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US war on terror kills 500,000 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan

Members of the US Army’s 1st Ranger Battalion wait for a helicopter to pick them up in Afghanistan in 2012.

A study has revealed that the so-called US war on terror has killed about half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past 17 years.

The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency – launched the war on terror by invading Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York.  

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account. They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the US and its allies invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and Washington also started intermittent drone strikes inside neighboring Pakistan. In early 2003, the US invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

According to the study by Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the war on terrorism has killed about 507,000 people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The study, released on Thursday, stated that many of the victims have been civilians. It added that the actual death toll is likely higher.

The study said the new toll has shown an 110,000 increase compared with the last count which was carried out in 2016.

The death toll in Afghanistan, as of October 2018, stood at about 147,000 people, including Afghan security forces, civilians and Taliban fighters. The figure also included the 6,334 American fatalities.

The war on terrorism also left 65,000 people dead in Pakistan, including 90 American contractors, nearly 9,000 local security personnel and more than 23,000 civilians. The rest of the casualties were militants, according to the study.

Bodies of civilians and security forces are placed at a hospital in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, Aug. 12, 2018.

From 268,000 to 295,000 people died in Iraq following the US-led invasion and occupation, the study said.

"Though the war on terror is often overlooked by the American public, press and lawmakers, the increased body count signals that, far from diminishing, this war remains intense," the report said.

"This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war," the study concluded.  

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