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.

Damn 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 McGlynn

War News

GUARD: Battle rages in Yemen’s vital port as ceasefire looms

Houthi rebels place snipers on hospital roof, as 100 airstrikes hit civilian areas of Hodeidah

A malnourished child receives treatment at a hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen

A malnourished child receives treatment at a hospital in Hodeidah. Photograph: Abdo Hyder/AFP/Getty Images

Instead of bringing calm to the besieged Yemeni city, calls for a ceasefire in Hodeidah have brought some of the worst violence the vital port has yet faced in the three-year war.

Baseem al-Janani, who lives in the city, said: “The clashes are absolutely crazy right now. I have a headache from the shelling and bombing in the east. People are trapped in their houses for hours at a time because of shrapnel and gunfire. But their houses are not safe either.”

In the past few days, more than 100 airstrikes have hit civilian neighbourhoods – five times as many as in the whole of the first week of October, according to Save the Children staff in Hodeidah.

Pro-government militias are trying to seize as much ground as possible before fighting is supposed to stop at the end of November, when it is hoped UN-sponsored peace talks will restart in Sweden. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates coalition-backed troops are inching closer to the city’s Houthi rebel-held centre from their current stalemate positions in the southern suburbs and at the airport in a three-pronged attack…………..“We don’t have enough hospitals anyway. The patients and staff are now terrified they will be an airstrike target,” he said.

Hodeidah is Yemen’s lifeline. Before the war broke out in 2015, it handled most imports in a country where 90% of food had to be imported.

The port has been blockaded by the Saudi-led coalition for the past three years, a decision aid organisations say has been the main contributing factor to the famine that threatens to engulf half of Yemen’s 28 million population.

Since a fresh offensive on Hodeidah began in June, civilian deaths have risen by 164%, according to a report by the armed conflict location and event data project (Acled), and at least 50,000 people have been displaced. Many who would flee are trapped by the fighting.

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REU: More than 200 mass graves of Islamic State victims found in Iraq: U.N. report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – More than 200 mass graves have been uncovered in Iraq in areas formerly controlled by Islamic State militants, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The graves contain the remains of thousands of people, believed to be the victims of the hardline Sunni group, who between June and December 2014, overran large swathes of northern Iraq and declared it part of their so-called caliphate.

The dead include women, children, the elderly and disabled, as well as members of Iraq’s armed forces and police, a U.N. report said.

The United Nations has said previously that almost 33,000 civilians were killed by the group in Iraq, with more than 55,000 injured.

The grave sites are concentrated in four provinces — Ninewa, Kiruk, Salah al-Din and Anbar — in the north and western parts of the country, near the border with Syria.

Islamic State had entrenched itself in these areas until their defeat in December 2017 by Iraqi forces supported by a U.S.-led coalition.

The United Nations estimates between 6,000-12,000 bodies are contained in the 202 graves documented in the report. But exact numbers were difficult to establish, it said, since only 28 mass graves have been excavated so far, with just 1,258 bodies exhumed.

These deaths occurred in what the United Nations has called a systematic and widespread campaign of violence, “which may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”

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REU: Factbox: A ‘never-ending nightmare’ for Yemenis one year since blockade

BEIRUT (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – One year after a Saudi coalition imposed a blockade on Yemeni ports temporarily halting life-saving supplies, Yemenis are still living a “never-ending nightmare,” low on food and fuel, a senior aid official said on Tuesday.

Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries, is locked in a nearly four-year-old war that pits Iran-aligned Houthi rebels against the government backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the West.

For several weeks at the end of 2017, the Saudi coalition imposed a blockade on Yemeni ports which it said was to prevent Houthis from importing weapons. This had a severe impact on Yemen, which traditionally imports 90 percent of its food.

Jan Egeland, a former U.N. aid chief who now heads the Norwegian Refugee Council said since the blockade, food and fuel imports remain low and prices have soared, leaving millions on the brink of starvation as violence continues.

“The past 12 months have been a never-ending nightmare for Yemeni civilians,” he said in a statement.

Here are some facts about what has been happening inside the war-torn country:

-The brutal war has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, with 22 million Yemenis dependent on aid out of a population of around 25 million.

-The U.N. aid coordinator warned that a further 10 million Yemenis could face starvation by the end of the year. More than 8 million are already severely short of food.

-Aid group Save the Children said a million more children in Yemen risked falling into famine, taking the total number to 5.2 million.

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NYT: Taliban Attack Kills 8 Policemen in Western Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says the Taliban killed eight policemen and wounded three in an attack on two checkpoints in western Farah province.

A member of the provincial council, Dadullah Qani, says the attack on Tuesday night took place on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Farah, and triggered an hourslong battle in which the Taliban were beaten back.

The Taliban didn’t immediately comment the attack.

On Monday, the insurgents attacked a border base in Pusht Koh in Farah killed 20 Afghan troops while 20 others were abducted.

A resurgent Taliban now hold nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces, inflicting heavy casualties. The Taliban view the U.S.-backed government in Kabul as a dysfunctional Western puppet and have refused repeated offers to negotiate with it.

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NYT: Stoltenberg Says NATO Committed to Afghan Mission Despite Attacks

KABUL — Security problems and a spate of insider attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan will not affect the alliance’s commitment to building Afghan forces capable of making the Taliban accept a negotiated end to the war, NATO’s top official said on Tuesday.

The aim is to build a force strong enough to show the Taliban that it is “pointless and counterproductive to continue the fighting”, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to Kabul, where he met President Ashraf Ghani and senior NATO commanders.

“So there is a close link between our military efforts and our political efforts, a link between the strength of the Afghan security forces and the likelihood of progress in the peace process,” he told Reuters.

Efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement to more than 17 years of war have intensified, with meetings between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban officials aimed at preparing the way for peace talks.

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NYT: Taliban Pummel Security Forces Across Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Dozens of soldiers and police officers were killed or captured in nine Taliban attacks that overran security bases and outposts in different parts of Afghanistan during a 24-hour period that ended on Tuesday, officials said.

In perhaps the most severe blow, insurgents captured battalion headquarters of the Afghan Border Force in Farah Province, in western Afghanistan, killing or taking prisoner nearly the entire contingent of officers, with as many as 20 dead. In Kandahar Province, in the south, three separate attacks killed a total of 17 police officers. And in Ghazni, a central province, a joint military and police outpost fell only two days after it had been set up, with all 16 security officials there killed or wounded.

The attack on the headquarters in Farah, close to the Iranian border, destroyed the first battalion’s base in the district of Poshti Koh. Sgt. Gholam Mohammad, the senior noncommissioned officer, said from a clinic where he had been taken with a minor head wound that, in addition to the 20 border force officers killed, 25 had been taken captive by the Taliban. Three others escaped.

In all, 59 police officers or soldiers were confirmed killed in the nine attacks on Monday and Tuesday, which took place in seven provinces.

By comparison, in the week that ended on Thursday, 18 Afghan security officials were killed, according to a tally by The New York Times.

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Civilians among 6 dead, wounded in a clash between Taliban factions in Nangarhar

A clash broke out between two fictions of the Taliban group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, leaving at least six dead or wounded, including civilians.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the incident has taken place in the vicinity of Ghani Khel district.

The statement further added that the militants of the main Taliban group clashed with the militants of Tehrik-e-Taliban in 28th Canal of joi Village, leaving two dead, including two civilians.

According to 201st Silab Corps, at least two militants affiliated with the main Taliban group were also wounded during the clash.

The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented regarding the incident so far.

Nangarhar has been among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the security situation in some of its remote districts has deteriorated during the recent years.

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435 civilians killed, wounded during the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its latest report regarding the casualties inflicted on civilians during the two days of parliamentary elections on 20th and 21st of October.

According to UNAMA, the mission has recorded 435 civilian casualties during the two days of elections, including 56 people who were killed and 379 who were wounded.

The report by UNAMA revealed the majority of the casualties were inflicted during the first day of elections, on October 20th, during which 52 deaths and 339 injuries were reported.

This is the highest level of civilian harm compared to the four previous elections held in Afghanistan, UNAMA said, adding that the level of civilian harm linked to parliamentary elections is particularly high compared to previous election cycles when factoring into account the deaths and injuries resulting from electoral-related violence experienced over the preceding months during the voter registration and campaigning periods.

The report documents grave concerns over the numerous attacks by Anti-Government Elements, mainly Taliban, directed at civilian objects and populated civilian areas during the elections, including attacks against schools used as polling centres.

According to UNAMA, these attacks were mainly carried out using indirect-fire systems such as rockets, grenades and mortars, as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), all of which have indiscriminate effects.

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