Infographic: Syria’s casualties after two years of civil war
Rebels claim to shoot down Syrian helicopter near Aleppo
Video posted to opposition social media websites Monday purports to show Syrian rebels downing a government forces helicopter at the airport near Aleppo, as shelling continues near Damascus. Mana Rabiee reports.
U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan
At least 2.5 million Syrians are believed to have fled their homes because of civil war, aid groups said on Tuesday, more than double previous estimates.
The figure comes from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, whose volunteers are on the frontlines of the 20-month conflict, delivering aid supplies and evacuating wounded.
“The figure they are using is 2.5 million. If anything, they believe it could be more, that this is a very conservative estimate,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing.
“So people are moving, people are really on the run, hiding. They are difficult to count and to access,” she said.
Pakistani politician Imran Kahn, a vocal critic of U.S. drone strikes, was briefly delayed and questioned by U.S. immigration officials in Toronto before being allowed to board a flight to New York, prompting his party to demand an apology from Washington.
Khan told his followers on Twitter that he was detained and interrogated Friday about his views on drones.
READ ON: U.S. officials pull Pakistani politician off plane
The U.S. military is expected to announce disciplinary action on Monday in response to two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one over a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another involving burning copies of the Koran, U.S. officials said.
The Army was expected to announce that six soldiers would receive administrative punishments over an incident in which copies of the Koran and other religious material were removed from a prison library and sent to an incinerator to be destroyed, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.
The incident in February touched off several days of rioting and attacks on U.S. troops after local workers found charred copies of the Koran among the trash at the incinerator at the Bagram base north of Kabul.
The Milky Way shines in the sky behind a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle parked at the entry to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Goode near the town of Gardez in Afghanistan’s Paktia Province July 9, 2012. [REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]
U.S. authorities have given cash compensation to the families of Afghans killed in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by an American soldier in Kandahar province, a family member and a tribal elder said on Sunday.
The families received around $50,000 for each person killed and about $10,000 for each wounded in the shootings in two villages in Panjwai district earlier this month. Afghan officials say 16 people, including nine children and women, were killed in the attacks.
“We were invited by the foreign and Afghan officials in Panjwai yesterday and they said this money is an assistance from Obama,” Haji Jan Agha, who said he lost his cousins, told Reuters, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama.
The United States said on Wednesday it appears to be on track to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan charting their future relations during or before a late May NATO summit.
U.S. and Afghan officials have been trying to negotiate an accord for a long-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan beyond a 2014 deadline for most NATO combat forces to withdraw, allowing advisers and possibly some special forces to stay on.
The two countries earlier signed a deal on the transfer of a major U.S.-run prison to Afghan authority, leaving military raids on Afghan homes conducted at night as the final sticking point for reaching a deal.