‘NATO air force killing hundreds of Syrian civilians’

This video says about itself:

20 July 2016

This is footage from earlier this month inside a US plane bombing the city of Manbij on the north of Halab, Syria. Yesterday, bombs like this from planes like this killed over 100 civilians in Manbij who were simply trying to flee the fighting. Women, men, children, elderly. 11 children killed according to reports, probably many more than that in fact.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In a letter, the [Syrian opposition] group writes that recently hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in bombings in Manbij, in northern Syria. “Families are buried under the rubble caused by the bombing by the International Coalition“, the opposition writes. Yesterday alone 56 civilians are said to have been killed in attacks in the region. …

Hundreds of people die, but the international community is silent.”

See also here. And here.

A U.S-led coalition in Syria has killed more than 100 civilians since June and wounded dozens more in airstrikes in and around the ISIS-controlled city of Manbij, according to several human rights groups: here.

U.S. AIRSTRIKE UNDER REVIEW AFTER REPORTEDLY KILLING OVER 70 CIVILIANS IN SYRIA “US airstrikes on a Syrian village have killed at least 73 civilians, a majority of them women and children, activists say, in the deadliest coalition attack on non-combatants since the start of the bombing campaign against the Islamic State.” [The Guardian]

Airstrikes by the American-led war coalition killed as many as 212 civilians in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo on Tuesday, according to estimates published Thursday by Al Jazeera: here.

U.S. Silent on Up to 95% of its Civilian Killings in Syria: here.

FRENCH President Francois Hollande claimed yesterday that he did not know whether his country’s air force had killed 125 civilians by bombing a Syrian village on Tuesday: here.

‘Moderate’ Syrian paramilitarists behead 12-year-old child

This video from Syria says about itself:

This morning in North Aleppo (19.07.2016), the “rebels” praised that they have caught a Palestinian child (13) who is in their words, an “Assad soldier.” The child’s head is cut off!! The footage of the brutal murder of a child: Warning [for cruel content]: here.

UPDATE: the boy’s age was 12.

From the BBC today:

Syria conflict: Rebels ‘filmed beheading boy’ in Aleppo

2 hours ago

Videos have emerged online that appear to show Syrian rebels taunting and then beheading a boy they say is a captured Palestinian pro-government fighter.

One video shows five men posing with the frightened child, who could be as young as 10, in the back of a truck. One of the men grips him by the hair.

The same man is later filmed apparently cutting the boy’s head off.

The incident is reported to have taken place in Handarat, north of Aleppo, where there has been heavy fighting.

The area is the location of the unofficial Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El Tal, which was home to some 7,000 people before they were displaced by armed groups in 2013. …

The footage of the boy, who some on social media identified as “Abdullah Issa”, first appeared online on Tuesday morning.

The men in the first video say he is a fighter from Liwa al-Quds (the Jerusalem Brigade), a Palestinian pro-government militia operating in the Aleppo area.

Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition news website, said the boy was captured in Handarat by members of a local rebel group, the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement. …

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, also said that there had been violent clashes between pro-government forces and rebels in the vicinity of Handarat on Tuesday, and that it had received a copy of a video showing fighters killing a boy they had captured.

A report published by the human rights group Amnesty International earlier this month detailed a series of violations allegedly committed by Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement fighters, including abductions and torture.

The group is reported to have benefited from financial and military support from the US, UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf Arab states in the past.

Saudi royal air force kills Yemenis again

This video from the USA says about itself:

100+ Yemeni Civilians Killed At Wedding By Saudi Airstrike

29 September 2015

The death toll from an air strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics said on Tuesday, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in Yemen’s war that drew strong condemnation from the U.N. secretary-general.

As the United States air force kills Syrian civilians, apparently their Saudi allies and colleagues think they should not be idle.

From albawaba news:

Saudi airstrike kills 21 civilians in Yemen

Published July 19th, 2016 – 15:00 GMT

Nearly two dozen civilians have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries in a string of Saudi aerial attacks against several areas across conflict-stricken Yemen.

At least one civilian was killed and another injured on Tuesday, when Saudi warplanes struck two oil tankers parked at a crossing in the al-Salif district of the western Yemeni province of Hudaydah, al-Masirah television network reported. …

The developments came only a day after 20 people were killed and 16 others injured in a Saudi airstrike against the Jabal al-Naar mountainous area in Mukha district.

Yemen has been under airstrikes by Saudi Arabia since March 26, 2015.

United States ‘anti-ISIS’ bombs kill 56 Syrian civilians

This photo shows civilians who fled Manbij settling in areas of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), June 19, 2016. (Photos: Reuters/Rodi Said)

From Associated Press today:

Airstrikes on ISIS-Held Villages in Syria Kill 56 Civilians

Bassem Mroue

(BEIRUT) — Airstrikes on ISIS-held villages in northern Syria killed at least 56 civilians on Tuesday as intense fighting was underway between the militants and U.S-backed fighters, Syrian opposition activists and the extremist group said.

Residents in the area blamed the U.S.-led coalition for the strikes that targeted two villages, Tokhar and Hoshariyeh, … activists said. …

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 56 civilians, including 11 children, were killed in the strikes on the villages, which also wounded dozens. Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, said dozens of civilians, mostly families, were killed.

The ISIS-linked Aamaq news agency claimed 160 civilians — mostly women and children — were killed in Tokhar alone, in a series of purportedly American airstrikes around dawn Tuesday.

The reports and the disparate casualty tolls could not be independently confirmed because the area is inaccessible to independent media. There was no immediate comment from Washington.

Postings on a Facebook page show images of people, including children, as they were being put in collective grave, purportedly in the village of Tokhar. One photograph shows a man carrying the lifeless body of a child covered with dust while another shows a child, partly covered by a blanket, lying in a grave.

The photographs appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events depicted. Tuesday’s casualties come on the heels of similar airstrikes on the ISIS-held town of Manbij on Monday, when at least 15 civilians were reportedly killed.

See also here.

At least 56 civilians, including 11 children, killed by US-led coalition air strikes: here.

Turkish military coup fails, repression follows

This video says about itself:

Turkey: Aftermath of a Failed Coup

18 July 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” that had caused the revolt, after the failed military coup on Friday.

TURKEY’S President Erdogan has called the just concluded coup attempt that saw parliament bombed and 250 people killed ‘a gift from God… because this will be a reason to cleanse our army’. This is what is now happening with 6,000 people detained including 3,000 soldiers arrested (among them 50 senior officers). The whole of the state apparatus is now being purged with 2,700 judges sacked in the last 24 hours: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

People power is what’s needed now

Monday 18th July 2016

WE CAN be glad that the attempted coup in Turkey at the weekend failed as quickly as it did. The toll of 265 dead, while barbaric for a military clique’s Friday-night adventure, could also have been much higher.

There are many complaints to be made of Turkey’s conservative-Islamist AKP government but an armed takeover would have plunged the country further into darkness.

It is laudable that all opposition parties condemned the coup, but particularly strong is the statement made by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that it was “opposed to any kind of coup under any circumstances and as a principle.”

It is indeed a principled statement, given the renewed oppression and bloody assaults perpetrated by the government against the country’s Kurdish minority, for which the HDP stands up.

The party’s prescription in response to the coup is clear-sighted: deepening Turkey’s democracy and ending the division of society that the AKP has both nurtured and fed off.

Regrettably, the AKP is unlikely to take this path. Instead there are signs that it will use the takeover bid to further its existing goals.

The government’s response so far has been to blame the followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who had a falling out with AKP chiefs some years ago.

There appear to be a fair few Gulen supporters in the Turkish Establishment who’ve chosen to make life difficult for the AKP.

Turkish commentators seem sceptical that the Gulenists are behind the putsch, as the wording of a statement read out on television by the plotters appealed to Kemalist principles — those of the country’s first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

That those principles include secularism, as opposed to the Islamism of the AKP, should not derail the thinking of progressives.

The horrors that resulted from the 1980 takeover, when leftwingers in particular were crushed under the boot of the state while the pro-IMF military government pushed through reforms to aid big business, should disabuse people of any support for a coup.

Let’s not forget, either, that bloody attacks on Turkey’s Kurdish population are hardly the preserve of the AKP.

Government forces have periodically massacred the Kurds for a century while trying to wipe out their social and cultural existence.

And while Turkish support for Syrian Islamists is well documented, the country for long before was one of the US’s “cops on the beat” in the region. (It’s also worth recalling the US suggestion that the Turkish military overthrow the government after it refused to back the Iraq war in 2003.)

The words of Turkey’s Communist Party should be borne in mind by any interested in peace and justice: “It is a lie that any of the sides in this conflict represent the interests of the people.

“The only power that can overthrow the AKP is the people’s power, there is no alternative to it.”

While the AKP will likely use the coup attempt as an excuse to strengthen its grip on power, blaming whomever it finds convenient, friends of all peoples in Turkey should show solidarity with those demanding a deepening of democracy and urging the unity of all working people in opposition to sectarian strife.

Turkey’s coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds. Too late did Erdogan realise the cost of the role he had chosen for his country – when you can no longer trust your army, there are serious issues that need to be addressed: here.

Iraq war comes home to the USA as murders of Louisiana policemen

This video from the USA says about itself:

NFL Cheerleader Arrested for Domestic Violence

5 August 2013

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Megan Welter, 29, an Iraq War veteran turned NFL cheerleader was arrested for aggravated assault, destroying property and disorderly conduct after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend, who captured the incident on his cell phone. Welter, 29, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seen on the cell phone video obtained by media sources angrily questioning her boyfriend about text messages between him and a female friend. “Who is she!” Welter is heard screaming in the footage as her boyfriend, who has not been identified, tries to calm her down.

After many other cases of veterans of British wars, or United States wars returning with PTSD or other mental illnesses, and then sometimes reacting to those illnesses with domestic violence or other violence, now this.

From the Daily Beast in the USA today:

Gavin Long ID’d as Alleged Baton Rouge Cop-Killer; Deployed to Iraq

CBS News and NBC News report Gavin Long, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri has been identified by law enforcement as the man who killed three officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday. CBS News notes today was Long’s birthday. Authorities say Long is the only suspected gunman. …

President Obama said the killer’s motive is unknown.

Military records obtained by The Daily Beast show that Long served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010 as a data network specialist. He deployed to Japan and spent seven months in Iraq. He attened the Marine Corps’ school of infantry at Camp Pendleton, California. Which means he was trained in small-arms combat—particularly, how to shoot.

Missouri court records show that he got divorced after he left the military.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Ex-Marine guns down three police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

18 July 2016

For the second time in 10 days, a gunman has opened fire on police in an American city, causing mass casualties. Sunday’s attack took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with three police officers shot to death and three wounded, one severely.

The gunman, 29-year-old Gavin Long from Kansas City, Missouri was an African-American ex-Marine. He was shot to death at the scene of the attack. …

Two of the murdered policemen were Baton Rouge city officers, while the third was a sheriff’s deputy from East Baton Rouge Parish (county). As of this writing, only one of the three officers had been identified: 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, himself an African-American, a 10-year veteran of the Baton Rouge police and the new father of a two-month-old boy. …

Very little information has yet been released by police about the circumstances of the shooting, which followed a 911 call at 8:45 a.m. reporting a gunman outside the convenience store. It is not clear who placed that call, whether it was part of a deliberate ambush, or what happened when the first police officers arrived and encountered Long. …

As in the case of the July 7 killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, the Baton Rouge gunman was a former soldier and veteran of US wars in the Middle East. Long, who turned 29 on the day of the shootings, was in the Marines from 2005 to 2010 and served a tour of duty in Iraq. He reportedly engaged in counterterrorist operations, for which he was awarded a medal and rose to the rank of sergeant.

There were numerous conflicting and largely unverified reports about Long’s political views and motivation. NBC News reported that he had ties to an ultra-right group known as the Sovereign Citizens, who reject most government authority. The Wall Street Journal reported a connection to an otherwise unheard-of “New Freedom Group,” which it described as “anti-government.” …

Whatever the specific motivation of the attack, political or otherwise, the murderous assault on individual policemen is completely reactionary. It does not “avenge” the killing of Alton Sterling. Such acts politically disorient the working class and youth, and serve to strengthen the forces of police violence and repression directed against working people of all races.

This is demonstrated by the political reaction that followed, as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, President Obama and the two main candidates to succeed him, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, all issued statements calling for even more resources to strengthen the police. …

Trump sought to connect the killing to Islamic terrorism, although the killer was a Marine veteran of the US military intervention in Iraq. “We are trying to fight ISIS, and now our own people are killing our police,” he said. “Our country is divided and out of control. The world is watching.” He added, “We demand law and order.” …

The immediate political impact of the Baton Rouge shootings will be to intensify the police-state atmosphere surrounding the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, which opens Monday morning. There were widespread reports of stepped-up police patrols, new restrictions on anti-Trump demonstrators, and increased FBI visits to the homes of protest organizers.