Pentagon once again hides the real number of civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq

Global Research, May 03, 2017
Inside Syria Media Center

he Combined Joint Task Force, in its monthly assessment of civilian casualties from the U.S. coalition’s operations against ISIS acknowledged at least 352 civilians had been killed in U.S.-led strikes in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014.

According to The Guardian, however, the Pentagon put civilian deaths in strikes on ISIS way lower than outside groups. Such a conclusion was made due to the latest data published by Airwars monitoring group. Airwars estimated that 3,164 civilians had been killed by the US-led coalition’s indiscriminate air strikes since the beginning of the ‘counter-terrorism’ operation in Syria and Iraq. Earlier, Airwars reported that only in March this year, as a result of the numerous coalition’s attacks, the number of civilian casualties increased to 1,782.

According to Amnesty International, the likely civilian death toll in Syria from air strikes by Coalition forces between 23 September 2014 and August 2016 was in the range of 804 to 1,213. It was also reported that such an impressive number of victims was caused by inaccurate air strikes, erroneously carried out mainly not at the positions of terrorists, but at residential areas and civil infrastructure.

In this regard, it becomes clear why the command of the international coalition deliberately hides the real number of victims in Iraq and Syria. Having officially acknowledged the deaths of such an impressive number of civilians, Washington will be forced to acknowledge the low level of training of the U.S. Armed Forces in fighting terrorism.

The White House can’t allow this. Now all its efforts are directed to a show of force such as the previous strikes at the Syrian Shayrat airfield. Moreover, in order to maintain the image of a superpower, Washington is ready to neglect even the lives of helpless civilians.

There is no doubt that it is difficult for Washington to hide the real number of casualties among civilians during its military operation in Syria and Iraq. To try and mitigate the reaction of the world community, the Combined Joint Task Force can only dose the ‘new information’ about the victims and demonstratively express its deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by the coalition’s air strikes.

Anna Jaunger is a freelance journalist from Inside Syria Media Center.

Proof that Ukraine forces are firing artillery on residential areas today and yesterday (Jan. 31, Feb. 1)

February 1st, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
Patrick Lancaster, reporting from Donbass –

 

Today artillery was fired on the residential neighborhood of Ockobersky in the Kyivs’kyi district of Donetsk. I went to the site and investigated the direction of fire. My conclusion using all the facts available was that the shells had to have been fired from Ukraine Government controlled territory. At least 4 Apt. building were hit.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/2tah_BKYGU0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/02/proof-ukraine-fired-artillery-on.html

US B-52 bombs Idlib, Syria, killing over 20 civilians – Russian MoD

From RT

January 10, 2017

US B-52 bombed Idlib, Syria, killing over 20 civilians – Russian MoD
More than 20 civilians were killed in a B-52 strike carried out by the US on the Idlib province in Syria on January 3, according to Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

As we remember, in September last year, the US aviation carried out an attack in the Deir-ez-Zor targeting government forces. After this attack, Islamic State started its advance,” Gerasimov said as cited by RIA Novosti news agency.

The latest example of this is the January 3 airstrike, when a B-52 bomber – without warning the Russian side – hit a target in the town of Sarmada, Idlib Province, which is covered by the cessation of hostilities agreement. Over 20 civilians died as a result of the airstrike.

He did not provide any further details.

The US Defense Department announced on January 6 that a strike had killed 20 people in Sarmada, Idlib; those killed were described as Al-Qaeda militants, AFP reported.

READ MORE: Pentagon chief claims US fighting ISIS alone, Russia doing ‘virtually zero’ in Syria

During the Tuesday meeting, Gerasimov said the operation carried out by the Russian Air Force since September 30, 2015 “has turned the tide of the Syrian war.

Since the beginning of its operation in Syria, Russia’s military jets destroyed around 200 illegal oil-extracting facilities belonging to IS, 174 oil-producing plants, 111 groups of oil tank trucks, the head of General Staff added.

This allowed not only to breach the IS supply system, but also to deprive them of their main income,” Gerasimov added.

All strikes are carried out only after the confirmation of data from several sources, including the space intelligence and drones,” Gerasimov emphasized.

https://www.rt.com/news/373178-us-civilians-bomber-syria/

 

2400+ violations: full Donetsk front sit-rep

From Fort Russ

December 7, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Russian Spring is publishing a complete summary of the military situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic for December 6th-7th. The data was compiled following today’s briefing by the deputy commander of the republic’s operative command, Eduard Basurin.
 
Ceasefire violations
Over the past day, the number of ceasefire violations by Ukrainian militants has doubled, amounting to 2,453 violations in total
The enemy fired at the territory of the republic 114 times with artillery of 152 and 122 mm, 617 times with mortars of 120 and 82 mm, 8 tank shots, as well as 1240 shots from various types of grenade launchers. In addition, infantry fighting vehicles and small arms were also used.
The Ukrainian terrorists Gruzevich, Shaptal, Nikolyuk, Sokolov, and Delyatisky subjected the following residential areas of the republic to shelling: Vasilevka, Verkhnetoretskoe, Yasinovatya, Zhabichevo, Spartak, Aleksandrovka, Yasnoe, Elenovka, Dokuchaevsk, Kominternovo, Leninskoe, Oktyabr, Sakhanka, and Trudovskie in the Petrovsky district of the city of Donetsk. 
 
Infrastructural damage
As a result of Ukrainian militants’ bombardments, three houses and a gas pipeline were damaged in Dokuchaevsk, and one house was damaged in the residential area of Staromikhailovka.
Also damaged were power lines in Elenovka, where more than 100 homes have been left without light. In Krutaya Balka, the Donetsk Filtration Station, which had only been working for two days before, has been left without electricity. 
At the current time, measures are being taken to renew the supply of electricity and gas to the affected residential areas.
 
Troop movements
The DPR’s intelligence has continued to record the strengthening of UAF positions close to the contact line
 
In Karlovka (19 km from the contact line), the positions of four 152 mm towed Giatsint-B howitzers have been identified. In Galitsinovka (17 km from the contact line), the location of four 122mm self-propelled Gvozdika artillery systems have been noted. In Krasnogorovka (3 km from the contact line), the location of two 122 mm self-propelled Gvozdika artillery systems has been recorded. Finally, in Konstantinovka (12 km from the contact line), four 122 mm self-propelled Gvozdika artillery systems and two 152 mm towed Giatsint-B howitzers have arrived. 
All information on violations of the Minsk Agreements has been sent to representatives of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire of the OSCE mission.
 
Foreign instructors
In the area of operation of the UAF’s 30th mechanized brigade, the presence of foreign instructors from Slovakia, who are directing tactical training for servicemen, has been noted. Judging by the increasing losses in UAF ranks, the foreign instructors are amateurs and do not receive full salaries.
 
Failed ‘offensives’
Over the past day alone, Ukrainian militants tried two times to break through our positions on the southern borders of the republic, namely, in the residential area of Vodyanoe, where they were repelled and driven back onto their territory with two killed and four wounded. On our side, one serviceman was wounded.
 
Conclusion

 

Thus, we can see that the Ukrainian military command is “with sheep persistence” continuing to send its people to slaughter despite knowing in advance the futility of such actions. 

Sitrep: the Donbas is burning under fire from the Kiev junta

From Fort Russ
Novorossiya today
Translated from French by Tom Winter, July 22,* 2017

(SITREP) While Europe publishes pictures of cats on networks, the Donbas is burning under fire from the Kiev junta
July 23, 2016

The axis Staromikhaïlovka-Krasnogorovka: combat of infantry supported by mortars, RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), AGS (automatic grenade launchers).

The industrial zone Avdeïevka: fighting with heavy artillery, infantry weapons and mortars.

On the ace of Mariupol on the Sartana side (from the concrete road, called “bétonka”), Ukrainian Nazis pounded the republican positions with heavy artillery.

The village of Spartak, the block-Post Lassinovataïa, and the town of Iakovlevka are being shelled with heavy artillery on the side of Avdeïevka (the east, the town of Kamenka zone) from the positions of the Kievan junta.

From Peski ( Donetsk airport): Ukrainian Nazi mortars pounded the town and the Oktyabrsky district of Poutilovka (near the bridge connecting the city of Donetsk to the airport).

City of Peski near the Volvo dealership and Abakoumova street: a combat of infantry with the support of ZU (anti-aircraft cannon).

City Gorlovka:
The towns of Majorsk and Zaitsevo: an infantry combat.

The area of Jeleznaïa Balka: a combat of infantry supported by mortar.
_______________________________________________________
*July 23, translated July 22: At this hour, “tomorrow’s” sunrise has happened some time ago there.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/07/sitrep-donbas-is-burning-under-fire.html

‘Bloody massacres’: Syria appeals to UN after French & US airstrikes ‘kill over 140 civilians’

From RT

https://www.rt.com/news/352255-france-syria-civilians-dead/video/

Syria is demanding the UN take action after it says French war planes killed more than 120 civilians during airstrikes on Tuesday near the Turkish-Syrian border. The deaths came just a day after US air assaults killed a further 20 people in Manbij.

Damascus wants the organization to look into atrocities committed by France, which is a member of the US-led international coalition, after it targeted the village of Toukhan Al-Kubra, located near the Turkish-Syrian border and the city of Manbij.

“The French unjust aggression claimed the lives of more than 120 civilians, most of them are children, women and elderly, in addition to tens of wounded citizens, the majority of them are also children and women as reports say that the fate of scores of other civilians who still under debris are unknown too,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote, as cited by the Syrian Arab News Agency.

The mass death toll in Toukhan Al-Kubra came just a day after US war planes killed around 20 people, mainly women and children, while many more were injured in and around the city of Manbij, the Foreign Ministry states.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns, with the strongest terms, the two bloody massacres perpetrated by the French and US warplanes and those affiliated to the so-called international coalition which send their missiles and bombs to the civilians instead of directing them to the terrorist gangs… Syria also affirms that those who want to combat terrorism seriously should coordinate with the Syrian government and army,” the ministry added.

In the letter, the Syrian Foreign Ministry added that it condemns the continued support by the US, France, Saudi Arabia, the UK and Qatar to terrorist organizations such as Al-Nusra Front and Jaish Al-Islam, despite these groups having clear links to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Qaeda.

MANBIJ: 20 JUL 2016. 0130 UTC. Heavy airstrikes continue. Nat’l Hospital taken. Fighting in W urban areas.

The human rights watchdog Amnesty International also hit out at the US-led coalition, saying that it needs to do more to prevent the deaths of civilians.

“Anyone responsible for violations of international humanitarian law must be brought to justice and victims and their families should receive full reparation,” Amnesty’s interim Middle East director Magdalena Mughrabi said, as cited by Reuters.

A spokesman for the US Department of Defense says that it is aware of the loss of civilian life in Syria.

“We are aware of reports alleging civilian casualties near Manbij, Syria, recently. As with any allegation we receive, we will review any information we have about the incident,” Matthew Allen said in a statement.

“We take all measures during the targeting process to avoid or minimize civilian casualties or collateral damage and to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict,” he added.

The US-led coalition has been providing air support to the rebel group the Syrian Arab Coalition, which is involved in heavy fighting around the city of Manbij, currently under the control of Islamic State.

The terrorist group has been in control of the city since it seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014.

In an interview with NBC News last week, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the US is not interested in defeating terrorists in Syria as it really wants “to control and use them.”

Western leaders support terror groups in Syria, get extremism at home – Assadhttp://on.rt.com/7iiq 

“The reality is telling that, since the beginning of the American airstrikes, terrorism has been expanding and prevailing,” he told the channel, specifying that “during the American and alliance airstrikes, ISIS was expanding and taking over new areas in Syria.”

“It’s about being serious, having the will. The United States doesn’t have the will to defeat the terrorists. It had the will to control them and to use them as a card, like they did in Afghanistan. That will reflect on the military aspect of the issue,” Assad said.

https://www.rt.com/news/352255-france-syria-civilians-dead/

‘Beyond a massacre: France deliberately bombed Syrian civilians after Nice attack’

The Dresden bombing during World War II was retaliation. The firebombing of Japanese cities by the United States was to terrorize civilians. The pattern keeps repeating.

From RT

Interview with Marwa Osman
July 20, 2016

Western coalition forces knew they were attacking an area inhabited by civilians and yet they carried out a bombing. How can 30 airstrikes be a mistake? How can they all be a mistake, political commentator Marwa Osman asked RT.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has written to the UN blaming US and French warplanes for the deaths of more than 100 civilians near the city of Manbij.

The alleged French act of aggression claimed the lives of more than 120 civilians, most of them children, women and elderly. The fate of scores of other civilians still under the debris is unknown. The letter also mentioned the French air strikes came a day after US warplanes conducted a bombing raid, which Damascus claims killed 20 other civilians.

RT: In January, the US-led coalition was reportedly (as claimed by CNN) prepared for up to 50 civilian deaths when it decided to target an ISIS cash vault. Can the risk of so-called collateral damage be justified for the greater good?

Marwa Osman: They blatantly call it ‘collateral damage’ when it is lives of the Syrian people which are being lost here. No one is talking about this, about the grave lives of the people who are living in Syria because of this coalition, because of the support this coalition has been giving to all sorts of groups. We already saw that the same thing in the French bombing, we saw the same thing that happened in a school in Iraq’s Nineveh massacre of 36 children after ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. And now after the Nice attack, we see this in Syria. This is beyond unacceptable, this is beyond a massacre. They knew that this is an inhabited area by civilians and yet they did it. How can 30 airstrikes be a mistake? How can they all be a mistake? This is unacceptable…

RT: How is it possible the US claims it doesn’t know anything about this airstrike and that they’re still gathering information?

MO: They’re still gathering information? How come they did an airstrike without the information? I am sorry but we are not idiots. Our minds are not somewhere backwards. We know what is happening. We know that every flight that is being made costs more than $200,000 for a jet to go up in the air. And I am very sure that any state that gets a jet up in the air to bomb someone knows exactly what they are bombing. What they did is a… retaliatory move, a fast move just to breed blood in the streets of Syria just to say to the French and the US public: “Look, we are fighting ISIS.” This is not how they fight ISIS. They fight ISIS by stopping the Turkish state from opening its borders where they infiltrate, by stopping the funding, by stopping the arming and by stopping the so-called moderate rebels who yesterday killed a 12-year-old boy. These are the moderates of the US. The US recognizes the support for this Nour al-Din al-Zenki brigade that killed the boy. And trust me, they know who they are because today they told them: “We are going to stop the funding if you continue doing this.” They have been doing this for the past five years. They know everything that is going on. I surely appreciate what the Syrian government is doing by sending this message to the UN but this is not enough… This is definitely not enough. Syrians are suffering; they are dying by the hundreds. People need to wake up and see what their governments are doing and stop them. Because it is their tax payments that are causing the suffering over the world, especially in Syria and Iraq. I am very sure that they know who they are fighting and bombing, but they just pretend that they don’t know.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

US-led Coalition warplanes have carried out an air-raid on Tokhar village north of killing 10s of civilians

RT: Do you think there will be an independent and transparent investigation of the incident? Will those responsible be held accountable?

MO: The 9/11 didn’t have any sort of a real investigation, do you think any investigation inside of Syria will come up with some sort of solution or conclusion that will give a closure to the people that lost their family members? No, I don’t think that is going to happen any time. They are not even going to pay a dollar to make this investigation happen…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/352283-syria-us-france-bombing/

 

 

White House U-turns on Pakistan drone deaths. “Deaths by CIA strikes not included in the numbers” now will be

Global Research, May 29, 2016
Reprieve 26 May 2016

droneThe Obama Administration has reversed its position on which countries will be included in its upcoming estimate of the civilian deaths caused by the US drone program, according to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post.

Earlier this week, a report in the Post – based on briefings from anonymous Administration officials – stated that strikes taken in Pakistan by the CIA would not be included in the numbers. However, an article in yesterday’s Post – also based on anonymous US government sources – now suggests that the White House has changed its position, and will include strikes taken in Pakistan in its tally.

The exclusion of Pakistan would have meant that as many as two-thirds of known US drone strikes – including some of the worst reported errors – would have been left out of the US tally of deaths. Strikes in Pakistan have included an attack on a funeral in June 2009 that killed as many as 50 civilians, and a strike on a meeting of tribal elders in March 2011 that killed 41. Pakistan has reportedly seen the use of some of the most controversial aspects of the US drone program, such as ‘signature strikes’, where individuals are targeted on the basis of patterns of behavior.

The absence of the Pakistan numbers would also have avoided any need to address controversial claims made in June 2011 by John Brennan, now Director of the CIA. At the time, Brennan said that no civilians had been killed during a yearlong period from 2010 to 2011. However, in August that year, he altered his position slightly, saying there was no “credible evidence” of such deaths. The Administration has never publicly disputed or corrected his statement.

Recent research by the human rights organization Reprieve – which assists the civilian victims of drone strikes – has found that the US is frequently unable to identify those killed by covert strikes in countries including Pakistan and Yemen. Reprieve has found that, in targeting 41 named individuals, US strikes killed 1,147 unknown men, women and children – often leaving the original target still alive.

Commenting, Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve, said:

It’s been three years since President Obama promised long-overdue transparency over the most dangerous legacy of his Presidency – a drone programme that has reportedly killed thousands in countries where the US is not at war. In that time, we have been inundated with repeated and contradictory claims about the program from ‘anonymous’ sources who cannot be held accountable for their claims.

This week, the Administration’s spin machine was once again in action, first leaking that the government’s numbers would not include Pakistan – a country that accounts for three-quarters of all strikes – and then absurdly walking back that position. Enough panicked legacy spinning – the Administration must reveal the true scale of the civilian deaths it has caused, and at the very least, offer an apology to the victims.

Notes 

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064.

2. The US Government’s claim that Pakistan will be included in its tally was reported by the Washington Posthere, while the previous claims can be found in the Post’s earlier report, here.

3. The 2011 comments by John Brennan can be found here.

4. Reprieve’s recent research into deaths under the US drone program is available here.

OSCE confirms Elenovka shelling came from UAF direction

OSCE collecting more data and statistics, filing more reports for their masters. 

From Fort Russ

April 28, 2016 –
Translated by J. Arnoldski
On April 28, the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE released a report which covered the circumstances of yesterday’s overnight shelling of the military checkpoint in Elenovka and drew conclusions as to from what direction the shelling came. 
 
International observers reported that two craters from explosive shells were recorded at the place of the tragedy along with three damaged cars. 
 
According to their analysis, the experts resolved that the shelling was fired from the West-Southwest (where UAF positions were located – Russian Spring), and that the guns fired were most likely 122 mm artillery.
 
In addition, the experts recorded traces of shell fragments on Moscow Street, three shells of which, as the analysis showed, were no less than 120 mm calibre and came from the West-Southwest direction. 
 
A building near the shelled military checkpoint was also recored as being damaged and having holes the size of grapefruits caused by shrapnel. 
International observers have summarized the details of those killed as a result of the shelling and the causes of their death. Two of the dead (one a male, the second body difficult to identify) were found in the first car burned and torn in half as a result of the shelling. 

The driver of the second car died from severe head trauma. 

The female passenger sitting in the back seat of the third car located 20 meters from the second was killed most likely by shrapnel.

The third car was riddled with shrapnel which, according to OSCE observers, was probably caused by one of the explosions
 

 

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/04/osce-confirms-elenovka-shelling-came.html

(GRAPHIC PHOTOS) UAF shelling claims civilian lives in Elenovka

From Fort Russ

April 27, 2016 –
Translated by J. Arnoldski
 
As Russian Spring reported earlier, four peaceful civilians have been killed with another six injured as a result of overnight shelling by Ukrainian soldiers from the military checkpoint “Elenovka” south of Donetsk. Among the killed was a pregnant woman.
It is now known that around 02:45 Ukrainian occupants opened mortar fire on the block post in Elenovka. At this time, civilian vehicles were standing in line waiting for the checkpoint to be opened. 
According to some sources, the number of victims has risen to eight.
Eyewitness of the tragedy report that cars burned and exploded while everyone who waited in line hurried to escape the bombardment. 

 

Russian Spring expresses condolences to all who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. 

[Note from J. Arnoldski – On April 26, Fort Russ reported the spreading concerns in Donbass confirmed by DPR Defense Minister Eduard Basurin that Ukrainian forces were purposefully halting the checkpoint traffic at Elenovka in order to prevent the DPR from returning fire. According to Eduard Basurin’s latest update, the death count has risen to 6]