Showing posts from May 22, 2016

US drone strikes in Pakistan see 631pc increase under Obama

The drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in Balochistan earlier this week has once again strained Pak-US ties, with Pakistan terming the attack a 'violation of sovereignty' and the United States (US) vowing to continue targeting terrorists on Pakistani soil – if need be. The US began carrying out drone strikes in 2001, after 9/11, under the administration of then president George W. Bush. Since then, the US has conducted 910 strikes in four countries ─ Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan is at the top of this list, with  424 drone attacks since 2004 . Over 2,500 people have been killed in US drone strikes, of which at least 350 were civilians. PAKISTAN TOP TARGET OF STRIKES There have been 424 drone attacks in Pakistan from 2004-2016, according to the  Bureau of Investigative Journalism . DRONE STRIKES IN PAKISTAN • 424 strikes since 2004  • 373 strikes under Obama govt  • Over 2,500 people killed in strikes  • 2010 worst y

Turkey slams US ‘hypocrisy’ for backing Kurdish militia in Syria

ANTALYA: Turkey on Friday accused the United States of hypocrisy after US commandos in Syria were pictured supporting a major ground offensive led by a Kurdish militia branded a terror group by Ankara. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was “unacceptable” that US troops had been seen in images taken by an AFP photographer wearing insignia of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Ankara regards the YPG as a terror group, accusing it of carrying out attacks inside Turkey and being the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state for more than three decades. However, Washington sees the YPG as one of the most effective fighting forces against the militant Islamic State (IS) group inside Syria. The issue has caused tensions between the two Nato allies for months. “We advise them (US troops) to wear badges of Daesh (IS) or (Al Qaeda affiliate) Al-Nusra when they go to other parts of Syria and badges of

What Was Mullah Mansour Doing in Iran?

On May 21, after a drone strike obliterated a car and its two occupants in Pakistan’s Balochistan province,  local officials discovered  a Pakistani passport,  miraculously intact , amid the smoldering wreckage and two bodies charred beyond recognition. The passport belonged to a man identified as Wali Muhammad. Its  photo  bore an uncanny resemblance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban targeted by the drone strike, who lay dead close by. According to reports  in the Pakistani press, the passport indicated that its owner, presumably Mullah Mansour, had been returning from Iran, where he had been since April 26. He had also traveled there for several weeks in February and March. Mullah Mansour’s decision to visit Iran and leave his sanctuary in Balochistan — where the Afghan Taliban’s top leadership had long been safely ensconced — is odd. After all, Tehran is no friend of the Taliban; on the contrary, it has formally aligned itself with Afgha

Colombian rebels free Spanish journalist

A Colombian rebel group freed a Spanish journalist in the Catatumbo region after she went missing on May 21. Salud Hernandez-Mora, a correspondent for Spain's El Mundo newspaper, was released Friday in a rural zone of the region, officials told local Caracol Radio. She was transported to the city of Ocana, where she spoke to the media. Hernandez-Mora was reported missing when she travelled to Catatumbo with the intention of doing a story on the country's National Liberation Army (ELN) armed group. In comments Friday to RCN Television, the journalist stated categorically that she was kidnapped. "I would not voluntarily have my family suffering for 10 days," she said, acknowledging that while she might be temporarily out of touch due to technical problems or the demands of a story, she would not willingly spend six days incommunicado. Hernandez-Mora recounted some of the details of her disappearance last Saturday from El Tarra, a town in Catatumbo. "

Substantial Rise in Far-Right Violence in Germany Reported Since Refugee Crisis Began

Far-right aggression in Germany is on a dramatic rise. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced  on Monday that 2015 has seen the most crippling spate of politically-motivated violence by far-right groups since 2001 when the government first began collecting data. Between 2014 and 2015 alone, the level of  documented violence  rose by more than 40 percent, from 1,029 incidents in 2014 to 1,485 in 2015. Many attribute these troubling figures to the backlash from the refugee crisis and the growing prominence of a “clash of civilizations” narrative that has popularized far-right protest and political movements like Pegida and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party.  The Interior Minister also announced that hate crimes—such as acts of Islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, and xenophobia—have also risen by an astounding  77 percent , with 5,858 cases in 2014 and rising to 10,373 in 2015. Violence committed by the far-left also increased last year by 34.9 percent,

Rise of the far-right in Europe

These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line: Rise of the far-right The rise of the far right continues, the latest being Austria, and the freedom party. Norbert Hofer almost became the EU’s first far-right anti-immigration president. Meanwhile, there is France’s Marie Le Pen’s National Front, and Germany’s anti-immigration party, showing that contagion now in full swing in Europe. Saudi use of UK-made munitions  First US made cluster bombs, now UK-made cluster bombs: Amnesty International has highlighted this, that Saudi Arabia-led coalition has used UK-manufactured cluster bombs in Yemen. Letter to David Cameron calls for urgent investigation into ‘scandal’ of UK-supplied BL-755 cluster bomb being used in village in northern Yemen. Government is asked for ‘full disclose’ over whether UK personnel have played any part in dropping banned cluster bombs from UK-supplied Tornado jets. US terrorist support amid Syria blo

Meet the female politics student who ran away to fight ISIS and says militants are 'easy to kill'

Joanna Palani has described the brutal horrors she witnessed in the war-torn country - from child sex slaves to her comrade being shot dead next to her A young woman who travelled to  Syria  to fight jihadis on the frontline has revealed how  ISIS  thugs are 'very easy to kill' and children are rounded up to be sexually abused. Joanna Palani, then 22, gave up her life as a college student to become a Kurdish fighter in the war-torn country, where she came face-to-face with murderous militants. With the knowledge of how to shoot a gun, she spent a year battling ISIS on the frontline, teaching other girls how to fight and witnessing the brutal horrors of war. Now back home, Joanna has told of her experiences from her time abroad - and the striking differences between the Islamic State and  President Assad's  'killing machines'. joanna palani Joanna came face-to-face with murderous militants in Syria and Iraq CLICK TO PLAY