Rights Groups’ Report: NATO Committed War Crimes in Libya

Report Centers on Sirte Killings, Attacks on Civilian Targets

A new report has been released by three Middle Eastern human rights groups to detail the results of a “fact-finding mission” to post-Gadhafi Libya. The report was unique in looking not only at human rights violations by the former regime, but also by the NATO forces that attacked the nation.

And as has been the case on those rare occasions when an NGO has cared to look, NATO’s behavior in Libya is far less rosy than the alliance claims it to be. The report points to major human rights violations and war crimes committed during the hostilities.

The deadliest single incident considered a war crime was in Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, where NATO warplanes killed “approximately 47 civilians” in an attack on September 15. They also faulted NATO for listing public schools and food distribution centers as “military targets” and then bombing them.

In addition to the killings by NATO, the report also faulted the National Transitional Council (NTC) on a number of fronts, particularly the destruction of the town of Tawergha, once 30,000 people, which is now a ghost town since its capture by Misrata rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.