President #Obama's last year in office was marked by heavy bombing in the Middle East and South Asia.
By Ben Norton / AlterNet
The last year of the presidency of #nobelpeaceprizelaureate #barackobamawas marked by heavy bombing throughout the #middleeastand #SouthAsia. The #unitedstatesdropped at least 26,171 bombs in seven #Muslim-majority countries in 2016. And, given limitations on available government data, this estimate is "undoubtedly low," according to the Council on Foreign Relations' Micah Zenko and Jennifer Wilson, who conducted the research.
#Syria, #Iraq, #Afghanistan, #Libya, #Yemen, #Somalia, and #pakistanwere the countries targeted by U.S. #airstrikes. 2016 saw an increase in #bombingsince 2015, when the U.S. dropped at least 23,144 #bombson six Muslim-majority countries (Libya was the seventh country #bombedin 2016). Most of the bombs, 24,287, used in 2016 were dropped in Iraq and Syria, where the U.S. is leading a coalition to fight the self-declared #IslamicState. Afghanistan was hit with at least 1,337 bombs. The war in Afghanistan entered its 15th year in 2016, one of the longest standing wars in U.S. history. #PresidentObama was reelected in 2012 on the promise to end the war in 2014, but he prolonged and even expanded it multiple times.
Another 496 bombs were dropped by the U.S. in Libya. The U.S. quietly launched an air campaign in the oil-rich #northafricancountry in 2016 in order to beat back Islamic State militants. #natocarried out a regime change operation in Libya in 2011, toppling the government of longtime leader #muammarqadhafiand plunging the nation into chaos. #extremistgroups filled the void, and #isisestablished in Libya its largest so-called #caliphateoutside of Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. also carried out dozens of airstrikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, three countries where the U.S. has carried out covert #dronewars for years. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in drone strikes in these countries, according to a conservative estimate by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.