Archive for February 19th, 2015

19/02/2015

2014, Afghanistan’s Deadliest Year

Human Wrongs Watch

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan topped 10,000 in 2014, a 22 per cent increase compared to the past year, reflecting increased ground battles between armed groups and the Government, and a drastic drawdown of Western troop presence in the country, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on 18 February 2015 said.* 

An IDP camp in the northern Afghanistan Province of Balkh. Photo: UNAMA/Eric Kanalstein

A total of 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured in 2014. The figures, released today in the Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict and prepared in coordination with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, are the highest number of civilian casualties recorded in a single year since the UN started keeping track in 2007.

The report also found that for the first time since 2009, more Afghan civilians were killed and injured in ground engagements than improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Civilian deaths and injuries from ground operations surged 54 per cent in 2014.

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19/02/2015

‘ISIS, al-Qaeda wouldn’t have emerged if US didn’t invade Iraq’

Human Wrongs Watch

18 February 2015 (RT)*– If the US did not invade Iraq in 2003 probably there wouldn’t be ISIS or al-Qaeda there, or anywhere in the Mideast, so it’s their responsibility to handle the situation, Khaled El Shami, political editor of al-Quds newspaper, told RT’s In The Now.
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**Image: Iraq War montage.png| Author: Futuretrillionaire | Wikimedia Commons

**Iraq War montage.png| Author: Futuretrillionaire | Wikimedia Commons

RT: What do you think about Egypt basically asking for the world to intervene in Libya?

Khaled El Shami: Obviously the threat of terror in Libya now is not confined to Egypt or the Middle East but to Europe and eventually to the whole world.

The Egyptians were beheaded on the shore of Libya only 350 km away from the south of Italy.

I think now the EU countries realize this threat and the way is paved at the moment for a new UN resolution to intervene in Libya.

RT: There are about 15-20 strikes on ISIS by the US-led coalition a day. If the US really wants to get rid of ISIS shouldn’t the strikes be more frequent?

KS: I think many people in the Middle East are asking the same question. Now we don’t really know the answer. What we know is that if America didn’t invade Iraq in 2003 probably we wouldn’t have ISIS or al-Qaeda in Iraq or anywhere in the Middle East now…

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19/02/2015

'Imminent Danger Confronting Libya, Its People and the Wider Region'

Human Wrongs Watch

Recent savage terrorist acts – culminating in the beheading of 21 [Egyptian] Coptic Christians – highlight the “imminent danger” confronting Libya, its people and the wider region, the United Nations envoy to the country on 18 February 2015 warned, urging swift agreement among the main parties on resolving the crisis and ending the military and political conflict.

**Photo: Tom Westcott/IRIN | Two soldiers from forces operating under Libya’s Tripoli-based government walking through the deserted streets of Bin Jawad.

Photo: Tom Westcott/IRIN | Two soldiers from forces operating under Libya’s Tripoli-based government walking through the deserted streets of Bin Jawad.

Strongly condemning all the “horrific and brutal acts” witnessed in recent weeks in Libya, Bernardino León, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), underscored in his briefing to the Security Council that “no words can express my outrage and revulsion at the beheading of 21 men, including 20 Egyptian nationals who were targeted for no other reason than their religious belief and nationality.”*

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