NATO Admits Killing Civilians in Tripoli Attack

Claims 'Weapons System Failure' in Attack Which Killed Toddlers

NATO has admitted a missile strike hit a civilian home in the Libyan capital of Tripoli today, killing a number of civilians including at least two toddlers. Though far from the first strike to kill civilians in the Libyan War, it is the first that NATO officials have admitted to.

NATO said the attack was targeting a missile site but instead hit a house full of civilians, saying they “regret the loss of innocent civilian lives” but that NATO has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties in the war.

The East Libyan rebels were quick to shrug off the attack, however, saying that they “hold the Gadhafi regime responsible” for the deaths even though it was an errant NATO strike that actually killed the people.

US and French forces began attacking Libya on March 19, ostensibly based on a UN resolution calling for them to “protect civilians” with a no fly zone. Though officials have argued this extended to allowing the continuing air war, it will be difficult to defend the growing number of civilian killings by the NATO forces themselves.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.