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  1. #1
    Array Mustafa16's Avatar
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    8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike.... (OP)


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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

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    Salaam

    A video giving the residents perspective on what happend to them.


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    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    Salaam

    Why Trump Should Stay Out Of Yemen

    'If ever there was a complicated and unwinnable war to keep out of, it is this one.'



    The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.

    To this end, the US is to increase military support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies in a bid to overthrow the Houthis – a militarised Shia movement strong in northern Yemen – fighting alongside much of the Yemeni army, which remains loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    If ever there was a complicated and unwinnable war to keep out of, it is this one.

    Despite Saudi allegations, there is little evidence that the Houthis get more than rhetorical support from Iran and this is far less than Saudi Arabia gets from the US and Britain. There is no sign that the Saudi-led air bombardment, which has been going on for two years, will decisively break the military stalemate. All that Saudi intervention has achieved so far is to bring Yemen close to all out famine. “Seven million Yemenis are ever closer to starvation,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen in an appeal for more aid this week.

    But at the very moment that the UN is warning about the calamity facing Yemen, the US State Department has given permission for a resumption of the supply of precision guided weapons to Saudi Arabia. These sales were suspended last October by President Obama after Saudi aircraft bombed a funeral in the capital Sana’a, killing more than 100 mourners. Ever since Saudi Arabia started its bombing campaign in March 2015, the US has been refuelling its aircraft and has advisors in the Saudi operational headquarters. For the weapons sales to go ahead all that is needed is White House permission.

    A bizarre element in Trump’s decision to take the offensive against Iran in Yemen is that the Iranians provide very little financial and military aid to the Houthis. Saudi propaganda, often echoed by the international media, speaks of the Houthis as “Iran-backed”, but Yemen is almost entirely cut off from the outside world by Saudi ground, air and sea forces.

    Even food imports, on which Yemenis are wholly reliant, are more and more difficult to bring in through the half-wrecked port of Hodeida on the western coast.

    The resumption of the supply of precision-guided munitions is not the first indication that the Trump administration sees Yemen as a good place to put into operation a more hawkish strategy in the region. On 29 January, days after he took office, Trump sent some 30 members of US Navy Seal Team 6, backed by helicopters, to attack an impoverished village called al Ghayil in al-Bayda province in southern Yemen. The purpose of the raid, according to the Pentagon, was intelligence-gathering – though it may well have been a failed attempt to kill or capture Qassim al Rimi, the head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Whatever the aim of the attack, it swiftly turned into a bloody fiasco, with as many 29 civilians in al Ghayil killed along with one Seal, Chief Petty Officer William Owens. The Pentagon’s explanation of what happened sounds very much like similar attempts to explain away civilian killed and wounded over the past half century in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The head of the US military’s central command, General Joseph Votel, told a Senate hearing that between four and 12 civilians might have died in the raid, adding that an “exhaustive after-action review” had not found incompetence, poor decision making or bad judgement.

    For its part, the Trump administration tried to shut down any investigation into what had really happened at al Ghayil by saying that an inquiry would be an affront into the legacy of the fallen Seal, William Owens. This stance was swiftly criticised by the father of the dead man, Bill Owens, who said the government owed his son an inquiry. “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” he said.

    In the event, the White House and the Pentagon have so far hidden fairly successfully from any real examination of the destruction of this remote Yemeni village, perhaps calculating that no independent journalist could make the dangerous journey to the site of the attack. But a lengthy on-the-spot report by Iona Craig, entitled “Death in al Ghayil” and appearing in the online investigative magazine The Intercept, convincingly rebuts the official version of events, little of which appears to be true.

    Craig quotes surviving villagers as saying that the Seal team came under heavy fire from the beginning and attack helicopters were sent in. She writes: “In what seemed to be blind panic, the gunships bombarded the entire village, striking more than a dozen buildings, razing stone dwellings where families slept, and wiping out more than 120 goats, sheep and donkeys.” At least six women and 10 children were killed in their houses as projectiles tore through the straw and timber roofs or were mown down as they ran into the open.

    The Trump administration says this was a “highly successful operation” and there had been an assault on a fortified compound – except that there are no such compounds in the village. Trump claimed that a “large amount of vital intelligence” had been obtained and the Pentagon released video footage seized in al Ghayil only to later admit that the footage had been around for 10 years and contained nothing new.

    Ironically, the villagers who fought back against the Seal team actually belonged to the forces opposing the Houthis and the pro-Saleh forces and, on the night of the assault, “local armed tribesmen assumed the Houthis had arrived to capture their village”. It was only when they saw coloured laser lights coming from the weapons of the attacking force that they realised that they were fighting Americans. As the Seals retreated, with one dead and two seriously wounded, the MV-22 Osprey that was to extract them crash-landed and had to be destroyed by other US aircraft.

    The Trump administration’s first counter-terrorism operation was a failure for the US and much worse for the Yemeni villagers who are dead, wounded, homeless and have seen their livestock, on which they depended for their livelihoods, all killed. But when Senator John McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the raid has been a failure he was promptly denounced by Trump who said that Owens “had died on a winning mission” and to debate its outcome would “only embolden the enemy”.

    International media coverage tends to focus on the wars in Syria and Iraq, but in those countries Trump and the Pentagon are largely following the policies and plans of Obama.

    It is in Yemen that new policies are beginning to emerge as the Trump administration carries out its first counter-terrorism operation against al Qaeda – if that was what it was – leading to the slaughter of civilians and a botched cover-up. Yemen may soon join Afghanistan and Iraq as wars in which the US wishes it had never got involved.

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news-comment/2460-why-trump-should-stay-out-of-yemen

  5. #23
    Aryeh Jay's Avatar
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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    The innocent die in a useless raid that was a failure and Trump makes the killers heroes.
    1 | Likes Junon liked this post

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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryeh Jay View Post
    The innocent die in a useless raid that was a failure and Trump makes the killers heroes.



    Sad thing is, if this kind of thing would happen to USA or any Western Country by ISIS, there'd be outrage. Yet they are the ones who do it. Many has accepted the fact of this as "civilian casualties" when done by the west.

    Yet when it is done towards them, there is outrage. Hypocrisy. In shaa' Allah something good may happen.

    Allahu alam.
    2 | Likes Aryeh Jay, Junon liked this post
    8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    Meaning of Shirk according to The Qur'an
    " Worshipping anyone or anything besides Allah " or " distributing anything exclusive to Allah, to anyone or anything else "

    Meaning of Tawheed according to The Qur'an
    Worshipping none but Allah. Affirming whatever is exclusive to Him, Him alone.

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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    Salaam

    Another update, adds new information, they targeted the villiage again.


  9. #26
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    Re: 8-year old girl dies in Trump-ordered Navy SEAL strike....

    Salaam

    Another update. Long article but worth a read.

    Iona Craig Won a Polk Award for Her Investigation of a SEAL Team Raid That Killed Women and Children in Yemen. Here’s How She Did It.

    A little more than a year ago, on January 29, 2017, Iona Craig was at the tail end of a month-long reporting trip to Yemen. On that day, special operators from the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 launched a surprise raid in a remote part of Yemen, apparently trying to capture or kill an Al Qaeda leader. This was the first covert assault of the Trump era, and the White House, which was not challenged in the U.S. media, hailed it as “highly successful.”

    Except it wasn’t.

    Craig, who was based in Yemen from 2010-2015 and had continued to make reporting trips to the country since a civil war broke out, quickly learned from local media that the raid killed civilians. As she began planning for an arduous and risky journey to the site of the assault, local sheikhs she knew from her previous work in the country told her that the U.S. was getting the story wrong. A large number of women and children had been killed, and the targeted village did not appear to have had a standing Al Qaeda presence.

    But these accounts were just words that had yet to be confirmed. Craig had to go there to find out first-hand.

    Craig was in Yemen to report a story for Harper’s Magazine about suicide bombers, and she had received a travel grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Once the raid happened, she got in touch with The Intercept — she is a regular contributor — which gave her the financial backing to extend her stay and work on this new story. Earlier this week, the story, which was published by The Intercept last March, won the 2018 Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, the most prestigious U.S. honor for excellence in international journalism after the Pulitzer Prize.

    What follows is a description of how Craig reported the story, which was both a major exposé that revealed the Trump administration lied about its first major military engagement, and an epic 1,000-mile journey through desolate parts of Yemen, where Craig and her Yemeni companions faced lethal risks. She was not only the first foreign journalist to report from al Ghayil, she remains the only one to have done so. It is a lesson, to students as well as skeptics of journalism, in what it takes to report an investigative article into wrongful killings by the U.S. military in a far-off battle zone. It is also a demonstration of how independent journalists are able to uncover important truths missed by traditional reporters who rely too heavily on official accounts coming from Washington.

    In ordinary times, the car journey from Aden to al Ghayil, where the raid occurred, would have taken eight hours and been relatively simple. But the war in Yemen, which has spiraled into an international conflict pitting Houthi rebels against a Saudi-U.S. bombing campaign, has divided the country into no-go zones controlled by one side or the other. The direct route to al Ghayil would have crossed contested frontlines and veered into territories controlled by Houthis and other forces that are especially hostile to Western reporters. It would almost certainly have ended with Craig’s arrest, and probably worse for the Yemenis she would travel with.

    The best option, Craig decided, was to take a ridiculously roundabout four-day route that kept her within territory controlled by the government and the Saudi-U.S. coalition, but still entailed potential encounters with Al Qaeda and Islamic State forces. In the risk assessment forms she provided to The Intercept before setting off, Craig described the potential hazards as “Detention and/or kidnap. IEDs, small arms fire, air strikes.” She assessed the likelihood of those hazards occurring as “medium to high.” Trained in first aid, she would be traveling with a full medical kit to treat injuries that she or her Yemeni traveling partners might incur. She provided The Intercept with proof-of-life information that could be used in the event she was kidnapped.

    She could not travel openly as a Westerner. As Craig explained in a lengthy interview published last year by Poynter, for the entire journey she dressed as a Yemeni woman in an all-black abaya and niqab. Her camouflage included black gloves, so that the pale skin on her hands would not give her away. She also wore brown-tinted contact lenses to cover her green eyes. Though she was able to camouflage herself, the ruse was not foolproof, and if the wrong people recognized her, the consequences could be dire.

    First, Craig made a 350-mile journey along the coast from Aden to Mukalla on a public bus (which ran out of fuel en route), a trip that took 10 hours. Then, after staying overnight in Mukalla, she and a Yemeni friend drove off before dawn for Bin Aifan, which was five hours away (they took the precaution of packing Jerry cans filled with extra fuel). In Bin Aifan, she joined another Yemeni friend who would serve as her translator, driver, and companion for the rest of the journey to al Ghayil.

    She and this friend drove west for 230 miles over flat desert to Marib. Once there, her camouflage took on an added element — she was now posing as the wife of her friend, because they would need to stay in a hotel in Marib. If Craig registered under her own name, local security officials would be notified. Yemeni women cannot stay in hotels with a man who is not their husband or a family member – so Craig’s companion became her husband, and she his wife, at least as far as the hotel staff were concerned.

    Once in Marib, she checked with senior sheikhs in the village where the raid took place and asked for permission to visit them the next day; their agreement would constitute a guarantee of safety while she was with them. They agreed but told her to wait a day. This was a bit inconvenient, because Craig did not want to be found out; on her undesired layover in Marib, she had to be careful to not speak English in public and did her best to avoid speaking Arabic anywhere, lest her accent give her away.

    Some of the territory ahead of her was controlled by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Craig had negotiated travel access with the group for previous stories, so she did that again, in the manner that had proved wisest: She informed her Al Qaeda contacts of where she wanted to travel, but not when, how, or even if she would go. In the event Al Qaeda forces found her, someone along their chain of command would know that she wasn’t trying to sneak into their territory without authorization.

    Craig established a careful security protocol for the final leg of the trip to al Ghayil. Every hour, she checked in via cellphone or satellite phone with two Yemeni contacts, one of whom ran a small security firm. Those contacts were in touch with The Intercept. If Craig missed a check-in, her Yemeni contacts would immediately get in touch with The Intercept and everyone would scramble to find her.

    Her travel was complicated by the fact that, until she finally reached al Ghayil with a driver sent by a local sheikh, she didn’t know the village’s exact location. The raid had been widely reported as taking place in “Yakla,” yet that refers to a wider district, not a village. Once she reached al Ghayil, Craig used her satellite phone to map her GPS coordinates. This proved crucial for, among other things, finding satellite imagery that showed the village, whose location the U.S. military knew but had not shared with the public.

    At 5:30 in the morning on February 9, 2017, Craig left Marib with her Yemeni “husband” and two local activists. They traveled in an SUV because of the difficult off-road conditions. The journey was expected to take three hours, but it took more than twice that, partly because a rock hit the undercarriage of their SUV and burst its oil line. They were about an hour away from al Ghayil at that point and far from any cell phone towers, so Craig used her satellite phone to call a local sheikh who sent someone to fetch them. They waited in the shade of bushes on the side of a river bed for an hour, facing mountain ridges controlled by Al Qaeda and Islamic State fighters, until a pickup truck arrived with 30 bullet holes in its windshield – from the SEAL Team 6 raid, Craig was told.

    One of the least-appreciated dangers of working in war zones is the seemingly mundane possibility of car accidents. Roads tend to be in particularly terrible shape due to disuse or overuse and lack of maintenance, and the vehicles correspondents travel in are generally not well maintained, because little is well-maintained in wartime except the machines of war. Travel is often rushed to avoid being on the roads after nightfall, when dangers multiply. If there is an accident, medical attention is usually far away. Craig’s ride in the truck with 30 bullet holes was particularly perilous, winding through rocky gorges on what was little more than a donkey track, with a reckless local driver who nearly collided head-on with a camel stuck in a gorse bush.

    Once in al Ghayil, Craig met with more than a dozen survivors and witnesses. Adults were interviewed separately to capture each individual’s account rather than a collective memory of what happened. She also toured buildings that had been bombed and shot during the raid, and she took pictures. She only had three and a half hours in the village before she had to leave for Marib in the hope of returning there before dark. Staying overnight in al Ghayil was out of the question because the area was unstable and word could filter out to the wrong people that a Western journalist was poking around.

    Even though darkness was catching up with Craig long before she reached Marib, she made a detour to a hospital where she hoped to interview survivors of the attack. As it turned out, they had already been released. Craig and her Yemeni partners arrived back in Marib well after midnight. The journey from Marib to al Ghayil and back had taken 22 hours, including 14 hours of off-road driving through mountains and dry riverbeds.

    Craig’s story destroyed the Trump narrative of an effective raid that, despite the death of a Navy SEAL, resulted in an important capture of intelligence information. This narrative had been repeated by major media outlets, which had not taken the time and effort to investigate, on the ground, what really happened. Craig learned from the eyewitnesses she interviewed that U.S. forces had tried to storm al Ghayil but had come under fire from villagers who thought Houthi forces were attacking. The U.S. troops called in air support.

    “In what seemed to be a blind panic, the gunships bombarded the entire village, striking more than a dozen buildings, razing stone dwellings where families slept,” Craig reported. At least six women were killed, as were 10 children under the age of 13. “The first to die in the assault was 13-year old Nasser al Dhahab,” Craig wrote. Her account continued:

    Nesma al Ameri, an elderly village matriarch who lost four family members in the raid, described how the attack helicopters began firing down on anything that moved. As she recounted the horror of what happened, Sinan tapped her on the arm. “No, no. The bullets were coming from behind,” the 5-year-old insisted, interrupting to demonstrate how he was shot at and his mother gunned down as they ran for their lives. “From here to here,” Sinan said, putting two fingers to the back of his head and drawing an invisible line to illustrate the direction of the bullet exiting her forehead. His mother fell to the ground next to him, still clutching his baby brother in her arms. Sinan kept running.

    As a consequence of Craig’s story, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA and the Departments of Defense, Justice, and State. The ACLU is now suing the Trump administration to enforce that request, which asked for records including the legal basis and decision-making process used for the raid, as well as assessments of civilian deaths.

    After the Polk Award was announced, Jeremy Scahill, a co-founding editor of The Intercept, noted that Craig’s work was unique.

    “The war in Yemen — with its unspeakably catastrophic human toll — has been a scandalously under-reported story,” Scahill said. “No Western journalist has done more to document the human consequences of U.S. drone strikes and raids in Yemen than Iona Craig. She is a rare combination of fierce, brave, empathetic, and brilliant. She is also incredibly generous to reporters new to covering Yemen. Iona’s reporting always puts front and center the stories of people who have no voice in the U.S. and British media despite the crucial roles both countries have played in the collective punishment of the entire nation of Yemen. The only side she takes is that of truth. Giving Iona the George Polk Award is a great tribute to the life and legacy of the reporter for whom the prize is named.”

    Craig, in comments to The Intercept, gave credit to, among others, the Yemenis who helped arrange her journey and travelled with her. They cannot be named for the sake of their own security, because coalition forces, including ones on the ground from the United Arab Emirates, do not look favorably on her work. Political opponents and others who are critical of their role in the country have been victims of enforced disappearance.

    “For me, the real importance is that such a prestigious prize gives recognition to the voices of the civilian victims that are so often drowned out by powerful government institutions thousands of miles away,” Craig said. “Official accounts will always go unchallenged in the absence of any other evidence, and Yemen isn’t always the easiest place to gather that evidence. The current conflict makes it an even greater challenge. There were calculated risks involved in getting the story. But it was worth it and receiving such an award hopefully means greater awareness of not only what happened that night back in January 2017 and in the months after, but also of the consequences of such military operations for both the U.S. and locally for Yemenis. Although there’s only one byline on the story, I’m in a very fortunate position to have a small but extremely important team of Yemenis who go out of their way (quite literally by many hundreds of miles in the case of this story) to keep me safe and to make this kind of reporting possible. This investigation, the recognition for it, is very much down to them and the people of al Ghayil who so warmly welcomed a stranger into their village in the days after the raid.”

    Some of the villagers Craig met on her visit to Al Ghayil were killed weeks later when U.S. aircraft returned to repeatedly bomb and strafe the village over four consecutive nights.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/24/iona-craig-won-a-polk-award-for-her-investigation-of-a-seal-team-raid-that-killed-women-and-children-in-yemen-heres-how-she-did-it/

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