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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Middle East, Africa, U.S. reeling

Under U.S. Occupation, Threat, War
Compiled and Edited by Carolyn Bennett

Casualty sites reporting June 26, 2011
(Accurate totals unknown)
Anti-war dot com Casualties in Iraq since March 19, 2003
[U.S. war dead since the Obama inauguration January 20,
2009: 237] Information out of date
Wounded 33,080-100,000
U.S. veterans with brain injuries 320,000
Suicides estimated: 18 a day
Latest update on this site: June 26, 2011
Iraq Body Count
The worldwide update on civilians killed in the Iraq war and occupation
Documented civilian deaths from violence
101,426 – 110,810
Full analysis of the WikiLeaks’ Iraq War Logs may add 15,000 civilian deaths.  http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
ICasualties figures:
1,637 United States
2,552 Coalition
4,463 United States
4,781 Coalition


Following major delays in deliveries of medical supplies from the West Bank, a medical crisis is unfolding, health authorities in the Gaza Strip are warning. Medical shortages, says Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba in Gaza, “have increased calls for an end to Israel’s blockade and Palestinian disunity.”

Freedom ships, Free press

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has branded freedom ships to Gaza a  ‘provoking act’— “‘We do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza.’”

Press TV reports, “Israel and the United States have threatened journalists and human rights campaigners against taking part in a Gaza Strip-bound aid mission.”

Reuters reported the director of Israel’s Government Press Office today saying that joining the Freedom Flotilla II convoy could “‘lead to participants being denied entry into…Israel for ten years, to the impounding of their equipment and to additional sanctions.’”

The Foreign Press Association responded, saying, “The government’s threat to punish journalists covering the Gaza flotilla sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press.”

Nevertheless, the second Freedom Flotilla — ten ships carrying 1,000 activists from 20 countries — readies sail for the besieged Gaza Strip; and, Israeli daily Haaretz, has “revealed that the Israeli military held a large drill for special commandos and snipers to prepare to intercept the flotilla.”

A statement issued by the Rumbo a Gaza [trans. Sailing to Gaza] Spanish civil society initiative says, “Israel has warned foreign diplomats in Tel Aviv to get ready to ‘face the consequences.’”

Thousands of personalities from around the world are supporting the second flotilla and calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to urge governments to take necessary measures to guarantee the safety of people taking part in the mission.

Among the prominent peace and human rights activists calling on the UN secretary general are Nobel Peace Prize-winners Rigoberta Menchú of Guatemala, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, Jody Williams of the United States, and Shirin Ebadi of Iran.

U.S.-War, Occupied AFGHANISTAN

Six (est.) Afghan police died Wednesday in an assault at a checkpoint. Another four officers died when a roadside bomb exploded as the officers travelled to the scene in Ghazni province’s Qarabagh district, about 120km southwest of Kabul.

The deputy governor of Ghazni, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, is reported to have said, “‘Probably one of the police officers at the checkpoint had a previous deal with the insurgents and cooperated with and facilitated the assault.’”

In a similar attack on their checkpoint in that district earlier this month, three more police officers died.

Around 130,000 international troops occupy Afghanistan under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Among them are an estimated 90,000 forces from the United States.

Displaced by conflict, war, occupation

More people have been displaced by recent operations in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. The route via Afghanistan [and the border region where foreign forces transport materiel into Afghanistan] has been closed, limiting the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to civilians.

Pakistan’s tribal northwest is said to be under siege. The only road connecting the Parachinar district bordering Afghanistan to the rest of Pakistan has been blocked by Taliban fighters since 2007.

In March, more than 40 people traveling on the Thal-Parachinar road were kidnapped. Women and children were freed, seven men died, 30 remained in captivity for nearly three months. After negotiations involving tribal elders, the Pakistani government, and varying Taliban factions, 22 of the captives were set free on June 21.

Of $6.6 billion in U.S. military aid to Pakistan during 2003-2009 for ‘counter-terrorism’ measures, “only $500 million had been used for that purpose,” this according to two Pakistani generals’ statements to the Associated Press in 2009. “The rest of the funds went to Pakistan’s ‘defense against India.’”


A speaker for NATO again has denied civilian killings or that the alliance “[targeted] buildings in an abandoned area of Brega.” However, “Libyan state TV reported that at least 15 people were killed in strikes on civilian sites in this eastern city.”

Witnesses reportedly heard loud explosions in the Libyan capital Tripoli as jets flew over the city. On Saturday, a Reuters correspondent reportedly heard four explosions in Tripoli as jets flew overhead on two occasions. The blasts appeared to have come from the eastern suburb of Tajura. Libya’s state TV “referred to a NATO ‘war of extermination’ and ‘crimes against humanity.’”

U.S.-Occupied Iraq

More than a million Iraqis have died as a result of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business.

Currently about 50,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed in Iraq. This month has been the deadliest month for U.S. forces in this country since May 2009.

Today two U.S. soldiers reportedly died in northern Iraq. The soldiers were said to have been “conducting operations.”Since the start of June, approximately 11 U.S. soldiers have died. “Sunday’s casualties,” according to icasualties.org, “raise the death toll for U.S. forces in Iraq since March 2003 to 4,465.

Earlier in the day, there had been an attack on Kirkuk. No casualties or damage was reported but the report said unidentified gunmen had launched a mortar attack on a U.S. military airbase in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

Sources and notes

“Blockaded Gaza Strip nears ‘medical crisis’— Territory running out of medical supplies due to major delays in West Bank deliveries,” June 24, 2011,  

“Israel, U.S. declare war on flotilla,” June 26, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/186351.html

“Flotilla II prepares to sail for Gaza — Freedom Flotilla II, comprising ten ships carrying 1,000 activists from 20 countries prepares to sail to Gaza,” 24, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/06/2011623152134419503.html

U.S.-War, Occupied AFGHANISTAN
“Police killed at Afghanistan checkpoint — Taliban claims responsibility for attack killing six officers, as the US prepares for a troop withdrawal,” June 22, 2011,

“A community under siege in tribal Pakistan — As U.S. prepares troop withdrawal, Taliban’s strong hold on border regions reveals Pakistan's vulnerability, June 25, 2011,

“NATO denies killing civilians in Libya strike  — Capital Tripoli hit in fresh raid as state TV reports that 15 people were killed in Brega,” June 25, 2011,

U.S.-Occupied Iraq
“Two U.S. soldiers killed in northern Iraq,” June 26, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/186379.html


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