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International Humanitarian Law and Bombing Campaigns: Legitimate Military Objectives and Excessive Collateral Damage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2011

Christine Byron
Affiliation:
Cardiff University, Wales, UK e-mail: ByronC@cardiff.ac.uk
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Extract

Despite the introduction and increasing use of ‘smart’ bombs, recent bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia, formerly known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), have resulted in what some commentators consider to be an unacceptably high level of civilian casualties, especially when compared with the low level of combatant casualties in the attacking force. During the most recent Gulf conflict, a conservative estimate suggests that over 1,100 Iraqi civilians died within the first 2 months as a result of aerial bombardment or missile attacks by Coalition forces and that approximately another 600 civilians were killed by unexploded ordinance during the same period. There are no reliable statistics for civilians injured by aerial bombardment and unexploded ordinance in that period but the number is likely to have been many times higher than the number of fatalities.

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Copyright
Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Authors 2010

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