Nick Turse
A Syrian woman stands inside a heavily-damaged building following reported barrel bomb air strikes by Syrian government forces on May 26, in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Baraa Al-halabi / AFP - Getty Images

A Syrian woman stands inside a heavily-damaged building following reported barrel bomb air strikes by Syrian government forces on May 26, in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Baraa Al-halabi / AFP - Getty Images

I’ll never know why they died. It wasn’t to stop the ‘mushroom cloud’ or to defend the nation after 9/11. It sure wasn’t for freedom, democracy, apple pie, or mom and dad back home.

Iraq War veteran Paul Szoldra from “Tell Me Again, Why Did My Friends Die in Iraq?” in Business Insider.

Imagine how many Iraqis might ask: “Tell me again, why did my friends die in Iraq after Paul Szoldra and the rest of the Americans came?”

They killed my father and took away his body. We felt so sad and tearful and we ran away. Now my aunty is taking care of me. I don’t know if I should stay here or go back to our village. If we go back, what if Seleka kill us, then what will I become?

Estani Gbeya, an eight year-old orphan from the village of Betoko in Central African Republic.  His mother died of disease a year ago.  His father was shot and killed by a fighter from the Seleka rebel group that staged a coup in the country earlier this year.

BBC News - Central African Republic: Where have all the people gone?

You have more disseminated ground-level fighting than you’ve had before, and this has come as a result of a change of tactics by handing over the fighting to the Afghan national security forces. So civilian casualties have increased dramatically this year, so obviously you’re seeing more widespread displacement of people as well.

Mark Bowden, the humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Afghanistan, on the increasing danger for civilians, including aid workers, in that country.

Through November, Bowden told the New York Times, there were 237 attacks on Afghanistan’s aid workers, with 36 people killed, 46 wounded and 96 detained or abducted. Last year, there were 175 attacks, with 11 people killed, 26 wounded and 44 detained or abducted.

Attacks on Aid Workers Rise in Afghanistan, U.N. Says - NYTimes.com

There were pieces of my family all over the road… I picked up those pieces from the road and from the truck and wrapped them in a sheet to bury them. Do the American people want to spend their money this way, on drones that kill our women and children?

Miya Jan, a 28-year-old farmer who found the the burning frame of his cousin’s blue pickup truck after a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan. 

Inside, he said, he recognized the mangled remains of his brother, his brother’s wife and their 18-month-old son. Jan and other villagers say 14 people were killed in the attack; U.S. and Afghan officials place the toll at 11.

Afghans describe relatives’ deaths in recent U.S. drone strike - latimes.com

This attack shows that American forces are not respecting the life and safety of Afghan people’s houses… For years, our innocent people have become victims of the war under the name of terrorism, and they have had no safety in their homes.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking after a Thanksgiving Day U.S. drone attack killed a 2-year-old child.  For the full story, see “Karzai says U.S. drone strike killed child, won’t sign security deal if similar attacks continue” The Washington Post
Over 135,000 Iraqi civilians were injured in conflict and violence between March 2003 and March 2013 according to Iraq Body Count, but figures from the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry put the number at 250,000 by May 2012. So far in 2013, the French news agency, Agence France-Presse has documented almost 15,000 Iraqis wounded in violence.
IRIN’s Cathy Otten on the state of the Iraqi healthcare system and what it means for victims of a war that never ends. For the full story, see "Victims of violence struggle for medical treatment in Iraq"
American soldier charged in killings of deaf, unarmed Iraqi teens
Then-Staff Sgt. Michael Barbera is accused of killing Ahmad Khalid al-Timmimi, 15, and his brother Abbas, 14, as they tended to cattle in a palm grove near As Sadah, an Iraqi village about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad in March 2007.

American soldier charged in killings of deaf, unarmed Iraqi teens

Then-Staff Sgt. Michael Barbera is accused of killing Ahmad Khalid al-Timmimi, 15, and his brother Abbas, 14, as they tended to cattle in a palm grove near As Sadah, an Iraqi village about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad in March 2007.

 BBC News - Typhoon Haiyan: UN launches $301m Philippines aid appeal
Valerie Amos, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, has arrived in Manila to head the aid operation.  Amos told reporters the UN would work alongside the Philippine government, and that efforts would focus on “food, health, sanitation, shelter, debris removal and also protection of the most vulnerable”.
"I very much hope our donors will be generous," she said.

BBC News - Typhoon Haiyan: UN launches $301m Philippines aid appeal

Valerie Amos, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, has arrived in Manila to head the aid operation.  Amos told reporters the UN would work alongside the Philippine government, and that efforts would focus on “food, health, sanitation, shelter, debris removal and also protection of the most vulnerable”.

"I very much hope our donors will be generous," she said.

It was like a week-long Taliban recruiting drive. And we had fun doing it. I love recruiting for the Taliban. It’s called job security
The assessment of an American military operation offered by “James Givens,” the pseudonym of an American staff sergeant in Afghanistan, from Neil Shea's “Afghanistan: A Gathering Menace.”