Friday, January 20, 2012

NATO rapped over 'war crimes' in Libya

A file image of a NATO airstrike on a residential area in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in June 2011

Source: Press TV

A new report by human rights groups in the Middle East has charged NATO with committing war crimes and human rights violations in Libya.

The report was published on Thursday by the Arab Organization for Human Rights, together with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the International Legal Assistance Consortium.

Following interviews with eyewitnesses and victims of the Libyan war and after examining areas bombarded by NATO fighter jets, the report states that the Western military alliance targeted a number of civilian areas instead of military sites, particularly in the city of Sirte, during its war in the North African country.

The development comes as NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen claimed in a recent statement that “NATO carried out this operation very carefully, without confirmed civilian casualties."

The independent report also implicates other warring factions and participants in the war, including forces loyal to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi as well as the nation's revolutionary forces in its war crime charges.

Meanwhile, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated in November 2011 that an investigation would be carried out on the role of the NATO alliance as well as the two Libyan groups involved in the operations.

NATO launched a major air campaign against forces of the former Libyan regime on March 19, 2011 under a UN mandate to “protect the Libyan population.”

The Western military alliance, however, was heavily criticized for its failure to protect civilians and taking action beyond the terms of the UN mandate.

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