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?”

After years and years of secrecy, the Pentagon finally acknowledged its Combined Air and Space Operations Center at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar.  Earlier this year I unsuccessfully tried to visit the base but fell victim to the military runaround. 
(via Hagel Lifts Veil on Major Military Center in Qatar - NYTimes.com)

After years and years of secrecy, the Pentagon finally acknowledged its Combined Air and Space Operations Center at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar.  Earlier this year I unsuccessfully tried to visit the base but fell victim to the military runaround.

(via Hagel Lifts Veil on Major Military Center in Qatar - NYTimes.com)

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"
 “No Sleep Till Benghazi”
Photo of rebel fighters in central Benghazi courtesy of IRIN

“No Sleep Till Benghazi”

Photo of rebel fighters in central Benghazi courtesy of IRIN

In this Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 photo, Syrian residents walk on a street among the debris of buildings shattered by heavy shelling in Tarik Al-Bab neighborhood, southeast of Aleppo City. 
(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras).

In this Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 photo, Syrian residents walk on a street among the debris of buildings shattered by heavy shelling in Tarik Al-Bab neighborhood, southeast of Aleppo City.

(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras).

doctorswithoutborders:


Afghanistan: Treating Child Malnutrition in Helmand “She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and she kept losing weight,” says Mariam of her five-month-old granddaughter Nazia. “Her mother just didn’t have enough milk to feed her. We went to a private clinic but they couldn’t help us, and finally we drove here from our home district of Sangin. Nazia is feeling a little better now.”  Nazia, who still has a distended belly and a clearly visible rib cage, is one of the patients in the MSF herapeutic feeding center in Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.  Boost hospital, where MSF has been working since 2009, is one of only two hospitals in all of southern Afghanistan. Helmand is one of the country’s most war-ravaged provinces, and has seen intense fighting over the past decades. It is home to a largely poor, rural population, even if there are signs of a growing middle class in Lashkargah.  MSF opened its feeding center in December 2011 to tackle the chronic problem of malnutrition among children in Helmand. This specialized unit helps children on the verge of starvation gain weight through assisted feeding.  Photo: An MSF staff member examines a child for malnutrition at Boost hospital.  Afghanistan 2012 © Camille Gillardeau

doctorswithoutborders:

Afghanistan: Treating Child Malnutrition in Helmand

“She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and she kept losing weight,” says Mariam of her five-month-old granddaughter Nazia. “Her mother just didn’t have enough milk to feed her. We went to a private clinic but they couldn’t help us, and finally we drove here from our home district of Sangin. Nazia is feeling a little better now.”

Nazia, who still has a distended belly and a clearly visible rib cage, is one of the patients in the MSF herapeutic feeding center in Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Boost hospital, where MSF has been working since 2009, is one of only two hospitals in all of southern Afghanistan. Helmand is one of the country’s most war-ravaged provinces, and has seen intense fighting over the past decades. It is home to a largely poor, rural population, even if there are signs of a growing middle class in Lashkargah.

MSF opened its feeding center in December 2011 to tackle the chronic problem of malnutrition among children in Helmand. This specialized unit helps children on the verge of starvation gain weight through assisted feeding.

Photo: An MSF staff member examines a child for malnutrition at Boost hospital.

Afghanistan 2012 © Camille Gillardeau

"It was 7am. There was a knock at the door. My youngest daughter went to open it. She thought her friends had come.


“She opened the door and found around 50 soldiers. The army came to my home to fire on the rebels from the veranda. Some of them stayed at the entrance, and the others came into the house - into the bedroom, kitchen and balcony.


“You cannot ask `Why?’. We were not allowed to leave. We had to stay inside. We hid in the bathroom for nine hours. They said it was not safe to leave with the family. The operation was running on two sides. It was very bad. You could hear the gunfire. It was right next to us, right in front of our eyes. We are in the corridor and they are on the balcony shooting.


“I was screaming more than the kids. My oldest daughter had delivered a baby just a week before they came to the house. I told the officer, `My daughter has just given birth. She is not well. She needs a hospital. Soon, it will be 4pm, the roads will close, and we won’t be able to leave.’


“He said, `You cannot leave.’

"Mustafa" who, along with his family, lived in a strategic location - on a hill overlooking a Syrian town where rebels had been increasing in force.

Read the entire report by the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN, at: SYRIA: Mustafa, “The army came to my home to fire on the rebels from the veranda”

This is a dark, dark tunnel. There is no good ending to this. Assad believes he is winning.
JOSHUA LANDIS, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, on a speech in which President Bashar al-Assad of Syria defended a crackdown and sought to rally supporters.
In this Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 photo, an apartment shattered by tank shelling is viewed at the top level of one house building in Karmal Jabl neighborhood after several days of intense clashes between rebel fighters and the Syrian army in Aleppo City. 
(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)

In this Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 photo, an apartment shattered by tank shelling is viewed at the top level of one house building in Karmal Jabl neighborhood after several days of intense clashes between rebel fighters and the Syrian army in Aleppo City.

(AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)