03 Apr

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.


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

REU: Saudi-led air strike kills 12 civilians, including seven children: medics

HODEIDAH, Yemen (Reuters) – An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen killed 12 civilians on Monday in the coastal city of Hodeidah, medics and a witness said, and the Houthi rebels later targeted Saudi Arabia’s southern border area with a missile.

Medics and a civilian who saw the wreckage said the air strike had destroyed a house in the al-Hali district, where displaced civilians from other provinces were settled.

A woman inured by an airstrike lies on a hospital bed in Hodeida, Yemen April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

The 12 victims were all from the same family including seven children, they said.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said: “We take this report very seriously and it will be fully investigated as all reports of this nature are – using an internationally approved, independent process. Whilst this is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Hodeidah is home to the impoverished country’s biggest port from where most of the humanitarian aid reaches millions of civilians on the brink of famine. The operation of the port, controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthis, was not affected by the air strike.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in a civil war in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The alliance, which includes other Sunni Muslim states, has conducted thousands of air strikes targeting Houthi fighters and has often hit civilian areas, although it denies ever doing so intentionally.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country – already the poorest on the Arabian Peninsula – to the verge of famine.

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REU: Yemen, U.N. chief seek peace talks with Iran-allied Houthis

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on Tuesday for the warring sides in Yemen to reach a political settlement to end a conflict in its fourth year that has left 22 million people in urgent need of aid.

“I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay,” he told a U.N. conference in Geneva, where the global body is seeking pledges toward a $3 billion humanitarian plan for Yemen this year.

Guterres called for Yemen’s ports to be kept open to humanitarian and commercial cargo, especially food, medicines and fuel. “Sana’a airport is also a lifeline that must be kept open.”

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REU: Russia, Assad give ultimatum to rebels northeast of Damascus

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Russian and Syrian military officers have told rebels in a besieged area northeast of Damascus they must accept state rule or leave, the spokesman for one rebel group said on Tuesday.

The ultimatum to the rebels of eastern Qalamoun was served to civilians from the area during a meeting with a Russian colonel and an officer from the Syrian Air Force Intelligence, rebel spokesman Said Saif of the Martyr Ahmad Abdo told Reuters.

The area is 40 km (25 miles) outside Damascus and separate from eastern Ghouta, which is directly adjacent to the capital and where Russian-backed government forces have wiped out rebel resistance.

“A clear message was sent to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in the area: either reconciliation and disarmament – handing weapons to the Syrian government as the Russians describe it – or departing eastern Qalamoun,” Saif said in separate comments to al-Hadath TV.

The Syrian military could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Syrian government is seeking to crush the last few rebel enclaves near Damascus after routing insurgents in eastern Ghouta, which was the last big opposition stronghold near the capital.

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NYT: Syria’s Tiny Assyrian Community Celebrates Its Survival

TEL ARBOUSH, Syria — The young men and women in traditional costumes of red, blue and white, the colors of the Assyrian flag, jumped into the middle of the park. With feathers or gold tiaras on their heads, they danced, kicking up their feet to a traditional song as the New Year’s party reached its peak.

“We Assyrians must remain united,” one song rang out. Older men watching raised a glass of Arak, an anise-flavored alcohol drink, to the dancers. The dance circle grew, as women, men and militiamen guarding the daytime party joined.

It is the Assyrian New Year, or Akitu. And the start of year 6768, by their calendar, coincided this time with Easter, a rare occasion that gave the small and ever shrinking community of Assyrian Christians in northern Syria more reason for their celebration Sunday.

They were snatching joy out of a site of tragedy. The village of Tal Arboush, where the organizers held the celebration, is one of more than 30 villages along the Khabur River that were destroyed when Islamic State group militants descended from the nearby mountain in February 2015 and rampaged through, kidnapping 226 residents and sending the rest fleeing.

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BBC: Syria war: Rebels ‘begin leaving last Eastern Ghouta town’

The Syrian government appears poised to regain control of the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta region close to the capital Damascus.

State media said the first members of the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group had left Douma on buses and were due travel to the northern town of Jarablus.

The government’s key ally Russia announced on Sunday that Jaysh al-Islam had agreed to an evacuation.

However, there has so far been no confirmation from the group.

Jaysh al-Islam continued to hold out after two other rebel factions – Faylaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham – agreed last month to be evacuated from towns under their control to the mainly rebel-held northern province of Idlib.

More than 1,600 people are reported to have been killed and thousands injured since the government and its allies launched an offensive in mid-February to retake the Eastern Ghouta, which was the last major rebel stronghold near Damascus.

A state television correspondent reported that the “implementation phase of removing” Jaysh al-Islam from Douma began on Monday.

A Syrian man pushes his bike past destroyed buildings in the besieged rebel-held town of Douma on 30 March 2018

  Image caption The UN estimates that 70,000 civilians are trapped inside Douma

The official Sana news agency said 629 fighters and their family members had left the town on 12 buses and passed into government-controlled territory via the nearby al-Wafideen checkpoint, from where they would later travel to Jarablus, on the border with Turkey.

A live feed of the checkpoint broadcast by the Russian military showed several buses arriving and then leaving, but it was unclear who was on board.

There was no immediate comment from Jaysh al-Islam.

On Sunday, a senior political official from the group denied agreeing to a deal that would see its thousands of fighters leave Douma.

Mohammed Alloush told the pro-opposition Enab Baladi website that negotiators had only approved the evacuation of people needing humanitarian assistance.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that monitors the country’s war through a network of sources, reported that there were divisions within Jaysh al-Islam, with many fighters unwilling to leave Douma.

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Beirut says one suggestion is that the rebels may lay down their arms and in return become part of a security force recognised by the Syrian government.

The rebels are also coming under intense pressure from the estimated 70,000 civilians trapped inside Douma who are desperate for the fighting to end, our correspondent adds.

The UN said last week that 80,000 civilians living in other towns had fled on foot to government-held territory, as troops made dramatic advances in recent weeks and split the region into three pockets – the largest of which was around Douma.

State media say 41,000 people have also been evacuated to Idlib under deals with Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Rahman. They reportedly include 1,100 Faylaq al-Rahman fighters and their relatives who left Douma late on Sunday.

Read full story »

NYT: Iraq Identifies More Bodies From Mass Grave Near Tikrit

BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities say they have found the remains of another 158 people in a mass grave outside the city of Tikrit, where the Islamic State group is believed to have massacred hundreds of captured soldiers when it rampaged across the country in the summer of 2014.

Iraq’s forensic department said Monday it has identified a total of 1,153 bodies from the grave.

IS captured an estimated 1,700 soldiers after seizing Tikrit in 2014. The soldiers were trying to flee from nearby Camp Speicher, a former U.S. base just outside the northern city.

IS later circulated graphic images of gunmen shooting the soldiers dead after forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch.

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IraqiNews: Defense Ministry, Peshmerga, U.S. officials meet on forming joint task force at disputed regions: Official

Erbil ( Kurdistan Region’s Government’s Peshmerga Ministry has announced holding a round of meetings along with the federal Defense Ministry in attendance of U.S. officials representing the International Coalition over formation of a joint task force at the regions, where sovereignty is disputed on between Baghdad and Erbil.

“The international coalition has been seeking for forming a joint task force and checkpoints at the disputed regions in order to preserve safety, stability and protect civilians,” Maj. Gen.Qaraman Sheikh Kamal, deputy chief of staff of operations at the Peshmerga Ministry, was quoted by Kurdistan News channel on Monday.

Forming a task force, according to Kamal, “is a demand by the U.S.-Coalition and the people at those regions so Peshmerga troops can return back to these areas.”

“Several meetings were held between the Peshmerga and the Defense Ministry under supervision of the Coalition,” Kamal said indicating serious efforts toward forming the task force.

In March, Mazahim al-Howeit, spokesperson for the Arab tribes in Nineveh, was quoted by Radio Sawa website as saying a delegation from U.S. is expected to visit each of Baghdad and Erbil to agree on the redeployment of the Kurdish Peshmerga troops in disputed regions.

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IraqiNews: Three civilians killed, injured in bomb blast, west of Anbar

Anbar ( – Three civilians were killed and injured Monday in a bomb blast in Anbar province, a security source with Anbar police was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Basnews website, the source said, “A bomb believed to be left by Islamic State militants went off in al-Tin district in al-Qa’im, west of Anbar, leaving one person dead and two others injured.”

“Security forces combed the blast site in search of other explosives,” the source pointed out.

He noted that the dead body was moved to the forensic medicine department, while the injured were carried to hospital for treatment.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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AP: Afghan official: 5 civilians killed in airstrike on Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says at least five civilians and 35 insurgents have been killed in an airstrike by Afghan forces in northern Kunduz province.

Nematullah Temori, spokesman for the provincial governor in Kunduz, said Tuesday that 55 civilians were wounded in the attack a day earlier in Dashti Archi district. He said a government delegation is investigating the incident.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish earlier said the airstrike targeted Taliban fighters and killed more than 30 of them, including nine commanders. He said large number of fighters had gathered in the area to hold a military parade.

The Taliban said in a statement that the airstrike hit a madrassa, or Islamic religious school, killing and wounding more than 100 clerics, religious students and other civilians.

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NYT: Afghans Bury Civilians as U.N. Investigates Air Strike

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — Villagers in the Afghan province of Kunduz said on Tuesday they had buried dozens of victims of a government air strike in a Taliban-controlled district, in an incident the United Nations described as “disturbing”.

The office of the governor of the northern province said Monday’s attack by the government air force on a Taliban meeting had inflicted an unknown number of civilian casualties.

But villagers and the Taliban disputed the nature of the gathering, saying the air force had bombed a religious ceremony.

The casualties underlined the risk of greater use of air power under a new U.S. strategy announced last year to try to force the militant group to the negotiating table.

Sayed Jaan, a resident of the district of Dasht-i Archi, said he attended two mass funerals of almost 40 people, adding that other burials had taken place.

He said the helicopter attack happened during a religious ceremony, called Dastaar Bandi, to mark young men completing the memorization of the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

“There were two mass graves to bury the victims of the bombing and I took part in both burials. In one grave, 16, and in another, 21. Many were young children,” Sayed Jaan said.

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Civilians wounded as dozens of artillery shells land in Kunar province

A number of civilians were wounded in eastern Kunar province during the latest wave of artillery shelling from the other side of Durand Line, the local officials said Tuesday. Provincial police spokesman Faridullah Dehqan confirmed that nearly 300 rounds of artillery shells have landed in three districts of Kunar province in the past 24 hours.

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UN Human Rights team investigates possible civilian deaths in Kunduz

The United Nations Human Rights team has launched an investigation regarding the possible casualties of the civilians during a deadly airstrike in Kunduz province. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the mission is actively looking in to disturbing reports of serious harm to civilians yesterday from airstrike at Dashti Archi, Kunduz. According

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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.

Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, died March 30 in Manbij, Syria as a result of injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol. The incident is under investigation.

Dunbar was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

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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