08 Apr

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

War News

REU: Starved infants, wounded women crowd Syrian hospitals after Islamic State defeat

HASAKA, Syria (Reuters) – The paramedics’ log at al-Hol camp in eastern Syria lists the injuries and ailments of infants rushed from the battlefield to its crowded, dirty clinic: malnourishment, stunted growth, broken leg.

Those in critical need – mostly emaciated babies born in war to the wives of dead Islamic State militants – are taken to the nearest hospital, a bumpy two-hour drive away. Other people cram into a waiting room with a tin roof in a growing queue for basic medical treatment.

At the hospital, staff have had to build two portacabins on the roof that serve as a makeshift ward for the treatment of malnourished babies, crammed sometimes two or three to a cot.

Lower floors are filled with teenagers missing limbs and women with shrapnel and bullet wounds.

The exodus during intense fighting of more than 60,000 people from Islamic State’s final redoubt of Baghouz is overwhelming medical staff in eastern Syria who struggle to cope at the camp and ill-equipped hospitals.

Scores of people, mostly children, have died on the 150-mile (240-kilometer) journey to al-Hol or soon after arriving, aid groups say.

“My son has a dislocated hip. He needs an operation urgently,” said Umm Mohammed, a veiled 33-year-old woman holding an expressionless six-month-old boy at the camp.

“Medics keep saying they have more urgent cases to deal with – wounds and shrapnel injuries.”

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AP: US pulls forces from Libya as fighting approaches capital

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — The United States has temporarily withdrawn some of its forces from Libya due to “security conditions on the ground,” a top military official said Sunday as a Libyan commander’s forces advanced toward the capital of Tripoli and clashed with rival militias.

A small contingent of American troops has been in Libya in recent years, helping local forces combat Islamic State and al-Qaida militants, as well as protecting diplomatic facilities.

“The security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable,” said Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command. “Even with an adjustment of the force, we will continue to remain agile in support of existing U.S. strategy.”

He did not provide details on the number of U.S. troops that have been withdrawn or how many remain in the country.

Footage circulating online showed two apparent U.S. Navy transport craft maneuvering off a beach in Janzour, east of Tripoli, sending up plumes of spray as American forces were ferried from the shore.

India also evacuated a small contingent of peacekeepers. The Indian foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the country’s 15 Central Reserve Police Force peacekeepers were evacuated Saturday from Tripoli because the “situation in Libya has suddenly worsened” and fighting has moved into the capital city.

The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise offensive against the capital last week, a move that could potentially drag the country back into civil war. Libya has been gripped by unrest since the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. In recent years, the country has been governed by rival authorities in the east and in Tripoli, in the west, each backed by various armed groups.

Fayez Sarraj, head of government in Tripoli, accused Hifter of “betraying” him.

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AP: Afghan forces battle Taliban for 5th day in western province

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan security forces are battling the Taliban for a fifth day after the insurgents launched a wide-scale attack in the western Badghis province, officials said Monday.

Col. Qais Mangal, a spokesman for Defense Ministry, said that at least 12 security forces have been killed in the last 48 hours, bringing the overall death toll to more than 40. Mangal said dozens of insurgents have been killed and wounded by air and ground forces.

Some 2,000 Taliban fighters attacked checkpoints and an army compound in the Bala Murghab district before dawn Thursday. Mohammad Nasir Nazari, a provincial council member, said some 600 Afghan soldiers who were trapped inside the base were able to escape and reach the provincial capital of Qala-e-Now over the past two days after reinforcements reached the base.

He said army commandos and special police units are currently battling the insurgents, with high casualties on both sides. He was unable to provide an exact breakdown of the numbers killed and wounded.

The Taliban effectively control nearly half the country and have continued to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security forces despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent months. The Taliban have refused to meet with the Afghan government, which they view as a U.S. puppet.

The Taliban agreed to take part in an Afghan dialogue in Qatar, where the insurgents maintain a political office, later this month. But the Taliban say any member of the government who attends will only do so in a personal capacity.

After two months of consultations, the Afghan government announced Monday that it had created a council to appoint a delegation to the talks. The council consists of current and former officials, as well as other prominent figures from around the country. Afghan peace envoy Omer Daudzai said the delegates, who have yet to be chosen, will “exchange views” with the Taliban ahead of possible negotiations.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has led the talks with the Taliban in a bid to end America’s longest war, tweeted Sunday that he had met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul to discuss the upcoming dialogue and efforts to reduce the violence.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed two people in the eastern city of Jalalabad and wounded another five, said Farid Khan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. No one immediately claimed the attack, but a local Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for attacks on Saturday and Sunday in Jalalabad.

NYT: Afghans Name Council to Ease Logjam on Talks With Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a sign that a logjam in Afghanistan over entering peace talks with the Taliban could be easing, the Afghan government announced Sunday that it had named a council of senior political leaders who will appoint negotiators, create their mandate for talks and oversee their work.

The formation of the council — led by President Ashraf Ghani and composed of both current and former senior government officials and leaders of political parties and opposition groups — comes after months of bitter disagreements over the next steps for peace talks with the Taliban.

So far, negotiations have occurred only between the insurgents and American diplomats, without the Afghan government, an impasse that American officials have struggled to break.

The two sides are near an agreement on the withdrawal of American troops and on a Taliban pledge that Afghan soil not be used by terrorist groups to attack the United States and its allies, as Al Qaeda did in September 2001. But the United States has insisted that nothing can be finalized until the Taliban and the Afghans figure out the country’s political future.

The Taliban have refused to meet directly with representatives of the Afghan government, calling it a puppet of the United States. The Afghan government has insisted on nothing less than direct negotiations, criticizing any move by political groups to engage with the Taliban as giving the insurgents unwarranted legitimacy.

Mr. Ghani, in opening the first meeting of the new council, expressed happiness on Sunday and thanked political leaders for creating a unified front under the government’s umbrella.

“With complete unity for the sake of a better future for our country, we will make decisions about the aims of this process and the makeup of the negotiating team,” Mr. Ghani said.

The progress was welcomed by Zalmay Khalilzad, the American Special envoy leading the peace efforts. Mr. Khalilzad spent much of the past week in Kabul trying to urge the Afghan government to introduce an inclusive negotiating team.

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Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented;[1][2] 29,900 civilians have been wounded.[2] Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.[1] The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.[3] These numbers do not include those who have died in Pakistan.

The war, launched by the United States as “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[4] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years,[5] the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned foreign military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths.[6] The civilian losses are a continuation of the extremely high civilian losses experienced during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, and the three periods of civil war following it: 1989–1992, 1992–1996, and 1996–2001.

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Pentagon has identified two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan while involved in combat operations Friday in Kunduz Province.

The men were identified Saturday as Spc. Joseph P. Collette, 29, of Lancaster, Ohio, and Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, of Cortez, Colorado. Collette was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, and Lindsay was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Both were based at Fort Carson, Colorado.

“The 71st Ordnance Group … is deeply saddened by the loss of Spc. Joseph P. Collette. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends,” Col. David K. Green, commander of 71st Ordnance Group, said in a statement.

The fatalities bring to four the number of U.S. soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan. The deaths underscore the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-ravaged country.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

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 Program Locator 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

Save The Children Organization

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Syria War Children

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