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Who is killed by US air strikes in Iraq?
Study shows Iraqi women and children account for most victims of US air strikes.

Middle East Online

31587_iraq_death.jpg

April 19, 2009

NEW YORK - A new study says the vast majority of identifiable Iraqi victims of US-led air strikes have been women and children, a report published on Thursday said.

According to the group Iraq Body Count, Iraqi women and children amounted to 85 percent of victims of known gender or age.

The study covered a sample of more than 60,000 deaths over a five-year period since the 2003 invasion.

"When air-launched bombs or combined air and ground attacks caused civilian deaths, the average number killed was 17, similar to the average number in events where civilians were killed by suicide bombers travelling on foot (16 deaths per event)," the IBC website wrote.

Analysis carried out for the IBC found that 39 per cent of those killed in air raids by the US-led coalition were children and 46 per cent were women.

"It seems clear from these findings that to protect civilians from indiscriminate harm, as required by international humanitarian law (including the Geneva Conventions), military and civilian policies should prohibit aerial bombing in civilian areas unless it can be demonstrated Ś by monitoring of civilian casualties, for example Ś that civilians are being protected," wrote the report's authors.

The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 is viewed by critics as an 'act of aggression' that violated international law.

Subsequent US occupation policies caused the country to descend into almost total chaos, bordering on civil war.

Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst with the New York-based Human Rights Watch, blamed the sectarian violence and insurgency that followed the invasion of Iraq on poor postwar planning by the United States.

Other estimates say 1.3 million Iraqis have been killed in Iraq as a direct result of the US-led invasion, while millions more have fled the country.

Critics argue that the recent stability announced in the country should not excuse the 'crime' of invading Iraq, calling for the prosecution of the war's architects for 'crimes against humanity'.





:: Article nr. 53549 sent on 20-apr-2009 18:35 ECT

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Link: www.middle-east-online.com/english/iraq/?id=31587



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