Deadly U.S. air raids continue to claim civilian lives in war-torn Afghanistan

September 26, 2018

TEHRAN - The deadly air raids by the U.S.-led coalition forces continue unabated in war-torn Afghanistan. In the latest, at least 25 civilians, including women and children, were killed in two separate aerial operations in Kapisa and Maidan Wardak provinces, according to officials.

While, 13 civilians were killed in the Kapisa air strike on Saturday, at least 12 were killed after a U.S. forces’ bomber targeted a civilian house in central Maidan Wardak late on Monday, local provincial council officials said.

According to reports, the air raid in Kapisa claimed nine members of a family, which has invoked anger and outrage across the country. Taking note of the incident, the United Nations said it was investigating “multiple, credible allegations” that nine members of a family were killed in the Kapisa aerial operation.

In a statement on Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it was concerned over increasing numbers of civilian casualties, even as the U.S.' air force denied the victims were civilians.

Women and children were among those reportedly killed in the Saturday airstrike that hit the home of a teacher in Tagab district of eastern province of Kapisa. Six others were wounded.

“All the victims from the attack were from the same family, including grandparents and children aged between two and 12,” the statement said. “UNAMA reminds all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations to protect civilians from harm.”

Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman in Afghan defense ministry, confirmed civilian casualties in the air raid conducted jointly by the U.S. and Afghan forces, but stopped short of giving further details.

The U.S. air raids have spiked steeply this year, resulting in a number of civilian casualties across the country. The U.S. forces in Afghanistan. UNAMA’s data in July shows a jump of 52 percent in the number of civilians killed or wounded in U.S.-led air attacks in the first half of the year.

The data shows 149 civilians killed and 204 wounded during the period, almost half of them women and children. Since July, the figure has gone further up.

The U.S., which is fighting its longest war in history, is the only international force known to conduct air raids in Afghanistan. Despite widespread criticism and outrage from human rights organizations, the air raids and civilian casualties continue.

The Military Times on Wednesday reported that U.S. airstrikes are pounding Taliban targets in a bid to “convince the insurgent force that negotiating with the Afghan government is their only option.”

And on the other hand, the U.S. government officials are secretly holding parleys with the insurgent group. There have been reports about the U.S. officials and Taliban representatives meeting and holding talks in Qatar recently.

“The policy of U.S. in Afghanistan has always been shrouded in ambiguity and confusion. They want to talk to the Taliban and they also want to eliminate them, and in the process innocent Afghans have to pay the price,” said Abdullah Hotak, a strategic affairs analyst.  

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