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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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  2. #41
    Junon's Avatar
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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

  9. #46
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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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  10. #47
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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

  12. #49
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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; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:15 AM.
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