Socialist Worker

Afghan offensive will only bring more tragedy

Issue No. 2188

Tens of thousands of Afghan people fled the city of Marjah in Helmand province this week, just before a planned Nato assault.

The occupiers claim the town is a Taliban stronghold.

There are around 100,000 people living in Marjah.

Many fled the area on roads which are controlled by the British army.

Fifteen thousand coalition forces, including 4,000 British troops, will be involved.

Operation Moshtarak – which means “together” in Dari, the Afghan Persian dialect – is the first outing for Nato’s new strategy in Afghanistan.

The US-led plan is to invite the Taliban to take part in dialogue if they have “renounced violence”.

But that’s combined with heavy military assaults.

Military leaders say that they are free to use missiles as they have warned civilians to leave.

Missiles fired from aircrafts have been responsible for many civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the occupation.

The planned assault will end in disaster. Civilians will be caught up in the fighting, unable to leave through the myriad of checkpoints along the roads.

Many who cannot afford to leave have been forced to stay behind.

The sophisticated weaponry of Nato forces will reduce whole areas to rubble.

One resident said, “When they storm a village the foreign troops never care about civilian casualties.

“They report the deaths of women and children as the deaths of Taliban.”

More British soldiers will die in the operation.

The numbers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 reached 256 this week, one more than were killed in the 1982 Falklands War.


RAF drones bomb Afghanistan

The RAF has fired 84 missiles from Reaper drones since they were first deployed in Afghanistan in June 2008.

More than 20 have been fired in the past two months.

The drones are equipped with surveillance equipment, two 500lb laser-guided bombs and four Hellfire missiles.

Aerial attacks, including unmanned drones, account for a large number of civilian deaths.


Date for protest at Joe Glenton sentencing

Anti-war soldier Joe Glenton will be sentenced on charges of being absent without leave (Awol) at 10am on Friday 5 March at Colchester military court.

Joe could be sent to prison. The Stop the War coalition has called a protest on the day at 9.30am to support Joe’s courageous stand.

For more information go to » www.stiopwar.org.uk


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Tue 9 Feb 2010, 18:13 GMT
Issue No. 2188
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