29 May, 2011 — Stop NATO
- Libyan Air War: Almost 8,800 NATO Sorties, Over 3,300 Combat Missions
- Afghan Officials: NATO Air Strike Kills At Least 12 Children, Four Women
- U.S. To Modernize Its Nuclear Weapons In Europe
- Bulgarian Defense Minister To NATO: Need U.S. Interceptor Missiles
- New Strategic Concept: NATO Must Back Arab “Revolutions,” Train Armies
Libyan Air War: Almost 8,800 NATO Sorties, Over 3,300 Combat Missions
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 29, 2011
NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:
Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 8729 sorties, including 3327 strike sorties,have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 28 May: 134
Strike sorties conducted 28 May: 53
Arms Embargo Activities
A total of 20 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.
14 Vessels were hailed on 28 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (nodenial) was conducted.
A total of 1082 vessels have been hailed. 59 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
Afghan Officials: NATO Air Strike Kills At Least 12 Children, Four Women
Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 29, 2011
NATO air strike kills 16 civilians in south Afghanistan
Kabul: A NATO air strike has killed 16 and wounded another six civilians in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, an employee of the provincial governor’s press service who preferred to stay anonymous told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
“By now it is clear that the air strike delivered with Hellfire rockets on houses killed seven girls, five boys and four women who were within the firing range. Not a single Taliban militant has been found on the site of the air strike,” the employee said.
…NATO troops…summoned warplanes for support and the air strike destroyed almost completely the village…the employee said.
It is hard to give the exact figure of victims among the civilians as the police and the local construction company are continuing their work to clear the debris and retrieve dead bodies from the rubble. The exact number of victims is expected to be given by Monday, he said.
May 29, 2011
Afghans say NATO air strike kills 12 children, two women
LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan: An air strike called in by NATO-led troops in southern Afghanistan killed 12 children and two women, Afghan officials said on Sunday, one of the worst civilian death tolls by foreign forces in months.
“ISAF’s air strike took place on two civilian houses. Unfortunately 14 innocent civilians were killed and six civilians wounded,” the Helmand governor’s statement said.
It said seven boys, five girls and two women were among the dead. Three children were among the six wounded, it said.
An ISAF spokesman in Kabul said: “We are aware of the reports that alleged civilians were killed yesterday in Helmand.” He said an assessment team had been sent to the area and would issue its findings shortly.
On Saturday, Karzai ordered the Defense Ministry to take control of so-called “night raids,” saying Afghan troops should be carrying out the sensitive operations themselves.
Afghans say the raids, carried out in darkness on houses suspected of harboring insurgents, often lead to civilian casualties.
Residents and local officials from Helmand’s Nawzad district, where the air strike took place, said the attack began at around 11 p.m. local time (0630 GMT) on Friday night.
Bereaved male relatives cradled the bodies of several young children on Sunday, who were wrapped in bloody sheets and placed side to side, and brought them in the back of a truck to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, Reuters pictures showed.
“My house was bombarded in the middle of the night and my children were killed … the Taliban were far away from my home, why was my house bombed?” relative Noor Agha told Reuters.
The NATO air strike comes at a time of high anti-Western sentiment in Afghanistan and days after deadly protests by thousands of people against a night raid by NATO troops in which four people, including two women, were killed.
Twelve people were killed during those violent protests and clashes with police in usually peaceful northern Takhar province and more 80 were wounded.
In February, four days of joint operations by Afghan and foreign troops killed 64 civilians in the eastern Kunar province, including many women and children.
That assault followed a NATO rocket attack last July which killed 39 civilians, almost all women or children, in Helmand.
Despite the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops, violence in Afghanistan last year reached its deadliest phase since U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001, with record casualties on all sides. This year is following a similar trend.
(Writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Paul Tait)
Voice of America News
May 29, 2011
At Least 14 Civilians Killed in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan
Officials in southern Afghanistan say a NATO airstrike has killed 14 civilians – all women and children.
Authorities say six people were also wounded Sunday in the strike in Nawzad district of Helmand province.
The provincial governor’s office says two civilian homes were hit in the attack, killing two women, five girls and seven boys.
A NATO spokesman says he is aware of the reports of civilian casualties. He said a joint assessment team has been sent to the site and the coalition will release additional information later.
Elsewhere Saturday, coalition troops killed an armed woman during a raid on a compound in eastern Khost province. The alliance said coalition forces discovered she was a woman after killing her.
U.S. To Modernize Its Nuclear Weapons In Europe
Voice of Russia
May 29, 2011
US to upgrade its nuclear arsenal in Europe
The US government plans to modernize its atomic weapons arsenal in Europe, Spiegel Online reports.
The refurbishment will affect B61-4 bombs. The newly built bombs, labeled B61-12, will be based at a German air force base in the southwestern city of Buechel.
Technical developments will start next year and are expected to be completed by 2017.
The US initiative may however be opposed by Germany’s government.
The country`s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had earlier urged for a complete withdrawal of US atomic bombs from German territory.
Bulgarian Defense Minister To NATO: Need U.S. Interceptor Missiles
Sofia News Agency
May 29, 2011
Bulgaria Under Ballistic Threat, Needs Missile Shield
-Angelov…touched on the need to develop a specific mechanism for activating Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which mandates that an attack against a member state be considered as a attack against all NATO members.
Bulgaria is located close to countries that might pose a ballistic threat to NATO members, according to Bulgarian Minister of Defense Anyu Angelov.
Angelov spoke Sunday in Varna, where the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO is taking place over the weekend.
The Bulgarian Defense Minister stressed the need for the projected NATO missile shield, and said the country is ready to house facilities for the shield.
In his speech, Angelov also touched on the need to develop a specific mechanism for activating Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which mandates that an attack against a member state be considered as a attack against all NATO members.
“We cannot let any NATO member veto Article 5 in case there is aggression against another member,” stated the Bulgarian Minister of Defense.
In his address, Angelov presented the reforms carried out within the Bulgarian military, and underscored the role of the national parliaments in Northern-Atlantic cooperation.
New Strategic Concept: NATO Must Back Arab “Revolutions,” Train Armies
May 29, 2011
Nato must send clear message of support to revolutions in Middle East and North Africa, Bulgaria’s FM says
-[T]he key messages of the new strategic concept were to maintain the military character of the alliance, a focus on shared capabilities, missile defence, energy security and an “open door” to Nato.
The revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa are rebellions against corruption and a cry for democracy, and Nato must send a clear message of support to the people in those countries, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov told the Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Varna.
Mladenov was speaking on the theme “New Strategic Concept of Nato, new partnerships, new challenges: the view from Bulgaria”.
He said that the key messages of the new strategic concept were to maintain the military character of the alliance, a focus on shared capabilities, missile defence, energy security and an “open door” to Nato.
Mladenov said that if the EU and Nato did not support changes in the Middle East, they would simply witness the fulfillment of all the gloomy predictions about Islamisation and a clash of civilisations.
“So Nato has a historical responsibility,” Mladenov said.
Nato could do much to help those countries by drawing on the vast experience that it had accumulated in reforming the security sector to ensure transparency and transformation.
“We do not intend to lead their armies, but to help them to transform them,” he said.
On Libya, Mladenov said that a political solution had to be sought, but it could not include Muammar Gaddafi staying in power.
Mladenov reiterated Bulgaria’s wish to be included in the coverage offered by the missile defence shield and said that as a Nato member state, Bulgaria would participate in the development of the shield, but added that it was premature to discuss where the shield would be located.