World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

U.S.: Minimize Civilian Casualties in Iraq

U.S.: Minimize Civilian Casualties in Iraq

(New York) – U.S. military forces in Iraq need to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian casualties in the current air and ground offensive in Samara, north of Baghdad, Human Rights Watch said today. The dangers to civilians from air strikes were again demonstrated on Wednesday, when U.S. bombs killed as many as 11 civilians in the town of Balad during an anti-insurgency operation.

Today the U.S.-led Multi-National Force announced that it would be carrying out the largest air attacks in Iraq since 2003.

“All too often civilians pay with their lives when American bombs fall in Iraq,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “The U.S. military has in the past launched ‘decapitation’ strikes aimed at top leaders but based on bad intelligence, and also used cluster munitions in populated areas of Iraq.”

Heavy reliance on ground-launched cluster munitions and on questionable intelligence to guide air strikes caused hundreds of unnecessary civilian casualties during the 2003 assault on Iraq, Human Rights Watch said. In a comprehensive 147-page report analyzing the 2003 U.S.-led bombing campaign in Iraq, “Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq,” Human Rights Watch found that U.S. forces could have prevented hundreds of civilian casualties by abandoning two faulty military tactics – the use of cluster munitions and heavy reliance on “decapitation” strikes designed to kill Iraqi military and political leaders.

During the 2003 air war in Iraq, U.S. and British forces used as many as 13,000 cluster bombs, containing nearly 2 million sub-munitions, which killed or wounded more than 1,000 civilians. The Human Rights Watch study, published in December 2003, found that the use of cluster munitions in populated areas caused more civilian casualties than any other factor in the coalition’s conduct of major military operations at that stage of the conflict.

The U.S. military also carried out more than 50 “decapitation” strikes on suspected hideouts of top Iraqi leaders during the 2003 air war, but failed to kill a single one of its intended targets, the study concluded. The U.S. “decapitation” strategy relied on intercepts of senior Iraqi leaders’ satellite phone calls along with corroborating intelligence that proved inadequate.

“As the U.S. launches another intensive air-ground military operation in Iraq, we are extremely concerned that the military will again rely on questionable intelligence and methods,” Garlasco said.

To read the Human Rights Watch report “Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/usa1203/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC