CyberGuerrilla – Anonymous Gearing up for Operation Targeting Turkey Over Syrian Invasion

While I personally may be in favor of the Turkish invasion of Afrin and Rojava, it is not my job to care about which side is doing what when writing the news, I just report whats actively going on out there. But, getting into the hacktivist scene myself lately, I can not help but notice a ton of international outcry over what Turkey is presently doing in Syria and around their borders. I’m not talking about new reporters, politicians or anyone like that here, I’m specifically talking about some of the larger hacking networks the world over.

For example, over the course of just 1 week there were three different posting to CyberGuerrilla Anonymous Nexus (CgAn) indicating that operations against Turkey will soon be underway, and CgAn is not know to just f*ck around – so to speak. These postings, by the way, included a message from people inside Turkey, a posting from the United States and a posting from France – indicating a large scale effort is soon underway. It should also be noted that their operations are not entirely cyber and not entirely Black-Hat either, rather the groups are using whatever platforms they have to share the message about the Kurdish people and what is happening to them. In solidarity with them, I too share their messages here today with my audience.

Message from Kurds……..

Greeting citizens of the world

The Kurdish people who destroyed jihadist ISIS are now bombed by the Turkish State, the chief supporter of ISIS.
Unfortunately, we read the news of the deaths of many elderly women and children.
This is very sadly.
we shouldn’t stay silent more and not be part of this crime of humanity.
it is time to be sound to that scream echoing to stop this genocide.
Kurdish people should not be sacrificed to the dirty alliance of terrorist Trump and terrorist Erdogan.
All Anonymous members and all hacktivist groups should take action against that genocide.

Biji Berxwedana Rojava Biji Rojava

Message from Anonymous France…….

#OPSafeKurde #AnonymousFrance

Le collectif Anonymous ces lancé dans opération #OpsafeKurde à la suite que les force Turques ont traversé la frontière Syrienne.
Le collectif Anonymous France s’engage de manière indéterminé dans le conflit afin de permettre la paix entre les deux nations.

Et pour éviter toutes nouvelles guerre qui pourrait meurtrie des familles Turques, Kurdes, Syrienne.

Nous sommes légion
Nous pardonnons pas
Nous n’oublions pas
Attendez vous à nous

Message from BlackRat (CgAn)…..

Greeting Brothers and Sisters,

All those wars! All that devastation! All those victims, blood and reaction’s fury! Who is to blame? Who stands behind those who threw the burning torch into the keg of gunpowder? Who had long desired these wars and prepared them? The ruling classes! With their cronyism and kleptocracy, their bureaucracy and ideology, their police and spies calling us criminals. The governments and imperialist cliques, together with their press, tell you that the war(s) must be continued in order to destroy terrorism. Do not be deceived! Terrorism can only be eliminated by peace itself, and the task of bringing it down is posed in every country. Your governments and your press also tell you that the war’s must be continued so that it can be the last war on… This too is a deception. Never has a war put an end to war or terrorism. On the contrary, each war awakens the lust for revenge. Violence begets violence. Thus, after each sacrifice, your tormentors will demand new ones. Nor do the ruling pacifist zealots offer an escape from this vicious circle.

There is only one way to prevent future wars, namely for the Brothers, Sisters to conquer political power and abolish capitalist property. Enduring peace can only be achieved by victorious empowerment of the people.

A revolution not only to free the Kurdish population in Syria, but also the Middle East from the centuries of colonialism, oppression and dictatorships. And it has been an internationalist Revolution, because many internationalists joined this revolution, on the front line against the Islamic State and the Turkish fascism, we helped in hospitals, planted trees and worked to build up a democratic, ecological society, based on the liberation of women. And many revolutionaries joined the struggle all over the world, because the revolution in Syria has shown to all of us, that another world is not just theoretically possible, but it’s actually being built up in everyday life.

Social injustice and class rule are even more apparent in war than in peacetime. In peace, the capitalist system robs workers of the joys of life; in war(s) it robs them of everything, including life itself. And let us be done with devastation. It is you, the people, who will bear the burden of these heaps of ruins today and in the future. The hundreds of billions in cash thrown into the maw of the god of war are unavailable for maintaining the people’s well-being, for cultural purposes, and for social reform that could ease your lot, promote popular education, and alleviate poverty.

And tomorrow new and heavy taxes will be laid on your stooped shoulders. So let us end the squandering of your labor, your money, and your life’s energy. Rise up in struggle for an immediate peace with no annexations! Use every means possible to bring a rapid end to the human slaughter! Take up the slogan: For an immediate armistice! Rise up in struggle, peoples suffering ruin and murder! Take courage! Bear in mind that you are the majority and, when you so desire, you can assume power. Let the governments know that hate against war’s is growing in every country and with it, the desire for social retribution. This is bringing closer the hour of peace among the peoples.

Down with the War’s!
No Masters No Slaves!
Long live Liberty!
Long live Peace, immediate peace, without annexations!
Long live the Revolution!

At the time of this article, October 20th 2019, according to Amnesty International, “at least 218 civilians have been killed in Syria, including 18 children, since the offensive began” – something Turkey denies. If you want to learn more or hear first hand eyewitness accounts about Turkeys current offensive, you’re invited to read more here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/syria-damning-evidence-of-war-crimes-and-other-violations-by-turkish-forces-and-their-allies/

 

Fact Checking The Democratic Debate on The Syria/Turkey Question

I’m not sure why it has me so fired up the last couple of days, but when I saw Joe Biden’s face on the television tonight being asked a question about President Erdogan’s new initiative in Syria and Donald Trumps decision to withdraw troops from the country I flicked off the TV and said “Fuck You. Fuck You. You know how many people died because of you?” Then I just kind of walked away for a second to calm down. When I walked back I proceeded to watch the rest of the debate surrounding Syria and I just shook my head the whole time.

I just couldn’t believe how perverted the Democrats logic was on this issue, which was easy to press forward given that there was no opposition to any of their points of view – so they all just piled on. So, for the purposes of this “article” I just want to fact check some of the so called information the international public was subjected to tonight.

What I think angered me most was the fact the nearly all the Democrats, with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, essentially vowed to create a new permanent and more official War in Syria if they ever became President in 2020. But it’s almost as if they have no understanding why the USA “lost” the War in Syria in the first place? It was because Russia literally went all in to back/save Bashir al-Assad, for a number of reasons I am not going to talk about today. Meanwhile, the USA merely has 1,000 troops forced to operate under the rules of engagement, which esentially doesn’t allow them to fire a shot without permission. Russia on the other hand will blow anything and anyone up anytime, and they don’t give a f*ck about it either. Point being, for the USA to ever logistically “win” in Syria it would have had to dramatically stepped up military presence and directly taken on Russian forces already stationed on the ground there – id est the USA would literally have to go to War with Russia to win in Syria. Is that what the Democrats want? All out War with Russia? To bad there wasn’t anyone around to challenge their strong positions on this subject.

But that brings me to my second point. Why did Russia beat us to the punch in Syria? This was because of Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s decision to not invest more heavily in the country than we did, instead choosing to ship weapons and munitions to forces already on the ground in Syria, rather than have US forces do it directly for themselves. Such as was the case with arming the Kurds, whom were gifted more arms and munitions than you can shake a big stick at, which is now why Turkey has to target them militarily today, because the US armed them so heavily they became their own rogue militant threat in the region – which happens to border Turkey. Keeping up yet?

Point being, the decision to not invest in Syria more heavily, sooner, was Obama/Biden’s decision or indecision. Moreover, the decision to overthrow the the Assad regime in the first place was also made by Obama/Biden, and the decision to arm the Kurds so heavily was also made by Obama/Biden’s – leading to the crisis everyone is debating today. The Dems all said that Donals Trump has all the blood on his hands for what he did, but they need not look any further than the man man on stage with them, Joe Biden, whom has more blood on his hands than Doanld Trump could ever soak in – specifically in regards to talk to Syria. I guess if Biden is looking for the guilty, he need not look any further than a mirror.

Also, lets be real. There is a reason why Turkey “flipped” on the United States and why commentators now have to ask the question at the 2019 debate “does Turkey still belong in NATO?” The question is obviously yes, why do you think Donald Trump is doing what he is doing? To save NATO. Just think about it, if the US engages in Syria more heavily, specifically in regards to backing up the Kurds coming under assault, the US would literally be engaging with and against Turkey – a NATO member. So, it begs the question, if two NATO allies start bombing one another, what does that mean for Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and which side would all the other NATO countries have to come in defense with? You see, stopping Erdogan in Syria now would mean two NATO countries going to War with one another, which would essentially spell the end of NATO entirely. By exiting Syria, Trump is avoiding a NATO breakup. In this sense, Trump is trying to save the NATO alliance for much bigger issues which may arise throughout the future – preserving its power structure. Does the Democrats want to break up NATO just to save the Middle Eastern Kurds? Is that really a deal they are willing to cut, also going to War with Turkey in the process? I think not, but just let them talk all loud and proud in front of a microphone for a night.

** EDITORS NOTE: Turkey flipped on the USA in 2016 to side with Russia because Russia showed Turkey some leaked cables in the weeks leading up the attempted coup of President Erdogan in July 2016, which was easily foiled by the President. As Turkey has now since also proven, not only did they see hacked materials from the US by their Russians counterparts meant to sway their opinions, but Turkey also produced evidence of their own that the CIA and Obama/Biden were behind the attempted coup – largely for many of the same fallacious notions you are hearing about the Syrian conflict in the Democrats debate today. Essentially, Obama/Biden and Israel wanted Erdogan out to get rid of Assad and create a new Kurdish state. As they say, the so called “Best laid plans of mice and men” – right? Or should it be, “how Biden/Obama f*cked up the Middle East and US relations for a decade?” There is a reason Turkey turned on the USA and Trump has nothing to do with it – it was all Obama/Biden **

I guess that’s all I really have to say here, I’m just being real about the situation. I have no ‘skin in the game,’ what do I have to gain from typing this out for you? I don’t support Trump and I am not a Democrat, but you better damn sure bet even I would give Donald Trump a high five for pulling out of Syria. Better to end it now and not to make it our next Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Vietnam, or Korea – etc.

The Real Reason Behind Turkeys New Syrian Initiative & Donald Trumps Withdrawal

Granted this article may come a few days too late, the main stream medias coverage of it comes a few years to late, and I say this because I once addressed this very situation, in detail, in the very first website I created in 2016. Entitled “How They United States Has Laid The Groundwork for The Middle Easts Next War” and drafted in July of 2017, the video you will find below describes everything you need to know about the current situation between the US, Turkey, Syria and NATO, as well as why Donald Trumps decision to unilaterally withdraw all troops from Syria comes as a direct response to potential NATO conflicts of interest in the near future. I could summarize it some more to get my word count up here, or you could just listen to it for yourself – enjoy!

However, it must also be noted that the withdrawal of all troops from Syria this week marks yet another “L” on the scoreboard for the US military. It’s not just our defeat in Vietnam and Korea that’s on the scoreboard, we lost the War in Iraq under Obama, leading the formation of ISIS and the presence of troops there for a second time, we are currently losing the War in Afghanistan, and while I may 100% agree with our Presidents decision to do so, the withdrawal of all troops from Syria is essentially yet another giant loss for the United States military. Even if we wage more Wars everywhere on Earth than any other country in the world, surely all of these modern day losses don’t make the US look like the military powerhouse we tend to fancy ourselves to be. You would think that might stifle any War efforts in the future, but for some reason I doubt this.

Russia Publishes Strategy Guide On How To Destabilize Itself, Documents Taken from US Army Research Affiliate

So, here’s an interesting bit of research I managed to stumble upon last night. Produced by the Rand Corporation for the United States Army and entitled “Over Extending and Unbalancing Russia,” the 12 page document details various strategies the US military could partake in to undermine, sabatoge and/or destabilize the Russian Government and its military – both within Russian borders and abroad. Interestingly enough, the documents were first published in Russia, not the United States, and it’s not exactly clear how they go them – but it’s actually kind of funny/ironic, especially given the subject matter.

For example, the Rand Corporation essentially ranks the likelihood of how successful a particular strategy may be. This includes theoretical options like increasing US troop presence in Syria to counter-act Russia’s military presence there, increasing foreign aid to Ukraine, manipulating China to be less receptive to Russian business in Asia, investing more heavily in space-based weapon systems – so on and so forth. Honestly, it’s an interesting look inside some of the private dealings of the US military, and provides an excellent example highlighting how the US Government outsources intelligence to contractors before ultimately making decisions. In a way, it is kind of a rare look behind the headlines – perhaps revealing details/insights into future US military decisions/strategies before they happen.

I could summarize more of the report for you, but why? I would rather just have you waste your time reading the intelligence documents for yourself – enjoy!

Download Document: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/411164498-RAND-Russia.pdf

Browse 12 Page Release:

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Russia Today Creates Online Test Asking Americans How Well They Know The US’s War On Terror

Browsing through the headlines this evening I stumbled upon a new test designed by Russia Today, asking Americans how well they know the US’s War On Terror? Interestingly enough, despite being a War reporter for the better part of the last 3 years, I only got 9 of the 14 questions right – a failing score of 65%. The test is simple and straight forward, taking maybe 2-3 minutes of your time. I do not want to give away any spoilers, because some of the information contained within the test is information that every American should know. Despite whatever you may think of the source whom created the test, it is an interesting and accurate way to consume information, facts and statistics you may not have previously been aware of – but really should.

Rogue Media Labs has managed to embed the test inside this article for you to take. If you would like to access the tests original location you can find it here: https://www.playbuzz.com/rtinternational/how-well-do-you-know-the-war-on-terror

Take Test:

The Dark Side of War, How Losing Sides In Any Modern War/Battle are Using Social Media To Cast Victors In A Negative Light

For those of you whom might be unfamiliar with me or my previous work, I spent the better parts of July 2016 to February 2018 as a War reporter, primarily covering ongoing conflicts around South Sudan, Somalia, Gaza, Syria and Iraq. In fact, a large part of the reason why I shifted my writing towards hacking news over the time since is the fact that I just couldn’t take it any more – War reporting got so dark I just didn’t want to do it anymore, and wanted something a little more lighthearted to write about each morning.

Regardless, a couple weeks ago I started writing a new article I just didn’t have the heart to finish. Entitled “The Dark Side of War,” it discussed the phenomenon of how every party which losses a War, conflict or battle has quite a sad story to tell. As such, it is then fairly easy for any side which losses a War or battle to present “evidence” or a story line casting the victorious party in a rather negative or disgusting light – especially in the age of smart phones and social media. For this very reason, it is perhaps more important then ever to be critical or vigilant over any/all War coverage we consume. Perhaps put a different way, to take everything with a grain of salt.

So, what exactly am I talking about and why take the time to explain any of this? Well, as it turns out, on May 18th 2019 a new chemical weapons report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was leaked online exposing a false flag chemical weapons assault carried out at the hands of Syrian rebels, designed to make it look as though attack was actually launched by Bashar al-Assad.

Download/View Copy of Leaked Report: http://syriapropagandamedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Engineering-assessment-of-two-cylinders-observed-at-the-Douma-incident-27-February-2019-1.pdf

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Honestly, even if you are just hearing about this phenomenon for the first time here today, this is far from the first time Syrian rebels have done this. In fact, Syrian rebels are also known to have carried out false flag chlorine attacks in both Idlib and Aleppo. But lets not revisit ancient history – shall we? Instead, I would like to explain why people are doing this sort of thing in the first place.

To understand why, you first have to understand desperation. Imagine that you have been fighting a War for years on end, before realizing that you’re out of resources and your enemy has you just weeks away from full defeat. What would you do? As it turns out, especially in the age of social media, from Gaza to Syria, the losing sides in any/every battle have begun waging a propaganda War through the media – often times by showing grotesque or gruesome footage chronicling the aftermath of their defeats. Taken out of context, this could make any victorious party look like the bad guys – even if the losing factions were the aggressors all along.

After all, the Syrian Rebels are called “rebels” for a very real reason, they are the ones who rebelled against their Government and started this whole Civil War in the first place. Even though they are losing this War, don’t ever make the mistake of forgetting that no matter how much you may despise Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian rebels also have an awful lot of blood on their hands all the same.

Honestly, the more I start to write about this topic, the less I want to keep writing about it. It’s just hard not to begin to loose faith in the world. But, before wrapping up, what I want people to understand is what is actually going on here. Say for example in Palestine. Now, I for one am firmly behind the people of Palestine and support an end to Israel’s War in Gaza. But, even at that, I am also firmly aware of the propaganda campaigns being waged by Palestinians there – particularly during Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2014.

What you have to understand is that Palestinians know they have zero possibility of ever winning any War or Battle against Israel – at least by traditional means. Therefore, they have taken to unconventional means of waging warfare – Chealsae Manning’s leaks not withstanding. For example, one of Hamas’s tactics revolves around creating propaganda against Israel through social media – which is also why Israel has been trying to crack down on social media postings from Palestine so heavily over recent years. Usually this is done by showing the footage or pictures of dead, burned or bloody civilians – released for nothing other than pure shock value, to dehumanize their enemies actions.

For example, why do you think so many Palestinian civilians are lining up simply to be shot by Israel snipers? It’s because they want Israel to look as inhumane and extreme as possible in the media. Showing pictures of civilians with lost limbs, unarmed, losing those limbs due to their enemies certainly makes their enemies look extreme doesn’t it? But what you have to understand is that lining up to be shot is also extreme, just in a different context.

Now, for those of you whom might not be used to the Deep Web or DarkNet, or whom only get your news through any one of the 24 hours a day news channels, photo’s of dead people might seem pretty shocking or outrageous. But this is also the point. People are trying to offend you in hopes of falsely manipulating your opinion. But, the fact of the matter is that people die on both sides of every conflict. It just so happens that the losing side of any Battle or War just has a more tragic or bleak story to tell than its victors – and more evidence to show. However, it is important to understand that this does not make them any more justified in their campaigns, and it doesn’t even necessarily make them the victims either.

Often times, such as in the case of Syria’s rebels and/or Gaza’s Hamas, social media is being used as a weapon, in a last ditch effort to inspire more people around the world to sympathize with their losing effort or join their cause. In doing so, prolonging their battle/fight that much longer.

Saudi Cargo Ship Departs from European Ports Loaded w/ Weapons & Munitions Destined for Yemen

(AI) – Reacting to the onward voyage of the Saudi Arabian state shipping company’s vessel, the Bahri Yanbu, from the Spanish port of Santander this afternoon, Ara Marcen Naval, Deputy Director for Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:

Laden with arms that will likely be used in the war in Yemen, the Bahri Yanbu has been bouncing off European ports like a pinball. After loading up with Belgian munitions in Antwerp, it has visited or attempted to visit ports in the UK, France and now Spain, and is due to dock at the Italian port of Genoa later this week. This is a serious test of EU countries’ resolve to uphold their obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and EU Common Position on Arms Exports. Several states have failed this test in the space of just a few days.

No EU state should be making the deadly decision to authorize the transfer or transit of arms to a conflict where there is a clear risk they will be used in war crimes and other serious violations of international law.

The Bahri Yanbu’s voyage reminds us that states prefer to allow the lucrative global arms trade to continue to operate behind a veil of secrecy. But this veil is not impenetrable, and Amnesty International and its partners will continue to closely monitor developments and denounce states for flouting their international legal obligations.

Background

In Yemen, the Saudi Arabia/UAE-led Coalition has used arms imports to contribute to thousands of civilian deaths and injuries, including as a result of attacks that violated international humanitarian law. This has exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where 2.2 million people have been displaced and 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Read More – The War In Yemen, The Media’s Forgotten War: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/yemen-the-forgotten-war/

According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports. Other countries – including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway – have started to restrict weapons sales to the Saudi and UAE-led coalition.

According to a published export schedule for Saudi Arabian state-owned shipping vessels, the Bahri Yanbu set sail from Corpus Christi, USA on 2 April 2019, destined for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. It then called at several other US ports and one Canadian port before crossing the Atlantic and stopping in Germany, Belgium and the UK in early May.

On 3 May, it was reportedly loaded with six containers of Belgian-manufactured munitions at Antwerp, before continuing on to France. It was due to dock at the French port of Le Havre to receive additional arms on 8 May, but following legal action by French NGOs and increased public scrutiny, it continued its voyage without stopping in France, and made an unscheduled stop at Santander in northern Spain on 12-13 May. Its next scheduled port of call is in Genoa, Italy, now expected on or after 18 May.

Read More – The Yemen Papers, Classified Documents from French MoD Published Online: https://roguemedia.co/?s=yemen+papers&x=13&y=12

Amnesty International activists in Belgium, France, Spain and Italy have been monitoring the Bahri Yanbu’s voyage around Europe. The activists have joined protests and co-authored a letter to the Spanish authorities to call on them not to authorize its transit through Spanish waters. The organization will highlight the apparent ATT and EU Common Position violations at a 17 May meeting of the European Council’s Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports.

Saudi Weapons Export Schedule – April to May 2019:

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This report was originally published by Amnesty International on May 15th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and PDF’s added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

UN Investigation: The War In Yemen Has Killed 233,000 Individuals Between 2015 & 2019

Earlier this week, April 23rd, the United Nations Department of Arab States released the contents of a year long study into the effects of years of War on the peoples of Yemen. Commissioned by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies and University of Denver, researchers did their best to quantify the effects years of War have have had on the Yemeni population – both on and off the battlefield. Officially entitled the “Impact of War on Development in Yemen,” the 68 page study broke down a number of key statistics from the past leading up to today, in an effort to predict/project what the statistics might look like in the future if the War continues on as is, undeterred throughout the future.Below you can key highlights taken away from the study, along with access to the full study in its entirety.

Key Findings/Takeaways:

– By the end of 2019, fighting/combat in Yemen will have claimed about 102,000 casualties.
– About 131,000 have died from the side effects War – disease, famine, lack of water – between 2015 & 2019.
– The combined death toll, from fighting and disease, is 233,000 – or 0.8% of Yemen’s combined population.
1 child dies from the effects of War and its side effects every 11 minutes and 54 seconds.
– If fighting continues undeterred, by 2030 the death toll would reach 1.8 million, the economy would have lost $657 billion, 84% of Yemenis would be malnourished and 71% would live in extreme poverty.

Download Full Study: http://www.arabstates.undp.org/content/dam/rbas/doc/Crisis%20prevention/FINAL%20UNDP-Y_FullReport_041919_print-compressed.pdf

Browse Study:

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Amnesty International & AirWars Release Join Investigation Disclosing +1,600 Causalities by US Armed Forces In Raqqa, Syria Alone

(AI) – The US-led military Coalition must end almost two years of denial about the massive civilian death toll and destruction it unleashed in the Syrian city of Raqqa, Amnesty International and Airwars said today as they launched a new data project on the offensive to oust the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS).

The interactive website, Rhetoric versus Reality: How the ‘most precise air campaign in history’ left Raqqa the most destroyed city in modern times, is the most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict. Collating almost two years of investigations, it gives a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes in the Coalition’s military campaign in Raqqa from June to October 2017.

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Visit Interactive Website: https://raqqa.amnesty.org/

By the time the offensive began, the IS had ruled Raqqa for almost four years. It had perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity, torturing or killing anyone who dared oppose it. Amnesty International previously documented how IS used civilians as human shields, mined exit routes, set up checkpoints to restrict movement, and shot at those trying to flee.

Download/Read Full Report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2469452017ENGLISH.PDF

Coalition forces razed Raqqa, but they cannot erase the truth. Amnesty International and Airwars call upon the Coalition forces to end their denial about the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction caused by their offensive in Raqqa. The Coalition needs to fully investigate what went wrong at Raqqa and learn from those lessons, to prevent inflicting such tremendous suffering on civilians caught in future military operations,” said Chris Woods, Director of Airwars.

Cutting-edge research on the ground in Raqqa and from afar

Amnesty International and Airwars have collated and cross-referenced multiple data streams for this investigation. On four visits since the battle was still raging, Amnesty International researchers spent a total of around two months on the ground in Raqqa, carrying out site investigations at more than 200 strike locations and interviewing more than 400 witnesses and survivors.

Amnesty International’s innovative “Strike Trackers” project also identified when each of the more than 11,000 destroyed buildings in Raqqa was hit. More than 3,000 digital activists in 124 countries took part, analyzing a total of more than 2 million satellite image frames. The organization’s Digital Verification Corps, based at six universities around the world, analyzed and authenticated video footage captured during the battle.

View Strike Trackers Project: https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/strike-tracker#decode-results

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Airwars and Amnesty International researchers analyzed open-source evidence, both in real-time and after the battle – including thousands of social media posts and other material – to build a database of more than 1,600 civilians reportedly killed in Coalition strikes. The organizations have gathered names for more than 1,000 of the victims; Amnesty International has directly verified 641 of those on the ground in Raqqa, and there are very strong multiple source reports for the rest.

Both organizations have frequently shared their findings with the US-led military Coalition and with the US, UK and French governments. As a result, the Coalition has admitted responsibility for killing 159 civilians – around 10% of the total number reported – but it has routinely dismissed the remainder as “non-credible.” However, to date the Coalition has failed to adequately probe civilian casualty reports or to interview witnesses and survivors, admitting it does not carry out site investigations.

Bringing cases to life

Rhetoric versus Reality brings to life the stories of families who lived and died in the war by taking users on a journey through the city; meeting survivors, hearing their testimonies and visiting their destroyed homes. From the bombed-out bridges spanning the Euphrates to the largely demolished old city near the central stadium, no neighbourhood was spared.

Developed with Holoscribe’s creative team, the interactive website combines  photographs, videos, 360-degree immersive experiences, satellite imagery, maps and data visualizations to highlight the cases and journeys of civilians caught under the Coalition’s bombardment. Users can also explore data on civilians who were killed, many of them after having fled from place to place across the city.

Entire city blocks flattened

Raqqa’s soaring civilian death toll is unsurprising given the Coalition’s relentless barrage of munitions that were inaccurate to the point of being indiscriminate when used near civilians.

One US military official boasted about firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the campaign – the equivalent of a strike every six minutes, for four months straight – surpassing the amount of artillery used in any conflict since the Viet Nam war. With a margin of error of more than 100 metres, unguided artillery is notoriously imprecise and its use in populated areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks.

One of the first neighbourhoods to be targeted was Dara’iya, a low-rise, poorer district in western Raqqa. In a ramshackle, half-destroyed house, Fatima, nine years old at the time, described how she lost three of her siblings and her mother, Aziza, when the Coalition rained volleys of artillery shells down on their neighbourhood on the morning of 10 June 2017. They were among 16 civilians killed on that street on that day alone. Fatima lost her right leg and her left leg was badly injured. She now uses a wheelchair donated by an NGO to get around and her only wish is to go to school.

Families wiped out in an instant

US, UK and French forces also launched thousands of air strikes into civilian neighbourhoods, scores of which resulted in mass civilian casualties.

In one tragic incident, a Coalition air strike destroyed an entire five-storey residential building near Maari school in the central Harat al-Badu neighbourhood in the early evening of 25 September 2017. Four families were sheltering in the basement at the time. Almost all of them – at least 32 civilians, including 20 children – were killed. A week later, a further 27 civilians – including many relatives of those killed in the earlier strike – were also killed when an air strike destroyed a nearby building.

Planes were bombing and rockets were falling 24 hours a day, and there were IS snipers everywhere. You just couldn’t breathe,” one survivor of the 25 September strike, Ayat Mohammed Jasem, told a TV crew when she returned to her destroyed home more than a year later. “I saw my son die, burnt in the rubble in front of me. I’ve lost everyone who was dear to me. My four children, my husband, my mother, my sister, my whole family. Wasn’t the goal to free the civilians? They were supposed to save us, to save our children.

Time for accountability

Many of the cases documented by Amnesty International likely amount to violations of international humanitarian law and warrant further investigation.

Despite their best efforts, NGOs like Amnesty International and Airwars will never have the resources to investigate the full extent of civilian deaths and injuries in Raqqa. The organizations are urging US-led Coalition members to put in place an independent, impartial mechanism to effectively and promptly investigate reports of civilian harm, including violations of international humanitarian law, and make the findings public.

Coalition members who carried out the strikes, notably the USA, the UK and France, must be transparent about their tactics, specific means and methods of attack, choice of targets, and precautions taken in the planning and execution of their attacks.

Coalition members must create a fund to ensure that victims and their families receive full reparation and compensation.

More Resources for Raqqa:

Site Tracker: https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/strike-tracker

Investigative Report – War of Annihilation: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2483672018ENGLISH.PDF

Investigative Report – Deadly Labyrinth, Citizens Trapped In Battle for Raqqa: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2469452017ENGLISH.PDF


This report was originally published by Amnesty International on March 25th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and PDF’s added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

 

Investigative Report: Inside The US’s ‘Secret’ War In Somalia Under Donald Trump

(AI) – US air strikes in Somalia have surged in the past two years – more than 100 have been launched since President Trump relaxed protections for civilians in 2017. Despite this, the US consistently claims not to have killed or injured a single civilian there. Evidence from in-depth Amnesty International investigation shows otherwise – in just five incidents US air strikes were found to have killed at least 14 civilians and injured eight more.

Full 72 Page Investigate Report of US Bombing Inside Sudan: https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-Hidden-U.S.-War-in-Somalia.pdf

Somalia: A Graphic Novel | Illustration © Mike Dawson

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The US government must carry out impartial, thorough investigations into credible evidence its rapidly escalating air strikes in Somalia have killed numerous civilians, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

The Hidden US War in Somalia details how 14 civilians were killed and eight more injured in just five of the more than 100 strikes in the past two years. These five incidents were carried out with Reaper drones and manned aircraft in Lower Shabelle, a region largely under Al-Shabaab control outside the Somali capital Mogadishu. The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes.

When approached with Amnesty International’s findings, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) repeated its denial that any civilians have been killed in its operations in Somalia. “The civilian death toll we’ve uncovered in just a handful of strikes suggests the shroud of secrecy surrounding the US role in Somalia’s war is actually a smokescreen for impunity,” said Brian Castner, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Advisor on Arms and Military Operations. “Our findings directly contradict the US military’s mantra of zero civilian casualties in Somalia. That claim seems all the more fanciful when you consider the USA has tripled its air strikes across the country since 2016, outstripping their strikes in Libya and Yemen combined.

In the course of their investigation Amnesty International researchers travelled to Somalia, conducted more than 150 interviews with eyewitnesses, relatives, persons displaced by the fighting, and expert sources – including in the US military – and rigorously analyzed corroborating evidence, including satellite imagery, munition fragments, and photos from the aftermath of air strikes.

Strikes proliferate after Trump weakens safeguards

The number of US strikes in Somalia surged after 30 March 2017, when President Trump signed an Executive Order declaring southern Somalia an “area of active hostilities.” US forces carried out 34 strikes in Somalia in the last nine months of 2017 – more than in the entire five years from 2012 to 2016. This increased again in 2018, to 47 strikes; and there have already been 24 in the first two months of 2019 alone.

According to a retired US Brigadier General Amnesty International spoke to, this lessened the burden on the US military to guarantee that civilians will not be killed in air strikes. Worryingly, the General also believes that the Executive Order widened the net of potential targets to include virtually any adult male living in villages sympathetic to Al-Shabaab and seen in proximity to known fighters. Such a broad targeting mandate would violate international humanitarian law and lead to unlawful killing of civilians.

For example, in a strike on the hamlet of Farah Waeys, AFRICOM claims that “all individuals injured or killed were members or affiliates of Al-Shabaab,” while Amnesty International has documented that two civilian men were killed, and five women and children injured, in addition to Al-Shabaab casualties.

Damning evidence of civilian casualties

Amnesty International uncovered compelling evidence that US air strikes killed a total of 14 civilians and injured eight more, in five attacks that may have violated international humanitarian law and could, in some cases, constitute war crimes. Reports of more civilian casualties from other strikes could not be sufficiently corroborated for inclusion in the report.

In one case, a US military air strike in farmland near the village of Darusalaam killed three local farmers in the early morning hours of 12 November 2017. They were resting in the open after working well into the night digging irrigation canals. At around 3am an air strike targeted them without warning. The blast sent other farmers scrambling for cover and woke residents of two nearby villages. Villagers who went to recover the bodies at first light described the men’s horrific injuries.

Amnesty International later analyzed photographic evidence of the bodies that is consistent with eyewitness testimony. Two of the men were badly disfigured. A large ordnance fragment entered the first man’s forehead, collapsing his skull; his forearms were blown backward and nearly torn off, but for a thin flap of skin. The second man’s face, throat and chest were pockmarked by multiple ordnance fragments. The third man had a large wound on his side, and a small blow to his head, just above the right eye.

A farmer from Darusalaam village told Amnesty International: “The noise of the plane was louder than before, the day the attack happened. The weeks before, it used to come and leave, only that night it was not leaving. It was coming and coming and coming. When the noise [of an air strike] happened, everything ceased…I was so frightened. I couldn’t keep watch on the farm at all. I went under the shelter of the tree and hid… These three young men were not expecting to be killed by a plane, and we did not expect the world to be silent.

The US government must ensure investigations into all credible allegations of civilian casualties are carried out, with accountability for those responsible for violations and reparation made to the victims and survivors,” said Ella Knight, Military, Security and Police Researcher at Amnesty International. “Both the US and Somali governments need to put an end the lack of transparency and must do more to enable affected communities to self-report civilian casualties – without this, justice is likely to remain elusive.

Take Action – Petition: Demand A Ceasefire To US Bombings In Somalia: https://act.amnestyusa.org/page/40147/action/1

Full Report: The Hidden US War In Somalia

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This report was originally published by Amnesty International on March 19th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits, pictures and videos added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Report from UK’s Ministry of Defense Claims To Only Have Killed 1 Civilian In Combat Throughout Iraq & Syria Over The Years

I felt compelled to write this article here today after coming across a piece of information that downright enraged me yesterday. This would be the news that, according to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense at least, UK forces have only killed 1 civilian in combat throughout the course of the Syrian Civil War and War in Iraq. The official report, along with files and statistics, was officially published by a European Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) going by the name of Action On Armed Violence towards the end of February – a report which also pretends to claim that British Forces are only responsible for the deaths of approximately 4,315 enemy combatants dating back to the beginnings of these armed conflicts dating back to 2003 and 2011.

However, according to another NGO going by the name of Rogue Security Labs, this report is absolutely asinine – and you can quote me on that. I say this because, according to UNICEF, over 560,000 people have died in the Syrian Civil War alone since the start of 2011. And according to Iraq Body Count (IBC), over 193,000 people have died in Iraq since the start of the War in 2003. This is not to mention the millions whom have been displaced by violence over the years, nor those who have died as a result of disease, famine or lack of resources in these countries over the same time period. Considering that the UK has been the single largest participant/donor to the US led coalition over the course of the last two decades, it’s an utterly absurd notion to think/state that the UK is only responsible for a little over 4,000 deaths. I mean honestly, who are they actually trying to fool or convince?

In response to news of the release yesterday, a spokesperson from Amnesty International stated: these statistics “beggars belief and show just how deeply in denial the Ministry of Defense is in its role of mass bombings – particularly in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria.” Adding that “The US-led Coalition has admitted killing hundreds in Iraq and Syria. Why can’t the British own up to their role in this? The days in which powerful nations can subject foreign territories to massive bombardment and then refuse to admit and accept responsibility for the civilians that they kill and injure must be consigned to history.

To serve as proof refuting the MoD’s release, which can be found in its entirety at the very bottom of this article, Amnesty International has decided to republish all of their investigatory reports from recent battles in Iraq and Syria – evidence of just how widespread civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria have been, exposing just how ridiculous the MoD’s publication really is.

Full 70 pg Report – “WAR OF ANNIHILATION” The Devastating Toll The Syrian Civil War Has Taken On The Civilians of Raqqa, Syria: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2483672018ENGLISH.PDF

No Where To Run, Trapped In Raqqa, Syria: https://raqqa-syria.amnesty.org/
Full 36 pg Investigative Report – Civilians Trapped In The Battle for Raqqa: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2469452017ENGLISH.PDF

Civilians Bombed In Mosul, Iraq After Being Told Not To Flee Their Homes: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/iraq-civilians-killed-by-airstrikes-in-their-homes-after-they-were-told-not-to-flee-mosul/
Full 50 pg Report – At Any Cost, The Civilian Casualties As The US Led Coalition Fights for Mosul, Iraq: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1466102017ENGLISH.PDF

Download MoD’s Report for Yourself: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/UK_Ministry_of_Defense_Iraq_Syria_Casuality_List.pdf
Download Collated Data/Spreadsheet from Report: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Enemies-KilledWounded-in-Action.xlsx

UK Ministry of Defense Causalities Report 2019:

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Senator Paul Introduces “The 2019 AFGHAN Services Act,” A Bill Calling for An End To US Presence In Afghanistan

Sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and officially entitled “The 2019 AFGHAN Services Act,” a “JOINT RESOLUTION To withdraw all United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan,” a new bill has been introduced to Congress that would finally spell the end of US involvement in Afghanistan. Introduced for the first time this past Monday, March 4th 2019, if passed, the bill would:

  • Declare victory in Afghanistan. 
  • Pay, within one year, a $2,500 bonus to all members of the military who have served in the Global War on Terrorism. 
  • Sets guidelines for withdrawal. Within 45 days, a plan will be formulated for an orderly withdrawal and turnover of facilities to the Afghan Government, while also setting a framework for political reconciliation to be implemented by Afghans in accordance with the Afghan Constitution.
  • Within a year, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
  • At the completion of withdrawal, the 2001 AUMF will be repealed.

In a statement accompanying the introduction of the Bill, Senator Paul explains how it’s time to end the War in Afghanistan because allied forces have already ensured that “the masterminds of the 9/11 attack are no longer capable of carrying out such an attack from Afghanistan.” Explaining that “Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, and Al Qaeda has been all but eliminated from Afghanistan.” Additionally, as far as US interests domestically, Paul explains how “since 2001, more than 3,002,635 men and women have deployed overseas in support of this effort” at a cost of  “$2 trillion dollars today – currently costing over $51 billion a year.” This is all money, time and resource Paul says, that can be better spent/served here inside the United States on domestic interests.

Follow The Bill Through Congress: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/12/text
Download Full Text of Bill: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/sjres12/BILLS-116sjres12is.pdf

Text of Full Bill:

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