Report finds Iraqi women and children victims in ‘dirty war’
Summary of story from AlertNet, 15.2.11.
A study by British and Swiss researchers has found that US-led coalition forces in Iraq killed women and children at a higher rate than insurgents in the period 2003 to 2008.
The analysis of the 92,600 civilian deaths, published yesterday in the Public Library of Science Medicine Journal, also established a “Dirty War Index” (DWI) to measure the proportion of women and children among civilians killed.
The study found that the most indiscriminate effects on women and children in Iraq came from mortar fire and non-suicide vehicle bombs caused by unknown perpetrators – these had DWI ratings of 7 and 54 respectively – but that coalition air attacks had a DWI of 69.
Madelyn Hsiao-Rei Hicks of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, who led the study, said the findings suggested that some of the types of weapons used by American-led forces during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and subsequently, were not very precise.
Another possible reason for the high ‘dirty war’ rating for U.S.-led forces, she said, was that their opponents are not part of an established force, do not wear uniforms and so cannot easily be distinguished from ordinary civilians.