9/11 20 years on: What US 'anti-terrorism' wars left behind

China Daily
Li Wei
2021-09-11 16:28:27

'Wars on terror' lead to tremendous humanitarian disasters

An internally displaced Afghan girl carries a child near their shelter at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 20, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

The Costs of War data shows that more than 38 million people have been displaced in the war zones in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria where the US has been involved.

The Afghanistan War (2001 - 2021):

Due to the lack of authoritative statistical data, there is no established opinion about the number of civilian casualties during the Afghanistan War, but it is generally agreed that since entering Afghanistan, the US troops caused the deaths of more than 30,000 civilians, injured more than 60,000 civilians, and created about 11 million refugees.

The website of The New York Times reported on July 30, 2019, that in the first half of 2019, there were 363 confirmed deaths due to the US bombs in Afghanistan, including 89 children. Scholars at Kabul University estimated that since its beginning, the Afghanistan War has caused about 250 casualties and the loss of $60 million daily.

According to the annual report released by the UN, 8,820 Afghan civilians were killed and injured in violent conflict in 2020. In the first half of 2021, the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan was 1,659 and 3,254 were injured, a 47 percent rise compared to the same period of last year. What's more, 6 million people, including 3 million children, in Afghanistan need humanitarian assistance.

The Iraq War (2003 - 2011):

It is hard to find precise statistics about the civilian casualties inflicted by the war, but the number is estimated to be around 200,000 to 250,000, including 16,000 civilian deaths directly caused by US forces.

According to the estimate of the United Nations, today in Iraq, there are still 25 million mines and other explosive remnants that need to be removed.

The Syrian War (2014 - present):

From 2016 to 2019, the confirmed war-related civilian deaths amounted to 33,584 in Syria, and the number of Syrian civilians directly killed by the airstrikes reached 3,833, with half of them being women and children. The website of the Public Broadcasting Service reported on Nov 9, 2018, that the so-called "most accurate air strike in history" launched by the United States on Raqqa killed 1,600 civilians.

According to a survey conducted by the World Food Programme in April 2020, about one-third of Syrians were faced with a food shortage crisis, and 87 percent of Syrians had no deposits in their accounts.

Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde/MdM) estimated that since the beginning of the Syrian War, about 15,000 Syrian doctors (about half of the country's total) had fled the country, 6.5 million Syrian people had run away from their homes, and about five million Syrian people had wandered homeless around the world.

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