Sunday, April 19, 2009

US air strike deaths: 85% women and children

Iraq air raids hit mostly women and children
The Independent: Air strikes and artillery barrages have taken a heavy toll among the most vulnerable of the Iraqi people, with children and women forming a disproportionate number of the dead. Analysis carried out by the research group Iraq Body Count (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. Fatalities caused by mortars were 42 per cent children and 44 per cent women.

Juan Cole, Informed Comment: I have long maintained that it is likely a violation of the Geneva Conventions for the US air force to systematically bomb cities that the US military is already occupying. Typically such close air support in urban areas is called in by infantry or armor patrols to deal with snipers atop tenement buildings. But since families live in the tenement buildings, taking out a sniper or two often results in significant civilian deaths. It is likely that the death toll of women and children is much greater than the Iraq Body Count suggests, since pulverized buildings are not always cleared away, and when they are, bodies are not always exhumed.
Image: Kareem Raheem/Reuters; source here.