Afghan Govt Forces Quick To Deny Responsibility For Latest Kunduz Massacre

Taliban leaders used own family members as human shield in Kunduz: Waziri

Khaama

By Ghanizada

General-Dawlat-WaziriThe Afghan defense officials said Saturday that the Taliban leaders even used own family members as human shield in northern Kunduz province to counter the Afghan forces operation as they were planning another attack on Kunduz city.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesman Dawlat Waziri told reporters that the Taliban leaders had gathered in the house of their commanders to plan the attack.

He said the Afghan special forces launched an operation but faced a strong resistance from the Taliban insurgents who used the house of one of their commanders located in a residential area.

Strongly condemning the use of civilians as shield, even their own family members, Waziri said the defense ministry and government are feeling grief regarding the civilian deaths, even if they are family members of the Taliban group commanders.

In the meantime, the Afghan government said a delegation has been formed and will soon visit the area to investigate the deadly incident.

At least 30 civilians were killed and 25 others were wounded, including women and children during the operation on Thursday.

The defense officials said at least 3 soldiers of the Afghan special forces also lost their lives during the operation together with the 2 US special forces.

In the meantime, a spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) Gen. Charles Cleveland said the civilians deaths in Kunduz was tragedy.

He said the Taliban group leaders who were planning fresh attacks on Kunduz city were targeted in the operation and several Taliban leaders and fighters were killed in the operation.

Reaffirming NATO’s support to Afghan forces, Gen. Cleveland warned that the presence of the Taliban forces in Kunduz will continue to pose threats to the province.

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Barack Obama, Baby-Killer Extraordinaire…a few of his little victims

[SEE: 2 US, 4 Afghan Spec. Forces, 26+ Civilians Die In Kunduz Airstrike]

30 civilians killed in NATO air strike in Afghan province including women, children and babies

rawanews

“About 50 people died; 40 to 50 people were injured. What did those children do wrong? I want justice for the killers.”

NATO airstrike kills 30 and wounds 25 in Afghan province on Nov. 3, 2016
Nov. 3, 2016: 30 civilians were killed and 25 wounded in a NATO airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most of the casualties were women and children as young as three months old. Kunduz civilians told Al Jazeera the death toll was even higher than the figure given by officials. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

 

NATO airstrike kills 30 and wounds 25 in Afghan province on Nov. 3, 2016
Nov. 3, 2016: 30 civilians were killed and 25 wounded in a NATO airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most of the casualties were women and children as young as three months old. Kunduz civilians told Al Jazeera the death toll was even higher than the figure given by officials. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)
NATO airstrike kills 30 and wounds 25 in Afghan province on Nov. 3, 2016
Nov. 3, 2016: 30 civilians were killed and 25 wounded in a NATO airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most of the casualties were women and children as young as three months old. Kunduz civilians told Al Jazeera the death toll was even higher than the figure given by officials. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)
NATO airstrike kills 30 and wounds 25 in Afghan province on Nov. 3, 2016
Nov. 3, 2016: 30 civilians were killed and 25 wounded in a NATO airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most of the casualties were women and children as young as three months old. Kunduz civilians told Al Jazeera the death toll was even higher than the figure given by officials. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

 

Although US combat operations against the Taliban largely ended in 2014, special forces units have been repeatedly engaged in fighting while providing assistance to Afghan troops.

Thousands of US soldiers remain in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support training and assistance mission and a separate counterterrorism mission.

Afghan forces have suffered thousands of casualties, with more than 5,500 killed in the first eight months of 2016.

Last October, a US air stike hit a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, killing at least 42 people, including 24 patients, 14 staff and four caretakers.

At least 37 others were wounded in the raid, which destroyed the MSF hospital building and prompted widespread condemnation from human rights groups.

The US military said the air strike was a “mistake” and apologised, but insisted the attack was not a war crime.

Unlike the Movie, London’s “Million Mask March” Expected To Meet Govt Resistance

v-for-vendetta

London police clamp down on ‘million mask’ protest

usa_today_long

, USA TODAY

The thousands of protesters expected to flood central London for the annual “Million Mask March” will be under tighter restrictions and a strict three-hour time limit this year after the 2015 march broke out in violence, including battles between protesters and police and the arrest of more than 50 people.

The worldwide event, which falls on Guy Fawkes night, is organized by the hacktivist collective Anonymous UK. The march will begin at Trafalgar Square and is limited to an area from there to Richmond Terrace and Parliament Square.

Protests are also planned for New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh and Brussels.

On the eve of the event in London, Metropolitan police commander B.J. Harrington made it clear authorities would not allow the march to get out of hand this year.

“We saw participants causing criminal damage to public property, smashing the windows of businesses and attacking police officers all whilst harassing and intimidating families as they visited theaters, dined out or shopped in the West End,” Harrington said of last year’s march. “The public found this completely unacceptable. This was not peaceful protest by any measure.”

“As we look ahead to this weekend, my message is simple: if you want to protest peacefully, that is your right and we want to work with you,” he added. “If you commit criminal acts — that is not peaceful protest — and you are liable to be arrested.”

In a sign of the tenor of the planned protest, organizers warned on their Facebook page for the event that the police “are not your friends.”

“Keep an eye out for your comrades and police tactics that will limit movement, the hive mind should stay vigilant,” they said.

The protest group, in a rallying cry, pointed to what it said was government overreach and the violation of individual rights.

“We have seen the pushes to make the Internet yet another part of the surveillance state, we have seen the government’s disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many and we say enough is enough,” the statement from Anonymous UK added, calling on all people who “want to see a positive change in the world, to join us.”

Guy Fawkes night, also known as Bonfire Night, falls on Nov. 5 and marks the foiling of a plot by a group of Catholics to kill King James I, a Protestant, in 1605. The plan was to blow up the Houses of Parliament during its state opening.

Guy Fawkes, an explosives expert, was found beneath the building with 36 barrels of gunpowder and was sent to the Tower of London where he was tortured and later died. An effigy representing him is burned on bonfires around the country on the night of Nov. 5 to mark the events.

The “mask” refers to the Guy Fawkes mask that many protesters wear that features a goateed figure with a moustache, large eyebrows and an upturned smile.

Germany’s Unique Place In Islamist Creation/Destruction Cycle

[Germany, like most Western Nations, is hung upon the hooks of its own Islamist policies, stuck somewhere between open sponsorship of terrorists and participation in anti-terrorist coalitions.  Using Islamists as proxies in Russia, the Caucasus, or the Middle East is foolish, even if it is good for business (SEE:  America’s “Islamists” Go Where Oilmen Fear to Tread).  At some point, Western sponsors must disassociate themselves from the terrorist Islamists, in order to participate in global power-sharing anti-terrorist coalitions.  The Islamist war veterans cast away by the West, after they have outlived their usefulness, expect government help in their old age…in fact, judging from 9/11, they demand it.]

Turkey ‘hindering’ construction of German facilities at NATO Incirlik air base – report

Russia-Today

A technician works on a German Tornado jet at the air base in Incirlik, Turkey. © Tobias Schwarz
Ankara is reportedly hampering Berlin’s efforts to build facilities at the Incirlik NATO airbase, which is key for 240 German airmen and six jets deployed there in the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. It’s another blow to strained ties between two countries.

Construction work was expected to be completed by the end of 2016, but the project has now been put on hold due to Turkey’s unwillingness to green-light the project, Die Welt reported, citing the German government’s response to a written request for information filed by Agnieszka Brugger, a Green Party MP.

The facilities in question include a separate airfield, hangars and aprons for six German Tornado reconnaissance jets stationed at the NATO Incirlik airbase, as well as a mobile command center and barracks for the personnel maintaining the aircraft.

Read more

A German Tornado jet is pictured in a hangar at the air base in Incirlik, Turkey. © Tobias Schwarz

In September, Spiegel magazine revealed the German government’s plans to allocate €58 million ($65 million) to construct and renovate military facilities used by Germany’s air force contingent deployed at NATO Incirlik base in Turkey.

The German government’s response stated that a bilateral protocol on developing infrastructure at Incirlik has not yet been signed by Ankara, and “internal procedures to approve signing [the protocol] are still on the Turkish side.”

It also added that the construction work had been due to begin in the first half of 2016, but nothing had happened so far.

Meanwhile, accommodation facilities used by German airmen are said to be in poor condition. Some of the barracks have been attacked by mold, while others have no air conditioning, according to Die Welt, which cited testimonies of German MPs who were allowed to visit the base in early October.

“It gets more than irritating that the Turkish government has not yet approved the construction, and the federal government lets it carry on this way,” Brugger, a Green Party representative in the parliamentary defense committee, told the newspaper.

The German Defense Ministry, however, dismissed the allegations, telling Die Welt in a statement: “It is not assumed that the Turkish side is in principle opposed to the signing [of the protocol] and, consequently, to relocation of the German forces’ base,” as cited by Die Welt.

Incirlik airbase, located in a strategically important part of the Mediterranean shore, has been commonly used by Turkish and NATO air forces for decades. It is now playing a key role in the Western-led coalition’s airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), being operated by the US, German and other allied aircraft.

The use of the facility by the German military is also one of the stumbling blocks in Ankara-Berlin relations, which have significantly deteriorated over recent months.

After the German parliament passed a resolution referring to the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, Ankara immediately responded with a number of hardline measures, including a ban on German MPs visiting Incirlik.

READ MORE: ‘You’re aiding terror!’ Erdogan slams Germany after Merkel’s critical comments

Ankara has also threatened to derail bilateral ties if Berlin does not change course. Notably, Turkey allowed access to Incirlik following the German government’s recent statement on the Armenian genocide resolution, which it declared was non-binding.

However, the rift between Ankara and Berlin seems to be widening further as both sides exchange angry outbursts. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan accused Germany of “harboring terror,” meaning opposition Kurdish and Gulenist political figures.

In turn, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has expressed his dismay, saying he “cannot comprehend the comments made by Erdogan about the security situation in Germany,” according to Deutsche Welle.

2 US, 4 Afghan Spec. Forces, 26+ Civilians Die In Kunduz Airstrike

Dozens of civilians die in airstrike called to protect US and Afghan troops

Ryan A.  Gloyer,
Captain Andrew D. Byers,
Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)    Fort Carson, CO

cbsnews

KABUL, Afghanistan — A joint U.S.-Afghan raid Thursday against the Taliban involving NATO airstrikes left 26 civilians, three Afghan troops and two U.S. service members dead, Western and local officials said, as investigators worked to determine what went wrong.

NATO and the Pentagon described the Americans killed and four other U.S. troops wounded as being part of “a train, advise and assist mission,” rare combat casualties for Western forces who handed over the task of securing Afghanistan to local troops some two years ago.

Afghan officials said they were still investigating the attack and its civilian casualties, some of which may have been caused by the airstrikes called in to support Afghan and U.S. troops under fire. Residents later carried over a dozen corpses of the dead, including children, toward the local governor’s office in a show of rage a year after American forces attacked an area hospital.

NATO declined to identify the Americans killed, pending notification of their next of kin. NATO and the Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press to further clarify the American troops’ mission in the area.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said four Americans were wounded.

“Our service members were doing their part to help the Afghans secure their own country while protecting our homeland from those who would do us harm,” he said in a statement.

The target of the raid were two senior Taliban commanders, who were killed in the fighting along with 63 other insurgents, Kunduz police chief Gen. Qasim Jangalbagh said. He said Afghan special forces carried out the raid and that he did not have any information about NATO involvement in the assault.

Jangalbagh said 26 civilians, including members of the Taliban fighters’ families, were killed in the assault.

Kunduz official Mohammad Yousf Ayoubi and parliament member Malim Chari both also told the AP that civilians were killed in the fighting, though they had few details. Dr. Mohammad Naim Mangal, the director of a Kunduz hospital, said his facility received the bodies of a dead man and a child and treated 30 people, including children, wounded in the fighting.

NATO only said it was “aware of the allegations,” while the Pentagon did not immediately respond.

U.S. Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, briefing journalists in Brussels during a teleconference, said three Afghan troops were killed in the assault. Mohammad Radmanish, a deputy spokesman at the Afghan Defense Ministry, offered the same figure.

In a later statement, Cleveland said that “friendly forces received direct fire and airstrikes were conducted to defend themselves” and an investigation was underway.

He earlier described the assault as “not a common event,” without elaborating.

A Taliban statement also said there were civilian casualties while claiming its fighters killed 16 U.S. troops. The insurgents often exaggerate their battlefield successes.

Taliban fighters briefly overran the city of Kunduz, the provincial capital with the same name, in early October, a show of strength by the insurgents that also highlighted the troubles facing local Afghan forces 15 years after the U.S.-led invasion of the country. The Taliban captured and held parts of Kunduz a year earlier as well before the city was fully liberated weeks later with the help of U.S. airstrikes.

Those 2015 airstrikes also saw a U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship attack a Kunduz hospital run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, killing 42 people. Sixteen U.S. military personnel, including a two-star general, later were disciplined for what American officials described as mistakes that led the strike. Doctors Without Borders has called the attack a war crime and demanded an independent investigation.

Yet another airstrike killing civilians could stoke anger among Afghans, and the country’s former President Hamid Karzai repeatedly clashed with NATO over them, straining relations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement criticizing the Taliban for using women and children as “a shield” during the raid. He also announced a local investigation had been started.

Also on Thursday, Afghan officials said a roadside blast struck a group of people on their way to a wedding in the northern Faryab province, killing at least nine civilians and wounding 11. Javed Dedar, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the bride was among those wounded. It remained unclear if the blast was caused by a roadside mine or mortars fired by militants, and the remote location of the incident made the details difficult to verify.

NATO’s combat operations ended in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, a move that put Afghan forces in charge of the country’s security. Since then, Afghan forces have suffered heavy casualties battling the Taliban, who have at times overrun provincial capitals before being pushed back. Meanwhile, NATO and U.S. casualties have been few.

There have been at least other four combat deaths among American forces in Afghanistan in 2016. In October, a U.S. soldier was killed by a bomb in Nangarhar province while another was shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform in Kabul. In August, an American soldier was killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’ southern Helmand province. In January, a U.S. soldier was killed by small arms fire in Helmand.

The fight in Afghanistan — American’s longest war — began after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as the Taliban harbored al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Taliban and Afghan government recently held secret talks to see if they could start peace negotiations to end the fighting, though questions remain over which faction of the insurgency is doing the talking.

Obama’s Al-Nusra “Moderate” Terrorists Hold Civilian Population As Human Shields, Blocking ANY Evacuation of E. Aleppo

[Rebels open fire on humanitarian convoy in east Aleppo]

Terrorists prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods,

fire shells on al-Castello corridor

Sana


Aleppo, SANA-Terrorist organizations, affiliated to the so called “Jaish al-Fatah” [al-Nusra], prevented civilians from leaving the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city hours before the humanitarian pause deadline.

SANA reporter in Aleppo said that the terrorist organizations have prevented civilians from leaving the eastern neighborhoods of the city on Friday in order to continue to use them as human shields. As of Friday afternoon, none of the families left through the eight corridors.

The reporter added that the terrorist organizations also targeted al-Castello corridor with 7 rocket shells where ambulances and competent committees are on alert to receive families, patients and wounded persons from the eastern neighborhoods.

He pointed out that the reporter of Syrian TV channel al-Ikhbariya, Walid Hanaya, was injured by shrapnel of the shells that were fired by the terrorists on al-Castello corridor.

During a visit to Bustan al-Qasser corridor, Aleppo Governor Hussein Diab said that that the governorate took all necessary measures to receive families from the eastern neighborhoods and transport them to makeshift housing centers supplied with all basic needs.

He pointed out that the relief teams, medical crews, ambulances and transportation have been ready at the humanitarian crossings since this morning to move civilians out of the eastern neighborhoods but terrorists are preventing people from leaving by force.

The General Command of the Army and Armed Force announced on Wednesday that a 10-hour humanitarian pause will be applied in Aleppo on Friday from 9 am to 7 pm local time for gunmen and civilians willing to leave.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

Three US soldiers killed in gunfire at Jordan airbase

Three US soldiers killed in gunfire at Jordan airbase

the national

AMMAN // Three US troops were killed in Jordan on Friday when their vehicles came under fire at a military training facility, the Pentagon said, without clarifying whether or not the shooting was believed to be deliberate.

“We are working closely with the government of Jordan to determine exactly what happened,” Pentagon spokeman Peter Cook said.

The Americans were approaching the gate of the facility when they came under small arms fire, another official in Washington said.

“Initial reports were that one was killed, two injured. The two injured service members were transported to a hospital in Amman, where they died,” the official said.

Earlier, the Jordanian army said the shooting took place at Al Jafr base in southern Jordan after a car carrying American trainers failed to stop.

It said that a Jordanian officer was also wounded.

“An exchange of fire occurred Friday morning at the gate of the Prince Feisal Airbase in Al Jafr when a car carrying trainers attempted to enter the gate without heeding the guards’ orders to stop,” it said.

The army said an investigation was under way to determine the causes of the shooting.

An American defence official described the incident as “green on blue”, a military term for when friendly forces attack US personnel.

“But we can’t say for the moment if it was a deliberate” act to kill US personnel or “some kind of misunderstanding,” the official said.

The deaths could prove embarrassing for Amman, a key recipient of US financial assistance and member of the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

US forces have trained a small group of vetted Syrian rebels in Jordan, and American instructors have trained Iraqi and Palestinian security forces in Jordan as well over the past few years.

The shooting on Friday comes almost a year after a Jordanian policeman shot dead two US instructors, a South African and two Jordanians at a police training centre east of Amman, before being gunned down.

Washington said at the time that the two Americans killed in the November 9, 2015 shooting were employees of the private firm DynCorp contracted by the US state department to train Palestinian forces.

Two other Americans were wounded in that incident which sparked concern in Washington and was condemned by the US embassy.

Last year, the United States announced its intention to increase overall US assistance to Jordan from $660 million (Dh2.42bn) to $1 billion annually for the 2015-2017 period.

A government source said that military training is provided at Al Jafr airbase by instructors of various nationalities, including Americans, to participants from different countries.

* Agence France-Presse