(ANTIWAR.COM) — Adding to a growing list of UN reports released recently all showing a surge in Afghan civilian casualties in different manners, a Wednesday report was released showing that civilian deaths are surging from US and Afghan government airstrikes.
This has been ongoing through the year, with a decrease in US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria leading to more warplanes committed to bombings in Afghanistan. More US strikes means more civilians getting hit, meaning the casualty figures are at multi-year highs.
The UN figures show 649 civilian casualties in the US and Afghan airstrikes in 2018’s first nine months. This is 39% more than the same period in 2017, as well as more than the whole of last year. 60% of the casualties are women and children.
All these reports on all these different sorts of civilian casualties caused by the war show a general increase in violence against civilians on all fronts, with no signs of the violence slowing down any time soon.
An American C-130 transport plane has crashed in Afghanistan, killing at least 11 people, a US defense official has said. Among the dead are several US troop members and contracted civilians whose nationalities have not been disclosed. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for shooting down the C-130, according to AFP. However, this information has not yet been confirmed, and US authorities previously denied any hostile engagement.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it will “continue to do its work undeterred,” after US National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened sanctions if the tribunal investigates alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan. The Hague-based court investigates genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and is backed by 123 countries - but not by China and the US.
The unprecedented move followed a dramatic escalation in attacks against Afghan government installations by Taliban and Islamic State forces, which have resulted in dozens of casualties throughout the Central Asian country. On Saturday, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, longtime national security adviser to President Ashraf Ghani and one of Afghanistan’s most recognizable and powerful political figures, tendered his resignation. Many seasoned observers were surprised when President Ghani, who is a close political ally of Atmar, accepted his resignation and replaced him with Hamdullah Mohib, who until recently was Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States.
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