[pjw] NEWS: UN officials criticize fatal US drone strike in Afghanistan - (Wash Post 9/28)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Oct 8 15:23:30 EDT 2016

I didn't see this article about the US killing civilians in Afghanistan 
last week before getting the word out about last night's rally marking 15 
years of war. I mentioned in my talk last night that the US continues to 
use airstrikes, drone strikes, and special forces raids as they claim to 
have no "combat troops" in Afghanistan. As we noted in our fact sheet from 
last month, there are about 9000 troops still there (despite promise of 
full withdrawal by the end of 2014) and 29,000 "contractors."

There were about a dozen of us last night at the march and rally, and we 
handed out all the fact sheets that I brought down. Unsurprisingly, there 
was no media coverage and I didn't see a single story on the mainstream 
news about the 15th anniversary of this endless war. I'd love to get 
feedback from anyone on this list 33 years old or younger, who've had the 
Afghan war for all of their adult lives or most/all of their entire lives. 
This is not the way things should be.

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

U.N. officials criticize fatal U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan
By Pamela Constable September 29

    KABUL - United Nations officials Thursday condemned an airstrike by an
    unmanned U.S. military aircraft a day earlier that they said killed 15
    civilians and wounded at least 12 in the insurgent-plagued eastern
    Afghan province of Nangahar. They called for a complete

    The early morning attack targeted a residential compound in the
    volatile Achin district, near the border of Pakistan, which U.S.
    military officials said they believed was being used by fighters for
    the Islamic State militant group, widely known in Afghanistan as

    However, local leaders and legislators said the victims were all
    civilians, including children and a teacher, who had gathered at a
    guesthouse to welcome home a tribal leader who had just returned from
    the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. All were said to have been sleeping when
    the strike hit.

    Afghan police said the strike had targeted Islamic State loyalists,
    and U.N. officials quoted government sources as reporting that several
    Taliban or Daesh militants also had been killed.

    In a statement Thursday, officials of the U.N. Assistance Mission to
    Afghanistan called for Afghan and foreign military forces to launch a
    "prompt, independent, impartial" and effective investigation. They
    also stressed "the need for all parties to the conflict to adhere to
    their obligations under international humanitarian law."

    U.S. military officials confirmed Wednesday that they had conducted a
    "counterterrorism airstrike" in that area and were investigating
    reports of Afghan casualties. They did not release details but said
    they were "reviewing all materials related to the strike."

    In a statement, the U.S. officials said they take "all allegations of
    civilian casualties very seriously" but added that "Daesh is killing
    innocent Afghan men, women, and children. They continue to put
    innocent lives at risk by deliberately surrounding themselves with
    civilians and dressing in female attire."

    They said they would work with Afghan officials to determine whether
    there was "need for further investigation."

    They also noted that Daesh has been active in Nangahar since 2015,
    particularly in Achin, and that it uses the area to "train, equip,
    disseminate propaganda, and expand their control over innocent

    U.S. military forces have been working closely with Afghan security
    forces to drive Daesh from the area. A U.S. airstrike in July killed
    the senior Daesh leader in the region.

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