buses for opposition territory in the northwest along with family members.

They had agreed to surrender the town in return for safe passage out and a pardon for civilians who chose to remain there as the government took back control.

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GUARD: Australia condemns Syria at UN and pushes back against Russia

Statement to Human Rights Council attacks Syrian regime for atrocities against civilians

A Syrian man stands among heavily damaged buildings

A Syrian man stands among heavily damaged buildings after an airstrike in Idlib this week. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Australia has fiercely condemned the Syrian government for its continuing atrocities against civilians, which have included bombing hospitals, using illegal chemical weapons and deliberately trying to starve a civilian population, in a statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

And Australia has pushed back firmly against Russia, which has tried to soften criticism of the Syrian regime.

A resolution condemning the Syrian regime was passed by the council 27 votes to 4 – with 16 abstentions – saying Syria’s actions probably “constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” and again urging that a 30-day ceasefire be upheld.

The vote came shortly after a new ceasefire deal was brokered that could allow the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and fighters from the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta under guarantees from Syria’s ally Russia.

The charge d’affaires of Australia’s mission to the UN in Geneva, Lachlan Strahan, told the council “it is clear the human rights are being systematically violated in Syria”.

“The use of chemical weapons, indiscriminate weapons, attacks on hospitals, denial of humanitarian access, attacks on civilians, the use of siege and starvation tactics, the persecution of minorities, and a disturbing level of impunity for wrongdoing have been tragic hallmarks of this conflict.”

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RFE: Suicide Car Bomber Kills 13 At Afghan Wrestling Match

Men carry a wounded man on a stretcher outside a hospital following a car bomb in Lashkar Gah on March 23.

Men carry a wounded man on a stretcher outside a hospital following a car bomb in Lashkar Gah on March 23.

A car bomb has exploded at the entrance of a sports stadium in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Afghanistan’s southwestern province of Helmand, killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens as they were leaving a wrestling match.

Aminullah Abed, the head of the province’s public health department, said at least 40 were injured — with six in critical condition. He said the bodies of many of those who were killed had been burnt beyond recognition.

Omar Zawak, a spokesman for Helmand’s provincial governor, told RFE/RL that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who drove an explosives-laden car into a crowd of people as they were passing through the entrance gate of the sports facility on March 23.

Zawak said at least 14 people were killed and 45 were injured.

Provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Safi said the target of the attack was civilians. He said no high-ranking officials were present or hurt at the stadium.

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NYT: This Is What I Do When I Hear the Bombs Explode

KABUL, Afghanistan — Whenever I hear a blast go off in my hometown the first thing I do is call my little brother.

Fatima Faizi at The New York Times bureau in Kabul. Credit Erin Trieb for The New York Times

Ehsan, 17, is the kind of kid who’s always out — riding his bicycle with a pack of friends, playing pickup soccer on one of Kabul’s dirt fields (grass is a luxury here). My parents and I are always trying to restrain him, warning him to stick to safe places. But he refuses. “Where is there any safe place here? Can you show me? If you can, I will go there.”

So when another bomb went off on Wednesday — on Nowruz, our Persian New Year holiday — my first instinct was to call him. Then I remembered: I had the day off from my job as a reporter in the Kabul bureau of The New York Times, so I was home, and so was my brother. I did a quick mental inventory of my other relatives and my closest friends; everyone was likely safe.

Then I grabbed my notebook and a spare phone battery and went to the scene. I didn’t have to go, my bureau chief said, but I felt I had to go. As usual, I was shaking like wind rustling a treeful of leaves, all over, but I didn’t care.

This would be the eighth suicide bombing I’ve witnessed here in Kabul, and I am sick to death of them.

In some ways it was the worst one I’ve seen, perhaps because one of the first things I noticed was a boy lying on his face, his leg blown off, and from a short distance away he looked just like my little brother. Again, I almost called home to check where Ehsan was, before I remembered I had just left him.

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Lashkargah car bombing leaves dozens dead, wounded

By Khaama Press – Fri Mar 23 2018, 8:49 pm

Nearly seventy people were killed or wounded in a car bomb explosion in Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of Helmand province, in South of Afghanistan.

The incident took place late in the evening after a car bomb was detonated near a local stadium in the city.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed the incident but did not elaborate further regarding the casualties toll.

However, the security officials are saying that the explosion has left at least 15 dead and more than 50 wounded.

The provincial government media office however says at least fourteen people have been killed and forty two others including children have been wounded in the attack.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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16 ISIS and Taliban militants killed in Nangarhar operations

At least sixteen militants belonging to the ISIS terrorist group and Taliban have been killed during the latest operations in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The provincial government media office in a statement said the militants were killed in the past twenty four hours in Haska Mina and Khogyani districts. The statemetn furhter added that

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Hekmatyar clarifies stance regarding safe zones for Taliban

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar clarified his stance regarding the establishment of safe zones for the Taliban group, insisting that his recommendation for safe zones never meant to hand over certain provinces in control of the group. Speaking during a press conference in Kabul, Hekmatyar said he has submitted his proposals for peace process

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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 deaths of seven airmen who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. They died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

Captain Andreas B. O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.

Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.

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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