War Update

From the January 2013 PNL #820

by Seth Rutledge

Gaza: Israel initiated Operation Pillar of Cloud (Nov. 14-21) by killing Hamas military second-in-command and peace negotiator Ahmed Jabari. He had just received a draft of a truce agreement between Hamas and Israel brokered by Egypt.[1]
            Israel bombed 1,500 sites; killing 166 Palestinians (33% civilians); wounding 1,235 (97% civilians); demolished 242 buildings; and damaged over 8,000 buildings totaling $1.2 billion in damages.[2]
            Hamas fired 1,400 unguided missiles into Israel (400 were intercepted) killing four Israeli civilians and two soldiers; and causing $50 million in damages.[3]

            On November 30 Netanyahu ordered the construction of 3,000 new homes and planning for thousands more in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem). The US will increase its $3.1 billion annual military aid to Israel by $210-$470 million.[4]


Syria: 3,111 women and 33,574 men have died since March 18, 2011.[5] Terrorist attacks have sharply increased in 2012.[6] 

            Spokesmen from the opposition have met with US, British, French, and Turkish officials in Qatar to form the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary Opposition Forces; now recognized by France, UK, US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAW, Kuwait and Oman; and supported by some opposition groups.[7] Other opposition groups are engaged in dialog with the Syrian government.[8]

            NATO will deploy Patriot missiles and 400 soldiers in Turkey on the border of Syria. 10,000 US troops have been deployed off the coast of Syria.[9] The US has provided $25 million in aid to the rebels;[10] the CIA maintains an FSA command center in Turkey;[11] and the US has   facilitated arms supplies including a shipment of surface to air missiles.[12]
            Anonymous Pentagon sources claim the Syrian government plans to use chemical weapons of mass destruction. Pentagon officials say there is no evidence for this accusation.[13] Israeli commandos are in Syria purportedly to monitor this possibility.[14]


Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): On November 20 the M23 rebels (with support from US-backed Rwanda and Uganda[15] [16]) seized the city of Goma in eastern DRC. 390,000 refugees have fled the fighting since April.[17] The war for the DRC's mineral wealth has killed 5.4 million since 1998.[18]


Sudan: Israel bombed an ammunition factory in Sudan.[19] Rebels (supported by US backed[20] [21] S. Sudan[22] continue to shell an airport and combat the army.[23] Iranian warships visited N. Sudan in a show of support. Sudan has been under US sanctions since 1997.[24]


Pakistan: Four drone strikes killed11-23 people and injured 7-13 from November 29-December 9.[25]


Afghanistan: In the period between August 1 and October 31 there have been 75 US soldier and 967 Afghan civilian deaths; and more than 568 US soldier and 1,590 Afghan civilian injuries.[26] [27]

[1] Lendman, Stephen. "Ahmed Jabari (1960 - 2012)." War Is A Crime. 16 Nov. 2012. Humans For Peace. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://warisacrime.org/content/ahmed-jabari-1960-2012>.

[2] "Gaza damage to cost $1.2 bln: Hamas spokesman." Daily Star. 25 Nov. 2012. The Daily Star Lebanon. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Nov-25/196140-gaza-damage-to-cost-$12-bln-hamas-spokesman.ashx>.

[3] Filut, Adrian and Yuval Azulai. "Counting the cost of the Gaza operation." Globes. Ed. David Gillis. 22 Nov. 2012. Globes Publishing. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000800544>.

[4] "Congress seeks to increase US funding of anti-missile cooperation with Israel." Times of Israel. Ed. David Horovitz. 13 Dec. 2012. The Times of Israel. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.timesofisrael.com/congress-seeks-to-double-us-funding-of-anti-missile-cooperation-with-israel/>.

[5] "Syria Tracker: 36,686 Documented Killing from March 18, 2011 to October 14, 2012." Syria Tracker. Editor(s) of website. 18 Oct. 2012. Syria Tracker. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://syriatracker.blogspot.se/2012/10/syria-tracker-36686-documented-killing.html>.

[6] McDonnell, Patrick J. "Syria rebels appear to be shifting strategy in Damascus." LA Times. Ed. Davan Maharaj. 7 Nov. 2012. The Los Angeles Times Media Group. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-damascus-20121108,0,618701.story>.

[7] Malas, Nour. "Syrian Rebels Press Plan for Governing Body." The Wall Street Journal Online. Ed. Raju Narisetti. 8 Nov. 2012. The Wall Street Journal. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324439804578106834138363850.html>.

[8] Xinhua. "National Syrian Dialogue Meeting concludes in Tehran." Global Research. Ed. Prof. Michel Chossudovsky. 21 Nov. 2012. The Centre for Research on Globalization. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.globalresearch.ca/national-syrian-dialogue-meeting-concludes-in-tehran/5312363?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=national-syrian-dialogue-meeting-concludes-in-tehran>.

[9] "US: Sarin bombs ready for Assad’s “go” order. Israel’s odd silence." Debka.  6 Dec. 2012. Debkafile. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://debka.com/article/22586/US-Sarin-bombs-ready-for-Assad%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cgo%E2%80%9D-order-Israel-s-odd-silence>.

[10] Labott, Elise. "Obama authorized covert support for Syrian rebels, sources say." CNN. 2 Aug. 2012. Cable News Network. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/01/us/syria-rebels-us-aid/>.

[11] Hosenball, Mark. "Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret U.S. support for Syrian rebels." Reuters. 1 Aug. 2012. Thomson Reuters. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/us-usa-syria-obama-order-idUSBRE8701OK20120801>.

[12] Hosenball, Mark and Tabassum Zakaria. "Syrian rebels acquire surface-to-air missiles: report." NBC News. Ed. Gregory Gittrich. 31 July 2012. NBC News Digital Network. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48430298/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/t/syrian-rebels-acquire-surface-to-air-missiles-report/#.UMYo6KyK6Hg>.

[13] Miklaszewski, Jim and Courtney Kube. "No evidence Syria mixing chemical agents, Pentagon official says." NBC News. Ed. Gregory Gittrich. 4 Dec. 2012. NBC News Digital Network. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/04/15676708-no-evidence-syria-mixing-chemical-agents-pentagon-official-says?lite>.

[14] Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv and Lucy Fisher. "Israel tracks Syria’s chemical arsenal." The Sunday Times. 9 Dec. 2012. Times Newspapers Ltd. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1172960.ece>.

[15] "Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993-2003." Kambale. Ed. Kambale Musavuli. June 2012. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.kambale.com/pdf/drc_un_report_final_june2010.pdf>.

[16] Lokongo, Antoine Roger. "Britain and America Target DR Congo." Black Agenda Report. Ed. Glen Ford. 5 Dec. 2012. 15 Dec. 2012 < http://blackagendareport.com/content/britain-and-america-target-dr-congo>.

[17] "Families, Whole Villages Flee." American Refugee Committee Relief. American Refugee Committee International. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.arcrelief.org/site/PageServer?pagename=congoatrocities>.

[18] Bavier, Joe. "Congo war-driven crisis kills 45,000 a month: study." Reuters. 22 Jan. 2008. Thomson Reuters. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/22/us-congo-democratic-death-idUSL2280201220080122>.

[19] Keating, Joshua "Is Israel bombing Sudan again?." Foreign Policy. Ed. Susan Glasser. 24 Oct. 2012 The Foreign Policy Group. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/24/is_israel_bombing_sudan_again>.

[20] Ramirez, Luis. "US Military to Help Build South Sudan." Global Security. 11 Jan. 2012. 15 Dec. 2012 < http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2012/01/mil-120111-v....

[21] Snow, Keith Harmon. "Oil in Darfur? Special Ops in Somalia?." Global Research. Ed. Prof. Michel Chossudovsky. 7 Feb. 2007 The Centre for Research on Globalization. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.globalresearch.ca/oil-in-darfur-special-ops-in-somalia/4717 >.

[22] "Sudan Warns Juba Against Ruining Addis Ababa Deal." AllAfrica. 18 Nov. 2012. AllAfrica Global Media. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://allafrica.com/stories/201211190633.html>.

[23] "Sudan: Rebels – ‘Shelling of Military Sites Will Continue’." AllAfrica. 19 Nov. 2012. AllAfrica Global Media. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://allafrica.com/stories/201211190106.html>.

[24] "Oil-Strapped Sudan Courting Old Ally Russia." RIA Novosti. Ed. Svetlana Mironyuk. 12 Sept. 2012. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121209/178031872.html>.

[25] "Obama 2012 Pakistan strikes." The Bureau Investigates. Ed. Christo Hird. 11 Jan. 2012. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/01/11/obama-2012-strikes>.

[26] "Fatalities by Year and Month." iCasualties. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://icasualties.org/OEF/ByMonth.aspx>.

[27] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security." United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. 6 Dec. 2012. United Nations. 15 Dec. 2012 <http://unama.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=RfTTUm-s86s=&tabid=12254&language=en-US>.

Seth is a resident of the Westcott Nation, painter (sethpaints.com) and blogger at alchemicalnursery.org.