LastDayWatchers by reasons of the curse you will see Israel (lost & found) failures continue to mount up
Nearly three years after U.S.-led forces launched the biggest operation of the war to clear insurgents, foster economic growth and set a model for the rest of Afghanistan, angry residents of Helmand province say they are too afraid to go out after dark because of marauding bands of thieves
And during the day, they say corrupt police and government officials bully them into paying bribes.
After 11 years of war, many here long for a return of the Taliban.
It was in the town of Marjah in early 2010 that some 15,000 NATO and Afghan forces waged the war's biggest battle. They not only fought the Taliban with weapons, they promised to bring good governance to Marjah and the rest of the southern province of Helmand
Despite military claims of gains across the province and an overall drop in violence, Marjah residents told The Associated Press that NATO's counterinsurgency experiment has failed. A bleak picture also emerges from anecdotal evidence collected from dozens of interviews with residents elsewhere in the province, some from the most violent districts.
Several of the men scrambling on top the packed buses and jamming themselves into the back of cars seemed to growl at the presence of foreigners in their midst. A single question: "What is the situation like in Helmand today?" brought a cacophony of answers. Many of the voices sounded angry, some sounded weary and a few angry-looking men walked away.
"The situation is getting worse and worse," shouted a voice in the crowd. Another yelled: "There is no security because of the foreigners." And from a deeply wrinkled elderly man whose voice seemed both angry and sad: "If the foreigners are out of Afghanistan, all the problems will be solved."
Ryan Evans, a research fellow at the U.S.-based Center for National Policy, called Helmand the "most dangerous and violent" of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.
The State Department said Monday that the Syrian rebel movement's Nusra Front is just another name for al Qaida in Iraq, an acknowledgment that the uprising to topple President Bashar Assad is led in part by foreign Islamist extremists who fought U.S. troops for years in the bloody Iraq war.
“We’ve had concerns that al Nusra is little more than a front for al Qaida in Iraq, who has moved some its operations into Syria,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday.
A McClatchy reporter who spent most of November inside Syria encountered Nusra fighters at every critical battle he visited, including on the frontlines of fighting in Aleppo, at the seizure of a key crossing point along the Turkish border, and in the takeover of a Syrian army artillery base in Deir al Zour province, where the victorious rebels raised a black Islamist flag.
“People don’t really care how it happens, but they just want to be done with the regime,” Zelin added. “Once that happens, the policy may be more effective because the goals of the different factions won’t be in line and there were will be fissures between the secular and more moderate groups, and the Islamists.”
Zelin noted that Syria was a major conduit for men, weapons and cash supplies to al Qaida in Iraq insurgents who fought the U.S.-led military occupation of Iraq.
“We are all Jabhat al Nusra,” read a joint statement in Arabic from 29 Syrian local committees and militias that reportedly have sworn solidarity to the Nusra Front,
The Reuters news agency and Arabic media also reported on the formation of the new Islamist-dominated rebel council.
"The violent, sectarian vision of al-Nusrah is at odds with the aspirations of the Syrian people," says Nuland, "including the overwhelming majority of the Syrian opposition."
Its aliases also include Jabhat al-Nusrah, Jabhet al-Nusra, The Victory Front, and Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant. AQI is controlled by emir Abu Du'a, also designated as a terrorist, who instructed al-Nusrah emir Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani to start Syrian operations.
"Through these attacks, al-Nusrah has sought to portray itself as part of the legitimate Syrian opposition while it is, in fact, an attempt by AQI to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes,"
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