News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

Views on the News 08/09/2021

* Taliban Announed New Government
* US air strikes after 9/11 attacks killed up to 48,000 civilians

Taliban Announced New Government

The Taliban announced their new interim government after cancelling the announcement on a number of occasions. The list of cabinet members announced by chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday, 7th September, was dominated by members of the group’s old guard.

Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a close aide to the group’s late founder Mullah Omar, was appointed head of Afghanistan’s new caretaker government, whilst Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political office, will be the deputy leader while Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been named as interior minister. Speaking at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Mujahid stressed the cabinet was an “acting” government and that the group will “try to take people from other parts of the country”. The interim government does not include any officials from the previous regime despite a flurry of activity from regional powers in the last week. Afghanistan faces huge challenges form the economy to security. The Taliban are yet to present a road map or policies on how they plan to tackle these issues.

US Air Strikes after 9/11 Attacks Killed up to 48,000 Civilians

As many as 48,000 civilians have been killed in the last 20 years as a direct result of US air strikes, according to an Airwars investigation that sheds new light on the human cost of Washington’s so-called “war on terror”. Publishing its findings ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the UK-based monitoring group concluded that at least 22,679, and potentially as many as 48,308 civilians, were killed by US aerial strikes between 2001 and 2020. Using local sources and official US military data, Airwars concluded that in the years following the 9/11 attacks, the US has carried out a minimum of 91,340 air strikes. Air strikes were carried out by the US military in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Libya. The heaviest casualties were in Iraq and Syria. Between 11,474 and 24,136 civilians were killed in Iraq from 2001 to 2020, while in Syria as many as 15,573 were killed in US air strikes. Brown University’s Cost of War programme found that over 387,000 civilians have been killed as a result of fighting in post-9/11 wars. The number of war refugees and displaced persons stands at 38 million. The US is conducting counter-terror activities in 85 countries