Two recent attacks in the last three weeks, carried out with US bombs, have left nearly as many innocent civilians dead as were killed in Paris and Brussels combined.
On Thursday, Governor Shaista Khan Akhtarzada of Afghanistan’s Gomal District, in the Paktika Province, announced an investigation into a series of recent US drone strikes that have murdered 17 civilians.
After launching the strikes on Wednesday, the US immediately claimed that all those killed by US bombs were militants.
Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cleveland, said: “We can confirm that the U.S. conducted two counterterrorism strikes in Paktika on Wednesday afternoon. There was no evidence to indicate that there were any civilian casualties at all.”
However, Akhtarzada launched an investigation and found that included in the dead were people who had ties to anti-Taliban groups.
According to a report from the NY Times,
Hajji Muhammad Hasan, a former senator from the Gomal District, said that three drone strikes hit the area of Nematabad on Wednesday. He said that the first strike hit a pickup truck carrying Hajji Rozuddin, a local elder on his way to mediate a land dispute in the Kakarzai tribe. Also in the truck were four of Mr. Rozuddin’s bodyguards and seven other people.
A second strike soon after killed two people who had come to pick up the bodies, Mr. Hasan said. A third strike killed three others who had climbed a small hill to try to see what had happened and why the previous two men had not returned already. (There is rarely any phone signal in Gomal, in rugged terrain along the Pakistani border.)
“Hajji Rozuddin was strongly anti-Taliban — he carried bodyguards because the Taliban were trying to kill him,” Mr. Hasan said. “The car was completely destroyed, and there was little of the bodies left.”
In contrast with the claims of the United States, the governor’s investigation found that all “the people killed were civilians.”
Rewind back to March 15th in the Hajjah Province of Yemen and US bombs were used once again, this time, they were launched by Saudi warplanes, to wage a murderous attack on a busy marketplace — 119 innocent civilians were slaughtered.
“The scene was terrifying,” Showei Hamoud told Associated Press by phone from Mastaba. “Blood and body parts everywhere.” Many of the dead are children who work stalls or carry goods in return for tips, he said.
“People collected the torn limbs in bags and blankets,” he said, adding that he could personally count up to 40 motionless bodies.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene of screaming wounded and a terrified people unable to help for fear of a third strike by this murderous regime.
Saudi Arabia started its aggression in Yemen during March of last year to supposedly bring the former president and Riyadh’s ally, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power.
Civilians are suffering a “terrible toll” in the fighting tearing Yemen apart, with the civilian death toll now surpassing 3,000, many of whom are children, the United Nations reports.
Human Rights Watch, which investigated the incident, has found evidence that the deaths were caused by a US-made bomb, a GBU-31 satellite-guided bomb, reports Antiwar.com
As other countries announce that they will refuse to sell Saudi Arabia arms so long as they continue their attacks on civilians, the US has doubled down on their weapons exports to the regime.
The bombs used in the most recent slaughter of civilians in Yemen were part of a $1.29 billion deal the Pentagon approved back in November. Among thousands of other bombs, the November sale contained 400 GBU-31 bombs, some of which were dropped on the marketplace in Hajjah.
Human rights groups have been increasingly critical of the US and other Western nations for massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, noting the huge number of civilians they’ve been killing, and UN reports have accused the Saudis of deliberately targeting civilians in many cases.
The EU has even gone so far as to pass a non-binding resolution urging its members to stop sales to the Saudis, though by and large this hasn’t happened yet. The US has been heavily involved in arming the Saudis, and has also participated in the war on Yemen, refueling Saudi bombers and providing ships to take part in the naval blockade.
It seems that the Saudi influence over the United States is far and wide, even spreading to the presidential candidates, who all curtsey to “our Saudi ally” by pledging their blind support of the terrorist regime.
It’s no coincidence that President Obama was showered with $1.3 million in gifts from the Saudi King last year. Obama is responsible for forging the largest weapons sale in American history, all of which went to Saudi Arabia.
As US-sponsored death from above rains down on countries across the Middle East, the fact that many Americans continue to remain oblivious to the cause of terrorism is baffling.
Every time someone’s mother, father, son, or daughter is killed by a US bomb, an anti-American soldier is created. As ignorant self-declared patriots continue to believe in the myth that they “hate our freedom,” US foreign policy in the Middle East creates thousands of Osama bin Ladens — every single day.