Surveys Pointing to High Civilian Death Toll in Iraq

Ford, Peter
July 2003
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs;Jul/Aug2003, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p13
Evidence is increasing to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during Iraq War 2003. Such a range would make the Iraq war the deadliest campaign for noncombatants that U.S. forces have fought since Vietnam War. U.S. and British military officials insisted throughout the war that their forces did all they could to avoid civilian casualties. But it has become clear since the fighting ended that bombs did go off the track, that targets were chosen in error, and that as U.S. troops pushed rapidly north toward the capital they killed thousands of civilians from the air and from the ground. There are no figures at all for Iraqi military casualties, which Iraqi officials kept secret. One factor that led to many civilian deaths, and which complicates the task of counting them accurately, is that irregular fedayeen militia hid in civilian homes as they fought advancing coalition troops, and dressed as civilians. INSET: Iraqi civilian deaths.


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