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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. More than two dozen years into the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban have recently announced a new offensive against the NATO foreign forces and Afghan government. Taliban commander Mullah Mohammad Omar has called for an all out war. The Taliban has made no secret of its determination to re-take the historic city of Kunduz. If the assault goes well, it could be the deadliest and most costly assault that the Taliban has mounted in years. Last October, the Taliban killed more than 400 Afghan soldiers in a string of assaults, and in some cases, have been accused of raping and slaughtering women and attacking civilians. In this latest attack, NATO forces have already suffered three combat deaths. Their commander, General John Campbell, has since said that the attack has been “a success.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced that the number of non-combat deaths has tripled since the end of 2014, from a mere 10 civilian deaths to more than 60. Over the last six years, the United States has had more than 8,400 civilians killed by U.S. airstrikes, including 3,000 in Iraq alone. For the first time since the U.S. occupation of Iraq began in 2002, Afghan civilians are also at risk from the U.S. air campaign. Just this week, three civilian families returned to Kunduz, where fighting continued over the weekend. The families were forced to flee their homes after they were threatened by Taliban snipers who targeted their vehicles.
Meanwhile, in April, a special operation, the first on the Taliban since 2009, left more than 30 dead and more than 70 wounded in two days. The U.S. special operations forces were trying to free a U.S. personnel based in Afghanistan that was held hostage by the Taliban. The Special Forces, whose commander was held captive in Afghanistan and who
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