The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Update for Thursday, March 23, 2017

UN High Commissioner for Refugees say 400,000 civilians are trapped in Mosul, facing food shortages and growing panic. Some 157,00 have managed to flee, and about 10,000 per day are currently escaping. The UN fears a sudden outflow for which relief agencies are not prepared.

Doctors Without Borders says medical resources for those fleeing are critically inadequate. Many have bullet wounds and blast injuries.

"The need for emergency medical care has risen drastically," said Dr. Isabelle Defourny, MSF director of operations. "We have teams working around the clock treating men, women and children injured by bullets, blasts and shells. Other life-threatening emergencies also need a rapid medical response, such as for pregnant women in need of a C-section."
MSF medical teams in a field trauma hospital, set up when the new push in western Mosul began, have received more than 915 patients, according to the statement. Of those, 763 suffered war-related trauma, 190 of whom needed urgent lifesaving surgery.
More than half of the wounded were women or children under the age of 15, it said.

An emergency field hospital 15 miles east of the city is filled with child victims.

Iraqi forces continue to make slow territorial gains.

Air strikes by U.S. coalition forces in support of the Iraqi offensive are said to have killed dozens of civilians. "The bombardment began at 01:00 and continued for four hours, ending at around 05:00 local time, with local sources confirming that no less than 50 civilians were killed, most of them women and children. Dozens more were wounded by the strikes."


 Taliban capture the city of Sangin, Helmand, where 114 British troops died before handing it over to Afghan security forces.

One third of Afghan children are out of school as violence and corruption degrade the educational system.

A police officer kills 9 of his fellow officers in Kunduz, and flees with weapons.


Dancewater said...

Official: 120 corpses under rubble in western Mosul district

Nineveh ( There are 120 corpses of civilians waiting to be extracted from under debris of homes destroyed by battles in western Mosul, according to a local official.

Alsumaria News quoted Hossam al-Abbar, a member of the Nineveh province council, saying that there were 120 civilian corpses under the rubbles of some homes in Mosul al-Jadida, west of Mosul. “Those bodies need to be extracted by civil defense teams. The shortage in drilling and rescue tools delays the process,” Abbar stated.

He said those bodies have remained there since security forces began operations to retake the neighborhood, which ended successfully on March 13th with the total recapture of the district.

Abbar, who explained that the victims died in an airstrike, blamed Islamic State militants for civilian deaths, accusing them of using citizens as human shields.

Abbar was quoted Wednesday saying that 70 civilian corpses were extracted from both eastern and western Mosul over the past weeks. Anadolu Agency quoted a civil defense source on the same day saying ten bodies were pulled out from under debris in Mosul al-Jadida.

Dozens of civilians reportedly died since operations launched to retake Mosul in October. Drone strikes by Islamic State militants and airstrikes by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition fighter jets occasionally shared the blame.

So far, battles between security troops and militants in Mosul displaced at least 355.000 since October, according to Iraqi government data. The number of refugees fleeing western Mosul alone stood recently at 181.000.

Cervantes said...

Yeah, I understand that there's urgency to free the population, but it doesn't do any good to kill them in the process. It's a horrific situation.

Dancewater said...

The USA bringing them the freedom of the grave and the democracy of death! since forever........

The USA loves killing - that is why they do so much of it.

Anonymous said...

Cervantes, do you think the IqAF (Iraqi Air Force) has a sovereign right to provide close air support (CAS) to the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces)?

Do you think the GoI (Gov of Iraq) has the sovereign right to request close air support from allied countries for the ISF?

I still don't know what happened here, because there were many CAS strikes going on that day in Mosul by IqAF and many different coalition countries. It appears that an air strike on Daesh targets at an adjacent building "MAY" have set off explosions in the building in question.

One report I read claimed that the adjacent building air strike was requested by the ISF on the ground. This Iraqi request was confirmed by German surveillance aircraft and the building was struck by a Belgian aircraft. But I am not convinced that this particular air strike was the one adjacent to the building that blew up.

The GoI and ISF are claiming that Daesh did this intentionally, but that doesn't mean they are right.

I have also read reports that anywhere between 100 and 300 civilians died.

Has the GoI investigation of this event concluded?