The number of civilians killed by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Daesh terror group in Iraq and Syria tripled in 2017, as battles raged in terrorist-held urban areas, a monitor said Friday.
Between 3,923 and 6,102 non-combatants were killed in the two countries, said Airwars, a London-based journalist collective that compiles data from public sources.
That is sharply up from its estimate of the previous year’s toll of between 1,243 and 1,904.
The coalition backed Iraqi forces in a gruelling battle last year to oust Daesh from second city Mosul, as well as supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are dominated by the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People’s Protection Forces (YPG).
Yemen has been torn apart by nearly three years of conflict, which pits the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against the Iran-aligned Houthis who control most of the populous northern Yemen. Hadi’s forces and their allies control vast areas in south and eastern Yemen.
Residents said an aircraft struck a vehicle traveling in the Aal Ali region of Razeh district in western Saada province, an area of confrontation between government forces loyal to Hadi and the Houthis.
Apart from those killed, three people were wounded, including two who were being treated at a local hospital, medics said.
Hate crimes and harassment have also risen
The number of anti-Muslim groups has trebled since Donald Trump launched his bid for White House, experts have said.
Against the backdrop of a highly publicised election campaign during which Mr Trump frequently denounced Muslims and vowed to ban them from the country, both the number of anti-Muslim groups and the number of hate crimes carried out against Muslims has increased.
These incidents include everything from the bullying of Muslim children at school, the harassment of Muslim women wearing headscarves and the vandalising of mosques, said Madihha Ahussain, a lawyer specialising in anti-Muslim bigotry with the national advocacy group, Muslim Advocates.
“It feels that no aspect of the community has been spared from the increase in anti-Muslim sentiment,” said Ms Ahussain, speaking during a media briefing marking Mr Trump’s first executive order that sought to ban people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.
A town manager in Maine who reportedly said Islam was “not compatible with Western culture” has been fired.
Thomas Kawcynzki was ousted as town manager of Jackman, Maine, Tuesday morning.
Kawcynzki’s dismissal came after the controversial comments were made public in a local newspaper and spread online.
Kawcynzki spoke to the Portland Press Herald on Jan. 19, and denied being a racist but called himself a “steward” of a group called New Albion, which he said was “defending the people and culture of New England.”
Kawcynzki told the paper that the lack of diversity in northern Maine means that he’s able to “experience the joys of living in a monoculture” and he opposes Islam because it is “not compatible with Western culture.”
The case drew the attention of national hate watch groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Everyone has the right to their own views, however intolerant or racist, but no one has the right to use public office to advance those bigoted and extremist views,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s communications director, in a statement.
A few months ago, Azfar Quddus’ 12-year-old son came home from his Ventura County school with a handout from his teacher.
“It had really horrible things written on it,” Quddus says.
Some of the information the teacher used in the Mesa Union School District social studies class mirrors information found on the website billionbibles.org. The site promotes a radical view of Christianity, saying Satan uses Muslims to kill Christians and that people should be afraid of Islam.
Students in the social studies class got material that purported to interpret Islamic law and the holy Quran.
“I told my son, ‘This is not what Islam is and what this sheet is saying has nothing to do with our religion,’ ” Quddus says.
“ ‘That’s not what my friends think,’ ” Quddus remembers his son saying. “ ‘They think that’s what Islam is.’ ”
A Long Island school board has voted against adding two Muslim holidays to its calendar.
Some question whether an anti-Muslim text message circulating throughout the Hewlett-Woodmere community led to the decision.
According to CAIR-NY, a Muslim advocacy group, the message sent last week ahead of a Board of Education meeting warned residents “observance of a Muslim holiday will draw other religious Muslims to the area, which eventually would make our houses value go down, as no decent person would want to buy a house next to that. The demographics will change and our properties will be worthless.”
The message encouraged the community to attend the meeting to vote against the holidays.
During another Board of Education meeting held earlier in the month to discuss the issue, CAIR-NY claims one Muslim community member was called a “terrorist” and references were made to the 9/11 terror attacks.
А British man accused of killing a worshiper and injuring several others when he rammed a van into a congregation of Muslims leaving a London mosque last year had been in contact with far-right groups before the attack, prosecutors said at his trial on Tuesday.
The BBC reported that the man, Darren Osborne, 48, had received a Twitter message from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a group that recently gained notoriety after President Trump recirculated unverified anti-Muslim videos it had posted online. Ms. Fransen was arrested in December on charges related to hate crimes.
Mr. Osborne, whom his former partner described as a “loner,” had also received an email from an account linked to the English Defence League, an extremist group that opposes what it claims to be the spread of Islam and Shariah law in Britain.