Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq

Overview

Human Rights Watch conducted a mission to Iraq between late April and early June 2003 to investigate potential violations of international law and to identify patterns of combat that may have caused avoidable civilian casualties and suffering. In this report on the mission, the group found that Iraqi forces committed a number of violations and details them. They avoid stating that UK and US forces committed violations but offer criticisms of use of cluster munitions, a "flawed targeting strategy" for bombing ...
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Overview

Human Rights Watch conducted a mission to Iraq between late April and early June 2003 to investigate potential violations of international law and to identify patterns of combat that may have caused avoidable civilian casualties and suffering. In this report on the mission, the group found that Iraqi forces committed a number of violations and details them. They avoid stating that UK and US forces committed violations but offer criticisms of use of cluster munitions, a "flawed targeting strategy" for bombing attacks, and a failure to clean up explosive remnants of war. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564322937
  • Publisher: Human Rights Watch
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Pages: 141

Table of Contents

Acronyms 1
Glossary 2
I Summary and Recommendations 5
Principal Findings 5
International Humanitarian Law 7
Methodology 10
Pre-Mission 11
On Mission 11
Post-Mission 12
Civilian Casualties 12
Major Recommendations 14
II Conduct of the Air War 16
Synopsis of the Air War 17
Collateral Damage Estimates 18
Emerging Targets-Iraqi Leadership 21
Time-Sensitive and High-Value Targets 22
Flawed Targeting Methodology 24
Ineffective Battle Damage Assessment 26
Case Studies of Attacks on Leadership Targets 27
Al-Dura Farm, Baghdad 28
Al-Tuwaisi, Basra 28
Al-Karrada, Baghdad 32
Al-Mansur, Baghdad 37
Conclusion and Recommendations 40
Preplanned Targets 41
Dual-Use Targets 42
Electrical Power Facilities 42
Media Installations 46
Civilian Telecommunications Facilities 49
Government Facilities 50
The Republican Palace Complex and Other Government Buildings 51
Baghdad International Fairgrounds 51
Directorate of General Security Facilities 53
Conclusion and Recommendations 54
Cluster Bomb Strikes 54
Introduction to Cluster Munitions 55
Cluster Bomb Strikes in the Iraq Air War 56
Conclusion and Recommendations 61
III Conduct of the Ground War 64
Synopsis of the Ground War 64
Iraqi Conduct in the Ground War 66
Use of Human Shields 67
Abuse of Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblems 69
Use of Antipersonnel Landmines 70
Location of Military Objectives in Protected Places 72
Lack of Precautions in Preparing for Urban Combat 74
Combatants in Civilian Clothes 78
Conclusion and Recommendations 79
Coalition Conduct in the Ground War 80
Ground-Launched Cluster Munitions 80
Use of Cluster Munitions 80
Civilian Harm 85
Targeting and Technology 92
Conclusion and Recommendations 97
Antipersonnel Landmines 99
Rules of Engagement 99
Conclusion and Recommendations 102
IV Explosive Remnants of War 103
Cluster Munitions and the Dangers of Duds 103
Civilian Harm 104
Adverse Military Consequences 110
New Technology 111
Growing Opposition to Cluster Munitions 113
Conclusion and Recommendations 115
Abandoned Explosive Ordnance 117
Dangers to Civilians 120
Protection of Civilians 123
Conclusion and Recommendations 125
Appendix A Civilian Casualties in al-Hilla 128
Appendix B Civilian Casualties in al-Najaf 130
Appendix C Civilian Deaths in al-Nasiriyya 132
Appendix D Weapons Used in the Air War 134
Precision-Guided Munitions 134
Unguided Unitary Munitions 135
Cluster Bombs 136
Aircraft 136
Appendix E Rules of Engagement for U.S. Military Forces in Iraq 138
Appendix F Maps 140
Acknowledgments 141
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