Isiah Holmes looks at the questions raised by the new deployment of drones to Afghanistan.
After repeated questions from the Die Linke opposition party, the German government has admitted that the US Air Force is using its Ramstein base to control drone strikes which are used in anti-terror operations and to carry out extra-legal killings, German MP Andrej Hunko told Sputnik Deutschland.
The US Air Force is using its Ramstein Air Base in Germany to carry out controversial drone attacks, the German government has admitted after an inquiry from the opposition Die Linke party.
Die Linke deputy Andrej Hunko told Sputnik Deutschland that Berlin has finally admitted the role Ramstein plays in US drone attacks after denying it for several years.
Months have passed since the first pictures of US special forces operatives surfaced from inside Syria. Their disclosure via an unidentified photographer, who happened to be in the right place at the right time, was followed by disciplinary action by US officials. Questions still persist; not only about what they show, but also how numerous others depicting the same unit arrived on the web. The images themselves challenge the official narrative of how the originals were captured, and from where.
It was originally reported that a photographer encountered the shady squad with Kurdish rebels nearby. Some of those fighters appear in photos taken by the journalist, reputedly employed with “Agency-France Presse”. Officials say the fighters were pushing against Islamic State positions near their de facto capital of Raqqa. The findings surprised some, as Syria was supposed to be largely void of western media.
We live in a time where the fragile, finite nature of surrounding ecosystems has never been more apparent. That’s why environmentalists find the US Navy’s reputed disregard for marine life, in it’s endless rhyme of testing and training, beyond disturbing. Recently, a group found the Navy’s been given impunity to harm up to 12 million marine mammals, and asks military brass if it’s worth it.
West Coast Action Alliance, a multi-state, international citizen watchdog group, did a recent tally of the number of “takes” allowed to the US Navy. According to Truthout, a “take” is a form of harm to an animal ranging from harassment, to injury, to death. The data WCAA examined came directly from the Navy’s own Northwest Training & Testing EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), and authorizations to commit “takes”.
“The numbers are staggering”, proclaims Karen Sullivan, spokeswoman for WCAA and a former endangered species biologist. “When you realize the same individual animals can be harassed over and over”, she continues, “as they migrate to different areas, there is no mitigation that can make up for these losses except limiting the use of sonar and explosives where these animals are trying to live.”
Like a ghost echoing it’s own death, the first photo’s of US “advisors” inside Syria surface as they join opposition forces on the front. Although just a few, the pictures represent a looking glass perspective of a black-war. What is shown rings of an old truth–things aren’t always what they seem to be.
Taken by an unnamed photographer of Agence-France Presse, Department of Defense says, several photo’s leaked to the web Thursday. According to New York Times, they were shot in the village of Fatisah, showing commando’s “assisting” opposition forces push to ISIS-held Raqqa.
Although Pentagon officials say the American’s weren’t involved in fighting, a Syrian commander told the photographer they’d launched rockets towards a booby-trapped car. Militia fighters were then pushing on an Islamic State position, though the full extent of the fighting is unknown. Colonel Steve Warran said the operatives were east of the Euphrates River, heavily occupied by Kurdish and Arab fighters. The photographer also captured stills of Kurdish militia members, players in Syria’s multi-sided, chymiera-war.
As shady as the game is, should anyone be surprised a top military contractor has been named in the Panama Papers leak? No, it’s not Blackwater, AKA Xi, AKA Academi, but it’s merger– Triple Canopy. The group, suspect for illegal killings and weapons trading, now adds tax avoidance to it’s list of crimes.
US officials recently tipped journalists off to a new Pentagon-sponsored Syrian rebel training program. Modeled after an earlier failed project, this new program plans to train dozens of fighters to push back against ISIS. It’s activation comes as US clandestine operations escalate, troop numbers grow, and the surrounding fighting intensifies beyond proportion.