Warzone News: Week of October 7, 2015
Resource of the Week: This series of graphics from CNN describes the current state of Syria’s civil war.
In Afghanistan, a hospital in Kunduz run by the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was accidentally bombed on October 3, killing at least 12 medical staff and 10 patients. MSF is calling for an independent investigation to understand what happened and are calling it a war crime. MSF has since closed the hospital. In a hearing held yesterday at the Pentagon, U.S. military leaders took responsibility for the attack, calling it a mistake, and promised a thorough investigation. Most of Kunduz has been re-taken by Afghan forces, but the Taliban has gained control of a district east of Kunduz.
In the Central African Republic, renewed fighting has killed at least 40, wounded 100, and caused thousands to flee the capital. Aid agencies are struggling to respond due to looting of their supplies. Elections scheduled for October 18 have been pushed back to the end of the year because of the recent violence.
In Iraq, a series of car bombs have killed 60 people. Little progress is being made against ISIS in Iraq, while the prime minister expressed an openness to Russian airstrikes in Iraq following Russia’s escalated involvement in Syria.
In Israel and Palestine, a series of events have led to rising tensions, including an Israeli couple killed in the West Bank and Israeli forces destroying the homes of two Palestinian militants in Jerusalem. In the ten days of violence, a total of four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed and hundreds have been injured. However, authorities on both sides are currently describing it as a localized outbreak of violence, not the beginning of another war.
In Libya, 2.4 million people, nearly half the population, are in need of aid and protection. ISIS militants attacked government forces protecting an oil port. The country’s parliament voted to extend it’s term beyond the originally agreed upon date of October 20, which could endanger peace talks.
In Myanmar, the country’s president is being sued in the U.S. for human rights abuses that amount to genocide against the minority Rohingya ethnic group. Next month’s elections could prove detrimental to the Rohingya, as hard-line Buddhist parties gain popularity. Truce negotiations have stalled as some minority militant groups aren’t ready to sign. As the rainy season comes to an end, more Rohingya are expected to flee Myanmar in rickety, dangerous boats. To respond to the crisis in Myanmar, check out our Fight for the Rohingya initiative.
In Somalia, the prime minister expressed new military goals: to take all territory from Al Shabaab in the next year and to fill the role African Union forces have been responsible for over the next two to three years.
In South Sudan, fighting has begun again in Unity state in the latest violation of the country’s peace deal.
In Syria, Russia has begun airstrikes. It’s attacks on moderate rebels, rather than ISIS, is putting the country at odds with the U.S. and is raising fears of worsening the conflict. This article explores Russia’s motivations for getting involved in Syria. The U.S. and it’s allies are renewing their offensive strategy against ISIS. President Assad spoke confidently about his chances of success in defeating rebels, and warned that his if he is ousted, it would be disastrous for the region. ISIS has destroyed more ancient ruins in Palmyra.
In Ukraine, the government and pro-Russian separatists have begun to withdraw their weapons from the eastern part of the country.
In Yemen, rebels renewed attacks on the government in Aden and fighting along the coast increased. The U.S. senate will hold a hearing this week to discuss the conflict and the U.S.’s role after a U.S.-backed campaign caused civilian deaths. Human Rights Watch is calling on the U.N. to provide more support on human rights in Yemen.
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