by Dave Sewell
Tue 30 May 2017 – socialistworker.co.uk
Two massacres of civilians, including children, each on a greater scale than the Manchester bombing took place last week—and the West was directly involved in both.
At least 34 refugees drowned trying to reach Europe as their boats sank off the coast of Libya on Wednesday of last week.
Chris Catrambone, founder of one of the charities carrying out rescue missions, described the dead as “mostly toddlers”.
Disturbing reports from rescuers on the charity-run ship Luventa say that the Libyan coastguard opened fire at the boats, driving the refugees into the sea.
Despite similar accusations in the past, the Libyan coastguard continues to receive training and funding from Britain and other European governments to keep refugees out of Europe.
Refugees risk their lives in the hands of often unscrupulous traffickers because governments refuse to grant them safe, legal passage.
Tory leader Theresa May was among those who vetoed moves to add more legal routes into Europe at the G7 talks in Italy last weekend.
The following day Western air raids in Syria killed at least 35 civilians, including five children.
Around 50 people were killed in two days of airstrikes targeting housing blocks in the town of Mayadine—some were Isis fighters, but also their relatives and neighbours.
The killings rounded off the deadliest month of airstrikes so far in the two-year campaign, with 225 civilian deaths from 23 April to 23 May.
On the same day a Pentagon report admitted to killing 105 civilians in just one attack in Mosul, Iraq, in March.
And Iraqi journalist Ali Arkady released footage showing Western-backed Iraqi special forces torturing and executing civilians in Mosul.
The perpetrators were from a unit singled out for praise by the US.
Arkady had to flee Iraq and seek asylum after receiving death threats for the broadcast.