News24

Nato - legitimate Libya military targets

2012-05-14 22:29

Brussels - Nato struck only "legitimate military targets" during its 2011 operation in Libya, the military alliance said on Monday, responding to a Human Rights Watch report alleging "unlawful attacks" that led to dozens of civilian deaths.

Nato acknowledged that its air campaign resulted in civilian casualties, but strenuously denied striking sites not related to Libyan military forces.

"We have reviewed all the information we hold as an organisation and confirmed that the specific targets struck by Natowere legitimate military targets," a Nato statement read.

"Nato did everything possible to minimise risks to civilians, but in a complex military campaign, that risk can never be zero. We deeply regret any instance of civilian casualties for which Nato may have been responsible," it said.

Human Rights Watch's 76-page report, released on Monday, charged Nato with killing 72 civilians, including 20 woman and 24 children, in eight bombing sites it examined.

The organisation said that their field investigations found an "absence of a clear military target" at seven of the eight sites it visited, raising "possible laws-of-war violations that should be investigated".

"Attacks are allowed only on military targets, and serious questions remain in some incidents about what exactly Nato forces were striking," the report's author, Fred Abrahams, said.

Comments
  • Matt - 2012-05-14 22:38

    By examining 8 bomb sights 72 civilians died. Imagine they examined all of them. NATO lies through its teeth. They hit civil infrastructure, civilian run military checkpoints, this was a highly unjust intervention. I hope the extent of the crimes are exposed someday and NATO can be seen as the aggressive terrorist organization it is.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-15 00:23

      In a time of need, the Libyans asked Africa to help them. Africa refused !!!! They NO longer want Africa to interfere in their affairs, nor do they any longer want their opinions !!!! Keep talking about gaddafi, hurts them, as they are the ones who were terrorised by this piece of dirt, for over 40 years !!!!

      Gieljam - 2012-05-15 09:13

      What a lot of bull-dust to try now and debate these attacks as if it were two persons facing each other one on one encounter with 6/6 vision in brought daylight ...also as if all the lights were working and on?

      Matt - 2012-05-15 09:35

      I'm not sure what you are trying to argue That these casualties were just innocent mistakes cuz 21st century war planes can't see in the dark??

      michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-15 11:25

      Wow Matt, didn't know you were an expert pilot who could examine the ground thousands of feet below for civilans and drop bombs all while under anti-aircraft fire.

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