Taliban arrest fighter who shot dead Hazara woman at checkpoint
A Taliban fighter has been arrested for shooting dead a Hazara woman at a checkpoint in the Afghan capital as she returned from a wedding, a spokesman for the group said Wednesday. Abdullahi was "killed by mistake", Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said on Twitter, adding the arrested fighter would be punished. Her family has been offered 600,000 Afghani (around $5,700) for the January 13 shooting in the capital's Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood, the interior ministry said separately.Some women's rights activists have staged small protests in Kabul since Abdullahi's killing, demanding justice."When we heard of Zainab's murder we got afraid.
Months after the August airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memo ordering Pentagon officials to develop an "action plan" on how the U.S. military can avoid civilian casualties and more properly respond to them when they do happen. © Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III holds a press briefing about the US military drawdown in Afghanistan, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC Sept. 1, 2021. Thursday, Austin ordered staff to create an "action plan" to improve the U.S. military's ability to avoid civilian casualties and properly address them when they do occur.
Austin previously endorsed the decision announced last month to not discipline any of the soldiers involved in the attack that left seven children and three adults dead. His view then was based on a report determining the strike was likely conducted because of miscommunications rather than a larger system of negligence.
EXPLAINER: What are US military options to help Ukraine?
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is not planning to answer a further Russian invasion of Ukraine by sending combat troops. But he could pursue a range of less dramatic yet still risky military options, including supporting a post-invasion Ukrainian resistance. The rationale for not directly joining a Russia-Ukraine war is simple. The United States has no treaty obligation to Ukraine, and war with Russia would be an enormous gamble, given its potential for expanding in Europe, destabilizing the region, and escalating to the frightening point of risking a nuclear exchange. Doing too little has its risks, too.
"The protection of civilians is a strategic & moral imperative. We strive diligently to minimize harm armed conflict visits upon civilian populations, but we can & will improve," Austin said in a Thursday tweet along with a copy of the memo.
The memo requests the completion of the Civilian Harm Mitigation & Response Action Plan within 90 days, and states that the plan should outline what steps the Department of Defense (DOD) should take and what resources those steps will require.
The memo came on the same day as a report released by the federally funded RAND Corporation which found several flaws in the methods in how the military evaluates civilian casualties.
The RAND report said that the "DoD is not organized to monitor and analyze civilian casualty trends and patterns over time," and that the personnel responsible for evaluating incidents where civilians are harmed are often inadequately trained.
thousands of Sudanese scroll in tribute to the demonstrators killed
© AFP L ES security forces shot Thursday from the thousands of protesters left "tribute to the martyrs" in the Sudan where the list of victims of The repression extends since the military strengthened their power with a putsch. "The military at the barracks!", Candled the protesters in different neighborhoods of the capital Khartoum while 72 protesters have been killed, for many balls, since the coup of October 25, according to pro-democracy doctors .
The report made several recommendations mentioned in Austin's memo, including the standardization of a process to report incidents of civilian harm focused on improving how the Department learns from the incidents.
"Without reliable operational data that are easily accessible to commanders, the military will be limited in its ability to understand the root causes of civilian casualties, characterize patterns of harm, and identify specific measures to mitigate civilian harm while preserving mission-effectiveness and force protection," the report said, according to The Associated Press.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told the AP that the plan is a positive step, but may not be enough to address past military mistakes.
"While a serious Defense Department focus on civilian harm is long overdue and welcome, it's unclear that this directive will be enough," Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's national security project, told the AP. "What's needed is a truly systemic overhaul of our country's civilian harm policies to address the massive structural flaws, likely violations of international law, and probable war crimes that have occurred in the last 20 years."
"Shocking Truth" in newly revealed UFO files of the Pentagon
mysterious in long format: A new series should reveal the shocking truth behind the world-moving UFO files of the Pentagons. The details. © SimonBradfield / iStock Series via UFO Sightings In April 2020, the Pentagon has released three clips of "unidentified air phenomena" (UAP) - including the now famous Gimbal recordings. In January last year, the US intelligence services were invited as part of a Covid-19 law to communicate everything to the Congress, which they know about UFOs.
Footage of the August 29 drone strike targeting a car driven by a man the military believed was a terrorist transporting explosives to the Kabul airport was obtained by The New York Times and led to many of the revelations about the strike.
- U.S. Troops Won't Be Disciplined Over Drone Strike That Killed 7 Afghan Kids, 3 Adults
- Biden Killed Fewer Civilians in First Year Than Any U.S. Leader This Century
- Biden 'Makes No Apologies' for Afghanistan Withdrawal, Regrets Taliban Rule, ISIS-K Attack
- U.S. Spent $8.5B on Afghan Air Force, Training Holes Doomed Them Against Taliban: Report
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UN: Syria prison attack shows need to deal with IS detainees .
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The attack by Islamic State militants on a Syrian prison holding around 3,000 of its fighters and about 700 children is a predictable tragedy spotlighting the need for urgent international action to deal with those allegedly linked to the extremist group in prisons and camps in the country’s northeast, the U.N. counter-terrorism chief said Thursday. Undersecretary-General Vladimir Voronkov told the U.N. Security Council that the Islamic State group “has been highlighting and calling for jail breaks,” and “there have been previous instances in Syria and elsewhere in the world.