- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
- GOP presses to scrap IRS commissioner position — but put in panel
- New bill would make sure women in military can get free birth control
- Trafficking bust reveals worries over missing kids; minors as young as 11 found
- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
NATO urged to acknowledge civilian casualties in Libya strikes
Question of the Day
Nearly a year later, his grief is compounded by threats and allegations from neighbors who believe he and others who survived the attack were harboring a regime loyalist or hiding weapons for Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
At least 72 civilians, a third of them under the age of 18, were killed by NATO airstrikes, according to a report released Monday by Human Rights Watch - one of the most extensive investigations into the issue.
The New York-based advocacy group called on the Western alliance to acknowledge the casualties and compensate survivors.
The decision by the United States and its NATO allies to launch an air campaign that mainly targeted regime forces and military infrastructure marked a turning point in Libya’s civil war, giving rebels a fighting chance.
But Gadhafi’s government and allies in Russia and China criticized the alliance for going beyond its U.N. mandate to protect civilians.
The number of Libyans killed or injured in airstrikes also emerged as a key issue in the war as Gadhafi’s regime frequently exaggerated figures and NATO refused to comment on most claims, insisting all targets were military.
At one point, Libya’s Health Ministry said 856 civilians had been killed in NATO’s campaign, which began in March 2011, weeks after the uprising against Gadhafi that erupted with peaceful protests evolved into a civil war.
The U.N.-appointed International Commission of Inquiry on Libya said earlier this year that at least 60 civilians had been unintentionally killed and recommended further investigation.
Based on field research conducted in Libya from August 2011 through this April, Human Rights Watch established that 28 men, 20 women and 24 children - 72 civilians in all - had been killed in eight NATO bombings in Tripoli, Zlitan, Sorman, Bani Walid, Gurdabiya and Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte.
The advocacy group noted the figure was relatively low considering the extent of the seven-month campaign, which the alliance has said included 9,600 strike missions and destroyed about 5,900 military targets. It ended after Gadhafi’s death in late October.
But the group said it had documented several cases in which there clearly was no military target and criticized NATO for failing to acknowledge the deaths or to examine how and why they occurred.
In Brussels, NATO expressed regret for any civilian casualties but said it had carried out the bombing campaign with “unprecedented care and precision” and had fulfilled the requirements of international humanitarian law.
TWT Video Picks
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Proving A Point: Redskins' Bacarri Rambo vows to make impact in second year
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- National laboratory cancels 'Southern Accent Reduction' classes after outcry
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world