themcglynn.com

01 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The War Criminals

Rage Against The Dying

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

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.

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: U.S.-backed Syrian forces resume battle against Islamic State

DEIR AL-ZOR, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S.-backed Syrian militias on Tuesday relaunched their campaign to seize the last territory Islamic State controls in the east near the border with Iraq.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, had paused their battle after Turkey launched an assault in January against their northern Afrin region.

“We have rearranged our ranks,” said Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in oil-rich Deir al-Zor province.

Islamic State militants stepped up attacks in the region in recent weeks in a bid to reorganize, she told a news conference at an oilfield on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river.

“Our heroic forces will liberate these areas and secure the border…We welcome the support of the Iraqi forces.”

Another SDF official in Deir al-Zor said that coordination with Iraqi troops had increased and that neither side would cross the border.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week that he expected a “re-energized” effort soon against the ultra-hardline militants in eastern Syria.

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REU: Insurgents start leaving south Damascus pocket, release hostages

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Dozens of hostages held by militants in northern Syria reached army lines on Tuesday, launching a deal for insurgents to quit an enclave south of Damascus, state media and a monitor said.

 

State news agency SANA said 42 people were freed in the first step of the agreement, arriving in government territory at a crossing near Aleppo city.

Women, children, and men including some soldiers wept and hugged on the bus, live on state TV. Islamist rebels had kidnapped the people in a village in rural Idlib as they swept into the province three years ago.

South of Damascus, buses shuttled 200 fighters and relatives out of the Yarmouk enclave under the swap between the government and insurgents, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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BBC: Syria war: Missile strikes on military sites ‘kill pro-Assad fighters’

Missile strikes on military sites in northern Syria overnight reportedly killed a number of pro-government fighters, including Iranians.

The Syrian military said facilities in Hama and Aleppo provinces were struck.

It did not say if there were any casualties. But a UK-based monitoring group said four Syrians and 22 foreigners, mostly Iranians, died.

It is not known who was behind the attacks. But Western nations and Israel have previously hit sites in Syria.

Earlier this month, the US, UK and France bombed three facilities they said were associated with the Syrian government’s alleged chemical weapons programme.

Israel is meanwhile alleged to have hit an airbase reportedly serving as an Iranian drone command centre and containing an advanced Iranian air defence system.

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will issue a statement on Monday evening on a “significant development” regarding the nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran.

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AP: Syrian troops briefly take villages east of Euphrates river

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces on Sunday briefly captured four villages east of the Euphrates River in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour after rare clashes with U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters, then lost the area in a counteroffensive by the Kurdish-led force.

The area close to the border with Iraq has been the site of recent clashes between the two sides that had been focusing on fighting the Islamic State extremist group. The IS had declared its caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Crossings into the east bank of the Euphrates in eastern Syria by government forces have been rare.

Hours later, Syrian state television reported airstrikes it described as a “new aggression,” with missiles targeting a number of military outposts in northern Syria.

Syrian TV reported early Monday that the missiles targeted outposts in the Hama and Aleppo countryside. It did not say who fired the missiles or whether there were any casualties or damage. The news comes less than two weeks after a similar report of airstrikes on government military installations in the central Homs region and the suburbs of Damascus. But the military later said a false alarm had set off air defense systems.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria through activists on the ground, reported loud explosions in the Hama countryside and Aleppo province resulting from missiles targeting a base of the 47th Brigade in Hama that houses Syrian government and allied Iranian forces. It also reported missiles hitting positions near the Nairab air base and Aleppo airport. It said the source of the missiles was not immediately known, and had no information on casualties.

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NYT: U.S.-Backed Syrian Forces Resume Battle Against Islamic State

DEIR AL-ZOR, Syria/BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian militias on Tuesday relaunched their campaign to seize the last territory Islamic State controls in the east near the border with Iraq.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, had paused their battle after Turkey launched an assault in January against their northern Afrin region.

“We have rearranged our ranks,” said Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in oil-rich Deir al-Zor province.

Islamic State militants stepped up attacks in the region in recent weeks in a bid to reorganize, she told a news conference at an oilfield on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river.

“Our heroic forces will liberate these areas and secure the border…We welcome the support of the Iraqi forces.”

Read full story »

NYT:Attack Kills American Service Member in Eastern Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — An attack on Monday in eastern Afghanistan killed one American service member and wounded another in the second United States military combat death this year in the enduring war.

The American-led international mission in Kabul announced the casualties but did not identify the troops, pending notification of their next of kin. Several Afghan soldiers were also killed in what the American military deemed a “combat operation.”

Roughly 14,000 American troops are spread across Afghanistan in a war that is now in its 17th year. The forces are split between training the Afghan military to fight the Taliban and hunting terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State’s affiliate in the country, which is known as the Khorasan group.

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GUARD: Ten journalists among 36 killed in Afghanistan attacks

Nine journalists killed while reporting on first of twin blasts in Kabul, while BBC reporter shot dead in Khost province

Who are the journalists who died?

Ten journalists have died in Afghanistan in a coordinated double suicide bombing in Kabul and a shooting in the eastern Khost province, on the deadliest day for media workers in the country since the fall of the Taliban.

Nine journalists died in the Afghan capital when they gathered at the scene of the first of two blasts. Ahmad Shah, a BBC reporter, was shot dead in a separate incident in Khost province, near the border with Pakistan.

In Kabul, a suicide attacker riding a motorbike blew himself up in the Shash Darak neighbourhood, near the Nato headquarters and the US embassy, at about 8am on Monday. A second bomber, holding a camera and posing as a journalist, struck 20 minutes later, killing rescue workers and journalists, including an Agence France-Presse photographer, who had rushed to the scene. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Kabul attacks, which left at least 25 people dead and 45 injured in total.

Hours later, a suicide bomber targeting a Nato convoy in southern Kandahar province killed 11 children at a religious school located near where the explosion occurred. At least 16 people, including five Romanian Nato soldiers, nine civilians and two police officers, were also wounded.

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REU: Afghan security forces see drop in numbers as security deteriorates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Afghan security forces decreased by nearly 11 percent in the past year, the U.S. government’s top watchdog on Afghanistan said on Tuesday, an indication of the difficulty Kabul will have in dealing with its precarious security situation.

Twin blasts in the Afghan capital Kabul killed at least 26 people on Monday, including nine journalists who had arrived to report on the first explosion and were apparently targeted by a suicide bomber.

The attacks, a week after 60 people were killed as they waited at a voter registration center in the city, underlined mounting insecurity despite repeated government pledges to tighten defenses.

The attacks in rapid succession were a grim reminder of the strength of both the Taliban and Islamic State’s emerging Afghanistan branch to wreak violence despite stepped up air attacks under U.S. President Donald Trump’s new policy for the 16-year-old war.

In a report released on Tuesday, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said the number of forces in the Afghan National Defense and Security forces (ANDSF), which includes the army, air force and police, totaled an estimated 296,400 personnel as of January. That was a drop of 10.6 percent compared to the same month in 2017.

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Taliban suffer heavy casualties in AAF airstrikes in Uruzgan province

The Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties in the airstrikes of the Afghan Air Force in southern Uruzgan province, the military officials said Tuesday. A source in the 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan Military in the South said the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Tarinkot city. The source further added that the .

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NDS Special Forces conduct night raid on Taliban leader’s compound in Nangarhar

The Special Operations Forces of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), conducted a night operation on a compound of the Taliban group leader in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The provincial government media office in a statement said the raid resulted into the killing of the Taliban local leader along with five others. .

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Civilians suffer casualties as blast rips through mini truck in Logar

At least two civilians were killed and another one was wounded in an explosion in central Logar province of Afghanistan, the local authorities said Tuesday. The incident took place close to the provincial capital late on Monday after a civilian vehicle struck a roadside mine. The provincial government media office in a statement said the .

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NYT:Attack Kills American Service Member in Eastern Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — An attack on Monday in eastern Afghanistan killed one American service member and wounded another in the second United States military combat death this year in the enduring war.

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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.

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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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