teleSURtv & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept – 2016-07-21 00:07:18
How the US Fuels Extremism
(July 4, 2016) — Is the US in denial about it’s own involvement in extremism? Abby Martin sits down with James Risen to discuss this, the US Empire and more in the latest episode of The Empire Files.
US Makes ‘Mistake’ Again, Kills 56 Civilians in Syria Strike
(July 19, 2016) — A monitoring group said the US-led coalition hit people fleeing fighting around Manbij city, bringing the number of civilians killed since June to 164.
An airstrike by the United States-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians Tuesday north of the besieged Islamic State group-held city of Manbij in northern Syria, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a report.
The group said the strike, which killed at least 11 children, targeted a group of civilians who were fleeing the fighting around the city between the multi-ethnic Syria Democratic Forces, or SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, and fighters with the extremist group.
The SDF had launched an offensive to retake Manbij city late May with backing by the US coalition. So far, the SDF has surrounded and fought their way into parts of the city, but the Islamic State group attacks still occur in some areas of the surrounding countryside.
The monitoring group said the US coalition planes may have “mistaken” the civilians for fighters of the Islamic State group.
Also Monday, 21 people were killed in raids believed to have been conducted by US-led coalition aircraft on Manbij’s northern Hazawneh quarter.
The Observatory said at least 160 civilians have died from airstrikes since the start of the Manbij offensive in late May.
Colonel Chris Garver, a spokesman for the US coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, refused to admit the killings by his aircrafts and added that he was looking into reports of civilian deaths but was being “extraordinarily careful to make sure” airstrikes were killing extremists fighters.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently voiced concern for the roughly 70,000 civilians believed to be trapped between warring parties in Manbij.
“Civilians have . . . reportedly been killed if they leave their homes or attempt to flee. Families are unable to access local cemeteries to bury their relatives who have died or been killed, and are burying them in their gardens or keeping the corpses in bunkers,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.
The Empire Files: Examining the Syria War Chessboard
(January 22, 2016) — The war in Syria is an unparalleled crisis. It has gone far beyond an internal political struggle, and is marked by a complex array of forces that the US Empire hopes to command: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and more. To simplify this web of enemies and friends, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and author of several books.
US-Led Coalition Kills over 1,000 Civilians in Iraq and Syria
(March 9, 2016) — Since August 2014, the US and its allies have carried out more than 10,800 airstrikes, but only admitted to killing up to 21 civilians.
The US-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria has likely killed more than 1,000 civilians over the last 18 months, according to figures released Wednesday by a monitoring group.
Since August 2014, the US-led coalition has carried out more 10,800 airstrikes, with coalition officials claiming to have killed more than 25,000 militants. However, according to the group Airwars, those strikes have exacted a high civilian toll, with somewhere between 1,000 and 1,400 civilians having “likely” been killed, inits assessment, and as many as 2,961 civilians alleged to have died.
The US has admitted to killing as many as 21 civilians. Its 11 allies in the coalition have not admitted to killing any civilians.
Chris Woods, director of Airwars and a former BBC journalist, told teleSUR earlier this year that “the US and its allies are still majorly under-reporting the numbers of civilians they are killing.”
More than 500 civilians have been “credibly reported killed” in Iraq by the US-led coalition, which includes France, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.
In Syria, there has been an average of four alleged civilian casualty events every week, according to Airwars, and 22 in February 2016 alone, which the group says “may be linked to less restrictive rules of engagement.” In total, “between 504 and 697 civilians are likely to have been killed in coalition airstrikes.”
Russia, meanwhile, “is likely to have killed four times that number in just five months,” according to Airwars’ analysis. Like 11 of 12 members of the US-led coalition, Russia denies killing any innocents.
Kinda Haddad, Airwars lead researcher for Syria, said all the countries bombing Syria are aiding extremism.
“As long as we give Middle Eastern lives less value than our own, we will keep on feeding the hatred and suspicion that nihilistic groups like ISIS capitalize on to recruit the young and vulnerable,” she said.
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