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06 Jun

United States Wars, News and Casualties June 6

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.

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

ALJ: Amnesty: US-led coalition’s Raqqa offensive killed hundreds

Amnesty calls on the coalition to investigate violations and civilian killings during military offensive to remove ISIL.

Coalition members must publicly acknowledge the scale and magnitude of destruction of civilian property in Raqqa, the rights group said [File: The Associated Press]

Coalition members must publicly acknowledge the scale and magnitude of destruction of civilian property in Raqqa, the rights group said [File: The Associated Press]

Hundreds of civilians were killed during the United States-led coalition’s military offensive to remove the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group from its self-styled capital in Syria last year, a human rights organisation has said.

In a new report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday, 112 civilians belonging to four families in Raqqa were interviewed who recalled the horrors they witnessed and family members killed during the four-month-long joint US-coalition and Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) offensive from June 6 until October 12, 2017.

“When so many civilians are killed in attack after attack, something is clearly wrong, and to make this tragedy worse, so many months later the incidents have not been investigated,” said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

“The victims deserve justice,” she added.

The 68-page report, titled War of annihilation: Devastating Toll on Civilians, Raqqa – Syria, includes field investigations from Amnesty International researchers who visited 42 coalition air attack sites across the city.

While British and French Coalition forces carried out tens of thousands of air strikes, the US was responsible for more than 90 percent of the air strikes, and admitted to firing 30,000 artillery rounds, the report said.

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GUARD: Chemical weapons watchdog to hold special session in June

OPCW has recently found its methods under attack from Russia and other supporters of Syria

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog is to hold a special two-day session in late June in response to Britain’s call to hand the body new powers to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks.

The Hague-based watchdog, known as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has until recently been seen as a scientific technical backwater, but as the controversy over the use of the weapons has grown, the OPCW has found its methods under attack from Russia and other supporters of the Syrian regime.

British ministers have accused Russia of blocking the UN from blaming the Syrian government for repeated chemical attacks on its citizens.

In a speech at the Chatham House thinktank last month, the OPCW’s director general, Ahmet Üzümcü, called for his organisation to be given the ability to identify the individual, group or country behind chemical attacks, saying the international community needed to address the gap.

At a meeting this week, Britain won the support of 64 OPCW member states for the special session, and the OPCW confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that this would now go ahead on 26 and 27 June.

Britain’s national security adviser, Mark Sedwill, said: “We recognise that the global norm against chemical weapons use is being threatened.”

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BBC: Syria war: Amnesty says UK ‘should come clean’ on Raqqa attacks

The UK should “come clean” about its role in attacks on the Syrian city of Raqqa which allegedly killed hundreds of civilians, a charity has said.

Amnesty International said it has found evidence air strikes by a US-led coalition were “potential war crimes”.

The charity spent two weeks in Raqqa, which had been targeted in the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS), interviewing 112 witnesses.

Both the UK and US said civilian casualties were minimised.

‘Carnage’

Air strikes on Raqqa, the capital of IS’s so-called caliphate since 2014, began on 6 June last year.

Syrian Democratic Forces backed by the coalition took control of the city in October.

Amnesty director Kate Allen said: “Civilians in Raqqa have suffered grievously at the hands of IS, but they’ve also been imperilled by the coalition’s disproportionate aerial attacks.”

The coalition fired around 30,000 munitions during the battle for Raqqa – with more than 200 weapons dropped from RAF aircraft.

Ms Allen said the coalition “killed hundreds and injured thousands of civilians” and “the UK needs to come clean over its role in this carnage”.

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REU:Turkish air strike “neutralises” six Kurdish militants in Iraq: military

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – An air strike by Turkish warplanes “neutralised” at least six militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the military said on Twitter on Wednesday.

The air strike carried out on Tuesday targeted the Hakurk, Gara, Metina, Zap, Qandil, Avasin regions of northern Iraq, the Turkish military said, destroying 16 targets.

Turkey regularly carries out air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the group is based in the Qandil mountains, and has also threatened operations in Sinjar.

“We have neutralised 4,500 terrorists in Afrin. They fled,” Erdogan said on Tuesday, referring to a Turkish military operation to drive Kurdish fighters from part of northern Syria.

“Qandil is next, Sinjar is next. We will face up to whoever is threatening, disturbing my country,” Erdogan said during a rally in Black Sea region of Eregli ahead of Turkey’s June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

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AP: Kurdish militia to exit Syria’s Manbij under US-Turkey deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — An American-backed Syrian Kurdish militia said Tuesday it will leave the strategic town of Manbij under a delicate U.S.-Turkey deal that could ease tensions between the NATO allies and force a realignment of troops along the volatile Syria-Turkey frontier.

Illustrating the fragility of the arrangement, the United States and Turkey offered differing descriptions of what the deal entailed, how it would be carried out and when. But ultimately, the Kurdish militia known as the YPG is expected to retreat to east of the Euphrates River, meeting a long-standing demand by Ankara, which considers the militia a terror group tied to a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey’s borders. Ethnic Kurds live on both sides of the border, in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.

Turkish officials suggested an ambitious plan had been hashed out under which the withdrawal would be complete within six months, with Kurdish fighters giving up their weapons as they leave Manbij. A Turkish official said Turkey would review the withdrawal before a new council is set up to administer the multiethnic town, which has been run by the Manbij Military Council for several years.

The U.S. wouldn’t discuss whether the Kurdish troops would have to give up weapons, and insisted the plan included only “estimated timelines” based on events on the ground and no hard deadlines. First, joint U.S-Turkish patrols will be dispatched along a pre-existing demarcation line around Manbij, senior State Department officials said, in a sort of trust-building exercise to pave the way for a withdrawal.

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REU: Abadi warns of ‘dangerous violations’ in Iraq’s election

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister said on Tuesday there were “dangerous violations” in the May 12 parliamentary election and banned members of the election commission from traveling, a move that could hinder the delicate process of forming a new government.

The election was won by a bloc led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iran’s sway in Iraq.

Haider al-Abadi told a news conference that a report presented to the government recommended a partial manual recount of the vote and the cancellation of results from overseas and displaced voters.

And he said most of the blame for violations lay with Iraq’s Independent High Elections Commission (IHEC).

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ALJ: Iraq bans election commission members from travelling abroad

Citing ‘dangerous violations,’ authorities cancel ballots of overseas and displaced voters in last month’s election.

Iraq‘s prime minister has banned all high ranking members of the country’s election commission (IHEC) from travelling abroad after citing “dangerous violations” in the recent parliamentary election.

Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition beat all expectations on May 12 to win 54 out of 328 seats in parliament, after successfully launching an anti-corruption campaign in the impoverished, but oil-rich country.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told a news conference on Tuesday that criminal charges might be brought against some people, after he blamed electronic vote counting devices used by the IHEC, which he said hadn’t been used without prior inspection for errors.

Abadi’s al-Nasr Alliance came third in the poll with only 42 seats.

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NYT: US Army Commander Approves Bergdahl Sentence, No Prison Time

WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. military commander is endorsing the decision to spare Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl prison time for abandoning his post in Afghanistan, endangering military comrades who participated in the lengthy search for him.

Army Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Army Forces Command, approved the court-martial sentencing handed down last November. Bergdahl was reduced in rank from sergeant to private and ordered to forfeit $1,000 a month in pay for 10 months. The judge also gave him a dishonorable discharge.

The fine and rank reduction were effective two weeks after the judge’s sentence was delivered. The case is now referred to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which automatically reviews any punitive discharges.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held for five years.

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Government to release 269 more Hezb-e-Islami prisoners as per peace accord

The Afghan government is set to release at least 269 prisoners belonging to Hezb-e-Islami as per the peace accord signed in late 2016. The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the decision to release more inmates of Hezb-e-Islami was taken during the meeting of the National Security Council chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. .

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Afghan government approves deployment of UAE Special Forces to train ANDSF

The Afghan government has approved the deployment of UAE Special Forces in Afghanistan to participate in the train, advise, and assist mission led by NATO. The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the proposal for the deployment of the UAE Special Forces in the framework of the Resolute Support Mission was approved during a.

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Two suspects in connection to mysterious killings of 6 people in Kabul city

At least two suspects have been arrested in connection to the mysterious killings of at least six people in various attacks in Kabul city. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said the suspects were arrested during the operation of the police forces. The source further added that the two suspects had killed at leat six people

Taliban commander among 4 killed in US airstrikes in Maidan Wardak

At least four militants including a local commander of the Taliban group were killed in the US airstrike in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan. The 203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinities of Badam and Alsang areas of Nerkh district. The source .

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