Human Rights Watch: Iraq Civilian Deaths are Preventable
Human Rights Watch says hundreds of civilian deaths in Iraq could have been prevented by abandoning two misguided military tactics--cluster bombs and the U.S. "decaptiation" strategy. Their 147 page report released today is available here.
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 in March and April....U.S. and British forces used almost 13,000 cluster munitions, containing nearly 2 million submunitions, that killed or wounded more than 1,000 civilians.
Meanwhile, 50 strikes on top Iraqi leaders failed to kill any of the intended targets, but instead killed dozens of civilians, the Human Rights Watch report revealed. The U.S. “decapitation” strategy relied on intercepts of senior Iraqi leaders´ satellite phone calls along with corroborating intelligence that proved inadequate. As a result, the U.S. military could only locate targets within a 100-meter radius – clearly inadequate precision in civilian neighborhoods.
We wrote this somewhat detailed post on cluster bombing yesterday.
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