"The MNC-I SJA recommends against using the M249 on MRAP ambulances marked with a red cross. Though not a technical violation of international law, using an M249 on a vehicle marked with a medical symbol would have negative IO implications in the ITO."
See, shiite like that makes me wish I'd stayed in. Commanders are the client and it is the lawyer's job to get to yes. NOTHING forbids tactical self-defense, which is in fact explicitly authorized by Geneva and everything else.
However: I note that it only bars only crew-served weapons from the cupola. Surely there are other types of weapons that could be suitably employed?
At least four Taliban fighters have been killed during a suicide attack in the border city of Khost in eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban said its fighters rammed a vehicle packed with large amounts of explosives into the city's US military base on Friday.
The blast was heard throughout the city and smoke was rising near the base, a witness and nearby residents said.
There was no immediate word on casualties. NATO said it was aware of an incident in the area but it was too early to comment.
Violence has surged across Afghanistan since the Taliban began its yearly summer offensive in April, vowing to target Afghan government and security forces, as well as the 130,000 foreign troops in the country.
A police source said a gun battle was raging near the base and local security forces were unable to get close to the area.
[Tolo News] Five Afghan coppers were killed when a jacket wallah detonated his car, laden with explosives, near the police headquarters in southern Kandahar province on Thursday morning, a local official said.
Six others were maimed in the attack, provincial front man Jawid Ahmad Faisal said.
The incident took place at 10:30 am in the Argistan district and the injured were taken to a nearby hospital, he said.
More security forces have arrived in the area, he added.
No group, including the Taliban, has grabbed credit for the attack.
[Tolo News] Four Taliban leaders were captured during joint Afghan and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... troops operations in Afghanistan, Isaf said on Thursday.
The leaders were captured in different operations in Kandahar, Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... and Ghazni provinces, the Isaf statement said.
"[One] leader recently returned to Panjwai district of Kandahar province with numerous Death Eater fighters for the Taliban spring offensive," according to Isaf.
He was also the senior Taliban Death Eater operating in the district and directed roadside kaboomings, suicide kabooms and other operations against Afghan and coalition security forces, the statement said.
The security force tossed in the clink Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! multiple additional gun-hung tough guys and seized more than 700 rounds of ammunition as a result of this operation, it added.
The second Taliban leader was captured in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province.
Isaf said this leader directed attacks against Afghan and coalition bases throughout Marjeh and coordinated his operations directly with the senior Taliban gun-hung tough guys in the district.
Another Taliban leader was captured in eastern Ghazni province. The leader conducted roadside kaboomings, indirect fire attacks and other operations against Afghan and coalition troops throughout the district. He is also suspected in ordering the kidnapping of Afghan troops earlier this month, Isaf said.
A fourth leader was captured in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province, but no details were given in the Isaf statement.
[Tolo News] Two coppers were killed in a kaboom in eastern Nangarhar The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country.. province Thursday, a local official said.
The incident occurred at around 10:30 am local time as a massive kaboom shook a police checkpoint near 201 Silab Army Corps in the province's capital, Jalalabad, provincial front man Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told TOLOnews.
He could not provide further details about the incident.
No groups, including the Taliban, have grabbed credit for the attack.
[Iran Press TV] US-led NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants... forces claim they have killed 32 bully boy members of Taliban in a joint operation with Afghan cops in the southern Zabul province.
According to NATO's statement, six Afghan soldiers have been also killed and six others injured during the one-month-long operation which ended on Wednesday.
NATO added that 16 Talibs have been also jugged You have the right to remain silent... and six cut-throats have been maimed in the operation.
The Western military alliance stated that a remarkable amount of weapons and vehicles belonging to the Taliban have been also seized in the said period.
Meanwhile, ...back at the scene of the crime, Lieutenant Queeg had an idea: there was a simple way to tell whether Manetti had been the triggerman -- just look at his shoes!... Taliban front man Qari Yusef Ahmadi claimed that NATO troops have been forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses during the festivities.
The Taliban have already announced the beginning of their "spring offensive" across Afghanistan, targeting the US-led NATO troops and Afghan cops.
Code-named Al-Farouq, the primary targets of the offensive are "foreign invaders, their advisors, their contractors, all those who help them militarily and in intelligence," the cut-throats said on their website.
[Yemen Post] Clashes renewed on Tuesday between the Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is "God is Great, Death to America™", Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews" ... group and the tribes of Hajja after Houthi snipers killed a child in Kushar district of Hajja.
Local sources said that dozens from both sides were killed and maimed, affirming that crossfire that erupted on Tuesday night lasted to Wednesday.
A tribal leader of Kushar district, Yahya Al-Saeedi told Marib Press that Houthi fighters centered on mountains snipe children and passers-by, stressing that they violate any truces.
He said the tribes managed on Tuesday to recapture a village that was controlled by Houthi fighters, pointing out that the population depend on this village to have drinking water.
He further said that rustics could take out a number of landmines implanted by Houthis in their villages, anticipating that festivities will last.
Al-Saeedi demanded President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi ...the second and possibly the last president of Yemen, successor to former President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh... to intervene and put an end to bloodshed in Kushar, indicating that the local residents suffer of hunger, poverty and siege imposed by the Houthi fighters on their villages.
According to Yemeni activists, landmines and explosive devises implanted by Houthi fighters in some areas of Hajja led to the killing and wounding of dozens during the past few months in Hajja governorate.
Deputy governor of Hajja, Esmaeel Al-Muhim, said children are more most vulnerable to landmines, many displaced persons of Hajja governorate have failed to return their houses.
Media sources cited that at least 3,000 landmines have been planted in Kusher and Mestaba since sectarian festivities first broke out in November 2011.
Violent festivities broke out between the Houthi Group and the tribes leaving hundreds of persons killed and maimed from both sides, and hundreds of families were displaced before reaching a truce in March.
An armed attack on a troop convoy with food has been committed in the evening May 30 on the highway "Agwali - Botlikh" in Tsumadinsky district of Dagestan. The attackers injured a policeman who accompanied the army outfit. The employees of Tsumadinsky police department arrived to the scene to render assistance and to continue the column marching. In the mountains the assailants are being sought.
[Dawn] A man bumped off three brothers over a dispute in Badra area early on Wednesday before being killed by locals.
SHO of city cop shoppe Khursheed Tanoli identified the attacker as a Death Eater, Mohammad Arshad alias Taliban, saying he was wanted for attacks on the offices of two NGOs, Plan International and World Vision.
The FIR registered by police said the Death Eater and his two accomplices stormed Mohammad Jamshed's house and opened fire on Jamshed and his brothers Mohammad Mushtaq and Mohammad Ishtiaq.
The three brothers was struck down in his prime.
Hearing the gunfire, people of the area showed up and rubbed out the attacker.
One of the Death Eater's accomplices, Mohammad Naseer, and an unidentified man also suffered injured in the clash. They were taken to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital, where their condition was stated to be out of danger.
Police found four hand grenades and a kalashnikov near the Death Eater's body and seized them.
[Dawn] The violent incidents of assassinations continued in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... as five more people, including a Rangers officer, were killed on Thursday, DawnNews reported.
A Rangers officer, Abdul Hameed Chachar, was rubbed out in the area of Medina colony in Korangi, the police sources said. The dear departed officer was a sub-inspector in Pakistain's paramilitary force.
A man was rubbed out at Maripur road near a hotel. According to MLO of the Civil Hospital, the man was shot in the head.
A man was rubbed out and the other received injuries in the area of Lee market near an eye clinic.
A dead body was found from Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... River.
The funeral prayers of Mehdi Raza and Fakhar Abbas were rubbed out by the criminals in Orangi town, have been offered.
BAGHDAD -- Bombs exploded at a crowded Baghdad restaurant and a near police patrol on Thursday, among attacks that killed at least 18 people and wounded 53 in Iraq's bloodiest day in more than a month, police and hospital medics said.
Five blasts hit the capital, and the northern city of Mosul was the scene of a fatal shooting attack.
In northwest Baghdad, a parked car exploded outside a busy restaurant in the neighborhood of Shula, killing 13 people and wounding 37, police officials said.
Naseer Ali, owner of a grocery shop in Shula, said he was about 150 meters (yards) from the restaurant when the blast went off. Ali said he and others rushed to help the victims before the ambulances arrived. Ali said he is worried the level of violence in Baghdad will return to what it was several years ago, in part because of the growing sectarian divide underlying a months-long paralysis of Iraq's government.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, a parked car blew up near the home of Jamal-Din Mohammed, an adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, killing a civilian and wounding four people, including two guards protecting Mohammed's house.
Earlier Thursday, explosions hit two adjacent homes of Baghdad policemen in the neighborhood of Amariyah, killing two people and wounding nine, among them three children. One of the policemen was killed and the other was wounded.
A fifth attack targeted a police patrol in Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding three officers.
In Mosul, about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, a police major was killed when gunmen sprayed his car with bullets in a drive-by-shooting, police said. Medics at nearby hospitals confirmed the casualties.
An IDF soldier was shot dead early Friday morning in an exchange of fire with a Palestinian terrorist, who was also killed in the clash, near the Gaza border fence.
IDF soldiers detected an armed Palestinian trying to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza. A force from the Golani Brigade was alerted to the scene of the infiltration. A gun fight ensued between the terrorist and the soldiers during which the soldier and terrorist were killed.
The IDF said that by stopping the terrorist, the force had stopped an attack inside the Israeli Home Front.
The incident came after two soldiers were wounded along the border with the Gaza Strip last week.
Umar Patek is a tiny man, pixie-faced and slump-shouldered inside the white garment worn by devout Muslims. He said, "I'm a quiet person, shy, and low in education," just before his trial for terrorism and mass murder continued yesterday.
But this small man helped create the bombs that tore apart two Bali nightclubs 10 years ago and killed 202 people.
Patek has admitted mixing about 50 kilograms of chemicals to go into almost a ton of explosives used in the bombs.
Successfully mixing explosives that explode only on schedule is a rare ability, as the many reported work accidents over the years attest -- Mutual of Gaza has been paying out from reserves for ages, and Al Qaeda doesn't even offer insurance to the many MBAs who take their course.
But throughout the four months of his trial he has emphasised his unimportance. He told the court he was "a deer" among such "elephants" of the plot as the already executed Imam Samudra, Mukhlas and Amrozi.
No doubt. But their plotting would have been to no avail, absent the technical skills of little Patek.
But in his heart Patek knew what he had done. He said, "My conscience says I am guilty. I did mix [explosive] materials."
Despite this, his lawyers have maintained that he should be found not guilty of the bombings, and guilty only of forging passports.
The man is a commercial artist as well? Truly, he has more than most to be modest about.
They say he opposed the killing of innocents, voiced his opposition to the Bali plot and participated reluctantly. Thus he had "not deliberately" contributed.
It's awfully hard to accidentally mix up a bomb capable of killing several hundred people...
The death sentence is possible for these charges but prosecutors have asked for life in prison. Yesterday Patek made a plea for 10 years or less. He said, "[The explosives I mixed were] less than 50 kilograms. I am guilty for that but ... I believe the panel of judges must consider my motive ... my state of psychology. The panel of judges must consider my disagreement [with the tactics] and that it wasn't my call."
"They put something on my neck, your honour. It controlled me completely...and nobody could hear me scream."
Patek said he was originally lured into jihad in 1991 by Dulmatin (killed in a shootout with police in 2010), who took him to Malaysia as a young man to find work and study religion under radical teacher Mukhlas.
Twenty years later he has lost little of his fanaticism. He said, "My position about jihad remains the same. It is an obligation of every Muslim to carry out jihad."
Kill him. Kill him now.
However, holy war should only be waged against those "who attack Muslims". He said, "My question was, did the Balinese attack Muslims in Bali? Or did the bule [white foreigners] in Bali attack Muslims? Or were they Jews? I think the correct way is to go to Palestine and fight the Jews who slaughtered Palestinians."
Other hardcore beliefs continue. Patek said Abu Bakar Bashir, now serving a 15-year jail sentence for supporting a jihadi training camp in Aceh, was harmless. He said, "I think he only preaches. I think there's nothing wrong with preaching."
Patek has issued apologies to his victims and asked their families to forgive him.
Asked what he could do in reparation, he said there was nothing except to say that "Islam is not a religion of violence".
Except for the jihad thingy, but surely that is a minor detail.
Patec was captured in January 2011 in Abbottabad. A few months later the Seals took out Bin Laden there. Was there any connection? If he squealed like a pig could that be the reason they are not asking for a death sentence.
The little man was initially captured by PAK intelligence agents, who as we well know, do not use torture. Appears to have then been handed over to US Intelligence following the clearing of the cheque.
His capture in Abattabad was surely little more than a coincidence, yes an amazing coincidence. I blame the evil doctor Afridi....who appeared to have no connection, absolutely none, zipp, nada, to PAK intelligence. [snark off]
Good link, Besoeker. Thank you. Click on Mr. Patek's name in the article, above, to see what we have on the gentleman in the Rantberg archive as well. I,d forgotten that Demolition Man was picked up in Abbottabad after visiting with Osama bin Laden, and that AP had a transcript of Pakistan's interrogation.
I'm just a poor old man. I have no time for law-breakers. My eyes are dim. I cannot see. My legs are grey. My ears are gnarled. My eyes are old and bent. My ears are grizzled. My eyesight is bad. My eyes are poor. My nose is knackered. My legs are old and bent.
trailing wife, a bit more from Security Council
A. Individuals associated with Al-Qaida
QI.P.294.11. Name: 1: UMAR 2: PATEK 3: na 4: na
Title: na Designation: na DOB: 1970 20 July 1966 POB: Central Java, Indonesia Good quality a.k.a.: a) Omar Patek b) Mike Arsalan c) Hisyam Bin Zein d) Anis Alawi Jafar Low quality a.k.a.: a) Pa'tek b) Pak Taek c) Umar Kecil d) Al Abu Syekh Al Zacky e) Umangis Mike Nationality: Indonesian Passport no.: na National identification no.: na Address: a) Indonesia b) Philippines Listed on: 19 Jul. 2011 (amended on 23 Feb. 2012) Other information: Senior member of Jemaah Islamiyah (QE.J.92.02.) involved in planning and funding multiple terrorist attacks in the Philippines and Indonesia. Provided training to Abu Sayyaf Group (QE.A.1.01.). In custody in Indonesia as at Feb. 2012.
Suspected terrorists insurgents detonated a 5 kg roadside bomb in an attack aimed at a soldier patrol yesterday morning in Yala province, while Narathiwat's 32 Special Task Force apprehended one suspect in relation to the blast.
The bomb was detonated by a cellphone as a nine-man team of soldiers was patrolling to protect teachers. The explosion injured team leader Petty Officer First Class Rojana Kulampa and Private Wisan Kaewsithong.
At 10:30 a.m., the Narathiwat task force surrounded targeted areas and took a suspect in for questioning. They also notified village leaders about the reason for the arrest. Security camera footage showed two helmeted men on a motorbike planting the bomb.
[Iran Press TV] Anti-government gangs in Syria have received directives to shift the focus of their terrorist activities from other cities to Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... and nearby areas, Press TV reports.
Injured gunnies who have been recently transferred to Leb say they have been told to concentrate their activities on the capital and the neighboring regions.
The new plan includes increasing armed attacks on security targets in Damascus above other parts of the country.
According to the report, the criminal masterminds behind Syria's unrest have turned to destabilizing the capital, finding insecurity in the government's seat as the key to effective spreading of violence across the nation.
The revelation matches recent moves by armed gangs after a number of their terror cells were dismantled by the Syrian security forces.
The beturbanned goons are apparently missioned to engage the Syrian armed forces in the capital and inflict heavier blows on security forces in Damascus.
They have also turned to threatening local tradesmen and business owners in addition to bullying civilians.
Clashes continue between Syrian forces and anti-government gangs despite a ceasefire that was brokered by UN-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... in March and took effect on April 12.
Reports say about 260 foreign observers are currently in Syria to monitor the cease-fire as part of Annan's six-point peace plan.
The Syrian government says the ongoing violence and the recent massacres of civilians in the country are being orchestrated from abroad and that security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.
Hmm, it's going to be quite a reunion as the Spetnaz meets up with their Spetnaz alumni in the Foreign Legion. Of course with our SOG's, the SAS, the Foreign Legion, and goodness knows who else running around in the dark, they should rent a hotel and have a convention.
I don't think the Russian want to be holding the short end of the stick with Syria. While I think Obumble has screwed the pooch in the ME, the Russians have a far different problem, how do you get away from a tiger when you have it by the tail? If Iran goes publically nuclear and creates a mass murder in some city near you, the Russians will be tarred with the crime as an accomplice. I don't think they want that. At some point I think the mullahs will demostrate they are even too mad for the Russians and the Russkies will have to find an exit strategy from Iran and Syria.
If Iran's nuclear machinations wind up in a dirty bomb in London, Rome, or NYC, how are the Russians going to explain their refusal to bring Iran to heel and their support of Assad?
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
There are already Russian ground troops in Tartus. It's just a matter of 'reinforcing' them.
[An Nahar] U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... warned Thursday of a "catastrophic civil war" in Syria after the massacre of more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla that sparked global horror and outrage.
"The massacres of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into a catastrophic civil war, a civil war from which the country would never recover," he told an Istanbul forum of the U.N.-led Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
Ban's remarks came amid mounting international outrage over the massacre in the central town of Houla, in which at least 108 people, including 49 children, were killed, according to U.N. figures.
The assault prompted Western countries, including the United States, Britannia, La Belle France, Australia to expel the senior Syrian diplomats in their countries.
The bodies from the Houla massacre were counted by U.N. observers whom Ban described as "our eyes and ears of the international community."
The observers were in Syria "so that perpetrators of crimes may be held accountable," he said.
"We are not there to play the role of passive observer to unspeakable atrocities."
The U.N. chief demanded that the Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... regime honor its commitment to a peace plan drawn up by international mediator Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... "I demand that the government of Syria act on its commitment to the Annan peace plan," he said.
He also demanded that "the Syrian government act on its responsibilities to its people."
We need a "Captain Obvious" icon for every post about this guy.
Diplomacy has gone from working toward a goal to endless exchanges of tedious indirect language and polite chit chat with no results.
If diplomats would ever ACCOMPLISH anything we might have fewer armed conflicts. But as it is, the two sides bristle their mustaches, clinch their teeth and say "I can't take this shit anymore" grab their weapons and start shooting while the diplomats puzzle over a sharply worded memo while eating their crepes and champaign.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
If it's "Uncatastrophic Civil War", would that be okay?
"We are not there to play the role of passive observer to unspeakable atrocities."
[An Nahar] Syrian troops resumed their shelling of the Houla region on Thursday, killing at least one person at the site of a massacre of 108 people last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"A boy was rubbed out today by a sniper," Britannia-based Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"Three others died Wednesday during shelling by the regime forces."
The army shelled three areas of Taldu overnight, where the majority of the Houla massacre victims were killed on May 25, the Observatory said.
Regime forces deployed in large numbers in the area, the monitor added.
On Wednesday, the army used heavy artillery to pound the area, according to the opposition Syrian National Council.
The Observatory said "people are fleeing the peripheries of Houla for the town itself, for fear that a new massacre may be committed."
Of those killed at the weekend, 49 children and 34 women died, many of them summarily executed.
The SNC called on Wednesday on the U.N. observers, deployed in Syria to monitor a truce that has failed to take hold, to go to Houla to protect civilians.
In all, at least 73 people were killed in violence across the country.