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    '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan (OP)


    Salaam

    Another update on the situation in Afghanistan

    Rare interviews with militants shine light on resilient movement that resisted both Obama’s surge and now Trump’s ‘killing terrorists’ strategy

    Squatting on the floor, a brown shawl draped over his shoulders, the Taliban commander and his bodyguard swiped on their phones through attack footage edited to look like video games, with computerised crosshairs hovering over targets. “Allahu Akbar,” they said every time a government Humvee hit a landmine.

    Mullah Abdul Saeed, who met the Guardian in the barren backcountry of Logar province where he leads 150 Taliban militants, has fought foreign soldiers and their Afghan allies since the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan when he was 14. The Taliban now controls its largest territory since being forced from power, and seems to have no shortage of recruits.

    By prolonging and expanding its military presence in Afghanistan, the US aims to coerce the Taliban to lay down arms, but risks hardening insurgents who have always demanded withdrawal of foreign troops before peace talks.

    In interviews with rank-and-file Taliban fighters in Logar and another of Afghanistan’s embattled provinces, Wardak, the Guardian found a fragmented but resilient movement, united in resistance against foreign intervention.

    Referring to Barack Obama’s surge, Saeed said: “150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us.” And an extra 4,000 US soldiers, as Donald Trump will deploy, “will not change the morale of our mujahideen,” he said. “The Americans were walking in our villages, and we pushed them out.” For the Taliban to consider peace, he said, “foreigners must leave, and the constitution must be changed to sharia.”

    Active Taliban footsoldiers rarely agree to meet western reporters. Men such as Saeed, who spoke without leadership permission, provide valuable insight into a movement that after 16 years in armed opposition remains largely an enigma.

    Arriving on a motorbike kicking up dust, Saeed and his Kalashnikov-carrying bodyguard, Yamin, were aloof at first but warmed as the conversation evolved. Saeed said that as the war has changed, the Taliban have adjusted, too. US soldiers now predominantly train Afghans, and have ramped up airstrikes.

    “It’s true, it has become harder to fight the Americans. But we use suicide bombers, and we will use more of them,” Saeed said. “If the US changes its tactics of fighting, so do we.” That change has meant ever-fiercer attacks, with large truck bombs in populated areas and audacious assaults on military bases.

    In April, Taliban fighters in army uniforms stormed a northern army academy and killed at least 150 soldiers in the biggest assault on the army of the entire war. This month, suicide bombers wiped out a whole army unit, ramming two Humvees packed with explosives into a base in Kandahar.

    As Saeed spoke, three young boys from the civilian family at the house where the interview took place brought tea. They giggled as they listened in on the fighters’ radio. Saeed spoke with a calm, professorial demeanour but his words brimmed with the anger of a man who has spent his adult life fighting a generation-long war, and lost 12 family members doing it.

    Pressed on the record-high number of civilian deaths in the war, he said the Taliban “make mistakes” and try to avoid harming civilians, but added: “If there is an infidel in a flock of sheep, you are permitted to attack that flock of sheep.”

    The Taliban was always outnumbered and technologically outmatched by its foreign adversaries, but is arguably at its strongest since 2001, threatening several provincial capitals. The movement, though, is divided, with some lower-ranking commanders backing rivals of the current chief, Mawlawi Haibatullah, or more radical outfits such as Islamic State. But rifts have not stopped the group from advancing.

    Saeed claimed: “10-15 people join the mujahideen [in Logar] every day, sometimes also policemen,” adding that mistreatment by government and foreign forces helps recruitment.

    “Many Taliban become suicide bombers after prison. Why?” he asked, describing how prison guards torture detainees by applying air pressure, beatings or electric shock to their genitals. After a detainee is released, he said, the shame is too much to bear. Such claims of government torture have been documented by the UN.

    While few in the international community think the war can be won militarily, the US shows little intention of reviving the dormant peace process. “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” Trump said when announcing his south Asia strategy. “In the end we will win.” Crucially, Trump has not established criteria for when US troops will be pulled home.

    In a separate interview in the beleaguered Wardak province, Omari, 23, who has six years’ frontline experience, told the Guardian he had considered leaving the insurgency and taking his family to Kabul. “But if the Americans come back to Wardak, I will fight them,” he said. Omari was less cavalier than Saeed about civilian casualties, which he said damaged the Taliban’s standing with ordinary Afghans, who have become more reluctant to shelter them.

    Yet, the two militants did agree on one thing: American soft power is as dangerous as uniformed soldiers, especially as US troops have dwindled in numbers. That belief materialised last year when militants, in a stunningly grisly attack, stormed the American University in Kabul, killing 16 students and staff members. In the capital, many regard the university as one of the pinnacles of post-Taliban Afghanistan.

    Though no group claimed responsibility for the attack, Saeed and Omari agreed the university posed a threat. “We should kill those teachers who change the minds of society,” Saeed said.

    Currently, the Taliban seem capable of upholding a slow-burning war, with the help of outside benefactors. After recent US pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant sanctuaries, some Taliban fighters consider opting for another regional neighbour, Omari said: “Many Taliban want to leave Pakistan for Iran. They don’t trust Pakistan anymore.”

    Pakistan denies harbouring militants, but Saeed admitted receiving assistance from Pakistan, though he denied being under anyone’s thumb. “Having relations is one thing, taking orders is something else,” he said. “Every party, if they want to be stronger, need to talk to other countries. We should talk to Iran, and we should talk to Pakistan. Just like the Afghan government goes to India and China.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/31/150000-americans-couldnt-beat-us-taliban-fighters-defiant-in-afghanistan

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

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    Salaam

    Needs to be confirmed but if true





    Some positive news.





    The endless hardship



    Despite all the hardship they have endured they still have time to care for others in the Ummah.




    Poverty-stricken Afghanistan donates $1m aid for Palestinians

    Turkish Foreign Minister: "The Afghan people have greater need than the Palestinians...But they sent this money here [to Palestinians], forgetting their own hardship..."


    He further added: “This contribution and aid that the Afghan people gave will never be forgotten. The Palestinians will never forget the aid and support they were given.”

    Afghanistan’s ambassador, for his part, called Afghanistan’s stance for the cause of Palestine “strong.”

    “We Afghans face many economic problems and we’re struggling and fighting for a better future for our people. We’re aware of the difficulties that people of Palestine are facing,” said Sayed.

    “They need support and we should take steadfast measures to provide them with basic humanitarian aid and support.”

    He said the Afghan government considers Erdogan’s call on OIC member states to support the people of Palestine a “positive step.”

    Afghanistan also welcomed the OIC initiative for the establishment of a “Waqf Fund” to support Palestinian refugees.

    In his speech, the ambassador called on OIC member states as well as other countries to support the people of Palestine “in such a pressing time that they need help and support.”

    ‘Immense gesture’


    For his part, Krahenbuhl thanked Afghanistan for its “immense gesture” at a time that Afghanistan “faces so many challenges and has gone through so much pain, suffering and despair.”

    “It is something that will be written in golden letters in the history of UNWRA, as an organization. It means so much to us, as a message to the entire world,” he said.

    “This is something that we will carry as a message around the world to inspire others to stand firmly with Palestinian refugees, at a time when Palestinian refugees have often felt that they were forgotten by the world.”

    According to a UNRWA statement issued in January, the funding is needed to continue providing assistance to some 5.4 million Palestinian refugees across the Middle East and maintaining the agency’s operations at 2018 levels.

    Krahenbuhl said in January that a further $138 million would be required to provide emergency aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), while an additional $277 million would be needed to support the agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal.

    Last year, US President Donald Trump cut Washington’s annual funding for the UNRWA. The US had been the agency’s largest contributor by far, providing it with $350 million each year – roughly a quarter of its overall budget.

    The UNRWA was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 with the stated aim of providing aid and protection to Palestinian refugees in its five areas of operations: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...-palestinians/
    Last edited by Junon; 03-22-2019 at 09:49 PM.

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    The reason why they have been able to resist the USA for almost 2 decades.






    Last edited by Junon; 03-22-2019 at 10:50 PM.

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Everything happens ultimately from Allah

    Afghanistan has seen no peace since 1979 (apart from few years lull between 1997-2001)

    I think all this death and destruction that has plagued Afghanistan for so long could be a karma from Allah as a consequence of a very sick evil thing going on in their country and culture.... I say 'culture' because it is very widespread in Afghanistan

    And this evil is men having homosexual relationships with boys and making boys dance as girls:

    https://renegadeinc.com/bacha-bazi/

    https://youtu.be/eM-xe6wHjnw


    https://youtu.be/RLUP7t32zEA

    I don't mean to shame Afghanistan, just pointing out what they need to change so that this war plague may be lifted

  6. #44
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update, Trump being at his diplomatic best.





    Pakistan-US Cooperation ‘Has Rekindled Hope’ for Afghan Peace


    Pakistan said Tuesday its cooperation in facilitating ongoing peace talks between the United States and the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan has led to a “gradual warming up” in Islamabad’s turbulent relationship with Washington.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the remarks just days before Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit Washington for his first meeting with President Donald Trump.

    Qureshi told a seminar Khan’s visit to the U.S. is aimed at seeking a “broader” bilateral engagement, although he acknowledged the Afghan peace process will figure prominently at the White House meeting set for July 22. He said that Trump’s invitation to Khan underscored the “inherent importance of the relationship” for both the countries.

    “It will, therefore, be appropriate to work for broader engagement from Afghanistan to bilateral issues, economic and trade cooperation to peace and stability in South Asia,” Qureshi stressed.

    It is widely believed that Trump’s invitation to Khan stemmed from recent “substantial” progress in months-long peace negotiations between the U.S. and representatives of the Afghan Taliban to find a political settlement to the 18-year-old Afghan war, the longest U.S. foreign military intervention.

    Islamabad takes credited for arranging the U.S.-Taliban talks that started nearly a year ago.

    “Pakistan has welcomed President Trump’s farsighted decision to pursue a political solution in Afghanistan, which in fact was an endorsement of our own position espoused for a long time,” Qureshi told a seminar in Islamabad.

    Qureshi insisted his government has been facilitating the U.S.-Taliban talks in “good faith” and as a “shared responsibility” to promote regional peace and security.

    “The convergence in Pakistan and U.S. polices on Afghanistan has rekindled hope for resolution of the protracted Afghan conflict that has only brought misery and despondency to the region,” the foreign minister stressed.

    Qureshi said that besides the “one-on-one” interaction between Trump and Khan, “there will be a restrictive meeting” where the Pakistani political and military leadership will engage with U.S. counterparts before the extended delegation-level talks are held.

    Pakistani military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the head of the country’s spy agency will both accompany Khan during the visit, officials said.

    Rollercoaster ties

    Pakistan’s usually rollercoaster relations with the U.S. had plunged to historic lows since Trump took office in 2017 and suspended all military assistance to the country.

    The American president has accused Islamabad of harboring militant groups U.S. forces are fighting in Afghanistan, despite having received billions of dollars in assistance, saying Pakistan has given Washington "nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”

    Pakistan rejects the charges and maintains it has suffered tens of thousands of civilian and military casualties as well as and billions of dollars in losses to the national economy because of a militant backlash for joining the U.S. “war on terror.”

    Pakistan-India tensions


    Qureshi also Tuesday hailed an active role the U.S. played in defusing Pakistan's tensions with rival India in February when the two nuclear-armed neighboring countries came close to another war over the disputed Kashmir region.

    “We hope that the leadership of the two countries in Washington can agree on the imperative of resuming a sustained and result-oriented dialogue between Pakistan and India aimed at peacefully resolving all disputes. We are confident that this visit will help in ushering an era of stability and prosperity in South Asia and the broader region."

    https://www.voanews.com/south-centra...e-afghan-peace

    Edit -

    Last edited by Junon; 07-26-2019 at 12:37 AM.

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update. Talks have collapsed.

    Blurb

    US President Donald Trump says he has cancelled a secret meeting with the Taliban in the United States. The leaders were supposed to meet at Camp David on Sunday.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says talks with the Taliban are now dead "for the time being" and the special envoy is being recalled. Meetings between the envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban had been ongoing in Qatar for nearly a year.
    The Taliban released a statement in response, saying “Americans will suffer more than anyone else” because of Trump's decision to cancel the talks.

    The office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says peace will only be possible if the Taliban stops launching attacks and holds direct talks with the government.




    Taliban response.

    Blurb

    Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban began last October in Qatar, with the aim of ending the almost 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

    On Monday, US President Donald Trump announced that negotiations were over.

    "They are dead. They are dead. As far as I’m concerned, they are dead," Trump told reporters, blaming a Taliban attack last week in which an American soldier was among the 12 people killed.

    "They thought that they had to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position ... You can't do that with me, so they [the talks] are dead as far as I'm concerned," Trump said.

    The president's move surprised the Taliban's leaders.

    "It was astonishing for us because we had already concluded the peace agreement with the American negotiating team," Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesperson in Qatar's capital Doha, told Al Jazeera.







    Isis gains traction in Afghanistan as US talks collapse

    Taliban hardliners frustrated by prospect of peace join militant group

    Minutes after the younger brother of Afghanistan’s Taliban chief rose to lead Friday prayers at a Pakistan mosque last month, a bomb ripped through the building.

    The brother of top leader Mullah Habatullah Akhundzada was one of five people killed in an attack police link to Isis’s growing Afghanistan affiliate. The Islamist movement is locked in a fierce rivalry with the Taliban, whose influence straddles the border of the two countries.

    A surge of Isis violence this year, including a horrific bombing at a Kabul wedding that killed 63 people in August, and the assault on Taliban leadership has revealed its increasing traction in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

    Taliban hardliners angry about negotiations with the US over a troop withdrawal in exchange for counter-terrorism pledges have joined Isis in droves, said experts, raising fears of an Isis resurgence despite it being ousted from its last remnants of territory in Syria this year.

    “When Isis started to claim attacks in Kabul, they showcased their power, arms and money,” said Kabir Taneja, from the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. “You need a strong ecosystem to conduct attacks in what the Taliban consider their sacred ground.”

    As the Isis affiliate, known as Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), expands from its stronghold in eastern Afghanistan, there is growing concern that it will create a safe haven for terrorists to plot international attacks, recreating the conditions that allowed al-Qaeda to organise the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington 18 years ago.

    Isis’s rise comes even as the US and Taliban’s negotiations to end what has become America’s longest-running war appear to have faltered. US President Donald Trump wants troop numbers to be reduced before next year’s US presidential election, but he called off a secret summit at Camp David with the Taliban and Afghan leadership. He later declared the talks dead, putting a question mark over the future of the deal.

    The draft accord allowed for almost 5,000 US troops to leave Afghanistan in the next five months as part of a phased withdrawal, leaving 9,000 in return for Taliban counter-terrorism assurances.

    Now as America and the Taliban work out their next move, Kabul is going ahead with presidential elections on September 28. A repeat of the 2014 polls, which was mired by accusations of fraud, could lead to further instability.

    “It’s an incredibly complex and fluid situation,” said Jonathan Schroden, a military analyst at research organisation CNA. “There is still broad consensus across [Washington] DC and both parties that the only way to get troops out of Afghanistan and protect US interests is through some form of a negotiated settlement.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/ae7cd2c2-...4-b5ded7a7fe3f

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Like to share.

    Blurb

    Foxy sits down with the Taliban's High Ranking Commander to talk about Foxy's experience fighting Taliban in Afghanistan.




    He shouldnt be surprised at the dismissive attitude shown towards him, given the UKs record.
    Last edited by Junon; 09-21-2019 at 11:48 PM.
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Americans never learn.

    Former Navy SEAL admiral who oversaw bin Laden raid says US has to accept that it's going to be in Afghanistan 'for a very long time'

    A draft agreement for peace between the US and the Taliban in Afghanistan got a lot of hopes up late this summer, but the former head of US special operations― most well known for overseeing the mission that ultimately took out Osama Bin Laden — said that making concessions to the extremist group is the wrong move.

    Retired Adm. Bill McRaven, now a national security professor at the University of Texas in Austin, likened negotiating with the warlords who control much of Afghanistan's square mileage to sitting down with ISIS, in a discussion Wednesday at the New America Special Operations Forces Policy Forum in Washington.

    "And maybe that's not a good comparison," he said. "But I do believe that if we negotiate some sort of settlement with the Taliban, and that settlement involves the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, that, you know, it won't be six months or a year before all of the blood and treasure we have put into Afghanistan will have been reversed because the Taliban will come back in and do what the Taliban do."

    Multiple international news outlets reported in late August and early September that the Taliban and US diplomats had reached an interim peace agreement after nine rounds of peace talks in Qatar.

    The deal fell apart just before the 18th anniversary of 9/11, when President Donald Trump canceled a secret meeting with Taliban officials at Camp David, a direct response to the Taliban's car-bombing of an 82nd Airborne Division soldier ― which killed him and 11 others ― days before.

    McRaven never agreed with the peace talks to begin with, he said.

    "And when you think, particularly of the young ladies and the progress we have made in Afghanistan with building girls' schools and bringing women into the political process," he said. "I mean, these are vastly important for Afghanistan and the region. I'm afraid that clock will be turned back very quickly if we negotiate some sort of settlement with the Taliban that really isn't to our benefit or Afghanistan's benefit."

    The interim deal was said to offer a conditional drawdown of troops if the Taliban agreed to stop targeting US troops and took steps to control its districts and reject any other extremist groups who might use the country as a home base to launch an attack against the US.

    Even if it had been a success, McRaven said, he believes US involvement in Afghanistan is far from over.

    "I've said we have to accept the fact — I think we do — that we're going to be there for a very long time," he said. "Is it forever? I don't think anything's for forever. But does that mean that we will lose more young men and women? Does that mean we're going to spend another billions of dollars? I think it does."

    In remarks throughout the year, Trump has lamented US troops' role as police officers and nation builders in Afghanistan. But in McRaven's view, he said, that's what's necessary.

    "And people have asked me before, 'Well, we can't be the policemen of the world.' The hell we can't," he said. "I think this is what American leadership is about. You have to recognize that our interests are no longer just in the borders of the United States."

    Afghanistan is a country with a long and legendary history of instability, ripe with opportunity for another terrorist group to move in and train freely, the way al-Qaida did before 9/11.

    "I think we have an obligation to lead. Because if we don't, who's going to lead? China? Russia? The world wants us to lead," he said. "If we back out of Afghanistan and we don't show the leadership necessary to keep Afghanistan solvent, if you will, I think that'll be a mistake."

    The other issue, he added, is that after 18 years, the reason for being there has changed. First it was to hunt down al-Qaida. Then it was to beat back the Taliban, who had harbored them.

    But then, over that time, the US helped Afghanistan get a democratic government off the ground, and train its security forces to defend themselves — an undertaking that experts have said they aren't ready to do on their own.

    "I think we need to honor that relationship," he said.

    And, the likelihood that troops can stay behind as an insurance policy, in a deal that the Taliban will be on board with, sounds far-fetched.

    "So, is there an opportunity for us to negotiate with the Taliban, get them to negotiate something that is a win-win? I don't know. I have my doubts on that," he said.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/form...19-9?r=US&IR=T

    American values. Nice theory, lets see the reality.

    Last edited by Junon; 09-22-2019 at 09:26 AM.

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Like to share.

    Blurb

    UNCAGED is a new, no holds barred, fortnightly discussion putting a unique perspective and insight on the War on Terror and the campaign for justice.

    In this episode we talk about the Afghan war following 18 years since it first began and an interesting story of when Moazzam met a former Taliban Ambassador who was begged by an American commander!




    A look at Afghanistan during the 1990s.

    Blurb

    What Hope For The Future (1996): Footage and interviews from Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

    | Likes Ahmed. liked this post

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Trump confirms US has killed Osama bin Laden's son Hamza

    Death of son of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was reported but not confirmed in July


    Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday that the US has killed Hamza bin Laden, a son of the former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    Bin Laden’s death was reported in July but not confirmed by the US government. The New York Times reported then he was killed some time in the last two years.

    On Saturday the White House said he was killed in “a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region”. It did not say when or by which US force or agency. It has been reported that the CIA, rather than the US military, may have carried out the strike. The CIA did not comment on Saturday.

    Reuters reported that an unnamed US official said Hamza was killed “months ago” and Trump was briefed at the time. The Associated Press cited “a US official familiar with the case” as saying the operation occurred within the past 18 months.

    The official did not say what led to bin Laden’s death being announced now.

    Bin Laden, who was believed to be aged around 30, had been seeking to lead a resurgence of al-Qaida, which has been eclipsed among jihadist terrorist groups by Islamic State. The US state department designated him as a terrorist in 2017. The US offered a $1m reward for help tracking him down.

    “[Al-Qaida was] clearly grooming him to be a next generation successor,” Peter Bergen, director of the international security programme at the New America foundation, told the Guardian in July.

    “Ayman al-Zawahiri [al-Qaida’s official leader] hasn’t been a particularly effective leader. He’s got a sort of charisma deficit. And they were trying to put this guy forward.”

    On Saturday, using variant spellings of the Bin Laden name, that of the target’s father and the group he led, a statement issued by the White House press secretary read: “Hamza bin Ladin, the high-ranking al-Qa’ida member and son of Usama bin Ladin, was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.”

    Bin Laden’s death, the statement said, “deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father” and “undermines important operational activities of the group”.

    The statement added: “Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”

    Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces who raided his compound in Abbottabad, in Pakistan, in 2011.

    Hamza bin Laden was the son of Khairiah Sabar, one of the former al-Qaida leader’s three surviving wives who lived with him in the compound. Hamza bin Laden’s last public message came in March 2018, threatening the Saudi Arabian regime. This year, he was stripped of Saudi citizenship.

    Trump’s announcement of the death of Hamza bin Laden came three days after the 18th anniversary of the 11 September attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to post-9/11 illnesses.

    Last week, Trump announced the abandonment of peace talks between the Taliban, which sheltered al-Qaida leaders in the run-up to 9/11, the US and the Afghan government.

    In the week of 9/11 commemorations, a mooted invitation to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, attracted widespread criticism.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...dens-son-hamza

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    In other breaking news, grass is green, sky is blue and water is wet.



    British government and army accused of covering up war crimes

    Alleged evidence implicates UK troops in murder of children in Afghanistan and Iraq


    The UK government and the British army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating troops in killing children and the torture of civilians.

    A BBC/Sunday Times investigation said it had obtained evidence from inside the Iraq historic allegations team (IHAT), which investigated alleged war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq, and Operation Northmoor, which investigated alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

    The government closed IHAT and Operation Northmoor in 2017, after Phil Shiner, a solicitor who had taken more than 1,000 cases to IHAT, was struck off from practising law amid allegations he had paid people in Iraq to find clients.

    But some former IHAT and Operation Northmoor investigators said Shiner’s actions were used as an excuse to close down the inquiries.

    No case investigated by IHAT or Operation Northmoor has led to a prosecution.

    An IHAT detective told Panorama: “The Ministry of Defence had no intention of prosecuting any soldier of whatever rank he was unless it was absolutely necessary, and they couldn’t wriggle their way out of it.”

    The year-long investigation claims to have found evidence of murders by an SAS soldier, as well as deaths in custody, beatings, torture and sexual abuse of detainees by members of the Black Watch.

    A senior SAS commander was referred to prosecutors for attempting to pervert the course of justice, the investigation claims.

    A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Allegations that the MoD interfered with investigations or prosecution decisions relating to the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are untrue.

    “Throughout the process, the decisions of prosecutors and the investigators have been independent of the MoD and involved external oversight and legal advice.”

    The MoD said cases were referred to the independent Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) as a result of investigations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “Cases from Iraq were referred as a result of historic investigations. It is untrue to claim cases investigated under Operation Northmoor in Afghanistan were not acted upon. After careful investigation, overseen by a former chief constable, no Northmoor cases were referred to prosecutors,” the spokesman said.

    The MoD also said police undertook extensive investigations into allegations about the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the SPA decided not to prosecute any of the cases referred to it.

    The spokesman said: “Our military served with great courage and professionalism in Iraq and Afghanistan and we hold them to the highest standards. It is government policy that military operations are conducted in accordance with the law of armed conflict and where allegations are raised, they are investigated.

    “The Sunday Times’s claims have been passed to the Service Police and the Service Prosecuting Authority who remain open to considering allegations.”

    Rachel Logan, of Amnesty International UK, described the reports as “deeply troubling”, adding: “If true, those responsible for sanctioning and carrying out torture and other war crimes, at all levels, must be held accountable and, where appropriate, prosecuted.”

    Hilary Meredith, whose firm of solicitors handles compensation claims for injured military personnel, dismissed the allegations as “flawed, baseless and biased” and part of an “ongoing witch-hunt against our brave servicemen and women”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019...ghanistan-iraq

    Blurb

    UNCAGED is a no holds barred, fortnightly discussion putting a unique perspective and insight on the War on Terror and the campaign for justice.

    Without accountability there is no justice, and without justice we're left with a world full of injustice. In this episode of UNCAGED we discussed British Army war crimes exposed by the latest Panorama documentary.


    Last edited by Junon; 11-26-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Blurb

    At least 14 members of Afghanistan's security forces have been killed in a Taliban attack on a government compound in the north of the country.

    That's despite reports suggesting that the group's ruling council had agreed to a ceasefire to help facilitate peace talks with the United States.

    But as our Foreign Affairs editor Deborah Haynes reports, persuading fighters on the ground to drop their weapons won't be easy.



  16. #52
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Not a new story but more proof if anymore is needed.

    Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’

    A former US drone operator is speaking out against the atrocities he says he was forced to inflict during his time in the armed forces and says the American military as ‘worse than the Nazis’.

    Brandon Bryant was enlisted in the US Air Force for six years. During his time with the military, he operated Predator drones, remotely firing missiles at targets more than 7,000 miles away from the small room containing his workspace near Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Mr Bryant says he reached his breaking point with the US military after killing a child in Afghanistan that his superiors told him was “a dog.” Mr Bryant recalls the moment: After firing a Hellfire missile at a building containing his target, he saw a child exit the building just as the missile struck. When he alerted his superiors about the situation after reviewing the tape, he was told “it was a f***ing dog, drop it.”

    Following that incident, Mr Bryant quit the military and began speaking out against the drone program.

    During his time in the Air Force, Mr Bryant estimates he contributed directly to killing 13 people himself and says his squadron fired on 1,626 targets including women and children. He says he has been left suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Mr Bryant said he saw the man he targeted bleed out from his legs and watched as his body went cold on his thermal imaging screen.

    “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg … It took him a long time to die. I just watched him,” Mr Bryant said in an interview with GQ.

    “That image on the screen is still in my head. Whenever I think about it, it still hurts me,” Mr Bryant said. “When I pulled the trigger, I knew that it was wrong. When the middle struck I knew in my soul I had become a murderer.”

    Other airmen in Mr Bryant’s squadron celebrated his first kill, saying “Brant’s popped his cherry.”

    Mr Bryant was enlisted from 2006 to 2011, working as a sensor operator, which helps direct missiles to their targets.

    with the Roots Action Network, Mr Bryant recalled an instance early in his enlistment where he and his fellow drone operators were shown a video montage of drone strikes, after which they were told their jobs were to “kill people and break things.”

    “It went against everything that I had ever learned about honor and justice and training. It was terrifying how dismissive people were about the whole affair. We were safe in the U.S. and those over there were not. We win. But that’s not how it goes,” Mr Bryant said.

    Mr Bryant said that despite his misgivings about the program, his superiors used punitive measures and mockery to keep him in line.

    “It broke my spirit. It went against everything I learned about being a warrior, about holding yourself to higher standards. My superiors psychologically beat me and ridiculed me to keep me in line. They took away my free time and forced me to sit in a seat or be tried under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) for disobeying orders,” Mr Bryant said. “In a sense, it was my prison. I served my time to learn and reflect. And so I hold the key now, to the entire apparatus. I just don’t know what to do with it.”

    He has said the US military is “worse than the Nazis” because “we should know better.”

    Mr Bryant said he and his family have been threatened for speaking out against the drone program and that he has lost friends and been estranged from other members of his family over his whistle-blowing.

    Ultimately Mr Bryant wants the public to understand the dehumanizing effect of the drone program on the operators and the individuals targeted.

    “I would want people to know, beyond its existence, the consequences it has on us as a species to delineate our power into something so easily destructive. Every time we get closer to that edge, we’re going to have to realise where it places us,” Mr Bryant said.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a9324011.html
    Last edited by Junon; 02-11-2020 at 01:23 PM.

  17. #53
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    These are the kind of troops you want liberating you right?



    The peace talks are back on.

    US, Taliban negotiate 7-day reduction in violence: Pentagon

    Two warring sides agree to reduce violence as President Donald Trump says a peace agreement was 'very close'.


    The United States and the Taliban have secured a seven-day reduction in violence in Afghanistan, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said, raising hopes for a peace agreement to end the 18-year-old war.

    "We've said all along that the best, if not the only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on that front and we'll have more to report on that soon, I hope," Esper told reporters in Brussels on Thursday, dubbing his meetings with NATO colleagues "productive".

    Esper did not say when the partial truce would begin but President Donald Trump on Thursday said a peace agreement was "very close".

    "I think we're very close," Trump said on a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio when asked if a tentative deal had been reached. "I think there's a good chance that we'll have a deal ... We're going to know over the next two weeks."

    Trump's comments are the latest indication of significant progress in negotiations that the US and the Taliban have been holding since December in the Qatari capital, Doha.

    The Pentagon chief said if the process goes forward there would be continuous evaluation of any violence.

    "It is our view that seven days, for now, is sufficient but in all things, our approach to this process will be conditions-based, I will say it again, conditions-based," he said.

    The US and the Taliban have been locked in gruelling talks that have stretched over more than a year, as the Trump administration seeks an end to the US's longest conflict.

    Tens of thousands of people have been killed in an armed rebellion launched by the Taliban after it was deposed from power in 2001.

    Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the talks had achieved "a pretty important breakthrough".

    Sources say the partial truce could lead to the signing of a US-Taliban peace deal that would see the US pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan, in return the Taliban would provide various security guarantees and launch eventual talks with the Kabul government.

    There are about 13,000 US troops as well as thousands of other NATO personnel in Afghanistan, 18 years after a US-led coalition invaded the country following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

    The news of a potential agreement comes amid continued attacks by the Taliban, who controls about 40 percent of Afghanistan, according to Afghan defence officials.

    Last month the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a US government agency, assessed that there had been a record-high number of attacks by the Taliban and other anti-government forces in the last three months of 2019.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...153223932.html
    Last edited by Junon; 02-14-2020 at 03:28 PM.

  18. #54
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    More comment on the (hopefully) coming end of US involvement in Afghanistan.



    In Allah let the believers place their trust

    The deflated tone and demeanour of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in contrast to the beams and triumphalist swagger of his Taliban counterparts, told its own story. For make no mistake about it, last Saturday’s peace accord was a resounding victory for the latter and a clear admission of defeat on the part of the US and her allies. The accumulated claims of victory over 18 years finally giving way to a bleak admission that, once again, a superpower and her proxies had been faced down and defeated by a band of guerrillas armed only with Kalashnikovs and an unshakeable faith in the righteousness of their cause. After almost two decades of slow bleed in the Afghan quagmire the American war machine finally decided it was time for reverse gear.

    The Taliban possessed no F-18s. No Apaches. No drones. No satellite imagery. No daisy cutters. No access to advanced medical care or psychiatric counselling for PTSD. Their simple shalwaar kameez (baggy trousers and tunics) uniform a far cry from the elaborate military fatigues of their enemies. Yet despite the multitudinous handicaps their pursuit of freedom from foreign domination and the reestablishment of Islamic law was relentless.

    It was the second of these two objectives that especially contributed to prolonging the conflict into a second decade. Spurning repeated offers of political rehabilitation and power sharing the Taliban shura (consultative) council remained unswerving in their twin demands for the reestablishment of the Shariah and the evacuation of all foreign forces. By steadfastly refusing to negotiate with the puppet regime in Kabul and insisting upon direct talks with the Americans – a demand the latter ultimately had no option but to accede to – they provided a stellar example of how to maintain dignity even in extreme adversity. Their bravery and tenacity won them much plaudits from American civilian and military officials reaching all the way up to President Donald Trump himself.

    The roots of the present conflict stretched back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; in the days following the toppling of the Twin Towers, the US administration of President George Bush moved swiftly in assigning culpability to the Al Qaeda network and its head Osama bin Laden, then resident in Afghanistan as a guest of the Taliban. Demanding his unconditional handover to American authorities (in contravention of international extraditions norms) President Bush presented the world with a binary choice of pledging fealty to the US or aligning with “the terrorists”, an ultimatum which predictably enough left nations scrambling to declare their ‘unstinting’ support for the world’s sole superpower.

    The three nations who had hitherto recognised the Taliban regime as Afghanistan’s legitimate rulers quickly severed all ties. Faced with the looming prospect of a devastating bombardment and ground invasion that would inevitably unseat them from power, many – including many Afghan ulema – advised Taliban leader Mullah Omar (may Allah have mercy upon him) to ‘request the departure of’ (a euphemism for ‘deliverance into American custody’) Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan.

    Recognising this for the flagrant betrayal of Islamic and Afghan principles it would be Mullah Omar refused to acquiesce. When confronted by US state propaganda outlet Voice of America with the likely devastating consequences of his refusal, Mullah Omar responded:

    “This is not an issue of Osama bin Laden. It is an issue of Islam. Islam’s prestige is at stake. So is Afghanistan’s tradition.”

    Mullah Omar understood clearly the implications of kowtowing to American arrogance: the loss of dignity and prestige not only for the Afghan people but also the Muslim ummah at large. Bending the knee to a bully is an act of cowardice, a characteristic of the debased and the effete. It flies in the face of numerous Prophetic guidance.

    “O Prophet of Allāh, what about if a man came to me asking for my money (meaning to take it by force).” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Don’t give him your money.” So, the man said: “What if he fights me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Fight him (back).” The man asked: “What if he kills me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) peace be upon him said: “Then you are a martyr.” The man asked: “What if I kill him?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “(Then) he is in the hell-fire.” (Because he is a transgressing oppressor).

    [Sahih Muslim]
    Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (ﷺ), peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the leader is only a shield behind whom they fight and who protects them. If he commands the fear of Allah the Exalted and justice, then he will have a reward. If he commands something else, then it will be against him.” [Sahih Muslim]

    Allah’s Messenger gave the metaphor of a shield for the Imam likening it to a means of protection whereas the perfidious tyrants of the Muslim world spared no effort in aiding the Americans in their oppression of the Muslims, placing their airbases, intelligence services and soldiers at their disposal and handing over dozens for incarceration and torture in Bagram and Guantanamo Bay.

    Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Years of treachery will come over people in which liars are believed and the truthful are denied, the deceitful are trusted and the trustworthy are considered traitors, and the disgraceful will deliver speeches.” It was said, “Who are the disgraceful?” The Prophet said, “Petty men with authority over the common people.” [Sunan Ibn Majah and graded sahih according to Al-Albani]

    Mullah Omar (may Allah have mercy upon him) and the Taliban leadership eschewed the sumptuous lifetstyle favoured by most Muslim rulers. They possessed no palaces or mansions – either at home or abroad. No fleets of luxury cars and no foreign bank accounts stashed with the pelf of extortion and grift. Rather they viewed imarah [rulership] in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah – an amanah [trust] that Allah (swt) had vouchsafed them and a duty to the people which they had an obligation to discharge. Their love of Allah (swt), His Messenger (ﷺ) and the believers did not permit them to embrace the enemies of Islam and rendered them impervious to their blandishments.

    They chose the sirat al-mustaqeem, the path of the anbiya, the awliya and the shuhada and not the path offered them by Iblis and his allies; a path more often than not beset by hardship and tribulation that tests the mettle of those who traverse it.

    “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” [TMQ 2:214]

    The Taliban and Mullah Omar (may Allah have mercy upon him) placed their trust in the promise of Allah (swt) and ignored the censure of the perfidious and the milquetoasts who advocated compromise.
    “But, We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” [TMQ 29:3]

    “O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” [TMQ 5:54]

    They chose the path of Jihad – yes Jihad – and exchanged thereby the ephemeral vanities of this world for the eternal rewards of the hereafter.

    “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.” [TMQ 9:111]

    They did not transgress the limits (unlike their enemies or other Muslim groups) of warfare:

    “And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.” [TMQ 2:190]

    They feared not the disbelievers nor their “might” rather they acknowledged la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah [no might or power except in Allah].

    The overbearing arrogance of the Americans and NATO did not faze them in the slightest.

    “Indeed, there is for him (Shaitaan) no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.” [TMQ 16: 99]

    When pushed to the limit of endurance they never succumbed to despair for they recalled the words of their Rabb:

    “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” [TMQ 94:6]
    and
    “\Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [TMQ 13:28]

    They knew victory would come if they were patient:

    “Know that there is much good in being patient with what you detest, victory will come with patience, affliction will come with relief, and ‘with hardship will come with ease.’” [Musnad Ahmed – Sahih]

    And that Allah tried those whom he loved:

    “If Allah loves a people, then he afflicts them with trials. Whoever is patient has the reward of patience, and whoever is impatient has the fault of impatience.” [Musnad Ahmed – Sahih]
    In his Voice of America interview Mullah Omar (may Allah have mercy upon him) stated:

    “I am considering two promises. One is the promise of God, the other is that of Bush.”

    And as surely as night follows day it was the promise of their Lord that came to pass:

    “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” [TMQ 24:55]

    Amidst the jubilation it should be remembered that last week’s victory came at a huge human cost to the Muslims of Afghanistan. Two generations have grown up knowing only war. Millions have died since 1979 and countless left maimed or crippled. Scarcely a dwelling in the land escaped the baneful grasp of war. We mourn for them and sigh for them as we would our own kin for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) told us that the Muslims are as one body and the pain of any segment is the pain of the whole. Yet for all of that, for all of the misery, the heartbreak and the desolation the honour of the Afghan people has emerged untarnished, nay brighter and ever more resplendent. The Taliban and the Afghan nation (barring a small cohort of traitors) through their sacrifices brought honour to the pennant of La ilaha ilallah and reaped disgrace upon the standard of kufr. Finally, dawn is upon us and the darkness has begun its inexorable retreat.

    May the shuhada of Afghanistan serve as an inspiration to us all. Ameen.

    May Allah (swt) bestow his mercy upon Mullah Omar and elevate his rank amongst the martyrs. Ameen.

    May the victory in Afghanistan be a portent of greater victories yet to come. Ameen.

    May Allah (swt) hasten the return of the Khilafah upon the path of the Prophethood. Ameen.

    May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon sayyidina Muhammad. Ameen.

    https://maskedavenger1.wordpress.com...e-their-trust/
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  20. #55
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Blurb

    Muhammad Suhail Shaheen, the official spokesman for the political office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, commonly referred to as the Taliban, answers key questions regarding the current status of the peace negotiations with the US.



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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    In December 24, 1979, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.

    Leaders of the Soviet Union said they had been invited by Afghanistan's communist leader Babrak Karmal. But the invasion set Afghanistan on a path of decades of conflict - from the Soviet-Afghan War to Moscow's complete withdrawal in the late 1980s, and the eventual collapse of the communist government.

    Civil war followed, eventually leading to the Taliban's rise to power.

    Once backed by the United States's CIA, the Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan until 2001, when the US-led coalition invaded after the 9/11 attacks, and the group's leadership fled Kabul.

    After that, general elections were held in 2004, then 2005, 2009, then 2010, 2014 and 2018.

    Afghan politicians squabbled for power and struggled to control large swathes of their own territory. But the Taliban did not recognise the authority of any of the elected governments.

    Nearly 20 years later, US forces signed an agreement to withdraw from Afghanistan - on condition that the Taliban will not harbour hardline groups or attack the US and its allies.

    The agreement came after nearly seven years of efforts to facilitate political reconciliation between the Taliban, the Afghan government, the US, and other countries after Qatar agreed to open an office for the Taliban where Afghan leaders and western governments could negotiate face-to-face.

    But as attacks continue, efforts to arrange intra-Afghan talks have been delayed yet again.

    So, what will it take to achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan?



  22. #57
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    What a surprise.

    MoD asked why it withheld evidence on 33 suspected Afghan civilian executions

    Cache of documents raises questions about early 2011 killings by SAS soldiers


    The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has been ordered by a court to explain why the government withheld evidence suggesting SAS soldiers executed 33 civilians in Afghanistan in early 2011.

    The minister has until autumn to explain why key emails and documents revealing official concern about the string of killings were not previously disclosed in a case relating to the deaths of four men from one family in a night raid.

    An SAS sergeant-major described the episode as “the latest massacre!” in an email sent the following morning, after the mission report was filed. “I’ve heard a couple of rumours,” the junior officer added, according to documents first revealed by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times.

    Another document revealed that a secret review had been conducted of the suspicious killings and the string of related incidents, where the SAS killed fighting-age men, claiming they had picked up a gun or grenade, often while a search of premises was being carried out.

    Covering the period from January to April 2011, the review noted that in three operations 23 people were killed and 10 guns recovered. “In my view there is enough here to convince me that we are getting some things wrong right now,” they wrote.

    One SAS commander wrote back to their superiors in London to warn them there was “possibly a deliberate policy” and that the SAS troops had potentially strayed into “indefensible behaviour” that could amount to being “criminal”.

    The cache emerged as part of a long-running court hearing brought by Saifullah Yar, whose father, two brothers and a cousin were killed during a raid on a compound in southern Afghanistan.

    Yar’s father was killed after being escorted back to his house by the SAS, who claimed he had grabbed a grenade; his cousin was also killed in the house after he allegedly picked up an assault rifle.

    His two brothers were killed outside the compound. Despite allegations they were also armed with a grenade and an assault rifle, the family says no one in the household had such weapons.

    UK government lawyers had previously argued that the Ministry of Defence was unaware of any complaints about the killings until the Yar family first brought a legal complaint in 2013 – a claim contradicted by the latest set of disclosures.

    The case was investigated by military police from March 2014 and formed part of the expanded Operation Northmoor investigation into 675 alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. No charges have ever been brought in the case of the Yar family.

    Tessa Gregory, a lawyer for Leigh Day, who acts for Yar, said her client wanted to discover what had happened over 9 years ago. “What has been revealed substantially adds to our client’s concern that there has been a cover up and it has left him more determined than ever to find out the truth of what happened to his loved ones.”

    Last November, it emerged that the military police had interviewed 54 soldiers who had been involved in the operation that led to the Yar family killings. At that time government lawyers said: “None of those personnel could specifically remember the operation under question.”

    The SNP said the documents revealed in court amounted to “allegations of war crimes” and the party’s defence spokesperson, Stewart McDonald, said they raised serious questions for Wallace as they appeared to suggest that “the SAS was employing a ‘deliberate policy’ to shoot dead unarmed men in such night raids”.

    “It is now clear that when ministers have repeatedly told parliament that credible evidence doesn’t exist, that that credible evidence doesn’t just exist but it has been sitting in the Ministry of Defence the entire time,” the McDonald said.

    The MoD said “this is not new evidence”, adding the case had already been investigated by police as part of Northmoor and reviewed on four separate occasions by an independent team.

    “These documents were considered as part of the independent investigations, which concluded there was insufficient evidence to refer the case for prosecution,” a spokesperson said.

    “The service police and the service prosecuting authority of course remain open to considering allegations should new evidence, intelligence or information come to light.”

    Operation Northmoor was shut down in June by ministers without anybody being prosecuted; the veterans minister Johnny Mercer said: “I’ve said this government is going to war on lawfare, and I meant it.”

    Ministers are planning to bring in a bill that would introduce a near amnesty against prosecution for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and any another conflict abroad from more than five years earlier. The legislation is expected in the autumn.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...s-sas-soldiers

    More and more it comes out.


  23. #58
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Good news, looks like the end of the conflict is in sight.

    Blurb

    It has been 19 years since the September 11 attacks in the United States. Almost 3,000 people were killed, and the lives of many more were changed forever. Memorials have been held across the country. And this year, crowds were limited for the first time due to COVID-19 pandemic.

    Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports.




    More analysis and comment.
















    Remember this?



    Obvious lessons for anybody who knows their history.







    Dark humour.



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