The Bombing Of Iraqi Cities

Middle East Watch Condemns Bombing Without Warning Of Air Raid Shelter In Baghdad's Al Ameriyya District On February 13

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The purpose of this newsletter, the fourth released by Middle East Watch since January 17, is to provide information and analysis concerning compliance by the U.S. and coalition forces under its command with binding restraints on methods and means of combat as they apply to the conduct of air warfare. In particular, it focuses on compliance by these parties with those rules in Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 which the U.S. expressly recognizes as declaratory of existing customary law, and with other rules which should be respected in the expectation that they soon will become part of the customary law of armed conflict. Middle East Watch is concerned that the U.S. and its allies may not always have applied these rules in the conduct of aerial bombardment in Iraq. As the war in the Gulf entered its second month, Iraqi cities came under increasing aerial attack. Middle East Watch believes that the U.S. military command must provide more detailed public justifications to substantiate its claim that the allied forces undertook every effort to spare the civilian population and minimize civilian casualties and damage, pursuant to the laws of war.

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