Iraq Protests Over Air Strikes
Associated Press March 26, 2001
GENEVA - Iraq has protested to the top United Nations human rights panel over British and U.S. air strikes that it said have killed or wounded more than 1,000 people in the past decade, officials said Monday.
The Iraqi government ``regards the suffering to which the Iraqi people are being subjected as a form of genocide,'' said a note submitted to the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission, which began its annual six-week session in Geneva last week. U.N. officials released the text of the note Monday.
the text reads:
It demanded that the world ``establish a special international tribunal before which United States and British officials would be tried for the war crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity that are being committed against the Iraqi people.'' U.S. and British warplanes regularly strike Iraqi targets while patrolling ``no fly'' zones over southern and northern Iraq, set up after the 1991 Gulf War. The allies say they strike military positions when their planes are targeted by air defenses - but Iraq says missiles often hit civilians.
The Iraq note said the strikes have ``killed 315 citizens and wounded 965, all of whom were civilians.'' It called the allied flights a violation of international law. The government note said the U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq at U.S. and British urging since the Gulf War had caused ``tremendous humanitarian suffering,'' including food and medical shortages that have had an especially heavy impact on children.