HRW report on preventable civilian deaths in Iraq
A major report by Humans Right Watch
called Off Target
: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq
criticises the US
, the UK
+ the former Iraqi
government for their conduct during the recent war.
* Criticizes U.S. air strikes on electrical + media facilities
* Says the U.S. and British forces did not secure large caches of weapons + ammunition abandoned by Iraqi forces, and the ready availability of these explosives also led to dozens of civilian casualties.
* Estimates 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 in March and April.
* Says U.S. and British forces used almost 13,000 cluster munitions, containing nearly 2,000,000 submunitions, that killed or wounded more than 1,000 civilians.
* That “decapitation” strikes (which used satellite phone intercepts to try to eliminate prominent members of the Iraqi elite located within 100m of a signal) failed to kill a single Iraqi leader, in 50 attempts, but did kill dozens of civilians.
* Iraqi forces, are also criticised for their use of human shields, abuse of the Red Cross + Red Crescent emblems, use of antipersonnel landmines, and placement of military objects in mosques + hospitals.
* The Iraqi military´s practice of wearing civilian clothes also eroded the distinction between combatants + civilians