01 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals

The war criminals, Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England

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.

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: Families of 9/11 victims look to seize Iran assets in Britain

LONDON/ANKARA(Reuters) – An English court has cleared the way to consider whether it will allow the families of some of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States to make a claim on Iranian assets in Britain.

The relatives want the English High Court to enforce a 2012 decision by a U.S. court which found there was evidence to show that Iran provided “material support and resources to al Qaeda for acts of terrorism”. The militant group carried out the attacks.

The New York court awarded the plaintiffs damages of over $7 billion. Iran denies any links to Al Qaeda or any involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

If the English court agrees to enforce the ruling, it could clear the way for assets in England and Wales to be frozen or seized. Iranian assets in England include a central London building and funds held by two subsidiaries of state-owned banks. This could add to Tehran’s troubles as it tries to stave off a financial crisis.

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NYT: Aid Agency Says Yemen Port Shutdown Could Double Needy

UNITED NATIONS — The already “staggering” number of 8.4 million Yemenis who don’t know where their next meal will come from could double very quickly if ports in the rebel-held north are attacked and shut down, the head of the aid agency Oxfam America said Tuesday.

Abby Maxman, who spent a week in northern Yemen earlier this month, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the country is already “on the brink of starvation or ultimately famine, and the tipping point for that could happen very quickly.”

Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, are trying to retake the port city of Hodeida, the main entry point for food in a country dependent on imports, from Iranian-allied Shiite rebels known as Houthis. The United Nations said Hodeida remains open, but there is growing concern of the impact of a port closure.

Maxman said “the humanitarian implications will be massive” if Hodeida and the other smaller Red Sea ports controlled by the Houthis shut down.

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REU: Yemen’s Houthis halt Red Sea attacks for two weeks

DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemen’s Houthi group said on Tuesday it is unilaterally halting attacks in the Red Sea for two weeks to support peace efforts, days after Saudi Arabia suspended oil exports through a strategic Red Sea channel following attacks on crude tankers last week.

Yemen – where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in a three-year-old war – lies on one of the world’s most important trade routes for oil tankers, the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

“The unilateral halt in naval military operations will be for a limited time period and could be extended and include all fronts if this move is reciprocated by the leadership of the coalition,” the head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said in a statement…………….The Western-backed coalition of Sunni Muslim Arab states intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 to restore the internationally recognized government in exile and thwart what Riyadh sees as Iran’s expansionary ambitions in the region.

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GUARD: OPINION Macron and the west must not play along with Putin’s Syria endgame

The French president has made a serious mistake in allowing Russia to distribute French aid

n 21 July a Russian military Antonov cargo plane landed on an airstrip in Châteauroux, central France. It was loaded with 50 tonnes of humanitarian aid – medical supplies, tents – and flew to Russia’s Khmeimim military base in Syria. This is a stronghold from which Vladimir Putin’s forces have launched relentless attacks on cities and neighbourhoods since 2015, as they threw their military might behind Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime.

In many ways, this was the moment Emmanuel Macron sold his soul to Putin in Syria. But this awkward mission wasn’t just about France’s image. The entire episode said something about a wider western malaise; about how democracies can too readily sacrifice principles and how authoritarian regimes capitalise on that weakness.

Macron and Putin had agreed to this joint operation during their meeting in May in St Petersburg. According to a Franco-Russian statement, the aid was destined for the people of eastern Ghouta – a suburb of Damascus that has been besieged by Syrian government troops and severely bombed by Russian aircraft. Eastern Ghouta is also where chemical weapons were used by Assad’s forces as recently as April, a crime Russian diplomacy has been busy denying in various international forums. The aid was officially meant to be distributed under UN auspices, but that turned out to be untrue: the UN itself later denied it had been involved. Only the Russian army and Syrian authorities controlled where the medical supplies went………..It doesn’t help, of course, that the US president consorts with autocratic foreign leaders who exploit his narcissism and shallowness, nor that his one and only goal in Syria seems to be to protect Israel from the Iranian regional threat – entirely indifferent as he is to the suffering of Syrian civilians………………..Macron is a young French president who wants to lead Europe, and who has often displayed his taste for philosophy. As he courts Putin in the hope that it will help prevent France getting sidelined in Syria, he might want to consider what one philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr, had to say about “the irony of history”. The irony, wrote Niebuhr, comes when “our dreams of pure virtue are dissolved” as a result of “taking morally hazardous action” and “courting prospective guilt”.

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REU: Flurry of Syrian death notices shows fate of government detainees

BEIRUT (Reuters) – For six years Amina al-Khoulani hoped her brothers Majd and Abdelsattar were alive, albeit cut off in a Syrian government prison after their arrest early in Syria’s war.

Fadwa Mahmoud is seen in Berlin, Germany July 28, 2018. Picture taken July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

But last week, newly published state records obtained by relatives told her the men died back in 2013, just weeks after the family last saw them through a metal fence during a visit to the Sednaya military jail near Damascus.

“We used to hear a lot of reports that they had been executed. We know that the regime is criminal and is capable of doing this but you always have hope that this is untrue,” al-Khoulani, a refugee in Britain, said in a video call.

After years of government silence about the fate of tens of thousands of people that rights groups say have been forcibly disappeared in the war, authorities have begun quietly updating registers to acknowledge hundreds of their deaths, according to Syrians who have recently learnt of their relatives’ fate.

Starting in around April, families began discovering what happened to their loved ones by chance, when they requested records from register offices, rights groups and Syrians said…………………..The Syrian government last year denied a report by Amnesty International saying it had carried out a campaign of mass hangings and exterminations at Sedneya prison, calling it “devoid of truth”.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), which has been documenting the war from outside Syria, has recorded 532 cases of forcibly disappeared people being listed as deceased in state records in recent months, without relatives having been previously informed of their deaths.

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AP: Syrian envoy rails against Turkish presence in north

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s envoy to the United Nations on Tuesday railed against Turkey’s growing influence in the north, calling it an “occupation” and vowing to “expel” its troops.

Turkey, a main backer of Syria’s opposition, has sent troops into northern Syria to battle the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants. It has also deployed troops in the opposition stronghold of Idlib as part of a de-escalation agreement with Iran and Russia, both of which are close allies of the government.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari condemned the presence of the Turkish troops during the 10th round of talks hosted by Russia in Sochi, which bring together Turkey, Iran, Russia, the Syrian government and representatives of the opposition. He said the government remains determined to regain control over all of Syria and will not tolerate the long-term presence of Turkish troops, saying “we will expel them.”

His comments came amid speculation that the government will launch a major offensive in Idlib, after it drove rebels out of areas around Damascus and southwestern Syria. Ja’afari said the de-escalation agreement “tests” whether Turkey is serious about fighting “terrorist groups.” President Bashar Assad’s government refers to all opposition fighters as terrorists.

The Russian presidential envoy for Syria, Aleksandr Lavrentyev, dismissed what he called “rumors” of an imminent offensive in Idlib, but he said between 300 and 500 people have left the provincial capital, of the same name, through corridors maintained by the Russian military.

Idlib is home to more than 3 million people, nearly half of them displaced from other parts of Syria, including armed groups who refused to accept the restoration of government authority following military offensives and capitulation deals.

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NYT: Justice Dept. Investigating Claims That Drug Companies Funded Terrorism in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating claims that major drug and medical device companies doing business in Iraq knew that the free medicines and supplies they gave the government to win business there would be used to underwrite terrorist attacks on American troops.

In a regulatory filing last week, AstraZeneca, a drugmaker based in Britain, disclosed that it had “received an inquiry from the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with an anti-corruption investigation relating to activities in Iraq.”

The filing said the inquiry was related to a lawsuit filed last year in federal court that accused five companies of winning contracts to sell their products to the Iraqi Ministry of Health with the understanding that they also provide additional medical supplies and medicines for free. The five companies are General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche Holding A.G. and AstraZeneca.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of members of the American military who were injured or killed in attacks from 2005 to 2009, at the height of the Iraq war…………….In a court filing in April, the defendants in the lawsuit said the United States government encouraged them to do business with the government of Iraq.

“The United States expressly encouraged companies to sell and to donate to the ministry millions of dollars’ worth of medicines and medical supplies,” the defendants’ filing states.

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NYT: Marine General Used His Aide as A.T.M., Laundry Service and Gym Attendant

A Marine general in charge of approving airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq violated ethics rules when he had a junior officer run personal errands for him and lend him cash, the Pentagon’s inspector general reported on July 5. The I.G. report found that Brig. Gen. Rick Uribe requested or allowed his aide, who was not named, to pick up his laundry, deliver meals and snacks, arrange for delivery of his prescription toothpaste to Iraq and handle his personal correspondence, among other tasks, while he was deputy commanding general of operations and director of joint anti-ISIS operations between May 2016 and June 2017. On multiple occasions, he also ordered her to stand next to and reserve gym equipment that he wanted to use, sometimes making her wait up to 40 minutes while he was called away.

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AP: IS fighters surrender to Afghan forces after Taliban assault

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — More than 150 Islamic State fighters surrendered to Afghan government forces on Wednesday in the face of an onslaught by the Taliban in the northern Jawzjan province, officials said.

Gen. Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani, the provincial police chief, said 152 fighters surrendered, including Habib-ul Rahman, a senior IS leader in northern Afghanistan. Abdul Hai Hayat, the head of the provincial council, said they surrendered after the Taliban flooded reinforcements into two districts in recent weeks.

The Taliban and IS are both battling to overthrow the Western-backed government and impose a harsh form of Islamic rule, but are fiercely divided over leadership, ideology and tactics. The Taliban said in a statement that they had killed dozens of IS fighters and captured more than 130 in Jawzjan, adding that 17 Taliban militants were killed and 13 wounded.

In a separate development, the U.N. mission to Afghanistan said an employee of the International Organization of Migration was among those killed and another was wounded in a coordinated attack on a refugee and repatriation center in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday. The U.N. condemned the attack, which killed a total of 15 people and wounded another 15.

The U.N. said in a statement that the employee who was killed was a 22-year-old woman whose husband had died in a bombing in Kabul three years earlier. It said she leaves behind a six-year-old daughter who is “now an orphan.”

No one immediately claimed Tuesday’s attack, but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group carry out near-daily attacks in the Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital.

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NYT: Afghan Army Takes Over After ISIS Attacks a Refugee Office

KABUL, Afghanistan — The army will take over security in the eastern city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan officials said Tuesday, hours after attackers overran a government refugee office there, killing 15 people. It was at least the 10th such assault on civilian targets this year.

The assault was part of a series of attacks attributed to the Islamic State against “soft targets” in or near the city of Jalalabad, where the extremists have been particularly active, mostly attacking civilians rather than confronting Afghan security forces.

Officials were so concerned that a decision was made to hand over security for the area to the Afghan National Army, beginning on Wednesday, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar Province.

The attack on Tuesday began with two midday explosions outside the Department of Refugee Affairs, with several gunmen then entering the building and its compound, Mr. Khogyani said……………..The 15 people killed included a woman and a police officer, Mr. Khogyani said. The International Rescue Committee, a global relief organization that has operated in Afghanistan for 30 years, said an Afghan staff member also was among those killed.

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NYT: Taliban Says Defeats Islamic State Fighters in North Afghanistan

MAZAR-I SHARIF, Afghanistan — More than 150 Islamic State fighters surrendered to Afghan security forces in the northwestern province of Jawzjan after they were defeated and driven out by the Taliban, Taliban and government officials said on Wednesday.

The defeat represents a major setback for the group, which first appeared in eastern Afghanistan around four years ago and which had gained a foothold in southern Jawzjan, where it fought for control of smuggling routes into neighboring Turkmenistan.

“The evil phenomenon of Daesh has completely been eliminated and people have been freed from its tortures in Jawzjan province of Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, using an Arabic term for the group.

The Taliban launched an offensive several weeks ago in Jawzjan against the group, which they oppose as much as they do the Western-backed government in Kabul and which has established an unmatched reputation for brutality.

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UNAMA says IOM’s female employee among those killed in Jalalabad attack

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says a female employee of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)was among .

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Taliban’s large cache of potent explosives destroyed by Afghan commandos

The Afghan commandos have destroyed a large cache of potent explosives belonging to the Taliban group in southern Uruzgan province .

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Senior ISIS leader surrender to Afghan forces with his 152 fighters

A senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) Mawlavi Habib Ur Rehman surrendered to the Afghan forces together with his 152 miliants.

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the ISIS leader and his fighters have surrendered in Jawzjan province.

A statement by Shaheen Corps said the militants surrendered to Afghan forces late on Tuesday night.

The statement further added that Mawlavi Rehman and his militants also handed over their weapons and some other military kits t the Afghan forces.

The anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS loyalists have not commented regarding the report so far.

Jawzjan has been among the relatively calm provinces in North of Afghanistan but the security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.

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