Saudis Bomb Yemen's International Airport, Amid Devastating Blockade

A supporter of the Houthi movement shouts slogans as he takes part in a demonstration against the closure of Yemen's ports by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen November 13, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – A Houthi statement said that the attack “is an explicit violation of international covenants and treaties, which stipulate that civilian airports are not targeted.” The U.S. and U.K.-backed Saudi coalition carried out a bombing attack on the civilian airport in Yemen’s capital Sana’a on Tuesday, further cutting off crucial relief shipments to a country on the verge of catastrophic famine due to the coalition’s near entire blockade. An air strike damaged parts of the runway and navigation equipment, at an airport used to deliver life-saving United Nations aid. The coalition said last week it had closed all air, land and seaports in Yemen. The war on Yemen has led it to the brink of famine, with massive shortages, and cholera epidemics tearing through the country’s civilian population. “This attack is intended to cause maximum damage and deprive millions of Yemenis from receiving life-saving food and medicines,” a Houthi official said to Al Jazeera. A Houthi statement said that the attack “is an explicit violation of international covenants and treaties, which stipulate that civilian airports are not targeted.” The United Nations has also condemned the brutal blockade, saying that without all ports and airports fully functioning, the situation will progress toward one of the more severe famines in recent history.

Britain Drops 3,400 Bombs In Syria And Iraq, Claims No Civilian Casualties

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By Jamie Merrill for Mint Press News – Royal Air Force drones and jets have dropped more than 3,400 bombs and missiles on Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, an investigation by Middle East Eye has revealed, yet the British government maintains that there is “no evidence” they have killed a single civilian. The vast quantities of ordnance dropped since the start of Operation Shader against IS in 2014 seriously undermines the claim by ministers that the RAF has not caused any civilian casualties in the three-year-long bombing campaign, and has prompted calls for an investigation. The Ministry of Defence does not routinely release statistics on the numbers of weapons used over Iraq and Syria, but an MEE analysis has combined weekly updates of operations in the region and information collated by campaign group Drone Wars. It shows that up to the end of September UK forces have dropped at least 3,482 bombs and missiles in the battle against IS, including 2,089 Paveway IV bombs and 486 Brimstone missiles dropped by Typhoon and Tornado jets. RAF Reaper drones have also fired 724 Hellfire missiles at IS targets.

Covering Up The Massacre Of Mosul

U.S. soldiers fire an M109A6 Paladin from a tactical assembly area at Hamam al-Alil to support the start of the Iraqi security forces’ offensive in West Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 19, 2017. (Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull)

By Nicolas J S Davies for Consortium News – Iraqi Kurdish military intelligence reports have estimated that the nine-month-long U.S.-Iraqi siege and bombardment of Mosul to oust Islamic State forces killed 40,000 civilians. This is the most realistic estimate so far of the civilian death toll in Mosul. The bombardment of Mosul included tens of thousands of bombs and missiles dropped by U.S. and “coalition” warplanes, thousands of 220-pound HiMARS rockets fired by U.S. Marines from their “Rocket City” base at Quayara, and tens or hundreds of thousands of 155-mm and 122-mm howitzer shells fired by U.S., French and Iraqi artillery.But even this is likely to be an underestimate of the true number of civilians killed. No serious, objective study has been conducted to count the dead in Mosul, and studies in other war zones have invariably found numbers of dead that exceeded previous estimates by as much as 20 to one, as a United Nations-backed Truth Commission did in Guatemala after the end of its civil war. In Iraq, epidemiological studies in 2004 and 2006 revealed a post-invasion death toll that was about 12 times higher than previous estimates.

Mosque Bombing And Islamophobia In The United States

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By Staff. Bloomington, MN – “Bloomington police were called to the Islamic center at 5:05 am on Saturday after reports of an explosion. ‘When officers and fire personnel arrived, what they found there was some smoke, some damage to the building, but no one was injured,’ Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a news conference on Saturday. Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said a witness had seen someone throwing an object at the imam’s office window from a van or a truck. Mohamed Omar, the mosque’s executive director, told reporters a member saw someone leave in a truck shortly after the blast. ‘One of our congregation members came out immediately and saw a truck fleeing … at high speed…

What Will It Take To Ban The Bomb?

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By Frida Berrigan for Waging Nonviolence – TRANSCEND Media Service – 30 May 2017 – When I was a young teenager, I would venture down to the basement where my father had his desk. He’d be plugging away at letter writing, or working on a talk or article. I’d wait quietly by his side for a few minutes before interrupting him to say goodbye, on my way to the movies or to meet up with friends. He’d look at me with bright blue eyes and say something to the effect of: “You know what time it is, Freeds?” I’d nod. I knew where this was going. “It’s three minutes to nuclear midnight, and you are going out with your friends?” he would tell me. I could feel his disappointment at my waste of time and money, his incredulity at my hard heartedness or thick headedness. His comment was a reference to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, which — aside from symbolizing the threat of global annihilation — cast a long shadow over my social life as a young person. Over time, however, as the clock began to tick backward, my dad and I had fewer of these awkward geo-political disagreements over the ways in which I spent my “free” time. When I was 14, in 1988, the clock had moved back to six minutes to nuclear midnight — the result of the United States and Soviet Union signing a treaty banning intermediate range nuclear missiles.

After US Bombs Syrian Government, Media Ask Few Questions

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By Ben Norton for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. The United States has bombed Syrian government–allied forces three times in just eight months. Major media outlets have overwhelmingly failed to ask critical questions about these incidents, preferring instead to echo the Pentagon. For years, media have consistently downplayed the extent of US military intervention in Syria, and repeatedly propagated the long-debunked myth that Washington never pursued regime change there in the first place. The distorted reporting on these US attacks reflects this longer trend. On May 18, the US military launched an air raid against forces allied with the Syrian government, killing several soldiers.

US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number Of Civilians In Syria

An anti-war demonstrator is seen outside the White House before President Photo By Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty

By Alice Donovan for Counter Punch – Air strikes carried out by the US and its coalition partners in Syria have killed the highest number of civilians on record since the bombing campaign began, a war monitor has said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group mostly advocating anti-government forces in the war in Syria, said on Tuesday that the US-led coalition killed a total of 225 civilians between April 23 and May 23, the highest 30-day toll since the campaign began in 2014. “The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP news agency. “There has been a very big escalation.” A U.S. military spokesman was quick to characterize those casualties as being accidents, otherwise, the result of U.S.-allied bombings but deferring all blame from the U.S.-led alliance. Stephen Townsend, a U.S. general and commander of Baghdad’s forces, said that the Islamic State group had “probably played a role in those casualties,” by using civilians as human shields. He provided no proof to validate his claims.

Civilians Killed By US Largely Ignored As Endless Global War Continues

A man displays the bloodied shirt of a child victim at the rubble of houses destroyed by an Saudi airstrike in the Okash village near Yemen's capital, Sanaa. Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen continues with the backing and support of the U.S. (Photo:Reuters)

By Jon Queally for Common Dreams – Independent journalist Iona Craig, who has reported from the ground in Yemen for years, helped corroborate the version of events provided to Reprieve. “Five tribesmen amongst killed in US raid last night were not AQ,” Craig tweeted on Tuesday. “They were tribesmen of young activists who drove me from Mareb into Yakla.” Part of the wider “global war on terror” that the U.S. began in the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, Yemen has been a target of drone strikes and clandestine operations for years. But as foreign policy experts and the people of Yemen have repeatedly stated, the use of drones and clandestine raids have only hardened Al-Qaeda’s position in the country and the killing of innocent civilians as provided a nearly perfect recruiting tool for the militant group. In addition to backing the ongoing Saudi-led war against Yemen, the military under President Donald Trump has continued to target Al-Qaeda aligned forces in the country. In January, just days after his inauguration, Trump was roundly criticized for a botched raid that led to the death of one U.S. soldier and as many as thirty civilians, including children.

Time To Ban The Bomb

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By Alice Slater for World Beyond War – This week, the Chair of an exciting UN initiative formally named the “United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination” released a draft treaty to ban and prohibit nuclear weapons just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. The Ban Treaty is to be negotiated at the UN from June 15 to July 7 as a follow up to the one week of negotiations that took place this past March, attended by more than 130 governments interacting with civil society. Their input and suggestions were used by the Chair, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UN, Elayne Whyte Gómez to prepare the draft treaty. It is expected that the world will finally come out of this meeting with a treaty to ban the bomb! This negotiating conference was established after a series of meetings in Norway, Mexico, and Austria with governments and civil society to examine the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. The meetings were inspired by the leadership and urging of the International Red Cross to look at the horror of nuclear weapons…

WikiLeaks: Afghan Tunnels The US Just Bombed — “They Were Built By CIA”

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By Jack Burns for Activist Post – Linked to the tweet was a New York Times article from 2005, which described a similar cave complex in detail, and added a few additional details worth noting. “Tora Bora” as it’s known, contains “fortified caves” which are reported to contain, “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls.” The tunnels were built by the “C.I.A.”, with the help of the Bin Laden family, who constructed the complex. Also jumping in on the mockery of the Trump administration is Edward Snowden, who tweeted, “The bomb dropped today in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, cost $314,000,000.” And in a follow up tweet, also said, “Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we’re bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them.” He, too, linked his tweet to The NY Times article mentioned above. Apparently, the ant farm network of tunnels built by the CIA can now be destroyed by the American military in yet another pseudo-show-of-force meant to make the Trump administration seem tough on Syria, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. It was said Bin Laden even helped to run the bulldozers at Tora Bora and knew the labyrinth of tunnels like the proverbial back of his hand.

“Illegal Act Of War”: Trump’s Unilateral Attack On Syria Condemned

"Make no mistake, this was an illegal act of war, launched in violation of the U.S. Constitution and international law. Congress should immediately cancel its planned recess and debate and vote before any further military engagement by Donald Trump in Syria." (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – Peace groups and activists around the world on Friday condemned President Donald Trump’s missile strikes on Syria, calling the move reckless, illegal, and hypocritical. In the U.S., a coalition of organizations—including CREDO, MoveOn.org, Peace Action, and Win Without War—warned that Trump’s move was “not leadership” and “will not make our country safer nor end the tragic human suffering in Syria.” “Make no mistake, this was an illegal act of war, launched in violation of the U.S. Constitution and international law. Congress should immediately cancel its planned recess and debate and vote before any further military engagement by Donald Trump in Syria,” the groups stated.

US Bombing Syrian Troops Would Be Illegal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claimed to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

By Marjorie Cohn for Consortium News – In an internal “dissent channel cable,” 51 State Department officers called for “targeted military strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a proposal that President Barack Obama has thus far resisted. However, were he to accept the cable’s advice, he would risk a dangerous – possibly catastrophic – confrontation with Russia. And, such a use of military force in Syria would violate U.S. and international law. While the cable decries “the Russian and Iranian governments’ cynical and destabilizing deployment of significant military power to bolster the Assad regime,” the cable calls for the United States to protect and empower “the moderate Syrian opposition,” seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.

Pentagon Shouldn’t Get To Absolve Itself For Bombing A Hospital

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By Phyllis Bennis for Foreign Policy In Focus – The Pentagon just made it official: No war crime was committed when a U.S. plane attacked the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last year, killing 42 patients and health workers and injuring many more. At least, that’s the conclusion of its own investigation — nearly all of which remains classified. No war crime, despite the U.S. military having full knowledge of the hospital’s location before the bombing.

Doctors Without Borders Staff Shot While Fleeing Kunduz Hospital

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By Alana Horowitz Satlin, Willa Frej, and Marina Fang for The Huffington Post – The medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders released its internal report on Thursday about the October attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and again cast doubt on the U.S. government’s insistence that the attack was not intentional. The report, which found that the U.S.-led attack killed at least 30 people, describes in brutal detail the severity of the attack, noting that “patients burned in their beds” and that “medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs.” The organization found that people were also killed while trying to flee the scene. For example, the report noted that “a patient in a wheelchair attempting to escape from the inpatient department … was killed by shrapnel from a blast.”

A Short History Of U.S. Bombing Of Civilian Facilities

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By Jon Schwarz for The Intercept, On October 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz, Afghanistan, partially destroying it. Twelve staff members and 10 patients, including three children, were killed, and 37 people were injured. According to MSF, the U.S. had previously been informed of the hospital’s precise location, and the attack continued for 30 minutes after staff members desperately called the U.S. military. The U.S. first claimed the hospital had been “collateral damage” in an airstrike aimed at “individuals” elsewhere who were “threatening the force.” Since then, various vague and contradictory explanations have been offered by the U.S. and Afghan governments, both of which promise to investigate the bombing.